Step Back In Time

Step Back In Time

A Story by Anne

Writing Prompt #3 Step Back in Time Hundreds—or Perhaps Thousands—of Years. The leader of a small tribe is butting heads with the Tribe’s healer. Meanwhile, a powerful tribe is infiltrating them


     Chief Wading Water sat on a rock overlooking the Big Sioux River.  When the chief had a lot on his mind, this is where he would sit for hours, watching the water roll swiftly over the rocks.  The sound of the water rolling over the rocks and the peaceful atmosphere helped put him in a meditative state which helped him think more clearly.

     This particular time, he was again, contemplating the talk he would be having with Miakodo, the tribe’s healer.  He knew the talk would not go well; it hasn’t yet.

     Over the past two seasons, Miakodo had become increasingly confrontational when performing healing on the members of the tribe.  As you can imagine, members were not being healed as quickly as they should due to the stress Miakodo brought to his sessions.  While he was sitting there thinking of the best way to approach Miakodo, Chief Wading Water’s top advisor, Longtail approached. 

     “I told you!  When I am here do not bother me!” Chief Wading Water reprimanded.

     “But Chief”, Longtail implored, “there is a problem arising from the west.  We need to address this, sooner rather than later.”

     “Not now”, the chief responded sharply, “I’ll see you when I return.  I have other things on my mind.”

     “But Chief…we really…”

     “I said Not Now!”    


     “LEAVE, AT ONCE”, the Chief commanded with a bold, strong voice.

     Longtail knew this was a big mistake, but he could not disrespect the Chief more than he already had, so he swung his leg up over his horses back and galloped away towards camp.

     Once back at camp, he gathered the tribe’s next ranking members.  He began to explain to them “We have a large problem coming from the west.  The Nakota’s are building up anger towards us.  I’ve just come from their region, and have seen what is happening.  If Chief Wading Water does not speak with their Chief, Chief Cottonwood, a war will take place.  They know no boundary.  Our women and will be raped and murdered, our camp burnt to the ground.  We will disappear from the Nation.”

     The members were clamoring.  “Have you spoken with Chief Wading Water?”  “How else can we stop this from happening?” “How long do we have?”

     One by one, Longtail tried to answer their questions.  First one being, yes, he did attempt to speak with Chief Wading Water but there was another matter that was on his mind, and he was adamant about being left in peace to his thoughts. 

     “It is up to us to try to stop them.  We must go speak with Chief Cottonwood to find out what we can do to avoid this war.”  I will need you, Swansea, and you, Aqueno”, he said pointing to the two oldest men in his counsel, “to go to Chief Cottonwood and see what he requires for us to keep peace and prevent war.  Quickly, you must go.  I don’t know how much time we have before they attack.”

     As soon as Longtail had the word quickly out of his mouth, the two men were off on the horses, galloping toward Chief Cottonwoods territory.  In the meantime, Longtail gathered the rest of the tribe to explain the imminent danger they were in.  The tribe began to put a plan together, men, women, and children all had a roll. 

     The men gathered their weapons and applied war paint.  The women gathered food, packed up the tee pees and directed the children on what other necessary items were needed to bring with them.  There was a hush over their land as they prepared in silence.

     Longtail was the coordinator.  He stopped by the men first, gave them an encouraging speech, made sure they were on task, and told them they were to gather by the river at sunset.  He then went to the women.  He made sure they were on task, and told them to meet him by the river at sunset.  From there, he would send them towards the south east to safety.  He addressed the elder women and directed them to make camp as long after sunset the next day as they could endure.  He was ensuring many miles would be put between them and the impending war.  He encouraged the children by telling them a tribal tale of survival.   He then went back to the rock overlooking Sioux River to see Chief Wading Water.

     What!” the chief said as he saw Longtail approaching. 

     “Chief war is impending.  I cannot put off telling you any longer.”

     Chief Wading River stood tall.  “What is this of war?”

     Longtail explained what had happened throughout the morning sun.  “After we are done speaking, I am going back to hear what news Swansea and Aquino have for us.  Are you coming with me?”

     “Yes”, the chief said soberly with a shameful tone to his voice.  “What a fool I have been.  I consumed myself with matters that I had no business being consumed with.  It took me from the most important task I have"to protect our tribe.  You have done well, Longtail.  Our tribe owe themselves to you.”

     The both mounted their horses and headed back to the busy tribe.  Swansea and Aqueno were waiting.   The look on their faces did not foretell a promising update.

     “Chief Cottonwood is an unforgiving man.  He is still angry over our fishing on his portion of the river.  He became even more upset at Chief Wading Water not being present to speak with directly.”, Swansea said.  War is coming; possibly sooner than sunset.”

     Chief Cottonwood, directing his voice at Longtail “I will go speak to the men and ready them for attack.  We may have a chance if we begin the attack and surprise them.  Longtail, you go hurry the women and children, set them on their way as they are.”  He nodded toward Swansea and Aqueno and said “You come with me.”

     The women and children, although not as prepared as they would have liked, heeded Longtail’s instruction and headed southwest to safety.  They brought with them several horses to carry their supplies and new beginning, and left a few unburdened to help carry the soon to be mothers, tired children, and the aged women, as needed.

     Chief Wading Water, along with the rest of the men in his tribe, set out on the war path.  The war yells began as Chief Wading Water’s men attacked the Nakota Tribe. 

They were strong and powerful, but there was not much defense against the ruthlessness of the Nakota Tribe.  Not many of Chief Wading Water’s men made it out alive.  Chief Wading Water did not make it; Aqueno did not make it.

When there was just a dozen or so men left from their tribe, Longtail began the call to bring his men in, they were retreating.  They stopped fighting, turned their horses and began to separate into the four corners of the earth"north, south, east, and west.  It would be harder for the Nakota’s to follow them and kill more this way.

The next day, Longtail and the others were heading south west to head towards the women of their tribe.  Once there, Longtail retold the story of the war they just had.  It was time to rebuild, and he would be their new chief.  One of his first duties was to replace Miakodo.  Although it was Chief Wading Water who allowed himself to be derailed from the important issues of the tribe, Miakodo was a disturbance in the peace of the tribe.  He was remanded to be the lowest member of the tribe where he could do no harm.

© 2017 Anne

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on January 13, 2017
Last Updated on January 13, 2017
Tags: #writingprompt #creativewriting



Books and Writing have been within my soul for as long as I can remember. Thankful my life has lead me where I have been and where I am going. more..

The Island The Island

A Story by Anne