Rock of Ages Past

Copyright(1999-2000 Elaine L. Becker

All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: This story is an original creation and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, real or fictional are unintentional. Any words to any songs or any poetry used in this story are attributed to their original artists in the story itself. Television and/or radio programs that are referred to in the story are not to my knowledge, real program content, but created by me solely for use in this story.

This story is about two women in love and may contain language or sexual scenes unsuitable for children or others who are easily offended by material of this nature. This is a story about same gender relationships. If you have a problem with same gender relationships, you should probably see your therapist. Hate is an illness that love can cure.

Comments or suggestions should be sent to:

Love is space and time measured by the heart.

Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

Finian stopped abruptly. 'What the . . .?' She felt a humming vibration that seemed to be coming from inside and outside of her simultaneously. Her attention was suddenly drawn to her solar plexus, the area just above and behind her belly button. The vibrating sensation seemed to be centered there. She looked around and her eyes came to rest on a large stone. The May first sunlight seemed to bounce around on it; the rays hitting the pieces of quartz embedded in it gave the impression that the stone was quivering.

She took a few steps forward and moved out of the shadow of the stone. The humming stopped. "How weird," she said aloud. For a split second, she expected to hear Mich's voice, but complete silence surrounded her. She walked back into the shadow of the large stone and felt the vibration begin again accompanied by a low, droning hum. She looked at the stone more closely half expecting to see a cloud of bees hovering somewhere near, as the sound that reached her ears and caused her ear drums to reverberate intensified.

The large chunk of granite appeared to be vibrating and as she looked closer, still, she realized that it wasn't the sun reflecting on the quartz that made it appear that way. The massive stone actually looked like it was quivering. Moving closer, Finian reached out hesitantly, to touch the once standing stone and suddenly the ends of her fingers seemed to dissolve into the massive piece of granite that now rested on it's side like a fallen giant. She quickly snatched her hand back and grabbing it with her other hand, rapidly moved away from the stone, noticing as she did so that the vibrating sensation lessened as she moved further away until she could no longer feel or hear it. Tentatively, she rubbed her hand, mentally noting that all of her fingers were still intact.

'My mind,' she thought as she looked back at the stone and then down at her hand, 'is questionable at the moment.' Nervously, she turned and made a wide arc away from the stone, glancing back at it as she headed back toward the visitor center and the parking lot, subconsciously rubbing the fingertips of her right hand as her mind worked overtime. "What in this world was that all about?" She questioned herself. The tall, dark-haired woman placed her left hand on her stomach as she walked, remembering the intense energy she had felt in that area of her body as she stood in the shadow of the huge rock. For a moment, she thought she felt warmth there. A hot spot. She moved her hand around and then back to the area that she imagined felt warmer than the rest. It did feel warmer near her belly button. Her mind was buzzing. "The sun must have been shining right there," she told herself as she walked, trying to convince herself that it was a natural occurrence but not quite feeling the conviction.


Finian walked into her apartment and immediately noticed the book lying open on the floor in front of the bookcase. 'Hmmmmmmm', she thought as her brow wrinkled, 'That wasn't there when I left this morning. I haven't picked up a book off that shelf in days.' She felt a prickle up her spine and looked around the room. The tall, agile woman moved slowly through the apt looking for any signs that someone might have been there in her absence, even though her doors had been securely locked when she returned home.

Nothing else appeared to be disturbed. It was just like she had left it this morning. Except for the book lying open on the floor. She returned to the living room and walked over to the book, stooping to pick it up. As she reached for it, the words on the page seemed to shimmer. Her mind quickly flashed back to the stone at Mystery Hill. She quickly ran her hands over eyes and shook her head slightly to clear it.

'Whew, the sun must have been hotter than I realized out there today', she thought as her hand continued its' reach for the book. Finian picked up the book, keeping it open just as it had been lying on the floor. The words on the page, seemed to jump out at her:

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire aflame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And some one called me by my name.

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

After a long moment, Finian closed the book and let her tall, muscular body sink into the soft, coolness of the black, leather sofa; the words from the page playing over and over in her mind, sharing time and space with images of the shimmering stone.


The shrill ringing of the telephone pulled her out of her reverie. She trembled slightly as she reached for the cordless phone on the mahogany coffee table. "H-Hello?" her voice quivered as she brought the phone to her ear. "Fin? Finian, is that you?" a hesitant voice on the other end of the line asked.

"Ah, ya, it's me". Finian finally found her voice and answered. "At least I think it's me."

"What does that mean...You think it's you?" asked Michelle. Mich was her oldest, dearest friend. They had known each other since they were four years old when they first met in Sunday school and had become instant friends. They had started first grade together, graduated from High School together and had been accepted at the University of New Hampshire only two days apart. There wasn't much that Finian could keep from her best friend.

"Oh...nothing, it's just. . .it's just been kind of a strange day." As she said the words, she looked down at her fingers. "What's up with you two?" "Well, Bobbi and I are going to go grab some Chinese food and we thought that maybe you'd like to join us. You ARE feeling okay, aren't you? You sound a little strange."

"Yeah, I think I'd like that." She answered, avoiding the question about how she was feeling. "I think I could use a touch of reality at the moment", Finian chuckled into the receiver, trying to mask the agitation that she was feeling. "Great. We'll meet ya downstairs in fifteen minutes. Is that okay?" "That's perfect", Finian replied, "see ya in a few."

She put the telephone back in the cradle and stood up. She glanced over at the clock on the wall and was mildly shocked when she realized that she had been home for over an hour. 'Where in the world has my head been for the last hour?' It was then that she realized she still had the book that she had picked up off the floor clutched in her hand, holding it to her breast.

