Saturday, June 29, 2013
First Rewrite/Second Draft: THE TIME IN BETWEEN, 1846-1931, Section 1 (ENTIRE SECTION) and Chapter 9 (EXCERPT ONLY)
Here are two more excerpts from the first rewrite/second draft. As I said, I fleshed out Jonathan and Kimimela a little more and this is the entire first section of the first TIME IN BETWEEN.
I also added more detail to the personalities of Dorothy, Gail, and Linda. I also have a small excerpt from Chapter 9.
Finally, the next chapter of the first draft will be posted by Monday evening. Thanks everyone! :)
THE TIME IN BETWEEN
Illinois-Iowa Territory Border
Kimimela was wrenched from her sleep. She sat up in bed, pressing her palms against the cool sheets that were spread over the goose feathered mattress as she tried to calm her now rapid breathing and heartrate. She let out a breath and pushed back a few strands of her hair that were matted to her face by the beads of sweat across on her forehead. Kimimela had seen them again, having seen the two young women repeatedly over the passed three months after she had gone to sleep.
As Kimimela’s nerves began to calm, she turned her gaze over to her husband, Jonathan, who lay asleep in bed next to her. His bare chest moved with the rhythm of his breathing. A small smile played across Kimimela’s lips. Watching her husband in a peaceful sleep was enough to take away any fear she had after awaking from…whatever it was that was occurring while she slept.
“I don’t know what I would do without you right now,” she whispered to Jonathan. Just seeing him was enough to make any darkness in her world appear brighter. She thought of waking him. It would be nice to have him holding her right now and feeling his lips on her hair. There were a few nights in the beginning of those last three months when she did wake him because the dreams (or were they simply dreams?) were so vivid and terrifying. Of course, Jonathan would take her into his arms without asking any questions as she came down from her near catatonic state of anxiety that followed the dreams. He would sit with her through the night, too worried about her to fall back asleep even if he had to get up early for work or some other business that needed tending to. There were also some nights when Jonathan’s comforting would turn into a lot more, which would definitely take away any initial fear or anxiety she felt.
Kimimela wanted so much to hear Jonathan’s voice comforting her at that moment and to have him bring her close to him. But she hesitated when she remembered how his worrying for her had escalated when they had discovered her pregnancy a month ago.
I can’t keep doing this to him, she thought. We’re going to have plenty of sleepless nights when the little one comes.
Kimimela placed a hand on her stomach, which was still flat as she hadn’t begun to show yet. According to her symptoms, she was about three months along, being two months when she and Jonathan knew for sure.
…and these…dreams...started probably at around the time we conceived…
Kimimela made the decision to not wake Jonathan that time.
“Just sleep peacefully tonight, my love,” she whispered as she brought her fingertips to stroke the side of his face. Jonathan stirred, but did not awaken and at that moment, that was something that Kimimela was relieved for. They had been married for a little over a year at that time and the child that Kimimela was currently carrying would be their first. Kimimela turned her head and looked toward the window at the waxing moon that peered in through the small opening in the curtains. She sat thinking of the last two years since she had met Jonathan. He had given her so many firsts. He had been the first boy she truly fell in love with, the first to kiss her, the first to intimately touch her, and—after they had gotten married—the first to be with her as a lover. Images of their wedding night began to flood back to her: the first time seeing Jonathan naked and having him look at her without clothing with the combination of love and lust in his eyes, him touching and kissing her body…
Kimimela looked back down toward the hand on her stomach, thinking of how just on the other side, a child was growing. One that was half of her and half of Jonathan. She remembered her first time meeting Jonathan and seeing him ride Samson along her favorite secluded trail. Kimimela had ventured out by herself that day, something she did often despite her father’s warnings of wandering alone on the frontier. She had discovered that area one day during the spring of her thirteenth year. The second she had taken that first step onto that small pocket of a wooded trail, she felt home, like she was supposed to be there and once she had found that special area, she wanted to return everyday. The trail delighted her and she fell in love with the peace and serenity it offered. It was her escape from her village and from the world, becoming her private and special place. She was the only one who knew of it and she had never seen so much as another human footprint upon the path. Which was why she was shocked and slightly dismayed on that day in June of 1844 when she saw someone coming toward her, down the trail on a large, black horse.
Two days prior to 1844’s Summer Solstice, Kimimela had gone out on as she would have any other day. There was something different about the air and the Earth’s energy that morning and it was strong enough to give her skin chills, despite the warm, late summer afternoon. She didn’t know why, but she felt as though something was urging her to the trail, practically hurrying her along. Kimimela had arrived at the trail, feeling as happy to see it as ever, though it seemed different that day. The feelings she had puzzeled her, but she chose to keep her mind on the fact that she was here, at her special place, where nothing could go wrong or hurt her.
Kimimela had entered the trail, walking slowly and taking in her surroundings. She began singing to herself, a Sioux love song that she knew from her village. The choice of song was unexpected and surprised her, but she went with it, singing as the breeze moved through the thick strands of her hair. She had stopped short as her small state of paradise was intererrupted by her noticing that she was not alone on the trail. She froze at the site of the black horse and the strong young man who rode it. That was the first time that Jonathan and Kimimela had laid eyes on one another. She remembered taking in his slightly suntanned skin that was fairer than hers and his thick, wavy, dark brown hair that ended just above his shirt collar. But what really caught Kimimela were his grayish-blue eyes. They were the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen on anyone.
Kimimela stood planted on the trail, watching as Jonathan brought his horse to a halt. Despite finding him to be incredibly handsome, she felt angry with him for invading her beautiful place. Then she was frightened. She had never been this close to a white man before and her first impulse had been to run away, back to her village. But she remained planted as her legs failed to move.
