by Kasey Claytor
“Gloria, it’s set.”
She moved one more time to find the most comfortable position. Seated on the floor cross-legged, and hands placed on knees with palms facing upward, she closed her eyes.
“Gloria, now remember, at all times you are in control, don’t let your belief falter. The
psychological sense of time is merely based on our root assumptions of reality. The ‘brain’ here will keep your physical body with you as your mind travels. Oh, Gloria, you know all this, I guess I’m worrying like a parent.”
“Yes, yes you are, but it’s alright. I’m beginning to feel the trance already, wish me luck
Gregory.” Gloria spoke softly, only moving her lips a minimum amount, and then the faint smile faded from her face and her features took on a very peaceful, calm appearance.
Gregory moved quicker now checking a myriad of blinking red and blue lights on panels to each side of Gloria. Although he was doing his job, he was aware of a strong impulse to stop and stare at the young woman so peacefully poised. She probably was unaware of her surroundings now, he thought.
Her long brown hair lay flowing down her back, curving in at the ends, with streaks of gold among the strands. Large, slightly inset eyes were hidden behind long lashed lids. Her mouth relaxed, a tiny bit open, with lips the color of a burnished autumn leaf with a strong hint of pink.
She looked oddly captivating in the ancient style long cloth dress. She had fallen in love with it when, after all her research of medieval times, she had created it so she could blend in with the people.
When she had first tried it on, she had worn it for hours saying it felt especially comfortable against her skin, even though she took a lot of teasing about it, since no one had worn anything made with cotton in over two centuries.
Gregory watched with some apprehension as his science lab partner faded before his eyes, leaving a glowing color, then a loud ‘crack’ as the air filled in the space where Gloria’s body had been.
She was gone. The empty building was very evident to Gregory now as he checked and rechecked all readouts on the com-travel-time. He glanced at his wrist computer, she would be gone for approximately three days on their time, but he was uncertain how much time passage she would experience. Speaking aloud, Gregory made an oral record of the project up to date, “We have set out to prove not only the entity in mental projection alone can time travel, but also the physical body can time travel with the aid of a computer especially designed to create a speed within the molecular structure that will enable the body to accompany the consciousness. Up until now, only a theory, we intend to prove this can be and is a safe way to travel time. All our researched specifications have been met with the help of com-travel-time, Arly G Five, our resident campus brain machine, and of course our own research, now our experiment has begun.”
The tall, rusty-haired young man clicked in the time, stated the success so far, and began his long, vigilant wait. The last thing on his mind now was getting caught doing this without an ok from his superiors; every time they reviewed his and Gloria’s proposals, they were denied permission because of the danger involved. With intensity showing in his face, Gregory sat, and peeled a banana.
It was very similar to the sensations of mental traveling, Gloria thought as she felt that upwards flowing feeling that she had so many times experienced in the past, but her body was going this time, although she couldn’t detect it at this point. A feeling of motion, a lightheaded, dreamlike, whirling, these sensations were not new to her. Then she felt her world coming back together as she manifested with her body in some distant past moment, a moment that she would experience as now. A weight descended about her and her physical perceptions were in her awareness again. The ground was hard. With slow movements resembling a cat’s, Gloria pawed the earth from the sitting position she found herself in, then leaning her weight on her palms, she raised herself to her feet. Knowing her shoes of the now distant future would be great cause for suspicion, most females of this time rarely owned shoes, she slipped the cushioned bouncy shoes off, carried them index finger and middle finger curled into the heels, to a nearby shrub and dug a fairly deep hole. After burying the shoes and brushing away her tracks, she took the time to look around.
She was near a wide dirt path that lead through a field and into a forest one way and down the other way it looked like the path wound around a very large hill quite far off. Gloria turned slowly in a circle while dusting off her brown cotton dress with her hands.
Some miles away:
He was standing near two buildings, perceiving the world through a massive structure of himself, wearing a combination of cloth and hide. Next to him was a building used for dining, a large, rectangular wooden building. If it was painted, it had long worn off. The men ate there, served by a small, wiry cook with a big apron.
Off to the east a barn or stables was set at a ninety-degree angle to the eating house. Inside this building was Big Red, his beloved horse, the horse from which his young brother had fallen.