Instead of putting the book back on the bookshelf, she slipped it into the backpack that rested on the floor at her feet as she wondered at her lack of memory in taking it off. She headed to the bathroom for a quick splash of cold water on her face and headed out the door to meet Michelle and Bobbi. As she waited for the elevator to come fetch her and take her down to the lobby, she was suddenly overwhelmed by the scent of apples. 'Someone must be baking pies,' she thought as the elevator door slid open. She had a fleeting memory of smelling apple blossoms earlier in the day at the same time she had that strange experience at the Hill. She stepped into the elevator and watched the doors come together, closing her inside.

. . . . . .. A glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands

She was jarred back to full consciousness as the car came to a stop, the words echoing in her head. "Damn! What is going on with me?" She half questioned and half chastised herself aloud. She shook her head to clear it just as the elevator door opened and she found herself looking into Mich's eyes.

She saw Mich glance behind her to see if there was anyone else in the car with her. When she came out alone, Mich looked into her deep, blue eyes and quirked an eyebrow. "Got money in the bank?" she asked. For a split second, Finian flashed back to the night during their sophomore year in college when she had asked Mich that same question.

They were both almost twenty and shared a dorm room. Finian had gone across the hall to get a glass of water. As she was walking back into the room, she had heard Michelle say, "How am I going to tell her?" Finian had looked around the room, then back at Mich and said, "Got money in the bank?" For a moment, Mich was caught off guard. "No. . .ah. . .I was just thinking out loud and just what is that suppose to mean anyway?"

"Well," Finian started, "it's a saying my Grandmother used whenever she heard someone talking to themselves. She told me something about how misers would often talk to themselves about how much money they had because they were too selfish to share and only by talking to themselves, could they keep their own secret and not have to share the wealth".

"So...I already know about the money you have in the what's the secret and what is it that you don't want to share?" Michelle looked up at the tall woman who now stood beside her.

Snapping back to reality again for what was beginning to seem like the umpteenth time today, Finian looked down at her friend and then at Bobbi, who was standing next to her lover with a questioning look on her face that mimicked the look on Mich's. "Let's go," Finian replied, avoiding a direct answer, "I think I could use a Tsingtao".


Michelle looked across the table at her and smiled. "Okay, Fin, time to fess up about how much ya got in the bank." 'One thing about Mich, she is persistent', thought Finian, smiling to herself. That persistence had been a blessing in disguise many times over the years as well as an annoyance at times. It wasn't easy for Finian to just open up and talk about what was going on inside her heart and head.

She knew that if it had not been for her best friend's tenacity when it came to getting her to open up and talk she would probably be a basket case by now. Michelle's unwavering support and ability to get her to open up, even as a child, had helped her get through the death of her parents when she was eight and the death of grandparents when she was in her early twenties.

Finian looked up and across the table, first at Bobbi then at Mich. She drew in her breath and let it out slowly, allowing herself the time to find the words to begin. "Well, first of all, I have plenty in the bank," she answered with a forced grin.

"Yeah, I, what's the secret?" Mich asked, leaning slightly forward. "Well, I was at the hill today. . .yeah, I know. . .no secret there," she said in response to the questioning look on Michelle's face.

"Well, anyway, the last tour group had come and gone and I was walking along and when I got to this one particular stone, I felt a strange sensation that seemed to be coming from the stone. It almost felt like it was coming from deep inside me and from outside of me at the same time. And the stone seemed to be quivering; like it was moving. I don't really know how long I stood there, but when I moved away from the stone, the humming and quivering stopped. I looked around and there was no one else in sight. I waited a few moments until I was sure that I wasn't hearing or feeling anything and went back toward the stone. As soon as I got close to it, the vibration and quivering started again. When I reached out to touch the stone, to see if it was actually moving, I experienced some kind of optical illusion. My fingers seemed to disappear."

Finian placed her left hand on the table, glancing at it as if she expected it to be missing some parts. She could very clearly remember the sensation she had felt as she had reached out to touch the stone. It was almost as if her fingers no longer existed at the end of her hand. Looking up from the table to her friends, she said, "I don't know what happened out there today, but is sure was strange." And as an after thought, she added, "And I as I was moving away from stone the second time, I could have sworn I smelled apples."

Fin had spent most of her childhood from the time she was eight until she went away to college, on her grandparents' farm. She grew up playing in the fields and woods around the Hill and at the Hill, itself. She knew there were no apple orchards or even a single tree anywhere nearby. The waitress suddenly appeared and asked if she could bring them another Tsingtao with their dinner.

Mich looked across the table at Finian who seemed lost in thought and then at Bobbi. Bobbi nodded her head and Mich ordered three more beers. The waitress returned quickly with their dinner and drinks and Michelle, feeling that there was more to this story, but wanting her best friend to enjoy her dinner, decided to wait until after the meal to ask any more questions.

Finian was absorbed in more than her food at the moment and she had been around Fin long enough to know that when she was in this kind of mood, talking any more about it would blow the meal. When the waitress came back to clear away the remnants of the meal, Michelle ordered coffee for the three of them. When they had the steaming cups in front of them, she looked at Finian and raised her eyebrows. "No, that's not all," Finian answered the look.

"When I got home this afternoon, I walked in the door and immediately noticed a book lying open on the floor in front of the bookcase. At first, I got a little nervous; thinking someone had broken in. I haven't picked up a book off that shelf in days and I know for a fact that it was not there when I left this morning. After I checked out the place and found nothing else disturbed, I walked over to the book . . .. when I looked down, the words on the page seemed to shimmer. I guess it was probably just my eyes adjusting to the inside light after being outside in the sun all day. Anyway, I picked up the book, looked at the page it was opened to, and the next thing I remember was the phone ringing. It was you. After I hung up the phone, I looked at the clock and saw that it had been over an hour since I walked through the door."

