This short story was well written, and the imagery of the land was excellent: for writing I would give it a 4. However, the story and characters were very predictable: for story, I would give it a 2. More over I'm not sure why the author even bothered with the fantastic elements, they were truly incidental to the underlying story of colonialism and exploitation. Another one in the growing list of literature that are "alternative fiction" for no good reason. If you want to write literature that critiques the colonisation of the American west, and the author's skill is obviously up to that task, then do so. The fantastical elements, because they didn't add to the story, did nothing to make it original, they were just annoying and distracting. I wonder if the author had stuck to what was obviously her main interest (white colonialisation of the American west) she wouldn't have come up with a story a little less predictable.