He hid his shame, his quilt. Garth had been in charge of the boy since their parents died. He walked over to the stall in which his horse was kept, Big Red, a beautiful, gallant animal. Garth raised one hefty hand and slid it smoothly down the horse’s neck. The hair on his neck glistened as the sunlight filtered through the cracks of the stable walls. Tears came to Garth’s eyes. He did not understand, he was a good man, at fourteen, he thought himself a man, now at nineteen he felt himself a man. Why was his brother taken? He kicked himself for not being more cautious. Could it have happened differently? Was fate set? He stood silently by the horse, then, very slowly he moved the animal out of his stall and Garth walked toward the doorway, toward the sunlight, with the horse following right behind. Some understood. Red was the only one Garth had now with his family gone and Red very much with him, besides the fact that with Garths great size, Red was the only horse in the span of many hamlets that could take Garth for long travels without tiring. It was as if Garth was but a babe on Red’s back.
Garth saddled and mounted the horse, mounting by grasping Red’s mane with his left hand and jumping up just enough to wrap his right arm around the steed’s sturdy neck. Instantly he was sitting high again, his head reaching up into the sky, black tendrils of hair blowing in the breeze. With one hair covered hand he guided the horse gently with the reins and as he passed the spot near the eating house where he had been standing moments before, he stopped. Today especially he couldn’t stop the memories, still they were vivid in his mind, haunting him.
He thought of his errand now, that of finding a runaway young lad who was to work off his ill deeds by being stable boy to the riders. Of concern to him, it wasn’t much, so with little commitment to the task, Garth nudged his heels to the sides of Red, gave him a command to go, and began his journey in the direction of the hills.
Gloria felt a bit vulnerable as she took the path toward the hills. She knew she was safe, with her communi-crosser in a pocket of her underclothes, yet being here, in the flesh, was risking more than she had ever risked in her entire life. There was no way of checking if she had arrived at the destined year until she could confirm it with some proof. Her mind whirled over her history lessons of all that had taken place between this crude medieval time and her comfortable, peaceful era: countless wars large and small, the Victorian age, the great expeditions to discover all parts of the world until a person could travel anywhere on earth, the industrial age, great advances in technology, yet still the bloodshed was a part, until finally the earth came shockingly close to running out of resources; deaths from so many causes they could hardly be counted, and in one last attempt to save it, the seeds of her present culture were planted. She was proud of it. People knew their worth, they ate the food the earth gave and lived simply, respecting the earth as their mother, to live with not on, as it should have always been.
A motion seen from the corner of her eye caught her attention, and Gloria squinted to see what was moving ahead of her in the distance. After a short moment she could make out the horse with rider coming in her directions and she watched as the two grew bigger in her sight. All the way from her head to her toes she felt a childish sort of excitement that was hard to contain, yet she remained poised, ready to use this man’s language that she had so carefully learned pouring over English history books that went into the Anglo-Saxon tongue. But, what if he spoke a different language, she thought, what if she was in the wrong time, no this must be the right time, she decided, because she had so carefully sent her consciousness to a specific time and kept her mind clear and doubtless, until now that is.
It wasn’t long before he spotted the young woman up ahead on the road, all alone, walking slowly down the path in a bright new looking brown dress. There was something definitely strange about her, he was thinking, why, she held her head up so high, she did not bend her head nor did her eyes avoid his. Garth brought Red right up beside her and halted, still her eyes did not look away, as he watched her she stood there looking up into his face. He did not know what to make of this, his eyebrows moved down a bit and he stated simply, “What are you doing here? This is no place for one such as you.”
Gloria’s face, before so solemn and expectant, now broke into a wide smile and a deep sigh of relief filled her being. It was Anglo-Saxon! And how marvelous it sounded coming from him, with all the rich inflections that she hadn’t been able to reproduce. She curtsied gingerly as she introduced herself, “I am Gloria and I have come a long way to get here, I’m very glad you came by this way, I need help to find the closest village from here.”
“You speak differently, from where do you come?”
“That will be difficult to explain, I’m a foreigner here. I will not stay here long, but for the time I am here I need a place to stay. Will you please point the way to the nearest village?”
“Woman, either you are very dumb or it is true, you come from a place quite foreign, for you would not last long here, traveling alone. What makes you think I would not throw you over the back of my horse and take you away to work for me and do me services? The dangers for one such as you are great, it’s dangerous for anyone alone.”
She could not take her eyes off him, a burly dark man was he, built like a strong but compact animal with shoulder length black curly hair and full beard, and he was quite young she determined, his eyes were bright and youthful, his skin smooth and tanned. She took a step back from the horse and looked around, groping for an answer, she couldn’t tell him she wasn’t really vulnerable like he thought, she could go back any time. Since the two had come face to face, not even a hint of a smile had come to his mouth. Was he to be trusted, she thought, yet instinctively she liked him. As she was about to speak he slid down off the horse and stood before her. She was a little surprised to find he wasn’t much taller than she, yet he gave the impression that he was a much bigger size.