Kimimela had tried hard to keep her body from shaking as she refused to show this young white man any fear. Even if his intention was to hurt or kill her, she wouldn’t back down without some form of a fighting chance. She knew that some whitefolk did treat American natives with kindness while others did not. She had stood, hoping and praying to all spirits that this young man was among the former. As she watched Jonathan dismount Samson, her stomach seemed to be doing somersaults and when he began walking toward her, she felt as thought it were plunging down to her knees. Kimimela stood, trying to keep her breathing as calm and still as she could. And then she got a better look at his eyes. It was his eyes that captivated her that day. Part of that was because she had never known anyone with eyes of the same color or even anything similar. Unlike her father and some of the other men in her village, Kimimela had never interacted with anyone outside of her village until that first afternoon with Jonathan Blake.
Aside from their fascinating color, Kimimela noticed something else about the young man’s eyes. There was a gentlness and warmth that was reflected. He was not regarding her as someone who had wanted to do her harm. Kimimela looked up into them and felt as though she were peering right into Jonathan’s soul. She could tell he was very open and was the type to wear his heart on his sleeve. A very genuine person with a big, open heart. This put her at ease and she could also hear the elements humming around her as though they were also trying to assure her that she needn’t worry about this young man. But when Jonathan had gotten close enough to be able to speak to her, Kimimela’s initial fear took over, causing her to flee the trail and return to her village as quickly as her legs would carry her.
One could say that Kimimela had also fallen in love with Jonathan that first day, but that wouldn’t prevent her from staying put in her village over the next two days. She walked around in a state of confusion as she was unable to erase her meeting with Jonathan from her mind. She could feel her strong feelings for the young man growing the more she thought about him which led to feelings of shame. Then, she would be ashamed for feeling ashamed in the first place. Kimimela couldn’t deny that the idea of falling for a white man scared her. What if others in her village found out? What if her father found out? How would they all react? Would she be austrocized? Kimimela’s father, Howahkan, respected man in their village. He was a medicine man and known for being very reasonable. But it was still expected for his daughter to eventually marry a young brave, whether he would be someone from her village and tribe or another. Kimimela had heard of instances where a member of a native tribe would marry a white man or woman. Sometimes those instances would turn out well and, at times, not so well. Even so, it was strongly encouraged to marry within the tribe or at least the race.
Kimimela had gone for those two days without telling anyone of her encounter with Jonathan. She even kept it from her best friend, Chante, and actually managed to elude her all-too-curious little sister, Mapiyah. Barely a second went by without Jonathan being on Kimimela’s mind. She could tell that Chante and Mapiyah both noticed that something was weighing heavily on Kimimela. Kimimela found ways to elude them, but she knew she couldn’t do that for long.
There was part of Kimimela that was angry with Jonathan for invading what she saw as being her own special place and angry that she met him and angry that she was going through all of this anxiety in the first place. She wondered if he had returned to the trail, searching for her again. Part of her wanted to return and see if he had as part of her did want to see her again. But it also saddened her to think that she may have lost her favorite place. Kimimela lay awake that night with images of Jonathan on his horse playing though her mind. She saw his grayish-blue eyes, regarding her in a way that made her unafraid of being with him. She was unable to control her fascination with him and the gentleness in his eyes was enough to make her heart melt. Then something else occurred to her. She remembered how he hadn’t persued her when she ran from him. There had been plenty of opportunity for him to do her harm if that had been his intention. Kimimela also felt slightly disappointed that he hadn’t tried to run after her.
That following morning, Kimimela could feel the Earth’s elements reacting urgently around her.
Go back to the trail, they were telling her and that was all they would say. And that evening, she decided to make an attempt at returning to her beloved trail. She couldn’t deny hoping to being led to cross paths again with the young man, but there was half of her hoping that he would not return and she would just be able to return to the life she knew in her village. Kimimela thought of how complicated things could possibly become if she and the young man were to end up taking a mutual liking to one another. But in the end, she decided to follow where the elements were taking her. And as childish as it probably seemed, Kimimela considered the trail to be her place and if her own father couldn’t prevent her from being there, she certainly wasn’t going to let some young man she hardly knew do it either. As far as Kimimela was concerned, she had been there first.
Would you never be able to share it, though? the elements had asked her. It then hit Kimimela that she was sixteen. Her days of being a child were drawing to a close and marriage would be something not too far on the horizon for her. Her older brother, Chayton had just gotten married to a woman from another village. Kimimela knew that once Chayton had a wife, she and her twin brother, Sunkwa, weren’t too far behind.
Kimimela’s heart pounded as she returned to the wooded trail, entering it with her light steps barely making a sound. Her parents had been right to give her a name that meant ‘butterfly’ in the Sioux language as she had a soft but swift movement to her and this was especially true anytime she was running. Kimimela valued the freedom she felt when exploring 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 need to venture too far into the trail before she would see the same young man coming toward her on his horse again. Her steps ceased and her heart beat faster as she saw the large, black horse coming toward her. It was as though they had entered the trail at the same time from the opposite ends. Kimimela stood watching, this time determined to resist the impulse she had to run away. She mustered every ounce of courage in her being and as they had only three days ago, the elements urged her along. Kimimela continued to walk up the trail toward him. As they got closer to one another, she could see that his eyes were fixated on her with that same warm, gentle, expression combined with some anticipation and relief.
They stopped within inches of one another and Kimimela was close enough to pet his horse. By that time, her heart had been pounding so hard she thought it was going to burst out of her chest. Then, Jonathan smiled warmly at her and she remembered his words to her that day:
“Please don’t run from me, love. I’m a man of honor and I mean you no harm.”
Kimimela had been caught off guard by the sudden term of endearment. After all, this was only their second time meeting and they didn’t know each other. At all. But there was another trait of his that deepened her infatuation with him and made her stay that time. His Irish brogue. Hearing his voice had the same affect on her that his eyes had. The gentility that was so prominent in both was enough to tell her that he really was an honest man of his word.