"Must have been a really good book." Mich half-joked. "No. Well, I don't know. That's just it. I don't remember actually reading any of it, but part of a poem or something has been running through my head ever since. That's where I was when you caught me talking to myself in the elevator. Hearing those words echoing in my head and wondering what the hell is going on with me." Finian looked away and then looked back at the two women sitting across from her as Bobbi asked her a question.

"Are the words you keep hearing from the book?" "I don't know, Bobbi, like I said, I don't remember reading it. When I hung up the telephone after talking to Michelle, I realized that I was still clutching the book in my hand. I didn't even look at it and for some reason I put it in my backpack

." She turned slightly in her seat and looked over at her backpack resting on the bench beside her as if it might give her a clue. Mich caught the movement and said, "Have backpack will travel. Let's have a look at that book." As Finian reached into her backpack, she suddenly saw in her mind's eye, a pair of the most beautiful sea-green eyes she had ever seen. The eyes, peering out of a beautiful, soft, wise face framed by flaxen hair, seemed to bore into her very soul. Again she felt a warmth in her stomach that seemed to connect with her heart, causing it to start beating rapidly, making her suddenly light-headed. "Fin...Finian...!"

She was drawn back from her vision by the urgency in Michelle's voice. "Damn, girl, where the hell did you go?" Finian continued sliding the book out of her backpack, her hand visibly shaking as she placed it on the table. Moving slowly, trying to give herself a moment to stop the buzzing in her head and for her heart to stop jumping, she looked first at Bobbie and then Michelle. "Th. . .There was a girl. I s. . .saw a girl's face. . .no. . .not a girl...a woman...a woman. . .with flaxen hair and the most incredible sea green eyes I. . .I have ever seen. It was like she was r. . .right there," Finian nodded toward the wall where her backpack was resting. "I. . .I don't understand what is going on."

She was beginning to shake uncontrollably. Michelle handed Bobbi her credit card, threw some cash down on the table, stood up, and moved over to where Finian was sitting. Taking her friend by the arm, she helped her stand and with her other hand slid the book from the table back into the backpack and picking it up, slung it over her shoulder. She was beginning to be very concerned about her friend. This was so out of character for the staunch, raven-haired woman. She steered Finian to the door and handed Bobbi the backpack as she offered support and direction to the trembling woman.


Finian looked over at Mich, who sat on the other end of the sofa watching her, a look of concern on her face. She dropped her eyes and half whispered, "I'm sorry, you don't have to stay here and baby-sit me. I'm fine, really. I'm sorry I ruined dinner. I don't know what came over me. I must need a vacation or something." She could hear Bobbi rustling around in the kitchen and just as Mich opened her mouth to speak, Bobbi walked in and handed Finian a cup of hot, Chamomile tea. "Something to calm you down and help you sleep."

"Thanks," she tried to smile as she accepted the steaming drink from her friend. Bobbi went back to the kitchen and returned with two more cups. She handed one to Mich then settled herself into the leather recliner, facing the couch where the other two women sat. After a few moments Mich glanced over at Finian and thought, 'She finally seems to be relaxing a little'. After drinking about half of her tea, Finian was finally feeling herself start to relax. She looked up to find Mich looking at her again.

"I'm okay. . . really. I feel much better. In fact, here," she reached R10[rqDLF\ 29&HRa#,xC,*-Pm@OpvU@ @hi@ntG3tG3zt,Ů4pRzKxހxN>ao+^S 3ܩDB%r&JSD@ V& EtnS)$p<q\sB@T9[!?BM hN`VR)x :){$1ʏb?Gd0غPFބU5T4"sv;I?پp6Oh. 0YÓenRɶYh-'H^Gޞ55ԺRPT IrGߜ G\a(Y]E qB!uQ[l*ME]JSX Ku`. l1ނˁQT^5P;=.e had amassed quite a collection of old, well-kept, leather-bound books. "W. B. Yeats, huh?" Mich said taking the book from her hand. "I didn't know you read Yeats."

"I don't," replied Finian, "I picked it up at the flea market a few years back because of its age, condition and author and stuck it on the bookshelf. I've never read it." Bobbi got up and moved over to stand behind Mich, looking over her shoulder as her lover started flipping through the pages of the book. She looked over at Finian. "I know Yeats. I had to study his poetry when I was in school. Do you remember the words that were running through your head when you stepped off the elevator that you mentioned earlier?"

Finian thought for a moment. "Something about a shimmering girl and apple blossoms and. . .finding her." Bobbi reached over Mich's shoulder and flipped the pages of the book back to the beginning. She ran her finger down the indexed list of poems. Her finger stopped at a poem titled, 'The Song of Wandering Aengus'. Michelle quickly found the page. She looked at Finian and as she handed her the book, she asked, "Are these the words you heard?"

Finian took the book and looked at the page. "Yes," she whispered after moments' hesitation, and clearing her throat, looked up at Bobbi and Michelle. "Ya know, I think I've been staying up way too late trying to catch up on my work. I have at least three articles that have to be finished by the end of next week. I'm sure that when I get those wrapped up and faxed off in the few days, this will just look like good old fashioned stress." She forced a laugh that she really wasn't feeling.

"So, what are you writing this time?" Bobbi asked, picking up on Fin's hint to change the subject. "I'm writing an article on women's history for a new women's periodical called 'Directions in Time' and one for 'Mother's Attic' about the history of the Sandwich Glass museum in Sandwich, Mass. The third one is for a special Sunday section in the newspaper on the Civil War that is coming out at the end of the month." With that, she tried to stifle a yawn.

