The Gatherer

This post is submitted to Friday Fictioneers. The goal is to write a complete story with a beginning, middle and end in 100 words or less.

My story follows the picture prompt. Other stories found here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Renee Heath

The elders had spoken. Chief Ahtunowhiho had personally summoned him.

He walked toward the tepee in his formal black death attire. The family, formally dressed and solemn, met him at the entrance. As he pushed open the tent flap the smell hit him: old blood, feces, infection.  Communication with the spirits of the death was his profession.

In his purse he carried red dye to paint the eyes, a yuca leaf to wash the body, some hawk feathers to tie around the head and some sage to smudge the face.

“Are you the Gatherer?” the boy asked.

97 words





13 thoughts on “The Gatherer

  1. Susie Clevenger February 5, 2019 / 5:30 pm

    Great story for the image. I too love how you created a shaman and the things he faces so often in so few words. Great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gahlearner February 3, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    You’ve skilfully used all the senses in this story. It feels like being there, not that I would want to, so sad and grim.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. granonine February 1, 2019 / 1:06 pm

    Has someone already died, or is the boy about to be “gathered?” Great atmosphere here, a sense of fear and respect at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Abhijit Ray January 31, 2019 / 11:47 pm

    Who passed away? Description of the communicator and the atmosphere in the tent is explained so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 4963andypop January 31, 2019 / 7:46 am

    This shaman-type is very well drawn. We get his dedication, the onstacles he faces and the respect accorded him. Sounds like you know whereof you speak.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Margaret January 31, 2019 / 1:05 am

    The Gatherer! All sorts of implications in that title. A grim story. Great atmosphere and descriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

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