“I can take care of myself, I’ve been alone on many occasions. Were you perhaps going to a village which is that way down the road?” Gloria asked, pointing in the direction that he had been heading.
His eyes narrowed as he looked from her to the north, then, “That’s right, there is a hamlet, very small, about two hours from here on foot. What do you plan to do? A woman coming into that place alone… it’s foolish, yet why do you come from that way yourself? Is this some trick? Did one I know put you here for me to find?” A trace of a smile flashed momentarily across his face. “Would be like some, I can think of two who owe me. But I am not sure I want a woman yet for I have plans, many plans to travel, a woman would be a great disadvantage, so will you be wanting to go back where you came from now? I’ll give you a ride if you want to go north, but do not be a hindrance, I don’t want a moaning pest around!”
“Now wait!” Gloria said, then forced her feelings back down and quickly decided it was best not to say much, clearing her throat, “I would very much appreciate the ride to this village you speak of. That’s very kind of you.” How odd she felt, talking to a guy about the same age as Gregory, a handsome one at that, with his head so full of outrageous ideas, she knew it would be different, it was common knowledge how poorly women were treated down through the ages, but now, facing it as a true reality was harder to take than she ever imagined. Yet, underneath her bruised ego she was excited and fascinated by the opportunity to interact with an authentic historic man!
Holy spirits, thought Garth as he rode down the way with this woman at his back, where does she come from? She is like no other I have ever come across. Then a sneaking suspicion grew within him. Ah, yes, it is a test! A test to prove himself worthy of nobility within his clan. With great pride at his cleverness the gears of his mind flew. She must be a Lady, and of course they were being watched at this very moment for her protection. Well, he thought, did they think I would not know a Lady when I saw one? He was really starting to enjoy himself when the hamlet loomed closely up ahead in sight. Now was his chance to be truly chivalrous.
“My Lady, I can tell you are used to plenty more style than this mere hamlet by the roadway, there is two days from here a place suitable for your stay, with ladies in waiting to serve you.” Garth said smiling more at himself than the woman as he turned halfway around to speak to her, then after giving her a warning of her need now to hold on tight around his waist, he gave the horse a mighty kick and off the horse galloped with ease, despite the load.
Gloria held on trying not to breathe in her nose for the smell of his clothing was almost too pungent to bear. She was thankful for the speed as it blew most of the smell away. As they passed quickly by the edges of the small hamlet, with its few buildings dotted along the road, men shouted for them to stop. One woman held up a cloth for sale, running and yelling after them with her toothless face as her ragged skirt brushed the pebbles down the road. Gloria’s eyes frowned as she looked back at the old woman, she was thankful he had not stopped.
When they were far from the poverty-stricken town, Garth resumed a comfortable pace, letting Big Red, with nostrils flaring, catch his breath.
As they traveled on, the landscape began to change, the long stretches of fields became meadows and wooded areas full of birds singing and chattering squirrels.
“May we stop and rest under one of those nice trees?” They had been traveling for many hours now and Gloria was feeling tired and hungry, though she tried to hide it, perhaps the women of this time were not as easily worn out.
“Ah, you see why I do not have a woman! We will stop.” Garth walked the horse over to a big shady tree and dismounted, then turned with arms held out to Gloria. Slowly and clumsily she grasped onto his stocky arms and fell into him with an “oof” as she did. She was amazed at how stiff her lower body felt, as if she’d been wrapped mummy style form the chest down for an interminably long time, and when she walked her legs were embarrassingly wobbly. As she sat her face flinched with the pain she felt in her seat. Muted moans escaped from her mouth.
“You haven’t been riding horses have you? Back there when Red was running you almost broke my ribs, tell me where you’re from now.” Garth stood over her rather menacingly with questioning eyes.
Gloria looked sick. She held her head back and was trying to get the tangles out of her hair with her fingers. “Ok, I’ll tell you, I come from another time, a time way in your future, in my time we can travel to the past, I have come to a past that is your present. I’ve told you my name, you haven’t told me yours.”
