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bliss

Until We Meet Again

After kissing Doc goodbye, Bren placed a blue feather in her cap. As if she remained stationary, the earth turned around her as everything flew past. Suddenly, the world stopped as she stepped into a warm field full of grass and purple flowers. A deep sense of bliss and oneness with her surroundings settled upon Bren’s soul and spirit.

Looking over a mountain meadow, Bren gazed upon blue flowers, like many-layered hats, sitting atop a vast sea of green. To her left rose high mountains, spotted with the remnants of winter’s snow. Everything seemed fresh and familiar, though she did not have a clue where or when she was.

Bliss

(Montana Territory – 1876)

Feeling the soft, supple way her clothes lay against her skin, she looked down at the dress she wore, caressing it with her fingers. On her shoulders, like a small shawl, beads formed a pattern of geometric shapes against a blue background. Strips of the same type of white, heavy fabric bordered the whole garment, hanging like loose strands of yarn. Wiggling her toes, Bren felt slippers on her feet made of the same material.

Looking at the sky, Brenzel judged the time to be a little after noon and, seeing a body of water below, began making her way down the beautiful valley.

Indian Summer

Wichapi lifted her buckskin dress over her head and, laying it neatly folded on the rocks, scanned the area again for animals. Not overly cold, she stepped into the water up to her waist, lathering some amole (soap plant) in her hands as she washed herself.

Long black hair, falling well past the small of her back, dipped into the crystal clear lake as she bathed. Young and lithe, Wichapi radiated beauty by any standards. Though warned not to bathe alone, she still frequently snuck out to do so, for it was the only time she was truly free with her thoughts.

Scanning the shore once again, Wichapi bent over, cupping water in her hands to rinse her face. Straightening up, wiping her eyes, she gasped, for before her stood a white woman in an ornate buckskin dress, laced all over with blue beads. The strange woman, in long golden hair, simply stared at her.

I’d Vacation Anywhere With You, Dear

(France – 1918)

“I miss Bren already!” Doc complained as she held onto 3’s arm, walking in the early evening air. “I was quite proud of how she handled Hans, I mean… after she decided not to shoot him,” she added.

Thinking back to the long blade cradled in blue silk at Elysia, 3 considered carefully whether to break the mood by telling Hatty what Dove said. Deciding against it, he asked, “Do you know where you are going next?”

“No, I don’t, but it feels like it will be in the future.”

“Would you like me to put in a word with Dove? She might allow you to give me a hand on Hala.”

Excited about the prospect of being with her lover for a time without having to pretend to be something different, Doc replied, “Yes! Of course, I would love that if you could get permission!”

“Well, it is Hala, Hatty, so it’s no picnic, but at least we would be together for a while.”

Holding 3’s arm a little tighter, Hatty said, “Anywhere with you, my love, is a vacation to me.”

Derek Two Guns

(7th Cavalry, U.S. Army, Montana Territory – 1876)

“Sir, I have the scout you requested,” the officer said as he stood at attention.

“At ease,” the general said sitting behind his desk, cleaning his revolver. “Send him in and then go get me some supper.”

“Yes sir, right away sir,” the young man said, clearly in awe of his commander.

Derek Two Guns, for that is what everyone called him, walked past the guards into the general’s office. Tall with a heavy build, Derek was a self-made, emancipated negro slave. Born on a plantation, he worked all his life in the cotton fields of Georgia, until the north won and freed his people. Finding work as a buffalo hunter, Derek became an expert marksman and learned the ways of the plains Indians from trading with them. Gradually, he became a first-rate scout, sought after by reputation.

Some Say You’re The Best

“They say you are one of the best scouts in the territory,” Custer began.

Derek, sizing up the commander who sat before him, replied, “Well, I speak enough Lakota to get by, know the lay of the land, and haven’t got myself killed yet.”

George, standing up, turned to look out a small window, and continued “I have been given a worthy charge. I am to go and return Sitting Bull and his errant tribesmen to their reservation. I need a scout who knows this area to guide my cavalry.”

Derek, two guns crisscrossed on his chest, looked at his prospective employer and said, “If I am to be your scout will you allow me to speak my mind?”

Turning, eyeing Derek suspiciously, Lt. Colonel Custer said, “By all means, enlighten me.”

“First thing, sir, is that we are coming into winter in a few months, and the weather can be powerful bad around these parts. Secondly, they say Sitting Bull has had a vision and is rallying the tribes around him. He is not a man to be underestimated sir, he is the closest thing to a prophet those Indians have. Lastly, I’m expensive, I doubt the cavalry would want to afford my services.”

Balderdash!

A slight smile crept over Custer’s face, raising his elaborately manicured mustache just a little. “Balderdash, man, my cavalry is more than a match for anything these savages can throw at us. Plus, I welcome inclement weather, in fact, I plan to use it to my advantage. I’m a very good judge of character, Scout, so I know you are a self-made man just like I am. Whatever the army doesn’t pay you, I will make up out of my personal purse. I have a job to do, and I will not let any obstacle, natural or man-made, keep me from it.” Derek, still unsure whether the man before him should be admired or dismissed, simply nodded. “It’s settled then, report for duty at 0800 hours next Thursday and we will ride out and put down Sitting Bull and the Indian uprising!”

Me Da Coo Yea Pee

(Montana Territory – 1876)

Bren, staring at the most beautiful woman she had ever seen, didn’t know what to do. After a moment, noticing the neatly folded dress on the ground, she picked it up and offered it to the maiden in the lake.

Wichapi, looking at the woman offering her own clothes to her, felt her belly move. Against her better judgment, she began to make her way towards shore. Brown eyes looking intently into the white woman’s blue, Wachapi came near.

Bren smiled and said, “Me da coo yea pee.”

Wichapi, eyes growing wide, replied “You speak our language?”

Bren, as surprised as her new acquaintance, said in Lakota, “Yes, I am learning.”

“Taku eniciyapi hey”, Wichapi asked.

“Brenzel,” she answered politely as the Lakota girl reached out, feeling Bren’s dress as if to makes sure she was real. With wonder, Wichapi touched the white woman’s hair and then her cheek, again and again, all the while completely unaware that Bren still held her dress.

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