The three women all stood at the same time; Finian stretched her long arms up over her tall frame and threw her head back, causing her long, dark hair to cascade down over her broad shoulders and strong back. She dropped her arms down to her hips, letting her shoulders drop with them. "Thanks for dinner, you guys. Next time it's my treat and I'll leave all my books and spooks at home," she smiled as she walked Bobbi and Mich to the door. Mich looked at her as she opened the door.

"Get some rest and why don't you think about taking tomorrow off? Remember, Fin, you told me the best part of working for yourself was being able to take a day off when you needed it."

"Ok, I'll think about. Night you two." Finian locked the door behind her friends, turned around, walked to the sofa, and looked down at the book. She bent, picked it up, and slipped it back into her backpack. Bobbi had already cleaned up the teacups and shut the lights off in the kitchen, so Fin walked to the recliner, shut off the floor lamp, and headed toward her bedroom.


Bobbi and Mich rode the elevator down to the second floor of the apartment building in silence. They exited the car and walked down the hall to their door. She thought about how lucky they were to get a place in the same building as Finian. Michelle flashed back to the night during their sophomore year in college, when she had finally told Finian about her newly accepted sexual preferences. Fin had walked into the room as Mich was contemplating out loud about how she was going to tell her.

"Money in the bank?" Finian had asked her as she walked over to the bed and sat down beside her. Michelle looked down, studying the little dance that her fingers were doing. "You know how we're always talking about how we don't feel like we 'fit in'?" Finian had nodded as Michelle glanced up at her and Michelle had seen the thoughts fly through her blue eyes. "Yeah?" " I think I found where I fit, Fin."

Michelle looked back down at her hands and Finian had noticed that they were shaking. "What are you trying to tell me, Michelle?" Finian's voice had dropped to a whisper. She had wanted to reach over and take Finian's hand, but she didn't think that would be such a good idea, considering what she was about to say. "Fin, I'm a lesbian." Michelle watched the color drain from her friend's face as she said the words. Michelle had expected, at the time, for her best friend to open up to her and declare that the same was true for her. But it didn't happen. Finian had always insisted that she was just not interested in forming a relationship with anyone, male or female. She chose to live her life celibate, alone and uncomplicated by the demands of a relationship.


Michelle closed the door behind them and looked at Bobbi. "So, what are your thoughts about all this? I haven't seen her this shaken in forever." Bobbi lowered herself onto the sofa, throwing her feet up onto the coffee table. "Interesting that she mentioned 'seeing' a woman. Do you think she is finally beginning to come to terms with her sexuality? Or finally realizing that she has a sexuality?

Maybe it's her subconscious trying to tell her something. I know she has always considered herself androgynous, but we both know how afraid she is to love anyone or let anyone close to her. You are the only one she lets even remotely close. Sometimes the subconscious can wreak havoc on the psyche. And human beings can only go so long without some sort of physical contact and comfort." Mich thought for a few minutes. "That thought crossed my mind, too, but somehow, it just doesn't feel like that's all there is to it.

That look on Finian's face and in her eyes was like she wasn't there. It was like she was in some other time and place. Even when she was talking, she was somewhere else. The only time I've ever seen her anything like tonight, was the night I came out to her. And the thing about the stone vibrating and her fingers disappearing. Finian is one of the most down to earth, unshakable people I know. Her mind doesn't play tricks on her and knowing her the way I do, if it were a subconscious thing, I don't think she would talk about it. At least not the way it came out tonight." Bobbi thought for a minute. "You're right. She really acted like she had some kind of very real experience or experiences today. Something that she had never experienced before. She was totally unnerved. Not at all like her. Well, maybe with a good night's sleep and taking it easy tomorrow, she'll get things more in perspective and everything will seem more 'explainable'. Maybe she's right about the stress. She really has been working a lot lately."


Finian came out of the bathroom pulling on an over-sized T-shirt. She preferred sleeping naked, without the confines of clothing, but tonight, she felt vulnerable and opted for the extra security that clothing would provide. 'Yeah...sleep in and take the day off. That sounds really good. I could use some oblivion after today.' She really was almost done with the articles she had promised and because she had been pushing herself so hard the past few weeks, she decided that she could afford one whole day off instead of just an hour here and there.

She sat on the edge of the king size waterbed, threw her long, athletic legs up onto it, and reached for the lamp. 'Thank the Goddess for chamomile tea,' she thought as she rolled over and snuggled up against her long, fluffy body pillow. She closed her eyes and forced herself to think of sleep. She began a relaxation technique that she had taught herself when she was young and couldn't sleep because of the pain caused by the loss of her parents. She finally drifted off to sleep.


She was kneeling at the edge of a small, crystal clear lake. The surface of the water was completely still. She looked down, preparing to dip her hands in to wash and to take a drink. Her angular face with its high cheekbones was smudged with dirt. She was startled by the intensity of her own blue eyes looking back at her. Suddenly, to the right of her reflection on the surface of the water, there appeared a pair of sea green eyes set in the most cherubic face she had ever seen, surrounded by long, flowing flaxen hair. The smile that played upon the sweet looking, full lips gave her a start. She found that she couldn't move as the green eyes looked up at her from the surface of the lake and Finian felt them burn into her soul and felt a warmth consume her like she had never experienced before. As the face in the lake began to fade away, the sweet looking mouth moved and whispered something that Finian could not quite hear.


