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Ghost Dance

Thomas Willemain

The empty classroom was dark, expectant. He sat in front. Closed his eyes. Slowed his breathing. Imagined what it would be like next week, when forty would pour in, most pre-bored, some nominally eager, maybe five or six really ready to listen. He tried not to think of Freud’s dictum that teaching was one of the professions destined for frustration. He breathed that thought away. Replaced it with something he’d read the week before, how the Arapaho hoped their Ghost Dance would bring back the large buffalo herds and restore the old ways. He sensed centuries of scholars, remembered his excitement at his first class so many years ago. Thought of how it had gotten harder every year to find that magic. He stilled again, then slowly stood, stepped clear of the podium, spread his arms. He waited for his heartbeat to slow. Then he moved his arms, rocked his body, shuffled his feet. Eyehe'! Nä'nisa'na....

Dr. Thomas Reed Willemain has been an academic, software entrepreneur and intelligence officer. His flash fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Granfalloon, Hobart, Burningword Literary Journal, and elsewhere. A native of South Hadley, MA, he lives near the Mohawk River in upstate New York.

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