Kimimela had drawn in a breath. She knew enough English to be able to communicate with him and she would hear herself telling him her name. Then she would learn his name. Jonathan. They didn’t say much to one another that day, but simply spent that late afternoon walking together—with Samson trailing behind Jonathan—and took in one another’s company. Samson had also taken very well to Kimimela and allowed her to pet him a few times that day. She could feel Jonathan’s eyes on her, regarding her soft treatment toward the five-year-old horse he had received on his thirteenth birthday when the black stallion was only a colt of a couple months. Kimimela had learned that Jonathan had cared for the stallion as it grew up on the Blakes’ property with the other animals.
That second time meeting would be enough for Jonathan and Kimimela to return the following day and almost every day after that. They would meet up with one another during the weekdays after Jonathan would be done with work. On Saturdays, the two would choose a time during the day depending on the day’s schedules and on Sundays, their meeting time would always be sometime after the Blakes were finished with Sunday Mass. Following their meetings together, Jonathan would always see Kimimela back to her village while maintaining a safe enough distance where he was out of site from anyone. He would always make sure that Kimimela had entered her village before returning home for the evening. Over the course of those following two months, Jonathan and Kimimela would grow to enjoy the company of one another more than anyone else’s. Jonathan had held Kimimela’s hand as they walked the trail together on the third day they had met (after Jonathan had very bashfully asked for her permission to do so). During that first month, Kimimela also began to ride Samson with Jonathan. She would sit in front of him, resting her back against his chest. His arms would be around her as he held onto the reigns and it would be after one of those rides, before they parted ways for that mid-July evening, that Jonathan would kiss Kimimela for the first time.
Jonathan had dismounted Samson and then made sure that she was safely off, as he had always done when Kimimela began riding Samson. They had stood facing one another in an area near her village as they told one another goodnight and made plans to see eachother the following day. Their goodbye seemed to last longer than usual this time and Kimimela saw that Jonathan’s eyes were more intense than they had been before. Kimimela stood as if hypnotized while Jonathan slowly brought a hand up to the side of her face, lightly stroking it before bringing it down to cup her chin. She nearly lost all breath in her body when she saw Jonathan’s face tilt ever-so-slightly and move in closer to hers. She wondered if she would be waking from a wonderful dream as Jonathan brushed her lips with his. The kiss itself was rather chaste, but it was enough to make Kimimela’s body quiver and leave her yearning for more. She then felt his mouth brush her earlobe before he whispered, “I love you. I’m falling so deeply in love with you, Kimimela. Each time I see you it’s more than the last.”
For a moment, Kimimela found herself unable to move, her limbs frozen to her side. But then, as though a touch of warm sunlight had come to melt the last layers of ice from a stem that had been unable to move, Kimimela responded to Jonathan’s kiss and declaration of love by embracing him, wrapping her arms around his firm waist.
“I love you too, Jonathan,” she had said.
A surprised and relieved Jonathan brought his arms to hold Kimimela before lifting her chin again to give her a more passionate kiss, to which Kimimela responded with great enthusiasm. That first kiss would evolve into embraces that were more even heated, lighting the flame of desire inside of Kimimela that no one else ever had. There were times she could feel Jonathan becoming aroused behind the material of his trousers and she would feel a rush toward her lower abdomen as he would gently nip at her lower lip with his teeth before trailing his own lips along the side of her face and down to her neck. As his hands roamed her back and hips, Kimimela would feel sensations that would almost be her undoing if Jonathan didn’t stop. And neither ever wanted to. There was one afternoon when they almost gave into one another.
Jonathan had been kissing her deeply, his tongue exploring the inside of her mouth and she had gotten to returning the act to him. It was the most intense they had ever been with eachother and it had gotten to where their bodies were molding into one another so much that it was only their clothing that prevented Jonathan from entering Kimimela that very moment. They both had wanted to remove their clothes and give themselves to one another and Jonathan had responded to that by unbuttoning the top half of his shirt, giving Kimimela a small glimpse at the muscle definition in his chest. She responded by pressing her lips to the exposed area of his body and heard him cry out in response. He had brought a hand to cup her breast when she saw the eyes of her father, brothers, and late mother in her mind. That was when she begged Jonathan to stop, which he did despite what he was feeling at that moment.
“What’s the matter, love?” he had asked her.
“My family…” was all she needed to say for Jonathan to understand and come out from the animalistic lust he was feeling.
The only barrier that stood between the relationship of Jonathan and Kimimela coming to full blossom was that of not knowing how either of their families would react to their relationship and fear of the worst. The possibility of their families forbidding them to see one another weighed heavily on Jonathan and Kimimela. Jonathan had also told Kimimela that she had been right to stop him from going any further with her that day.
“I would never be able to forgive myself if I caused you any disgrace with your father and those in your village,” he had told her.
There had been a moment when their fear had caused them to consider running away together to avoid having to face any potential issues with their families. But Jonathan and Kimimela both had close ties family ties and both wanted their relationship blessed by them. They had both decided to inform their families and leave running away to be together as a last resort. Either way, they were going to be with eachother. Fate had brought them both to the person who was supposed to be their mate through life. They both felt it and were not about to be torn apart. In their meetings together, Jonathan and Kimimela began trying to come up with how they would approach their families. They had a couple ideas, but it would turn out that none of them would be used.
It was late August of that summer of 1844 and Jonathan had been taking Kimimela out on Samson. They had been a little more daring that afternoon, venturing away from the secluded trail, but still taking care to make sure they weren’t seen by anyone. Little did they know that Jonathan’s thirteen-year-old sister, Frankie, and fifteen-year-old brother, Brendan, had gone out to search for their older brother. Brendan and Frankie had decided that they needed Jonathan’s help with fixing something that had broken in Isaiah’s treehouse. It would take more searching than Brendan and Frankie would have thought, but the two siblings would find Jonathan at the edge of the secluded trail. They would also be shocked to find their older brother in a passionate liplock with a native girl as Samson stood tied to the side of a tree.
