Saturday, March 23, 2013

THE TIME IN BETWEEN, 1846-1931: Section 1 (UNEDITED)

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 8 before proceeding to reading THE TIME IN BETWEEN, 1846-1931. 

Otherwise, read THE TIME IN BETWEEN, 1846-1931 from the jump :) 

* Note that there are four sections in THE TIME IN BETWEEN, 1846-1931 and it leads up to PART 2.  This is section 1 and section 2 will be posted shortly.




THE TIME IN BETWEEN

1846-1931



1

Illinois-Iowa Territory Border
United States
1846


Kimimela sat up in bed, pressing her palms against the cool sheets that were on top of the goose feathered mattress on the bed.  Some of the front strands of her hair matted to her face by the beads of sweat on her forehead.  She sat there, trying to get her rapid breath and heartbeat to return back down to normal.  She had seen them again, the two young women.  Kimimela turned her gaze over to Jonathan, who slept in the bed next to her.  She was relieved that she hadn’t woken him.  Her husband worried enough about her, especially since the discovery of her pregnancy.  Jonathan and Kimimela Blake had been married for a little over a year and were expecting their first child. 
Kimimela gave her sleeping husband a small, appreciative smile as she remembered their first meeting, the first day she had seen Jonathan riding his horse along her favorite secluded, wooded trail.  Kimimela ventured to the area by herself often despite her father’s warnings of wandering alone on the frontier.  She loved the peaceful serenity and was delighted the day she had discovered the trail.  For a long time, Kimimela had been the only one who knew of that trail and became her special, private place.  But then one day as she was wandering and singing softly to herself along the trail, she was startled when she saw a young man on a beautiful, but large, black horse approaching her.  Her first impulse, as Jonathan brought his horse to a halt, had been to run back to her village, but her legs had failed to move and her stomach felt as though it were plunging down to her knees as he dismounted Samson and walked toward her. 
As frightened as Kimimela was, she also couldn’t help finding Jonathan very handsome.  His grayish-blue eyes had been the first trait she fell in love with, partially because she had never known anyone with eyes that color.  But it was also because his eyes reflected a warmth that made her feel a little more at ease in his presence.  She also liked his thick, dark brown hair and strong build.  But when Jonathan had gotten close enough to be able to speak to her, Kimimela’s initial fear took over and she had fled the trail and back to her Sioux village where she would stay over the next two days, afraid of returning to her trail.  Though told no one about her encounter with the young white man, there was barely a second over those two days when Jonathan wasn’t on her mind.  Part of her was angry with him for invading her special place.  But at the same time, she couldn’t help her fascination with him and the gentleness in his blue-gray eyes made her heart melt when she thought of them.  Surely if he had meant her harm, there was plenty of opportunity for him to do so.  Even when she ran from him he hadn’t persued her.  Still, Kimimela wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted to see him again.  But she did want to return to her beloved trail.  After all, it was her place. 
She decided to return to her trail on the third day after the encounter, her light steps barely making a sound.  Her parents had been right to give her a name that meant ‘butterfly’ in the Sioux language; she had a soft but swift movement to her, especially when she was running, and she valued the freedom she felt when she explored the open plains and the many hidden jems of the Illinois-Iowa Territory border (a past-time that she would soon find she had in common with Jonathan).  Kimimela wouldn’t be too far up the trail before she would see him coming toward her on his horse again.  This time, she would resist the impulse she had to run away.  She mustered every ounce of courage in her being as she continued her walk toward him.
When she was close enough to pet his horse, Kimimela’s heart had been pounding so hard she thought it was going to leap out from her chest.  But the warm smile Jonathan offered put her at ease and she would end up being charmed by his kind nature and Irish accent.  They had learned one another’s names that day, and had small conversation with Kimimela’s limited knowledge of the English language.  But that second meeting would be enough for Jonathan and Kimimela to return to the trail many times after and secretly meet.
Jonathan and Kimimela had grown to enjoy one another’s company more than anyone else’s.  During the course of the month following their first two encounter’s with each other, they had worked up to holding hands while they walked the trail and would sometimes ride Jonathan’s horse, Samson, together with Kimimela sitting behind Jonathan with her arms wrapped around his waist as they rode.  It was after one of the rides on Samson that Jonathan had given Kimimela her first kiss.  But the only barrier between them had been that neither of them was sure of how their families would react to their relationship.  There was a fear shared by Jonathan and Kimimela of their families forbidding them to see one another upon being found out.  They even considered running away together.  But Jonathan and Kimimela both had close ties with their families and would hope that one day soon, they would be able to inform their families and have their relationship blessed.  And that would come much sooner than Jonathan or Kimimela would anticipate when Jonathan’s then thirteen-year-old sister, Frankie, and fifteen-year-old brother, Brendan, would go out looking for their older brother and see Jonathan taking Kimimela for ride on Samson.  Of course, Brendan and Frankie had many questions for their brother and Jonathan begged them to let him be the one to tell their parents.  And of course, Charles and Emma wished to meet Kimimela, the young woman who had captured their eldest son’s heart.  But before any meeting could be set up between Kimimela and the Blakes, Kimimela’s father, Howahkan, had to give his approval.
