Posted in Male Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Week 47 ~ “Ghost Dance”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“Ghost Dance” by Sherman Alexie

Card picked: Nine of Spades
From: Thrilling Tales, ed. by Michael Chabon

Thoughts: The unjust murder of two Indians by racist cops sets in motion the return of the 7th Cavalry from the grave. On the night of the murders, FBI Agent Edgar Smith dreams of the Battle of Little Big Horn and of Custers’ death at the hands of a Cheyenne woman. This gives Smith a sort of psychic connection to the victims and survivors of the 7th’s rampage.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this story. Alexie does not provide the symmetry I expect from a revenge tale. The inciting event leads to the zombie 7th killing, well, everyone in their path. And maybe *that* is Alexie’s point. The violence is only going to breed violence. Or maybe that’s the message I want to see in it today. The ending is left pretty open. Smith realizes how the 7th might be stopped (by appealing to their training as soldiers), but an FBI guy who is seeing visions isn’t exactly seen as a reliable source of information.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

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