Brendan and Frankie had fled back to the house to wait for Jonathan and bombarded their older brother with questions and accusations when he returned home. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before their parents knew the truth, Jonathan begged his two younger siblings to let him be the one to tell them the news.
“Are you in love with that Indian girl?” Frankie had demanded, trotting behind Jonathan as he retreated to the washroom before dinner that night.
“Can you say that a little louder? I don’t think everybody in town heard you,” Jonathan replied.
“Well are you? Do you think you’re going to marry her?” Frankie asked, dropping her voice down to a loud whisper.
“Right now, that is none of your business,” Jonathan had replied as she shut the door in the face of his younger sister, leaving her to huff and toss her dark braids as she marched down to the dinner table.
Jonathan’s stomach was in knots as he sat down with the rest of the family that evening. After his father asked the blessing, Frankie didn’t care to waste any time before she sweetly asking her brother, “Jonathan, don’t you have something to tell mum and dad?”
Jonathan felt his heart stop as he tried to maintain control over the situation. He heard Frankie let out a yelp when Brendan kicked her under the table.
“Brendan, don’t kick your sister,” Emma scolded.
“But mum,” Brendan protested.
“Brendan, it’s alright,” Jonathan said then he drew in a breath. “Actually…I do have something to tell you all…”
Jonathan watched Charles, Emma, and the two youngest Blakes, Isaiah and Rachel, turned their attention toward Jonathan. He drew in a breath. It was now or never.
“I’ve met a girl,” Jonathan finally said. “Someone I care for very much.”
Emma joyfully dropped her fork to her plate and said, “Jonathan! That’s wonderful!”
“Indeed,” Charles replied with a smile, raising his glass toward his son. “Where did you meet her and when do we get to meet the lucky lass?”
“Well…” Jonathan began slowly, but before he was able to even consider what he was going to say next, Frankie interrupted him.
“You’d have to go to one of the Indian villages to meet her,” she chirped. “Brendan and I saw them kissing just—OW!” Frankie let out another yelp as Brendan kicked her under the table for the second time.
“Brendan!” Emma exclaimed. “One more time and you’re going to your room.”
“But mum!” Brendan began to protest, but backed down when Emma gave him one of her stern looks. “Yes, mum,” Brendan muttered and continued eating his meal in silence.
Emma turned to look at Jonathan who sat staring at his plate, hearing his blood rushing in his ears and feeling as though the entire world had just been pulled out from under him.
“Jonathan…” Emma gently implored him.
“Son, is what Frankie just said true?” Charles asked frowning at Jonathan from the head of the table.
“Actually, I’d like to be excused if I may,” Jonathan said as he angrily dropped his napkin onto his plate and got up from his seat.
“Jonathan!” Emma called, but her oldest child had already stormed out of the dining area and was on his way up the stairs to his bedroom.
“Nice going,” Brendan said to Frankie as they heard Jonathan’s door close and rest of the family was left in a stunned silence.
Later that evening, Emma ascended the stairs, carrying Jonathan’s dinner on a tray. She knocked on his bedroom door and opened it to find her son seated in a chair by the window, staring out to the night sky.
“You barely touched your dinner,” Emma said. “Of course, we wouldn’t want you to go hungry.”
Jonathan murmured a ‘thanks’ and Emma set the tray down on her son’s nightstand. She then sat down on the bed to face him. Mother and son were silent as Jonathan continued to stare out the window.
“So what is her name?” Emma asked.
Jonathan looked at his mother and gave her a small, sad smile before answering, “Kimimela. It means ‘butterfly’ in the Sioux language. That’s what tribe she is from. But her grandmother was Ojibwe.”
“I see,” Emma said. “How old is she?”
“Sixteen,” Jonathan said as he turned back to face the window.
Emma nodded and said, “Does her family know?”
Jonathan shook his head. Emma sensed her son’s growing sadness and touched his arm with a comforting hand. “Tell me how you met her.”
Jonathan turned back to her. “I was riding Samson and saw her walking along a trail two months ago. She was kind to Samson and he took well to her. She’s a sweet, beautiful girl. We’ve seen eachother almost everyday.”
“And you love her?” Emma asked.
Jonathan nodded before saying, “Very much. I’ve never felt this way toward anyone. And I was planning to tell you and dad. But, as you saw, Frankie took it upon herself to tell you first.”
Emma watched her son roll his eyes as he spoke Frankie’s name. “You’re sister loves you, Jonathan,” she said. “Remember when she began walking and wouldn’t stop following you around?”
“Well, she still hasn’t stopped,” Jonathan said and Emma chuckled. “I know, mum,” he continued. “I love her too. I just wish she would have let me tell you. I was trying to wait for a moment when I could sit you and dad down.”
“Why? Do you not think we’d approve?”
Jonathan shrugged. “To be honest, I don’t know. I mean I would hope so. A lot of people wouldn’t take very kindly to that sort of thing, you know?”
Emma paused, taking in her son’s troubled expression before saying, “Well, I can’t speak for any of our other friends, but your dad and I would love to meet her.”
“Really? You would?”
Emma nodded, “He and I talked after everyone was excused from dinner and we both decided that we would love for you to bring her by.”
“You mean that?” Jonathan asked, still in a state of slight disbelief.
“Jonathan,” Emma began, “perhaps you were too young to remember. After all, you and Brendan were still practically babies when we came over from Ireland. But your father faced a lot of discrimination against him when he was looking for work to support us. There are still a lot of Irishfolk coming over who still face much of that. In the cities, many put signs in their windows stating that Irish need not apply. James Livingston was the first person to take a chance on your father and he also faced a lot of criticism for hiring an Irishman, your father, straight off the boat.”
“That is right,” Jonathan said. “I’d forgotten about how dad had come to work for Mr. Livingston.”