Howahkan was their Sioux village’s shaman (medicine man), like his father before him had been, and very well-respected.  His wife and the mother of Kimimela and her siblings had passed on three years prior.  Howahkan also had initial reservations about Jonathan, but was willing to have an audience with the young Irishman.  Charles had offered to accompany Jonathan, but Jonathan had insisted that it was best he go alone. 
On the evening of the scheduled meeting between Howahkan and Jonathan, Kimimela had met Jonathan at the entrance of her village, accompanied by her older brother, Chayton (who was Jonathan’s age) and her twin brother, Sunkwa.  Jonathan and Kimimela’s brothers politely greeted one another.  Jonathan gave Kimimela a warm, hopeful smile as Sunkwa took care of getting Samson (who took to the young brave rather well) situated.  Then, Kimimela could only stand and watch as Chayton would walk with Jonathan into the village, taking the man she loved to the hut where Howahkan waited.  Jonathan would turn his head back toward her, his lips turning up in a reassuring smile before he would mouth, “It’ll be alright” to her.  But that still didn’t stop her from feeling nervous for him.  Her father was a fair man, but the meeting between him and Jonathan still had potential to go either way.  She barely noticed that her little sister, Mahpiya, had come to stand beside her.
Kimimela’s friend, Chante, waited with Kimimela and Mahpiya a few feet away from the hut in which Jonathan and Howahkan sat having their audience with one another.  Nearly an hour had passed when Kimimela became more anxious over what was possibly going on inside the hut.  Chante tried to reassure her friend that Howahkan would likely have been done with Jonathan much sooner if he disapproved and Kimimela very much hoped that that was the case.
Another half hour passed before Kimimela would see the door to the hut open.  Her heart pounded with anticipation as Jonathan and her father emerged.  But her anxiety turned to joy when she saw Jonathan beaming from ear to ear and then her father wearing a pleased expression.  Howahkan had given his approval.  Kimimela ran to Jonathan and the two of them embraced, neither of them caring if they had made spectacles of themselves in front of everyone in the village.  It was also that evening that Jonathan formally proposed marriage to Kimimela.
A week later, Kimimela had gone to meet Jonathan’s family.  Charles and Emma were very open and welcoming toward her.  Brendan and Frankie were sheepish over their overreaction they had had when they first saw Jonathan with Kimimela, but that night, they were all able to get on well with one another.  Kimimela would meet Jonathan’s youngest siblings, eleven-year-old Isaiah and seven-year-old Rachel who were friendly, but regarded her curiously.  Howahkan, Chayton, Sunkwa, and Mahpiya had gone to meet the Blakes a few days later.  Sunkwa and Brendan ended up becoming friends that night and Isaiah tagged along when Brendan took Sunkwa out to the barn where the family’s horses were kept.  Rachel and Mahpiya were the same age and went off to play together.  It had meant a lot to Jonathan and Kimimela to see their families getting on so well.
The wedding was set for April of 1845 and combined the Sioux traditions of Kimimela’s family with the Catholic faith practiced by the Blakes.  Kimimela also had to accept the Catholic faith as her own in front of the church, though she would keep her Sioux traditions in the presence of family and friends.  The wedding of her and Jonathan was also the day Kimimela met James Livingston of New York, one of the Blakes’ closest friends and one of the founders of the small New York town of Plains.  He attended with his wife, Samantha (whom Kimimela found to be a rather lovely and refined lady), and his three sons, Jesse (who was also the same age as Jonathan and Chayton), Samuel, and Lawrence.  Jesse Livingston had also brought his new fiancée, Heather (Jonathan, Kimimela, and the rest of the Blake family would attend their wedding the following year).  Jonathan and Jesse had played together as boys as did Brendan and Samuel.  Lawrence and Isaiah were also around the same age and were both grateful to have eachother while growing up so they wouldn’t have to hang around with the girls.  James Livingston was a stern but generous man and showed his generousity in the wedding gift he had given to Jonathan and Kimimela.  James had given the newly married couple the remaining money they needed to build their house on the property that Jonathan’s father had set aside for them which eliminated the need to take out a loan with the bank, which was a burden that Jonathan and Kimimela anticipated facing.  They were unsure of how the some individuals in the banking system would react to them as a married couple and James had relieved them of that potential burden along with allowing Jonathan and Kimimela’s house to be finished in time for the winter that year.  Jonathan and Kimimela would briefly live with Charles, Emma, and Jonathan’s siblings while the final installments where being put in the house.  While she loved Jonathan’s family, Kimimela had been happy when she and Jonathan were able to officially move into their new home.  She and Jonathan were especially grateful for the house when Kimimela’s pregnancy had been discovered. 