Finian had a contented smile on her face as she started to stir. She snuggled a little closer to the softness of the body pillow and mumbled, "I found you!" Suddenly, she loosened her grip on the pillow and struggled to sit up. Looking over at the pillow, she brought both hands to her face and tried to rub the sleep away. As she did so, remnants of a dream began to surface.

She was only catching bits and pieces and she reached for her notebook on the table beside her bed and scribbled a few words; green eyes, lake, "I found you." She looked at the words she had just written. Her brow wrinkled with puzzlement. For a moment, she let herself remember the day before.

Forcibly pushing the memories out of her mind, she put the notebook back on the table, stood up, stretched, and walked across the large bedroom to the bathroom. She could see the sun peeking in around the blinds. May second had dawned rosy and bright and promised to be a gorgeous, spring day. As she stood in the shower, the face from the lake flitted through her consciousness. Nervously she giggled and thought, "We've got to stop meeting like this."

Finian stepped out of the shower and toweled off, her movements causing the muscles in her sturdy back and well-defined arms to ripple. She strode back into the bedroom and over to the huge walk-in closet. She chose a pair of close-fitting blue jeans, a royal, blue T-shirt and a pair of black leather boots. She looked in the full-length mirror on the closet door, smiled, nodded her approval and left the room, grabbing a light-weight jacked hanging on the back of the chair. Finian glanced at the clock on the coffeemaker as she poured herself a cup.

'Hmmm. . . eight o'clock. . .got nine hours of sleep and the day off. If I hurry, I can get to the Hill before it gets too busy.'

She was trying very hard to put yesterday's strangeness behind her, but she couldn't quite shake the feeling that she was going there to find something or someone. She had decided, while in the shower, to make another trip out there to prove to herself that it was nothing more than her imagination.

She popped an English muffin into the toaster and poured herself another cup of coffee, this time in a travel mug. While she was waiting for the muffin to pop up she went into the living room and grabbed her backpack. She returned to the kitchen, got her insulated water bottle, and filled it, placing it in her backpack. She had started this particular habit as a young child. It was just too inconvenient to keep running back to the house for a drink or a snack, especially when she was in the woods, adventuring. To this day, whenever she left the house she carried her backpack with her "supplies," which always included water and some sort of snack food. She buttered her muffin, grabbed her coffee, and went out the door.


Michelle picked up the phone and dialed the familiar number. Two rings and she heard Finian's voice. "I'm not able to answer your call at this time. Please leave your name, a number that you can be reached at and a brief message and I will return your call as soon as possible. Thanks." After three successive beeps, Mich left a short message teasing her about taking her suggestion from the night before about sleeping in and ended by saying, "Call me at the office after you've had coffee."

Michelle hung up the phone and tried to return to the claim that she was working on. She was still a little worried about Finian after last night. Fin was always so 'in control'. To see her trembling and out of touch with her surroundings like that was unnerving. Maybe Bobbi was right. Maybe she had been running from her emotional self for so long that it was starting to catching up to her.

The telephone ringing broke her away from her thoughts. "Davis and Matthews Insurance, may I help you?" "Hi, how's your day going?" she smiled as she heard her lover's voice come through the headset. "Hi, honey," she answered. "Actually, I'm having a bit of problem keeping my mind on my work today. I can't seem to stop thinking about Fin. Ya know, I think I'm really worried about her. I have just never seen her like she was last night. Ever." "Yeah, I've been thinking about her quite a lot this morning, too." Bobbi agreed.

Mich thought for a minute, "I called and left a message to see how she was feeling. I haven't heard from her yet. I don't want to keep calling if she's trying to sleep in so why don't you give her a call when you get home and see if she wants to come down for dinner. She should be up and about by then for sure. Is that okay with you?"

"Yeah, of course it's okay. I've really grown to love that woman in the 7 years that you and I have been together. Oh and by the way, that's the other reason I was calling. I was going to run by the grocery store on my way home from work and grab a few things. Anything special you want me to pick up?" Michelle thought for a second and said, "How about a blueberry cheesecake from the bakery? Maybe we can bribe her to come for dinner with one of her favorite desserts." "Done. Love you. See you when you get home."


Finian turned left off Route 111 onto Haverhill Road and a short distance down the road her head automatically turned to the left and her eyes glanced at the sign that read 'Klein Road'. She glanced quickly at her watch and saw that it was only nine-thirty. Mystery Hill didn't open until ten. She suddenly felt a strong urge to drive by the farm where she grew up with her grandparents. She quickly looked in her rearview mirror to make sure no one was following too closely, put her left blinker on, and made the turn. She followed Klein Road all the way to the end where it turned into Hall Farm Rd. She pulled up not quite in front of the old two-story farmhouse and shut off the engine.

She reached for her coffee and took a sip as she looked around at the fields and woods that were so familiar to her and back to the porch of the farmhouse, where her grandparents would sit in the evenings. They were all gone now. She had been an only child, when at eight her parents were killed in a head-on collision on the way back from visiting her father's only brother who was in the hospital dying of cancer. It was then that she had come to live here with her mother's parents.

Her father had no other siblings and both of his parents had died before she was old enough to know them. Her mother had a brother living in England and her only sister had died of polio during the epidemic of the fifties. Her grandparents had passed on several years ago, within just a few months of each other.

For the first time in many years, Finian allowed herself to feel the loneliness that always seemed to be just below the surface of her consciousness. A tear rolled down her cheek. She lifted her hand to wipe it away, surprised that she was crying. She never cried. It didn't do any good to cry. When you finished crying, the reason you were crying in the first place was usually still there. Especially when it came to people leaving. You could cry until you couldn't shed another drop and those that you loved would still be gone. She started the engine and drove past the house to turn around. On her way back past the house, she kept her now dry eyes straight ahead, not wanting to trigger another outbreak of tears. She pulled into the parking lot at Mystery Hill at nine fifty-five.