“So believe it or not,” Emma continued, “we understand how it is to be the focus of prejudiced views.”
Jonathan sighed. “I’m sorry, mum.”
“Besides,” Emma said, “your father and I do want to meet the young woman who has stolen our eldest son’s heart.”
“Thank you,” Jonathan said as a relieved smile.
“I love you, Jonathan.”
“I love you too, mum.”
Emma embraced her son and said, “Now eat your dinner before it gets cold again.”
“I will,” Jonathan promised. After a pause, he said, “Well, now I’m going to have to tell Kimimela that you all know about us. And I suppose that means I’m also going to have to jump the hurdle of meeting her father soon. But I guess I did know that this day had to come eventually.”
Emma began to reply to her son, but was interrupted by a knock at the door.
“May I come in?” a timid voice asked from the other side. It was Frankie.
“Talk to your sister,” Emma said.
“I will,” Jonathan said. And then he called to the door, “Yes, come in, Frankie.”
The door opened slowly and Frankie slowly peered her head in. Emma left her two children, reminding Frankie to brush her teeth before turning in to bed.
After Emma shut the door, Frankie stood by the door staring at her brother.
“It’s alright, Frankie,” Jonathan said as he patted the area of his bed that his mother just sat on. Frankie walked over to the bed. She was dressed in her nightgown with her hair in their usual long, dark braids. She regarded Jonathan with her large, blue eyes and she had a light sprinkle of freckles across her nose and cheeks. Frankie sat on the bed and stared at the floor.
“Please don’t hate me,” were the first words to come from the thirteen-year-old’s mouth.
“You never have to worry about that, Frankie,” Jonathan gently replied.
Frankie turned her eyes upward to look at him. “You mean that?”
Jonathan couldn’t help laughing a little when he said, “Of course.”
“I’m sorry,” Frankie said.
“Hey, we all mess up,” Jonathan replied.
“I want to meet her,” Frankie said. “She seems…interesting. Plus, I’ve never met an actual Indian before.”
“Well, she’s not much different from you or I,” Jonathan said. “Her family just has some different customs from ours.”
“She’s very pretty,” Frankie said.
Jonathan smiled and nodded in agreement. “She is. Thank you.”
“I didn’t mean to blurt it out to mum and dad. But I was very happy for you. Honest! But I’m also worried about you. Not everyone likes the Indians. I’ve heard some people say things. Bad things.”
“I know,” Jonathan said, “and I appreciate your concern for me, Frankie. Really.”
“But I know that there are also people who don’t mind them. So maybe those will be the ones who won’t mind if you marry that girl. I just want you to be happy, Jonathan. You’re my brother and I love you. I don’t want people saying bad things about you.”
Jonathan looked at Frankie and said, “I love you too, Frankie. I don’t want people saying bad things about me either and especially not of Kimimela. But, people are going to talk no matter what and we can’t live our lives worrying about what other people think. Because when you do that, you’ll never be happy. You understand what I’m saying?”
Frankie nodded. “I think so.”
Then, Jonathan remembered something his mother had told him earlier and said, “You know Mr. Livingston?”
Frankie nodded. “Of course.”
“Well, you weren’t even born when this happened. But when dad, mum, Brendan, and myself came here from Ireland, nobody but Mr. Livingston wanted to hire dad.”
“But dad’s such a hard worker!” Frankie said, frowning.
“He is,” Jonathan said, “but you know how you said that some people don’t like the Indians? Well, some people didn’t like us Irish either.”
“Why?” Frankie asked.
Jonathan shrugged. “Who knows. But there were people in Mr. Livingston’s circle who didn’t like that he gave dad work. Now, what would have happened if Mr. Livingston had listened to them?”
A far away look formed in Frankie’s eyes. “I think I understand what you are saying,” she said.
“Frankie, I know that Kimimela and I are going to have challenges and she does too. But we’re not going to allow that to prevent ourselves from being with eachother. I love her and she loves me. And sometimes, you have to take risks to be with the one you love.”
Frankie nodded, understanding, and said, “So how do you say her name?”
Jonathan smiled, “Kimimela.”
“Kimimela,” Frankie repeated. “I’ll have to remember that for when she comes to visit. What does her name mean?”
“Oh! That’s pretty.”
There was a silent pause before Frankie said, “Have you met her family yet?”
“No. Not yet,” Jonathan replied.
“Well, I hope they like you. I’m sure they will.”
“I hope so, too,” Jonathan replied as a wave of realization washed over him that meeting Kimimela’s father was looming only a small distance ahead of him.
Before heading to bed, Frankie hugged Jonathan and said, “I love you. I hope you and Kimimela will be very happy. Actually, I know you will.”
“Thanks, Frankie,” Jonathan said, returning his sister’s embrace. “I love you, too.”
When Frankie exited the room, Jonathan began to eat the food that his mother brought for him as he thought of what lay ahead for him and Kimimela. And for some reason, it made him remember something else.
Jonathan would tell Kimimela all of what had occurred with his family that following day along with something else. Jonathan would tell her of what he saw on that first day that he turned onto the trail. The day that the Earth would turn on it’s axis during that summer of 1844. The experience he had while, unbeknownst to him, Nicolae Ganoush, James Livingston, Samual Livingston, and Hector de Fuentes were having theirs. Kimimela didn’t quite understand what any of Jonathan’s vision had to do with their relationship and neither did Jonathan, though they would come to understand years later when their youngest child, a daughter named Willow, would turn two.
In the meantime, Kimimela was thrilled with the fact that Jonathan’s family was willing to meet her, but she still had to inform her father and before any meeting could be set up between Kimimela and the Blakes, Howahkan had to give his approval.