Kimimela quietly got out of bed and went to the window, peering out at the flat grounds that stretched out beneath the night sky.  She could see Charles and Emma’s house far across the field.  The house was dark and highlighted by the light from the Perigee moon. She was grateful to live not only close to Charles, Emma, and the rest of the Blake family, but also to her Sioux village.  Kimimela was also glad to have Jonathan with her on nights like this, even if he was not awake.  Just having him near her gave her plenty of comfort.
Kimimela thought of the people in her village and wondered if her father or anyone else had had her experience.  She had felt a low roar beneath the earth earlier that day.  When she closed her eyes she had been taken across the ocean to a nighttime field.  She saw a field near a lake and the ground pulse under the moonlight as droplets of blood fell onto the grass.  As the blood fell, it seeped into the soil and a roar released into the air.  Kimimela would find out the source of the blood droplets after she had gone to sleep that night.  The dream would be a montage of scenes that would barely last longer than a second.  Kimimela would see a younger girl, who was maybe a couple years younger than she was, slice her palm with a dagger (and wear a rather pained expression while doing it) and allow the droplets of blood to run out from her.  There was an air of innocence to the girl. 
There was also another girl whom Kimimela saw.  This other girl was a couple years older, maybe around twenty and had a slightly darker coloring of hair and skin tone than the girl who had been letting her blood onto the ground.  The second girl was tall and had a willowy frame, where the first girl, the one spilling her blood onto the ground, was shorter with a rounder face and fuller bosom. 
Kimimela saw pieced of the life that the second young woman lived, working in a large, stone castle as a house servant.  She had met a cruel end and Kimimela could feel the pain and terror experienced by the young woman in her final moments.  She saw the second young woman’s lover and husband, who had been brought to the brink of madness when he lost her.  Kimimela saw the bloodspill that the young woman endured at the time of her death and the bloodspill her husband caused in a rage of vengeance.  Then she saw the first girl again, this time in her village.  Kimimela could hear the voices that spoke to the first girl, but couldn’t quite make out what was being said.  It was after that that Kimimela had awoken.
Kimimela knew that it wasn’t all that uncommon for an expecting woman to have rather strange dreams.  According to the town doctor, odd dreams were about as common as cravings for unusual combinations of food.  But there was something about these dreams and the people in them that seemed real and felt unrelated to Kimimela’s pregnancy. 

The following morning, Howahkan paid Kimimela and Jonathan a visit with some herbal potions and medicines to aid his daughter through her pregnancy.  Charles and Emma had also stopped over and the six of them had had an enjoyable visit.  After Charles and Emma had left, Kimimela told her father about what she had seen on the dreamscape with Jonathan sitting and listening intently. 
“Sounds like someone making a blood oath to the spirits,” Howahkan said after Kimimela had told him about the young girl letting out her blood onto the soil.  Kimimela also noted the look of concern on her father’s face.  Howakhan then suggested that he smudge her and Jonathan’s house, which he did, carrying the burning cedar, sage, and weatgrass through the house reciting a prayer of cleansing and protection.  Howahkan also prayed over the dreamcatcher that Kimimela kept over her and Jonathan’s bed in order to strengthen it’s power.  He had also brought one for the baby to have when he or she would arrive.  Howakhan, along with the rest of their tribe, believed that there were times when the dreamscape was more than events taking place inside an individual’s head.  They had meanings and were not to be taken lightly.  It was also possible for one’s soul to enter another plain and have the ability to do things it couldn’t while in a physical body. 
“Sleep is as close to a physical death as one can get,” her father had once told her.

Kimimela would never forget her father’s eyes when he left her and Jonathan that evening, simply telling her and Jonathan, “Be careful.”  She felt chilled and hugged her arms around her body.  Jonathan responded by wrapping his arms around his wife as they bid Howahkan goodnight.  They watched as the medicine man headed back toward the village, cloaked in the red light of the sunset.  Kimimela wondered about the individuals she had seen during her sleep the night before and what could be happening with them at the moment.  Then, her father’s words of warning hit her again.
Be careful.
Chills crawled over her skin and that was one of the many moments that she was grateful to have Jonathan with her.


Read on to Section 2 of THE TIME IN BETWEEN.

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