Ghost Dancer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Ghost dancer remembers the last day of Sitting Bull

Submitted: March 27, 2017

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Submitted: March 27, 2017



The Ghost Dancer

 I was one of the younger ones at Sitting Bull's camp.  Young enough to be caught up in the excitement, the dreams, the hopes, of the Ghost Dance and of those around me.

I was not young enough to ignore the warning signs though,  I felt them in my very heart.  The looks the white people gave me and the others when we went for rations, the numerous trips they made to our camp. The non-natives were nervous, not knowing what we would do. And us not knowing the same. 
  Sitting Bull was a spiritual leader if ever I had seen one. He had visions and those visions had come true. Except for the last one.  The dark one as I always thought of it. It was said he dreamed of Lakota's killing him. It made no sense.  He was a leader.
 No sense until that day. I saw the men come riding.  A group of them with Lakota in the lead.I may have seen them, but they seemed intent on their mission, riding past me as if I somehow, I too were a ghost.  I had gone to collect twigs for a fire as they galloped past, their horse hooves making an ominous sound of destiny with each stride.

I dropped the wood in a pile right where I stood and ran.  Knowing that terror was coming and our lives, our very futures, I suspected, hung on what was about to take place.I was out of breath when I finally arrived.  My little child feet arriving a while after the last horses came to a stand.  Not too late though.  I saw them taking Sitting Bull from his home.  And the ferocity that flowed through the very air around me could not be ignored. 

I knew somehow this was not the end of this story, only the beginning.I saw the gun being raised in the gathering crowd.  I heard the cry of the old Bull himself.  The crack of the pistol as I ran.  Ran like I had never run before.  I did not want to see what would befall my leader, my people.  My heart knew already.

I have not done the ghost dance since. Or worn that shawl. It always brought that day to mind.  The sorrow, the pain and the death of Sitting Bull.  So the shawl and it's memories have always stayed tucked away, only now to be taken out, its story to be told to the next generation.

© Copyright 2019 Carla Charter. All rights reserved.

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