Like his father before him, Howahkan was highly regarded and respected as their village’s medicine man. Howahkan’s wife—the mother of Kimimela and her siblings—had passed on three years prior. Kimimela had sat down with her father that night after dinner. He seemed to express interest when Kimimela mentioned that she had met a young man she had grown quite fond of. It seemed to be going well until Howahkan questioned his daughter of the identiy of the young brave who had captured his daughter’s heart, Kimimela had burst into tears. A puzzeled Howahkan tried to get her to calm down and tell him what could possibly be wrong. His concern for his daughter led him to having a vision of a pair of grayish-blue eyes. It was then he immediately understood what was going on.
Howahkan was silent as his daughters sobs began to quiet down.
“What’s this young man’s name?” he finally asked her.
Kimimela hesitated. She knew by her father’s tone that he had figured out what was going on. She answered, “Jonathan. Jonathan Blake.”
Howahkan sat in silence again. He did have reservations about his daughter being with a white man. But he could see how troubled his daughter was and could tell that Kimimela obviously care for this young man. Howahkan then informed his daughter that he would be willing to meet Jonathan, but couldn’t make promises. The meeting between Howahkan and Jonathan was set for that following Sunday evening after dinner. Charles had offered to accompany his son, but Jonathan had insisted that it was best he go alone.
That Sunday evening, Kimimela met Jonathan at the entrance of her village. She was accompanied by her older brother, Chayton, who was Jonathan’s age, and her twin brother, Sunkwa. She watched, her heart picking up it’s pace, as she saw Jonathan approaching the village on Samson.
Jonathan and Kimimela gave one another brief, loving glances as Jonathan dismounted Samson. Chayton looked from his sister to Jonathan before politely greeting Kimimela’s love interest. Sunkwa also greeted Jonathan and Jonathan returned the greeting. Sunkwa took care of getting Samson settled in and Jonathan seemed relieved of the fact that Samson seemed to take to Kimimela’s twin brother rather well. Chayton beckoned for Jonathan to follow him. Jonathan gave Kimimela a nervous, but hopeful, smile before he began to walk beside Chayton. Kimimela returned his smile and could only stand and watch as her brother took the man she loved to the hut where Howahkan waited. Jonathan turned his head back to look at her, his lips turning up in a reassuring smile before he would mouth ‘I love you’ to her. Kimimela felt tears burn in her eyes as Jonathan disappeared toward the hut. She knew that 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 best friend, Chante, waited with Kimimela and Mahpiya a few feet away from the hut that Howahkan and Jonathan were in. Nearly an hour had passed and Kimimela was become more anxious with each minute that would pass. Chante tried to reassure her friend by telling her that Howahkan would likely have been done with Jonathan much sooner if he disapproved. Kimimela kept her eyes on the hut as she hoped that her friend was right. Finally, the door to the hut opened and Kimimela began to feel the world around her spinning and her legs threatened to cave in beneath her. But Chante grabbed her arm, stabling her as she watched with anticipation as her father and Jonathan emerged. Kimimela saw Jonathan, he wore a smile, beaming from ear to ear. She then looked at her father, whose expression was that of someone pleased. Kimimela stood in disbelief. Could it be true? Did her father give his approval or was she just simply seeing what she wanted to? Kimimela’s question was answered when Jonathan ran toward her and scooped her up in a joyful embraced. She could see her father, watching them. Howahkan and Kimimela caught one another’s gaze and he nodded to his daughter, confirming that he did, in fact, give his approval. Kimimela returned Jonathan’s embrace and neither of them cared if they were making spectacles of themselves in front of the other villagers. Howahkan stood, watching his daughter and the man she loved. Seeing her this happy, he knew that he made the right choice and he found Jonathan to be a good man.
Jonathan and Kimimela had gone for a walk together later after Jonathan had promised Howahkan that he would have his daughter back at a decent time. They had gone to the trail that they met on, where Jonathan gave her a full, passionate kiss. A weight had been lifted from them and they both felt free to openly love eachother. As the sun set in the west, Jonathan made a formal marriage proposal to Kimimela. Elated, Kimimela accepted, watching as Jonathan slipped what he called the Clannaughd ring onto the ring finger of her left hand while still down on one knee. After returning home, Jonathan told his relieved and joyous family the news of Kimimela’s father’s approval along with his recent betrothal to her.
That following Friday evening, Kimimela had gone to meet the rest of the Blake family. Charles and Emma made it a point to be very open and welcoming toward her as was Brendan. Frankie was sheepish, but Kimimela was able to put the younger girl at ease and the two them got on well. Jonathan’s youngest siblings, eleven-year-old Isaiah and seven-year-old Rachel, were friendly but regarded Jonathan’s new fiancée curiously. On the Sunday night of that same weekend, Howahkan, Chayton, Sunkwa, and Mahpiya had gone to have dinner at the Blakes’ house. 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. Both families had given their blessing over the union of Jonathan and Kimimela and it meant a lot to them to see their families getting on as well as they were.
The wedding was set for April of 1845 and the intention was to combine the Sioux and Ojibwe traditions of Kimimela’s family with the Catholic faith practiced by the Blakes. Another hurdle that had to be jumped over was Kimimela needing to accept the Catholic faith as her own. It was difficult for her as she held the Ojibwe and Sioux traditions she had grown up with. But Jonathan put her at ease when he suggested that they resolve it by her becoming affiliated with the church, but that he wouldn’t have any problems with her keeping what she had grown up with. Any children they had would be taught both faiths.
The wedding day of Jonathan and Kimimela approached quickly and it was also the day Kimimela had met James Livingston of New York. She had heard a lot about the Livingston family and knew that he one of the Blakes’ closest friends along with being among the founders of the small New York town, Plains. James had attended with his wife, Samantha, whom Kimimela found to be a very lovely and refined lady. James’s three sons, Jesse, Samuel, and Lawrence, where also in attendance. Jesse Livingston was the same age as Chayton and Jonathan. Jonathan was thrilled to see his childhood friend who had also brought his new fiancée, Heather. Jonathan, Kimimela, and the rest of the Blake family would attend Jesse and Heather’s wedding the following year.
