Michaela sat on a large quilt absorbed in a book. She’d found a Dickens’s novel in the library and was thoroughly engrossed in the story. As a child she grew up with the voice of her parents reading A Christmas Carol, and now she was the one passing it on to her children. Only now she found herself reading new horrors and triumphs in the pages of Nicholas Nickelby. In her mind Dickens’s was a master storyteller, and her father one who had an excellent taste in books.
As she sat there reading birds sang high in the trees, sun glistened through the trees and the sounds of water rushing over the rocks gave the bucolic landscape a sense of calm. It was her place to get away from the bustle of the clinic when she needed a moment alone or her special place with Sully. Her cheeks flushed at the memory of their last time here, her book forgotten for the moment.
Sully had come to the clinic telling her she needed a break and without another word had swept her off her feet, out the door, and onto the back of his awaiting horse. From there they had ridden off to enjoy a beautiful picnic lunch, poetry by Emerson and such things that would turn a proper ladies ears bright red. She blushed even deeper at those memories before glancing back down at the pages of her book.
Off in the distance a beautiful creature starred at Michaela with big brown eyes that looked deep into her very soul. It was almost like a guardian angel appearing only for a moment before vanishing into thin air as if it had never been there at all.
Sully stared off into the distance his mind far from the story Cloud Dancing was telling him. Lately he’d been distracted by one thing or another and couldn’t pinpoint why. Far off in the distance he thought he saw a creature surrounded by white lilies, a rarity in Colorado Springs letting his eyes lay there for a while envisioning Michaela in white as they rolled through the lilies, inhaling the scent of both as he showered her with kisses. A similar dream had appeared to him before he proposed marriage. And now he longed for a moment like that belonging in reality and not in a dream.
“Sully?” Cloud Dancing called out to his friend, waving his hand in front of Sully’s face. He’d noticed some time in the middle of the story that Sully seemed to be somewhere else, even though he’d continued on to finish it. “My brother, what troubles you?”
Sully sat that frozen a moment longer before he felt a hand on his shoulder. Jerking away from his line of sight he apologized for drifting off in the middle of a story that was no doubt important to pass on to others. Warming his hands by the fire before picking up his cup of coffee, Sully looked over at Cloud Dancing noting the concern in his eyes. “Dreams.”
“What dreams?” Cloud Dancing probed.
Sully paused for a moment before answering as he wasn’t used to sharing such dreams as this with anyone. They were different from his dreams about Boston before he went there to win Michaela back, and not quite like his dream before their engagement. This one was more of a mystery too him as it always replayed the same scene over and over. Until he could figure it out on his own he told Cloud Dancing what was in the dream each time it appeared to him. “Ain’t sure what it’s all about, ‘cept that I’m seein’ the same thing over’n over.”
At that moment Sully looked up as if drawn by some unseen force and glimpsed Michaela speaking with Swowbird; he smiled at the two of them and felt the warm glow inside of him grow at her presence. He longed to sweep Michaela into his arms and never let go and began to move towards her. Yet as soon as he did her clothes evaporated into a flowing white gown, with her long hair cascading down her back and white fur nestled around her. Sully froze in his tracks unable to move as he noticed a small white creature come from behind Flash. It regarded him with a fierce intensity before turning back around and disappearing.
Michaela smiled at Sully as he stood there transfixed, unable to breath, until she alighted herself from Flash and made her way towards him. Her touch was warm like a glowing fire with feather light fingers and kisses leaving him nearly breathless, until the moment she breathed cool air into his face. At that moment he couldn’t hold back any longer and reached to envelope her in his arms. She went willingly as he closed his eyes against her beautiful form, inhaling the scent of her hair never wanting to let go.
Cloud Dancing studied his friend’s face for a moment, noting the intensity in which he recalled the dream that haunted him. It was a strong dream coming from deep within, and yet there was something so special about it at the same time. He knew the legends of the White Buffalo and how it had saved Sully’s life some years back.
“Perhaps this creature sought out Michaela to protect her,” Cloud Dancing supplied, getting a deep feeling that it very well maybe true. Sully turned to look Cloud Dancing in the eyes clearly ready to counteract his statement but instead he froze for a moment and thought. “You’re sayin’ that creatures protect us?” Sully asked as he brought the hot coffee up his lips.
“Anything is possible,” Was his quiet reply leaving Sully to think more on those few words.
Michaela closed her book as the shadows began to caress the pages. She looked up studying her surroundings noticing the once beautiful day was fading away into darkness. The sky had already begun to turn shades of orange, pink, blue and purple before her very eyes.
Carefully she got up from the quilt, stretched her muscles and made to leave her quiet spot for home. It brought a smile to her face to know that she would be back inside the walls Sully built for them, with a roaring fire and his arms nestled around her body keeping her warm from the cold night air.
As she rode home on Flash the shadows came and went before darkness enveloped her path. Michaela couldn’t see a thing as she tried to maneuver Flash through the woods. Only they didn’t make it far before a hand reached out to guide them and the only sounds left were from the creatures of the night as everything else dared not stir. After a while the hand that guided them came to a halt, disappeared, leaving Flash to move forward on her own into the reservation she had known as home. Once safety was reached, strong arms lifted Michaela off Flash and into a tee-pee where she was laid down for the night.
Michaela woke the next morning inside a tee-pee completely unaware as to how she had gotten there. She remembered very little from the night before except that she was trying to get home and now realized that she hadn’t reached her destination. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes she arose from the palette on the ground, pulled off the blanket and stepped outside into the morning light.
Flash was right outside with Cloud Dancing holding her reins with a smile on his face. He had seen what had happened in the night and although he wanted to tell Michaela, he didn’t think she would believe him; after all her belief in spirits was vague. “Ah, ho,” he greeted her when her eyes landed on his. “Good morning,” Michaela replied.
After exchanging pleasantries Cloud Dancing helped Michaela mount Flash before coming around to hand her something. “Give this to Sully, it will help him,” he said in an even tone. “Is something wrong?” Michaela asked as concern etched her face. “Nothing is wrong,” Cloud Dancing answered as he gave her a reassuring smile before nudging Flash on her way home.
Sully was sitting with his back laying against the stairs when Michaela slowly came into view. He smiled at the sight of her riding like the wind with her hair flung behind her dancing in the air. She was beautiful and the moment she hit full sun he saw a white creature appear behind her as she got closer to him. Frozen in his spot Sully starred at the scene before him, his wife all in white coming towards him with a small package. “For you,” she whispered before melting against him as his arms enclosed around her warm body. “Thank you,” he murmured as the white creature gave a nod before vanishing into the light leaving behind a field of lilies.
by dqmwartist 8/17/11