"Good," she said aloud. There were only a couple of cars in the parking lot. She got out of the Ranger and walked to the visitor center. She reached into the front pocket of her backpack and pulled out her pass. The woman at the counter nodded her through without even looking at it. She glanced around the giftshop/museum and noticed a few people casually milling about talking and looking at the artifacts that had been discovered at the site. She walked through the side door and followed the short path to the gate into the site.

She moved along the well-worn gravel path until the building that housed the giftshop and bookstore was out of sight. She stopped for a moment, closed her eyes, and took several deep breaths allowing herself to become grounded. She felt the sacredness of this place. This was where she came when she needed renewal and strength.

It was her church. It reached out to her and drew her in as it had when she was a child. She had come her often as a child, basking in the strange sense of connection to something unseen that seemed to call to her. In a sense, she had always felt most 'at home' here, among the giant monoliths, than she ever had at any other place, including her grandparents' home. Finian continued southwest along the path and followed it where it turned to the northwest.

As she approached the fallen stone where she had experienced the humming vibration of the day before, she stopped. If her memory served her this was the area where the astronomical alignment for the sunrise of Beltaine, May first happened. The fallen stone was the marker for that particular astronomical calendar point.

She remembered looking for information about Mystery Hill when she was in college and had a single class's discussion about the site. It seemed that there was not a lot of information available at that time. There was much speculation, but because of the severe vandalism to the site over the centuries and the removal of many of the stones and a seeming lack of interest, information was sketchy at best. Finian continued along the path until she was standing in front of the stone.

She felt nothing unusual today. No humming. No vibrations. Just the once standing stone, lying now on it's side. She moved toward the large stone making sure to keep far enough away that she didn't touch it and walked around to the back of it. As she did, she had the feeling that she was searching for someone. She stood there for a moment and tried to get a handle on what she was feeling.

'Something's missing.' She thought. 'Something deep inside. Almost like a part of me.' Then her logic took over the feelings. 'Probably because I went by the old homestead on my way here,' she rationalized. The tall woman started to walk around the stone back to the path when something under the back edge of the stone caught her eye. As she drew closer to the stone and bent down, her breath caught in her throat. She reached out and picked up a twig of apple blossoms.

Her hand started to shake as the scent of the blossoms reached her nose. She stood rooted to the spot, staring at the twig in her hand. The blossoms were fresh. The end of the twig where it had been broken from its tree, still green and wet. She brought the small branch to her nose. Suddenly, her mind was filled with the image of sea green eyes; flowing, flaxen hair and she thought for a moment that she heard a song being sung in a rich, melodious voice. For a moment, she thought she detected a slight Irish inflection. The voice sounded as if it came from very far away yet felt very close.

Finian snapped back from her daydream, looked quickly around and seeing no one, stepped around the stone back onto the path. She reached behind her and dropped the twig into her backpack just as she heard voices coming toward her on the path. She quickly tried to compose herself. She was tempted to turn around and leave, but felt compelled to stay.

She shoved her trembling hands into the pockets of her blue jeans and commanded her mind to focus on the here and now and the path under her feet. The voices she had heard drifted away as she moved northwest toward the high point of the hill. This was where, as a teenager, she would sneak to at night and sit and look at the sky. It was so peaceful and grounding for her. She felt that she could reach up her hands to the heavens and grasp the stars. She reached the northernmost section of the path where it turned again to the west and found the narrow, mostly unused path to her right which led up to the top of the hill.

She walked to the edge of the large clearing and sat on one of the many stone walls that wove in and around this ancient site. She imagined for a moment that if she could see it from the air it might look like a giant Celtic knot. Finian slipped her backpack off her shoulders and reached in to retrieve her water bottle. As she did the edge of her hand brushed the twig of apple blossoms. She pulled it out and sat looking at it. This time there was no vision, just the sweet scent of the blossoms.

'Why am I seeing that face, those eyes?' she wondered. 'And that poem in the book? And how could a twig from a tree that doesn't even grow around here end up under one of the stones? It was on the backside of the stone and why would someone be carrying around a twig of apple blossoms anyhow? And that dream?' Her mind was suddenly speeding along asking questions that she couldn't answer. Fin shrugged her shoulders in response to her own questions, stood up, and started back down the path.


Finian walked into her apartment and immediately noticed the answering machine on the breakfast bar flashing. She glanced quickly around and breathed a sigh of relief when she noted that nothing was out of place. She walked over to the machine and saw that she had three messages. The first message was from Michelle calling to see how she was feeling. She smiled to herself when she heard Michelle's voice teasing her about sleeping until eleven.

The second call was from 'Mother's Attic' with their new fax number. The final call was from a local travel agency wanting to know if she would write a piece about America's Stonehenge for their website, to go on the "Things to See and Do in New Hampshire" page. 'Hmmm,' she thought, 'Isn't that a coincidence?' She quickly scribbled notes to herself on the pad beside the answering machine so she would remember to return the two business calls first thing in the morning.

As she was reaching for the phone to call Mich at the insurance office, the phone rang, startling her for a second. She glanced over at the caller ID box and saw Michelle and Bobbi's number displayed. "Hey there," she said into the phone.

"Hey there yourself," Bobbi answered. "You sound pretty rested. Want to come down for dinner? I picked up a blueberry cheesecake for dessert." Finian laughed, "You do know how to tempt me, don't you? Sure, that sounds great."

