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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · History · #1151598
A Lakota and a 7th Calvary soldier meet on the prairie
300 words

Wadsworth’s Fate

The sun crossed the sky, on June 25, 1876, burning the western plains. The temperature rose as Private Henry Wadsworth spurred his mare on, wanting to put as many miles as he could between himself and the Seventh Cavalry. He was tired of the army and taking orders from George Armstrong Custer. He was fed up with the General, nicknamed “Iron Britches” by his men. Henry had become an army deserter; running from battle.

Miles away, a young Lakota warrior urged his pony forward, skirting the coulees and ravines, searching for game. Game was scarce, difficult to find after the White-eyes arrival. Yellowtail had left his people, camped next to the Little Bighorn River, as the sun was rising. Knowing his pony was in need of water, he turned east, where he knew a stream flowed, shaded by boxwood.

Henry had been riding all day and began looking for a place to rest his mount. In the distance, he could see foliage rising from the prairie. He pushed his horse to a gallop in the direction of the oasis.

Riding from opposite directions, the young men rode their animals toward the water’s edge, unaware that their fate was about to turn.

“Wasichus”, Yellowtail yelled as he reached for his Winchester carbine. He charged into the stream toward the white man.

“Oh Christ,” Henry cried as his faithful friend reared and threw him from the saddle. Henry landed on his side and rolled down the sharp embankment. He scrambled to his feet and pulled his breech-loaded, single shot Springfield from its scabbard and took aim.

Henry squeezed the rifle's trigger. The unreliable weapon misfired.

Yellowtail pulled the trigger three times, putting three bullets into his enemy’s chest.

Private Henry Wadsworth fell; face down in the cool waters of Lame Johnny creek.

Prompt: "Western theme"
Entry for Daily Flash
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