Garth’s face did not change, he slowly sat down beside Gloria and stared at her, much like he had many miles back when he first came upon her. “I am called Garth, I don’t know if I’m supposed to laugh or be frightened by you. By whose magic do you come? It is a fact you are of much taller height than any woman I have ever seen. I am a very large man in this land, very few come near to my height, yet you, a female, come clear to my brow! Back there I had you figured for a Lady, and that I was being tested, but now I am not sure at all, and what shall I do with you?”
“Garth, nice name, you don’t understand. I am a person just like you. I don’t use any magic, I’m harmless. Is there something to eat around here?”
“Gloria,” Garth smiled his first full smile, “I have some bread and some dried meat, here.” Both ate, but Garth did not take his eyes off Gloria, hardly ever.
Garth was kicking himself in his thoughts for being so taken with such a strange female. In some unusual way he was as fascinated by her as he could tell she was fascinated by him. He left her for a while to unsaddle Big Red and take him down to a stream for water. When he returned he told her they would be spending the night here since it was becoming dark and she wasn’t fit to travel anymore today anyway. With strong hands he rubbed Red over good from his head to his ankles, then put the big horse under some trees for the night.
Gloria watched the caring movements of Garth for his animal and knew this man felt deeply about his horse. It reassured her that he wasn’t a complete barbarian after all. She strained to stay awake so she could talk to him when he was done.
“You are very close to your horse, aren’t you? How long have you had Red?”
“My father won him in a gamble when I was only seven or eight. Red was just a gangling colt then. If that man who bet my father could see how big the colt was going to grow he would have never gambled with this animal. He is the finest horse of all horses I’ve ever seen. Some say I shouldn’t have kept him after…” Garth looked away, over to where Red stood, sleeping, then gazed at the fire he’d made.
Gloria watched his eyes welling with tears, staring into that fire as if the fire would dry his eyes for him. She moved closer and put her hand gently on his arm.
His head jerked to the side and, startled, he began to move away, then he stopped and looked at her again. “Are horses much bigger than my Red where you come from also?”
“No, no your horse is the biggest I have ever seen. I think he’s grand.” Gloria’s voice trailed off. Garth turned and saw she’d fallen asleep. He covered her kindly with his jacket and lay down to sleep himself.
When Gloria awoke, the first thing she was aware of was the lumpy, hard earth pressing into every sore portion of her body. She twisted and stretched, trying to shake the soreness from herself. Opening her eyes just a bit she could tell it was early dawn, the morning fog was upon them, the sun hadn’t broken over the horizon yet.
Garth’s breathing was the next thing she noticed. Sitting up in the chilly air made her grab for the leather jacket that had been on her, and sitting there, sleepy eyed, she watched Garth in slumber.
She thought of Gregory and school and how far she was from home, yet she felt no home sickness now, in this peaceful moment.
She thought of one time that she had wanted to change her mind, for just an instant, when she saw the rider in the distance. It was like being in one of those old movies from the twentieth century where men ride horses and battle with swords and shields. She had kept her hand on her communi-crosser, ready to leave if she had to.
Looking at Garth sleep, she almost missed him already, then she caught a movement of his hand and she tensed up, realizing she didn’t know him very well and perhaps shouldn’t trust him so.
He woke and stood at almost the same time, and stretched so, until loud bellows exuded from deep down in his lungs. He turned to the side and spat, then began walking away.
Scrambling to her feet, Gloria called after him, “Where are you going?” and in rich Anglo-Saxon he replied, “To pee.”
It was an unfamiliar word to her that needed no definition, she went the other way to do the same. Then she went down to the stream to clean up, and found Garth, sitting in the stream up to his waist, completely dressed, save the boots which were strewn on the bank.
As she knelt down to get a drink, a cold, horrible, wetness hit her with a shock, over her hair, her shoulders, down her back, on her arms and chest. She let out a sound similar to that of a loud cawing blackbird. Her head flew up with angry eyes peering through wet strands to see
Garth, laughing uncontrollably until he fell sideways into the stream.
Gloria raised herself to her feet and with shaking fists yelled in her own tongue, “Damn it, why did you do that? I’m fre-e-ezing, you, you archaic.asshole!” And she turned with a disgusting grunt, hurrying off with quick steps, kicking up leaves and pebbles behind her.
My, my, thought Garth smiling, her native tongue is harsh. He had found no answers to his questions about her so he gave up wondering when his stomach rumbled, giving him incentive to find breakfast. Too hungry to hunt for game, Garth dug up some roots growing near the edge of the woods and washed them in the sparkling stream, with that and more of his dried meat he went back to the campsite to find Gloria basking in the early sunlight, drying herself off, minus the brown dress which was lying flat on a boulder.
