Peace

A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson.

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I’ve never had any feelings that I would describe as de ja vu so I’ve never really been tempted to try regression. Although having said that, I do understand roughly how this is done. The therapist would first try and get you completely relaxed, then you would imagine a series of doors with year numbers written on them. You would select your preferred year door and just walk through. This is how you might discover if you’ve had any previous incarnations. I suppose you could say regression is a bit like time travel.

Now I’ve never been one for counting sheep, so when I couldn’t get to sleep one night, just for a change, I thought I’d try to regress back in time. The doors flew by in my imagination roughly ten at a time, from today, back into the nineteenth century. And don’t ask me why, but for some unknown reason, I chose the year nineteen hundred and fifty five.

Not knowing what to expect, I pushed the door open then immediately pulled it shut behind me. I think the first thing you are supposed to do is to look down and see what you’re wearing. I did that but drew a blank. But when I looked up again, I was seeing something which looked much like the North American Plains. The land looked dry so I assumed it must be mid summer.

When I looked down at my feet again, I could clearly see I was dressed as an Indian. But what tribe did I belong to? The answer was immediate: the Blackfoot tribe. I didn’t even know if there was such a thing as the Blackfoot tribe.

The next thing I knew, I was on the back of my horse and riding like hell. There was obviously somewhere I needed to be? Or perhaps there was something I had to do? I soon arrived at an Indian settlement and as I did I could feel the rage within me begin to mount. I abandoned my horse and headed straight for the chief’s tepee. I stood outside, drew my knife and stabbed it hard into the ground.

The chief emerged walking sideways for some strange reason. I could only see one eye but it looked mean and glaring. When he got close he quickly turned front-on and I could see that he was holding his knife in his other hand. He lunged at me with his knife high in the air but I grabbed his wrist and held it in a vice-like grip. The look in his eye turned to surprise as he felt my power.

I then turned the knife towards the ground and also stabbed it into the baked earth with the same force. Both knives were buried up to the hilt. “The time for peace has come,” I said. “Too many of our people have lost their lives.” Then I threw him to the ground.

It struck me then that I must be involved with some sort of peace treaty. But who was I? Each time I asked that question all I could see before me were the two knives stabbed into the earth. I couldn’t stop looking at them. It struck me that they were symbolic of perhaps a lasting peace but they gave me no clue as to what my name was.

Naturally, when I awoke the next morning the first thing I did was research the Blackfoot Indians. Does such a tribe exist? Yes. Are they located in the Northern Plains? Yes. Did they sign an important peace treaty in 1855? Yes. But what was my name? That bothered me.

I eventually found a copy of the treaty including all those present at the signing. I looked down the list of Indian chief’s and delegates present to see if I could get a clue as to my name: White Bird; Looking Glass; Running Rabbit; or perhaps this was me Stabbing Man?

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