As Jonathan and Jesse had, Brendan Blake and Samuel Livingston had also played together as boys and Sunkwa quickly joined their group at the wedding. Isaiah and Lawrence were also the same age and grateful to have eachother so they wouldn’t have to hang around with the girls. It was noticed that Frankie had taken a liking to Samuel and she wasn’t shy when it came to showing it. Samuel, on the other hand, seemed less than thrilled and the entire scenario amused Brendan and Sunkwa. The wedding was a nice sized event and seemed to go off without any problems between the Blakes’ friends and those from Kimimela’s family and village.
Kimimela learned that James Livingston was a stern but generous man as he showed his generousity in the wedding gift he had given to Jonathan and Kimimela. James had given the newly married couple the remaining amount of money they needed to build their new home on the property that Jonathan’s father had set aside for them. This eliminated the need to take out a loan with the bank for the remaining amount, which was a burden that Jonathan and Kimimela anticipated facing. They knew that some in the banking system would not react well to them as a married couple. 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.
As wonderful as their wedding day had been, it was the wedding night that Jonathan and Kimimela anticipated. Charles had gotten a room for his son and new wife at one of the more elegant hotels in the town to stay at over the first three days of their married life. Memories of the wedding night came back on Kimimela again as she sat in bed next to Jonathan asleep beside her. She remembered his eyes on her as the last shred of her clothing had been removed and the way her heart pounded in her chest as she looked at Jonathan’s unclothed body for the first time. She remembered them moving together on top of the bed and their skin to skin contact. She remembered the way Jonathan had stimulated the most sensitive areas of her body, getting her ready for the consummation of their union. She remembered the gentle way he entered her, causing her only a brief pinch of pain before he would begin to slowly thrust and gradually pick up pace. The climax was unlike anything she had ever experienced and having that moment with Jonathan made it all the more meaningful.
Followin the three days spent in the hotel, Jonathan and Kimimela would live for a short time with the Blakes as the final installments where being put in their new house. While Kimimela loved Jonathan’s family, she and Jonathan were happy to be able to officially move into their new home. They were especially grateful for the house when Kimimela was found out to be pregnant.
Hard to believe it’s been over two years already since we met, Kimimela thought as she quietly got out of bed and went to the window. She pushed the curtain aside and looke 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 moon. Kimimela was grateful to live not only close to Charles, Emma, and the rest of the Blake family, but also to the village she grew up in. 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 more than enough comfort.
Kimimela thought of those in her village and wondered if her father or anyone else had shared her experience. Earlier that day, she had felt a low vibration beneath the earth. She had been hanging clothes to dry on the line when she felt it. Kimimela had stopped and closed her eyes to see if the elements would show her anything. She had been taken across the ocean to a nighttime field. It was near a lake and the ground pulsed under the moonlight as droplets of blood fell onto the grass. The blood was immediately absorbed into the soil and a loud, otherworldly roar released into the air from beneath the earth (the cause of the low vibration I felt?).
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, each barely lasting longer than a second. Kimimela would see a younger girl—maybe a couple years younger than she was—slice her palm with a dagger, wearing a rather pained expression as the blood seeped out of her palm. There was an air of innocence to the girl, though she was undressed when she did this. There was also another presence with the girl, though Kimimela couldn’t see who or what it was.
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 very graceful frame, where the first girl, the one spilling her blood onto the ground, was shorter with a rounder face and fuller bosom. Both girls were equally beautiful, though in different ways.
Kimimela saw pieces of the life that the second young woman had lived. She worked in a large, stone castle as a house servant and had met a cruel and gruesome end. Kimimela could feel the pain and terror the young woman experienced 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 found her in the state she was left in. 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 Kimimela had awoken.
Kimimela knew that it wasn’t all that uncommon for an expecting woman to have strange dreams. According to the town doctor, odd dreams were about as common as unusual food combination cravings and morning sickness. While the dreams began occurring at the time she and Jonathan coneived, there was something about these dreams and the people she saw in them that made her believe that there was more to them than a symptom of pregnancy. Kimimela let the curtain fall shut and made her way back to the bed. She climbed back in, under the covers and huddled close to Jonathan who, in his sleep, put an arm around her and brought her close to him. Howahkan would be visiting them that morning and she planned to ask her father his opinion of the dreams. With that, Kimimela drifted to sleep. She wouldn’t remember anything about the dream she would have this second time, other than briefly seeing twin baby boys, one with dark hair and the other with tufts of blond hair. She also saw a young boy, no older than age ten or eleven, running out of a building and screaming in terror. Kimimela would recal much, except that the boy resembled Jonathan.
The following morning, Howahkan paid Kimimela and Jonathan a visit as promised. He came with some herbs and medicines he had mixed together to aid his daughter through her pregnancy. Charles and Emma had also stopped over and the six of them ended up having an enjoyable visit with Kimimela’s dreams hardly being a thought.
After Charles and Emma had left, Kimimela told her father about what she had seen the night before, from the two young women to the little boy who resembled Jonathan. Jonathan sat, holding Kimimela’s hand and listening intently.
“That 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 noted the look of concern on her father’s face as he made the statement.
After hearing the rest of what Kimimela had experienced, Howakhan suggested that he smudge her and Jonathan’s house. Neither Jonathan nor Kimimela objected. Howahkan carried a burning cedar, sage, and weatgrass bundle through the house reciting a prayer to cleanse and protect. Howahkan also prayed over the dreamcatcher that Kimimela kept over her and Jonathan’s bed. He told Jonathan and Kimimela that he would be making one for the baby when he or she arrived. Howakhan 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,” Howahkan had once told Kimimela. She would never forget her father’s eyes when he left her and Jonathan that evening, simply telling her and Jonathan, “Be careful.”