“And girls lay in the sun with almost nothing on all the time where you come from, I suppose.” Garth stated as he threw her some food he was holding.
“We don’t hide our bodies from sight all the time, shame of the body has just about disappeared in our time, but it is practical not to encourage others in a sexual way sometimes.” Gloria, as she spoke, walked over to the boulder and touched her dress.
“You need not cover up for me, I won’t attack you.” Garth’s eyes fixed on her unblinkingly as she moved around, “I’ve seen a woman before”. Garth sat and began eating, and in between bites he continued talking, “I have thought of a place for you Gloria, a Christian Church, they welcome anyone and you are a stranger here, they can give you some protection, but do not ask me to enter, I don’t want to hear what they have to say to me. They will say what I believe will bring me to eternal fires and Hell!”
“Garth, that is a grand idea, I need to see some records and a church is where I’ll find them, I’m sure. Oh, thank you, I will always be so grateful to you!” Gloria dressed and sat facing him, eating a raw root that was bitter but better than being hungry. “Last night you became so sad when you were talking of your horse, will you tell me what you thought of?”
Garth began to recount what had happened, “When I was fourteen, I lived with my family on a small farm that barely fed us. There were four children, I being the oldest. Then the plague came, it was a horrible and cruel way to die, and when it was over only my youngest brother and I survived. We took off on Big Red, leaving the manor that my family had been enslaved to for generations. We, after many hardships and searching, found a clan with a just leader and joined them. We were protected and helped protect each other in the clan, but during one battle for our land and cattle I was wounded and fell from Red.” His head now bent down and he had put his food aside. “Justinian, my brother, was still on Red amid swords flying so I told him to flee, go save himself, but when he tried to turn Red away and leave, Red bolted in the air, not willing to leave me, and Justinian fell to his death. He lay beside me and died. I cared more about him than anyone, he was only eight.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that Garth.” Gloria felt goose pimples running up her backbone, the account was frightening to her, for never before had she heard one talk of a battle or of a plague first hand. On her excursions through time with mental projection she had avoided the more violent events in history. Yet she was also taking mental notes during his telling of it, for what the history books had left out, because this was an era that there was scarce knowledge about, which was one of her purposes in choosing this time period.
A noise was growing in the distance, and it was growing louder very fast. The earth carried the sounds of many horses running and Garth’s face took on a pale shade.
“They could be Huns, help me hide everything out of sight, over there in the trees.”
Gloria was stunned as she watched Garth grabbing his satchel, his jacket, running and stumbling with arms full to Red. With fast jerky movements he loaded the things on the horse, then led him into the woods. The sounds were like a stampede of wild animals now, with hooves slapping the ground and human voices shouting wild yells and deep growls. They were coming across the field to the right, Gloria could see the dust rising from them now, and still she couldn’t move.
Strong hands grabbed her upper arms and Garth pulled her for several yards through the brambles and into the brush. Peering out as they approached, Gloria could see their faces now, with the hair on top of their heads in a knot and the hair in the back of their heads blowing in the wind. Some held swords in their hands and most wore long mustaches. Strips of leather were wound around their legs and from shoulder to waist. Gloria sank down into Garth’s chest as she hid her face from view, her finger again on the communi-crosser. They passed close enough for her to see their gruesome faces and she had to turn away. The noise was thunderous, the ground shook and the air was filled with light sand. The thought that she and Garth could have been seen made her tremble.
Watching the mob slowly fade from view, both took a deep breath of relief, and when it was still once more Gloria asked, “Who were they? Were they the Huns? I’ve read about them. They raided and took over as many people as they could, right?”
“They do, not did. They are a very evil and savage people who care nothing for a living soul except their leader.”
“Is there leader called Attila?”
“No, all have heard of the Hun leader Attila, who the Huns have regarded as the greatest of their leaders. He was killed on his wedding night after adding to his wives another one. To mourn his death, his horseman slashed their faces with their swords and cut off their hair. That was a very long time ago.”
“How awful, I’ve read about such things. You don’t live in a very safe time!”
Garth laughed with that last statement of Gloria’s. And then quickly, before she had any hint of what he was going to do, he kissed her, until after a moment her head moved away.
She jumped up and suggested they get ready to go to the church.
On Big Red again they rode north, and down the way Gloria was thinking about Justinian, “Garth, do you believe in reincarnation?”
“What is that?”
