Homepage / Writing / Write Now! Prompt for January 11, 2013: The Shaman
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Write Now! Prompt for January 11, 2013: The Shaman

Here’s a direct link to today’s prompt, and my humble submission:

The shaman from the north was tired. He again wiped the sweaty wisp of hair from his forehead; it felt sticky and the tip had managed to find its way into his eye for the fifth time this morning. He had been mixing herbs, consoling the men and women in the village, and offering prayers in addition to his regular duties. For now, he had found respite from the burning sun beneath a withered tree on the other side of the hill about a mile from his people. He felt useless, his powers a thing of former glory. 

A rustle of dry earth behind him and there, gloating in silence, stood the shaman from the village to the south; for years they had maintained a strong rivalry–each bringing sustenance and healing to their respective people. The smile on the face of the shaman from the south said it all: he felt vindicated, he had won.

The shaman from the north grew more weary as he looked at the face of his nemesis, so he turned away to look in the direction of his village. He knew he would have to do something, since it had been four weeks and the rains still hadn’t come. He sighed, got to his feet, and bowed to the shaman from the south before slowly making his way toward home.


  1. Rob Diaz January 11, 2013 9:53 pm

    I kept wondering all the way through here if the Shaman from the south had done something to block the rains going to the north. The competitiveness between them is clear and believeable. I’m left wondering if the Shaman from the north might be going back to his village to plan a counteroffensive, or if he’s going to go figure out how to overcome it.

    • AR Neal January 12, 2013 6:50 am

      Thank you–I wanted to convey that conflict and a sense of mystery…

  2. vanillabean January 12, 2013 12:53 am

    Poor shaman from the north. Not even able to rest in peace for a few minutes! Really enjoyed this piece. Your descriptions were great. You could feel the bone tiredness and exhaustion dripping off of him, as well as the crowd of people and work and problems waiting for him in back at the village.

    • AR Neal January 12, 2013 6:51 am

      Thank you! I am glad that you enjoyed it and could feel the emotions…

  3. indytony January 15, 2013 4:00 am

    Interesting – you and I both took a slightly “spiritual perspective” on the prompt. (I swear I didn’t read yours first). Nicely done.

    • AR Neal January 15, 2013 4:07 am

      As someone once said, great minds, etc. etc. 🙂

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