The Longest Night

by LH Miller


I have had this short story in my mind, and in my heart, for some time now just waiting for its creation to become alive in print. On a cool Texas morning with the mourning doves sounding outside my window, the thoughts finally poured out and told Gabrielle's story as I imagined what the trip, alone, back down the mountain may have been for her.

It is gently subtextual. Read into what you will. I have only borrowed Gabrielle and Xena from RenPic and kindly return them to whoever owns them now. The story, however, belongs only to me.

This is my first contribution to my love of fan fiction. Comments are welcomed:


I stayed there all night. On the mountain. It was cold and I shivered uncontrollably, but I did not care.

I could still feel the touch of her arm around my shoulder, her warm breath next to my ear, her tears dropping like rain in my hair.

The sun set and with it took the light of the day and the light of my life. Gone. And then I sat in shadows. The wind whistled and blew the earth clean of my reality. It was cold, but I did not care.

I sat in silence; I heard only one heart beating where before this time there were two. I clutched what remained of you next to my breast as I always held you in the night to calm your fears only shared with me. Can you see me? Can you hear me? If the dead can do such things, do you feel my sorrow…my emptiness… for the loss of my friend…my love?

Where do I go when the morning brings my life without you, I thought, trembling, but not from the cold that surrounded me. I drew my legs up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them holding you tighter to me as if I could will your warmth against me once again.

The moon rose and I could hear the fountain still tumbling down from the mountain splashing into the pool that could have returned you to me. Our life together flashed in every moonlit droplet as it filled the living waters.

I had stood over the source that held the power of your renewed life and allowed my act to be stilled by your hands. "It's not right!" I cried covering my grief with my hand. I turned back to you. My face betrayed me unmasking my anger at the injustice to my needing you, my good and my right thing to do. But how could I not withhold what my very being fiercely desired, when such an act against your will would have made my life song of love to you a lie.

And so, we sat and watched our lives part with the setting of the sun. "I don't know how I will go on without you", I said as you drew me to your side with a softly spoken, "Come here." The silence of my journey down the mountain will thunder in my ears... I don't know if I can go alone, were thoughts I did not put to voice.

In the night I woke and reached out for you. You were not there. The wind and my tears tapping down on the cold reminder of you were the only sounds heard in the darkness. I bowed my head tucking it down on my knees. This was not a dream.

If the morning came with or without me, I did not care. There is no me without you, don't you know that by now? I, as a young girl, once ask for you to take me with you. And in the night, I, as the woman who loves you, ask again, "Take me with you…it no longer matters that you have taught me everything you know…just take me with you."

I awoke to the sounds of water lapping against the wooden floor I now found myself lying upon while a gentle rocking reminded me of our travels by sea. Sunlight danced through the small window above my head. I was covered with our blanket purposely tucked in tightly around me.

Did I dream of your long fingers gently brushing my hair away so you could place a kiss on my forehead? Your scent is present all around me and washes me with a longing for remembered mornings of waking to blue eyes that watched me as I lay sleeping.

I sit up and my eyes search for you. I rise to unsteady feet. Seeing what I know is bitter truth, I pick up the container that holds all that once was your physical being. I turn and climb the steps leading to the deck of the ship on which I realize I have been deposited by the never ending power of love. I walk to the railing and watch a snowcapped mountain growing smaller as I sail away from yesterday.

As I speak aloud the words of final homage to your life, I sense you are with me, and I smile. I feel your strong hand grip my shoulder. As you pull me close to you and once again kiss my hair, I choke back my tears. I hear you whisper that you will always be in my heart and by my side.

I now, with certainty, know that I will be able to sustain my life. At the teahouse you said that I was your soul mate. And because of that, you… my dear friend… live because I live. And I…because of you. And in the stars, as it always has been, we shall meet again.

Oh Xena!

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