Bobbi chuckled back. "So, did you have a nice leisurely day?" "Well, yeah, um...I got up about 8 and took a drive to the Hill. Just got home a little while ago." Bobbi hesitated for a moment before replying, "So, you went back?" "Yeah. You know how relaxing it is for me there. Besides, I wanted to go back and check it out to see if what happened there yesterday was just my imagination or what." "So..?" Bobbi questioned.

"I'll tell you both about it when I come down for dinner. What time?" "How about sixish? That will give Mich time to get home and grab a quick shower before we eat."

"Sounds good to me. See ya in a couple of hours." Finian hung up the phone and headed for her office. She reached over and booted up her computer then remembered the twig of apple blossoms. She returned to the breakfast bar and retrieved it from her backpack, which she had tossed onto one of the high-backed stools.

She went into the kitchen and found a small vase on the top shelf. She filled it with water from the kitchen sink and placed the still fresh twig into the vase. She grabbed a bottle of drinking water out of the refrigerator and went back to her office, placing the vase on her desk beside the monitor. She scanned the list of search engines and decided on Excite. She typed in the words 'America's Stonehenge' and a list of sites popped up on her screen.

She could kill two birds with one stone. On the drive home from Mystery Hill she had decided to do some research on the place to refresh her memory and she could get a head start on the piece for the travel agency. Though she visited the place quite often, it had been years since that college class in which they had discussed the possible origins and uses of the site and she was sure that there must be more information available now than there was ten years ago.

Deeply engrossed in her computer screen, the ringing of the telephone made her jump. As she reached for it, she glanced at the lower right-hand side of her screen. Six-fifteen. "Shit," she said aloud as she picked up the receiver to her ear. "I'm on my way," She said without saying hello and before the voice on the other end could say anything. Mich laughed and hung up without saying a word.


The three women made mostly small talk during dinner. Mich noticed that her friend seemed pretty relaxed and decided not to ask any heavy questions until later. Finian, knowing that if she brought up the subject, would end up doing more talking than eating and she was starving, so she concentrated on eating and the light chat.

When they were all sated on the grilled steak and baked potatoes the three women went into the living room, coffee in hand, and sprawled around the room. Finian lounged back in the over-stuffed chair and lifted her long legs up onto the footstool. Mich and Bobbi half-reclined beside each other on the sofa. Finian took a sip of her coffee and looked up.

"Did Bobbi tell you that I went back today?' Mich nodded, as she lowered the coffee cup from her lips. "Yeah. So, imagination or what?" Michelle grinned at her. And, if imagination, why are you seeing this blond, green-eyed woman in your head."

"And my dreams," whispered Finian without thinking. Michelle's tease was lost when both she and Bobbi, already looking at Finian, raised their eyebrows at her simultaneously.

"You've been dreaming about her?" Michelle asked, incredulously as she glanced quickly at her partner.

"Yeah," she started, "Last night I saw her face in my dream. It was her reflection looking back at me from the surface of a lake. I was standing at the edge of a crystal clear lake and was just about to dip my hands in to get a drink and her face appeared beside mine. Then there was a physical sensation. It was like a warmth that started in my solar plexus and radiated through my whole being. In the dream, I felt like I was finding some part of myself that has been missing."

"Wow. That's quite a dream. Pretty visual and spiritual; not to mention physical," she winked at Fin to see her reaction. Finian smiled back at her. "Get your head out of there. That had absolutely nothing to do with the dream!"

Michelle and Bobbi laughed and this time both of them winked at her. Michelle thought she saw a slight blush creep up Finian's cheeks. "Okay, now back to what I started to tell you if you would so kindly get your heads out of the gutter." She decided to leave out the part about going by the farm. It had felt like a final goodbye somehow and she didn't know how to explain it.

"I did go back to the Hill today. I was the first one out on the site, from what I could tell. There were a few people in the giftshop, but none of the tours had started yet. I went back to the stone that I had been standing near when I felt the humming. I didn't feel anything. At least no humming or vibrations. Then I decided to walk around to the back of the stone. I felt like I was looking for something. I stood behind the stone for a couple of minutes and when I didn't see or feel anything unusual I started walking around it back to the path. As I did, something under the edge of the stone caught my eye. I looked down and saw that it was a twig of apple blossoms, still green and wet and in full bloom. I brought it home. It's upstairs in a vase."

Michelle and Bobbi looked at each other and then back at Finian. "And when I smelled the flowers, I saw her face again. Every time I see it, the face seems more clear and real. When I got to the top of the hill, I took it out of my backpack and looked at it. I didn't see the face that time but questions just started zooming through my head," she hesitated, "and I can't answer any of them."

"That probably doesn't leave me much to ask, then does it?" asked Michelle.

"Not that I can think of," said Finian. "I think I've run all the possibilities through my head, including a possible inner child thing. That one might hold water if it weren't for finding that twig and I know my inner child didn't put it under that rock." She smiled. "It's almost as if it's a physical sign for something. And another strange thing is that I feel like I should know what it is."

"Well, the good thing is that you don't seem too freaked out by all of this today; at least not like you were last night." Bobbi said. "Last night, you were pretty shaken and we were both pretty concerned."

"Yeah," Fin started slowly. "I've been thinking about that today, too. I still don't know what yesterday was all about or even if it really was just my imagination. But when I went back there today and found that twig, I remembered the sense of connection that I always felt there as a kid." She laughed. "Oh, and want to hear a coincidence? When I got home today there was a message from the travel agency down the street and they want me to do a piece on Mystery Hill for their website."

"Well, at least there's money in that coincidence," Bobbi smiled as she stood up. "Anyone for more coffee and blueberry cheesecake?" They had all been so rapt in discussing the events of the two days, they had not even thought of the rich dessert waiting for them in the kitchen.