Kimimela 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 women, the young boy, and the two babies she had seen during her sleep the night before. Her father’s words of warning hit her again.
Chills crawled over her skin and that was one of the many moments that she was grateful to have Jonathan with her.
The First Evil
Plains, NY 1931
Carl Turner, Jimmy Kratz, Linda Parker, Reginald Johnson, Gail Carr, and Dorothy Blake had entered their senior year at Plains High School as part of the Class of 1932. Linda and Gail had been Dorothy’s closest friends since very early childhood while Jimmy, Carl, and Reginald also enjoyed growing up as boys together. The six of them would all know each other through the years of all of them attending the Plains School District, but the six of them wouldn’t really begin hanging out together until their sophomore year of high school when Jimmy would take an interest in Linda and the two of them would become each other’s steadies.
Jimmy’s being with Linda would lead to Reginald’s interest in Gail. During the summer before junior year, Reginald and Gail would begin exclusively dating one another. Jimmy, Linda, Reginald, and Gail would often go out on group outings and attending the school dances together. Of course, Linda and Gail would also try to get Dorothy to come out and join in on the fun, but Dorothy would usually decline. The times she would go, she usually ended up feeling like a fifth wheel.
Dorothy Blake was what some would call a ‘late bloomer.’ When Linda and Gail were interested in boys during their freshman year of high school, Dorothy would opt for reading a book instead of gushing over which boy she thought was the cutest. Dorothy still hadn’t had a boyfriend or even been on a date by the time their junior year had ended, but it wasn’t as though she couldn’t if she had wanted to. Many did find Dorothy to be a very pretty girl with the wavy dark brown hair and peachy complexion courtesy of her Black Irish heritage. She even had her Great Grandfather Jonathan’s grayish-blue eyes and her high cheekbones were inherited from her American Indian great grandmother, a trait of Dorothy’s that Linda would often claim to be openly jealous of.
“Honey, if I had your cheekbones, I’d be accentuating the hell out of those,” Linda always told her.
“Well then thankfully you’re not me,” Dorothy would reply.
Linda had come to own her ‘Blonde Bombshell’ looks that often got her compared with Jean Harlow, a comparison that Linda completely ate up. Linda knew how to emphasize her best features and had decided to make Dorothy her personal project that summer. In Dorothy’s opinion, Linda was just wasting her time. But while Dorothy would never admit to it out loud, there were times when she did question whether or not Linda was at least partially right.
What if there is just something wrong with me…Dorothy would sometimes wonder.
She had watched Reginald and Gail become close and Jimmy and Linda had even mentioned getting married after high school. Jimmy had given Linda his class ring and football lettermen’s jacket right before the junior prom, which was only a step away from an engagement ring. Linda would often share her experiences of “parking” with Jimmy and then Reginald and Gail had started doing a little of that themselves. One of Jimmy and Linda’s parking experiences had resulted in them going ‘all the way’ shortly before the end of junior year. Two nights after, Linda and Dorothy were sleeping over at Gail’s house where Linda did nothing but gush about her first time with Jimmy.
“I think Jimmy’s going to get me an engagement ring for Christmas this year too!” Linda said as she painted her fingernails a pale pink color, “I think we should have the wedding the summer after graduation. Of course, I want you two as my bridesmaids.”
“Do I have to wear pink?” Gail asked as she paged through a fashion magazine Linda had brought.
“Yes,” Linda replied. Pink was Linda’s favorite color, a fact that was very much reflected in her all pink and white bedroom.
“Then count me out,” Gail replied and Dorothy did her best to suppress a laugh as she sat re-reading H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulu in the February, 1928 edition of Weird Tales magazine.
Linda stopped painting her nails and stared at Gail in disbelief. “You’re not serious?!”
Gail snorted. “Of course I’m not serious, Linda. I’ll wear the wretched color. Just for you. Even though Dorothy and I will look like a couple of washed out ostriches.”
Dorothy couldn’t hold back the giggle that escaped her at Gail’s last remark. Linda was very much outnumbered in her love of the color pink among the three of them as Gail and Dorothy both did not care for the color.
Linda rolled her eyes at Gail and continued. “Well, the color scheme is going to be pink and white,” she stated matter-of-factly.
“Big surprise,” Gail said tossing the fashion magazine aside. “I’m sure Jimmy will be thrilled with his pink wedding. Hey Dorothy, did you bring anymore of those pulps?”
Dorothy looked up from her copy of Weird Tales and said, “Sure,” before she reached into her bag and pulled out another Weird Tales issue and handed it to Gail.
“How can you two read that stuff?” Linda asked with a grimace. “That’s all Jimmy has on his bookshelves, too. Besides, I wasn’t finished with telling you guys about Jimmy and me the other night!”
“Linda, aren’t you worried about…you know…getting into trouble?” Dorothy asked.
“Jimmy and I talked about that,” Linda answered, “and we do take precautions. Jimmy uses protection and if he doesn’t, he has no problem withdrawing. But if all fails and that ends up happening, we’ll just get married sooner than originally planned.”
“I’m glad you figured that one out,” Gail said with a dry tone as she began painting her toenails deep red while she read the open copy of Weird Tales in front of her.
Gail had a rather dry, sarcastic sense of humor that Dorothy really enjoyed, especially when Gail used that humor to counter Linda’s over-confidence. Gail’s bold, almost vampish style also countered Linda’s soft, feminine appeal. Gail’s dark hair and eyes were courtesy of her mother’s Italian-Persian heritage and her pale skin came from her father’s German-Scottish side. Red was also Gail’s favorite color, which was reflected in her bedroom décor and a lot of the clothing she wore. Even on days she would skip makeup, Gail always seemed to have red lipcolor on hand. She also wore her hair short, in a style similar to a flapper’s which left her slightly resembling Louise Brooks or Clara Bow.