The Captured Dead

I’d always intended this page be for works in progress but I usually take something from start to finish it usually slows me down to post something as a WIP. But this story, The Captured Dead is lengthening out and I like this begininng so I thought I’d post it and see what everyone thinks.

The Captured Dead
Comancheria 1874

The dark of the night pressed in around the warriors, saved by the light of the fire carving a shelter out of the liquid darkness that surrounded and threatened to drown them. Each was dressed in brightly colored shirts of red, yellow or blue buckskin that the shaman Isatai had given them. They huddled around the fire, the warriors looked glum, they couldn’t even look at each other, all they could do was stare into the flames, it was early June, it must have been warm out, but they all huddled in close to the fire trying to gain its warmth, the white man had driven them to this, into the night.
“Why are you not dancing, celebrating?” Isatai asked. “What you have done today is a very brave thing.”
“We did a terrible thing, the wasichu will kill us all.” Said one warrior.
“It will bring the soldiers.” Said another.
“They will outnumber us, and their bullets are faster than our arrows.”
“Have you no faith?” Isatai asked, “did not the medicine shirts I’ve given you protect you from the wasichu bullets today?”
“They were farmers, gatherers not warriors.”
“The soldiers are many, like the buffalo were, now are the soldiers.”
“I will show you. Look into the flames and you will see.” Isatai started chanting, the rhythm gathered and the beat of their hearts, and sound matched their thoughts, it was one sound they could hear, then they felt a deep pounding of hooves in their bodies, as they stared into the fire they saw the face of a great buffalo, its mane, flame. It grew and grew in their eyes, engulfing them in its spirit, the vision raced through their hearts like an engine. They believed. “What we have done today will bring the soldiers.” Isatai said, “the dead will come to protect us.”


The Captured Dead Jim Cherry copyright 2014