“It’s when a person lives more than one life, a person can be born again in another body. That’s what most believe where I come from, a few people from my time can actually remember other lives they have lived, lives from times such as this and many other times.”
“You are a spirit of some kind, perhaps a spirit of the dead? I never believed in an existence after death. My father always taught me to believe only what I could see. Only my mother told me about river spirits and wood spirits and the like. You are one of these?”
“No no, I am no spirit any more than you are, I told you that. I have no more power than you. I have learned how to do some things you would be able to do too, if you lived in my time.”
“Do you really believe that one can come back to life?”
“Well, it would be hard to explain the way we have come to think of time and life and death. It’s very different from what you think of as time. That’s what I’m studying right now in school, time. We sense time as a series of events. It doesn’t really exist at all. And one can live several lives simultaneously.”
“I’m not sure if I understand you, but I do believe you are from the future now, and part of me feels that I’ve known you for a long time. I’ve never in my life talked to anyone like you. You have made me think about things I never gave much thought to before. I see now that because the Church believes their right, and I believe I’m right, doesn’t mean that one of us is right and the other wrong, we may both be wrong?” Garth gave a harrumph. “Or maybe there’s many right answers?”
“Yes, there’s an infinite number of right answers!” Gloria answered, surprised at the intelligence that she didn’t expect to find. “Oh, look over there, what was that place called?” Gloria leaned away from the shoulders of Garth to see better.
“That was once a big city, I don’t know what the name was, there are many skeletons of big cities like that all over this country. When I was younger I used to sneak away from the farm once in a great while and come to a place very much like this. Want to go down and look at it closer?”
Down the sloping, grassy hill, Red took them in staggered steps until they reached the level ground. Gloria ran from building to building marveling at the size and height of some, still almost all intact, buildings, complete with giant columns rising into the sky and stone birds perched on tip ready to take flight, statues lying sprawled and broken, faces peering out of walls, all stone cold. And weeds and vines weaving in and out, through cracks and crevices, the green on the sun bleached white.
Gloria loved it all, she twirled from one magnificent masterpiece to another while Garth watched, and he watched how the sun struck her hair as she turned and strode around, in and out of archways, in and out of shadows, up and down big steps, and across the big courtyard where at the end Garth was standing, waiting. She came and they mounted Red once more with Garth pointing in a direction where the Church lie, not far away now.
When they approached the Church, it was a modest stone building set on top of a small grass and stone covered hill. Garth was right, she was welcomed in most graciously. Inside she found it neat and sparsely furnished; a few tables, about six chairs, a stool, a cabinet, stone floor, a sack of potatoes with a beetle on the seam, but most noticeable were the large volumes of literature displayed divinely on tilted shelves so that the elaborately designed covers were shown in all their splendor, and they could be seen from all parts of the humble church. A few monks, with pens in hand, bent over an old, marred, wooden table, were carefully entering letters into new books. Gloria sat with them and read while Garth waited in the woods.
“Parts of both pagan and Christian beliefs were so beautiful, it’s too bad both are seen as opposing the other, it’s nature versus divinity, instead of oneness,” Gloria told Garth upon greeting him back in the woods.
“You are a wonder! You talk more than an old woman. And such things you say!” Garth smiled at Gloria’s happy face, then his voice took on a more serious note, “The sun’s going down, you should go now, they’ll let you stay at the church. I’ve got to be on my way soon, I was on an errand when I came upon you, and I should be off to finish it.”
Gloria blinked, “But its growing dim now, are you going to leave tonight?” she held her hair back from her face as the wind began whipping about them.
“No, I can sleep in the woods and start before dawn that will be soon enough.” Garth answered with emotion sounding in his voice, though he fought it.
Gloria said, “Then I can stay with you, that’s safe enough.”
He whispered something under his breath as he studied her face.
Under the brilliant stars they spent the night on blanket covered medieval earth and once she said, “For a moment you. . .” and stopped because she, for an instant, had looked at Garth and seen long, lean, Gregory. Garth had been half seriously asking her to take him to her place, her time, “Some traveling it would be!” he had said. And they made love that night, under the glittery star light. In the morning she was gone.
“Gloria, I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed you!” Gregory said dropping his papers on the floor, “Like I never knew I would! What a team we make! We did it, I love you!” he ended with his arms around her.
Gloria happily hugged back and looked up smiling into Gregory’s face. But, just then, what an odd feeling she got, because, while she was looking at Gregory, she actually saw, Garth.