"Oh yes..." Finian drew out the words playfully. Mich looked at her in surprise, grinned and nodded her head in agreement. The tall woman unfolded herself up out of the plush chair and stretched into her full six-foot frame. She then headed toward the kitchen to give Bobbi a hand with the coffee and cheesecake, feeling the need to get up and move around.

Back in the living room, settled in with their coffee and dessert, Finian finally came up for air. "When I got home today I jumped on the web to check some things out about Mystery Hill. It's been years since I really thought about the secrets that the place holds. And it has many. Of that, I am sure. Especially after the last two days." She grinned over at Michelle and Bobbi.

"So, did you find out anything new. Anything that you didn't know before?" asked Bobbi? "Well, there really aren't many more hard facts than there were a decade ago, but there certainly is more speculation and archaeological investigation going on."

"What kind of speculation?" Michelle raised her eyebrows at Fin.

"One story is that the place was constructed by the ancient Irish, the Celts, actually, and that it sits on a fault line that connects it to England's Stonehenge. And it's funny, today when I was sitting at the top of the hill in the clearing, I imagined looking down at the site and it looking like a huge Celtic knot." She then added, "That is of course, if all the original stones were still there and in their original places."

"Where did all the stones go? They must have been pretty heavy to just carry off," Bobbi asked. "A lot of them where broken up into smaller pieces and carried off. Some to become part of someone's stone walls, others were broken up and became chimneys and foundations for the dwellings in this area, many of which still exist, and some were used to build root cellars. Then there was the vandalism over the ages. Where people just went in there with pick axes and busted up the stones looking for buried treasure underneath them," she shook her head. "Then, one of the past owners of the property built a house on the site and used several of the stones for his foundation. So those stones are still on the site, but they have been moved around and some of them were broken. But several of the original stones are either still standing or laying down in their original places."

Finian paused for a moment and took a sip of her coffee. "The stone where I thought I felt the vibration and found the twig is in perfect alignment with the sunrise of May first, even though it is now laying on its side. I noticed it yesterday when I was there. The sun was hitting directly on and over the stone and the light was refracting off the quartz embedded in it. It made the stone appear to be quivering. I didn't remember about the sunrise thing until today when I found a map of the site on the Internet and realized that the stone I was standing by was the astronomical calendar marker for yesterday's sunrise."

Finian paused and took her last sip of coffee. As an after thought, she added, "And directly opposite that stone, on the other side of the circle, is another stone that is in perfect alignment with the sunrise of November first. Those two stones were used to determine the beginning of the two major seasons of the year, summer and winter."

"That's interesting as hell," said Michelle as she sipped the last of her coffee. "And isn't May first, Beltaine?" asked Bobbi. "The Druidic/Pagan festival of fertility and fruitfulness?"

"Yes," answered Finian. "It is one of the times of the year when the earth energies are thought to be at a certain peak, when it is thought that the veil between this world and other dimensions, such as time, are at their thinnest." Michelle looked at Finian and then at Bobbi. "When we were kids," she laughed, "teenagers, really, Fin and I got into the earth religions briefly. We dabbled in Wicca and we had our own little private coven of two. We did some minor candle rituals to honor the God and Goddess. We even wrote our own ritual prayers. Remember the rituals we did to find our one true love?" She laughed as she looked over at Finian, who nodded.

"Well, I found mine." Mich smiled as she looked over at Bobbi who smiled back at her. "So that's how this happened, huh? I was your gift from the Goddess. Our meeting and falling in love was all pre-arranged by you two teeny boppers." Finian smiled and winked at Bobbi as she continued her history lesson. "Samhain, or Halloween, which really falls on November first and not October thirty first, is one of the other times of year when it is thought that the veil between the worlds is thin enough to pass through. When past, present and future may exist simultaneously. It is said that it is the time of year to let go of the old ways of life and begin preparing for the new. Old legends and myths tell of people who have been able to communicate with those loved ones who have passed on to other dimensions and others who have actually been able to pass through the veil and walk into another time."

"That reminds me of a book I read several years ago, Bobbi interjected, "that had a plot along that theme. Two women, who are camping, I think, end up in a terrible lightening storm in the woods, at night, and are transposed to another dimension. They come back to their own reality the same way; through a lightening storm. The name of the book was "To the Lightening" by Catherine Ennis."

"Yeah. Now that you mention it, Bobbi, I read a book about ten years ago, by Louis L'Amour called "The Haunted Mesa. It took place in New Mexico I think, and was about the Anasazi and their sudden disappearance from the world and how this guy passes through a window in an old Indian kiva on a mesa top or something and ends up in a parallel world looking for a friend of his who has disappeared."

Finian felt a yawn coming and tried to stifle it. "Well, you girls have to work tomorrow and so do I," Finian said as she lifted herself up out of the chair. "Thanks for dinner and the cheesecake. Mmmm." She picked up her coffee cup and plate and took them to the kitchen. Mich and Bobbi followed her to the kitchen and then to the door.

"Night, you guys, and thanks again for dinner. . .and for listening. Hey, why don't you two come up to my place tomorrow night? About the same time as tonight. Okay? You've fed me for two nights in a row, now it's my turn," she grinned and gave them both a hug before turning and walking toward the elevator.


Finian walked into her office, picked up the vase with the twig of apple blossoms, and carried it with her to her bedroom. She gently placed the small vase on the table beside her bed. She noticed the open notebook with the quickly scribbled words from last nights dream and wrote 'dream from night of May First 2000', then turned the page to a clean sheet.

Part 2

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