Part 1 ~ The Audience

Part 1 ~ The Audience

A Chapter by KittyDash

They had seen this before in a variety of different settings and theatres of action. But they were all virtually strangers to being in the audience and not in the midst of it all.


Chapter 1 ~ The Audience


‘’ Gentlemen. In my opinion, General Custer has made the biggest mistake of his life by not taking the whole regiment in at once in the first attack.’’


This was spoken by Captain Myles Moylan, half to himself, as he overlooked a valley that was choked with smoke and swarming with Indians, strange shapes in the distorted haze of the hot summer’s day. They had been there, descending upon the dead and the wounded with stone hammers and knives, for as long as the estranged officers had been standing above like sentinels on the hill, watching with a strange sense of displacement.


Moylan didn’t know if the stem was from the soils of helplessness or idleness.


Whatever it was though, as he turned to the line of officers flanking him, his eyes already too sore from the gruesome mosaic being made of the wasted human life across the river, he saw the oddest complacency on their dusty faces. Or, rather, the oddest numbness in their faces, sparked only by the icy blueness of Captain Benteen’s narrowed eyes and the nervous hints in Major Reno’s habit of chewing on his swollen bottom lip. They had seen this before, seen death and mutilation in a variety of different settings and theatres of action. But they were all virtually strangers to being in the audience and not in the midst of it all.


A sudden, harsh volley of gunfire from downstream tore Moylan’s attention from his superiors and back to the landscape he swore he would see many, many times after this day was through. The volley turned quickly into a rapid and continual succession of cracks and pops, peppered with a frequent yell or scream as a bullet found its target. They couldn’t see them, the dipping and falling unpredictable area obscuring any hope of view, but they could hear them and it was as if the land itself was alive, erupting in an orchestra of war.


Beside Moylan, Lieutenant Edward Godfrey held a hand up to shield his eyes as he squinted in vain down the river. The man was half deaf, his ears having taken much punishment as a cavalry officer over the years despite his young age, but still, as the hills began to echo with the noises, he adjusted his gloves and sniffed.


‘’ Jesus, that’s loud,‘’ he remarked quietly, almost nonchalantly. Captain Thomas Weir nodded.


‘’ That’s Custer,’’ came his surprisingly soft comment. ‘’ Should we ride to him?’’


‘’ Hell if we will,’’ Benteen replied sharply. ‘’ The wounded must be tended to before anything will be done. Do you agree, Major?’’


The commander of the withering detachment on the hill, Major Reno, licked his bleeding bottom lip and nodded slowly. ‘’ Yes, Captain, I agree.’’


‘’ Well then what are we to do?’’ Weir inquired.


‘’ - I don’t know -’’


‘’ I’m sure Custer can take care of himself,’’ Benteen said strongly. No one disagreed with that. No one wanted to, for fear they’d get an answer that they didn’t desire.



© 2011 KittyDash

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Added on November 27, 2010
Last Updated on March 8, 2011
Tags: Historical, Fiction, America, Native Americans



United Kingdom

Hey everybody, I'm sure I'm not the only one to say I have not a clue what to put here! My name's Katie, to begin with, and I have been writing for a few years. I love to write and I like trying a lot.. more..

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