Disclaimers: This is yet another uber tale of my making. Technically the characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal, but since it's not REALLY X&G here... well anyway, these uber characters belong to me, me memememe....so, copyright 1999 Tragedy88 and all that.
Violence/language: Um, some violence, some bad language... maybe a pg-13 so far?
Subtext: You betcha! Oh, if it's illegal where you live or love between members of the same sex offends you please read elsewhere.
And last but not least: How, you ask, can so many of my characters exist within the same timeline? Easy, I write what I know. In this case I know farms, horses, and the hardships of being alone. In anycase it's a divergence from my usual cops, gangs, lusty/evil uber Callistos' etc., etc. etc... :)
Feedback is very welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Darkness thick and heavy/ Black and steady/ Screaming darkness/ Anybody who hates his brother/ Who plans evil for another/ Walks in darkness."- (snippet) 'Love in the Light' by Michael W. Smith
The voices called in the darkness, a single mass of white robed men on a single Godly mission. First they would warn the evil to depart, and if it did not listen measures would be taken to eradicate the evil.
They twisted the cross into the frozen ground, pushing some handy rocks around it's base to keep it from falling over. Then, all but one stood back. He raised the burning torch in his hand.
"Evil has plagued this house and our town for far too long. It's time something was done about it!" He yelled.
The ghostly crowd cheered.
"Heed our word!" He brandished the torch towards the farmhouse, then turned and placed the flame against the cross. The fire crackled and hissed it's way up the rags soaked with gasoline. It illuminated the front yard and sent fire shadows skittering across the ground and across the front porch.
Dreams plagued Dusty, tinny voices shouting damnation in her ear. With a start she sat up in the living room. Alex slept peacefully, nestled against her side among the blankets.
The fireplace had burned down to ashes, yet the room was bathed in glowing red. Voices called out in the front yard and she raised her head carefully over the edge of the sofa.
"Shit." She disentangled herself from Alex's embrace.
"Mmm?" Alex mumbled sleepily. "Where are you going?"
"Shhh, just stay down." Dusty slipped onto the cold hardwood floor and pulled on her jeans and sweatshirt.
The urgency in Dusty's words brought Alex fully awake. She struggled around the blankets to sit up, but Dusty frantically pulled her back down. "There's some people outside, and I need you to stay right here, ok?"
"People outside?" Alex blinked the sleep out of her eyes, and noticed the strange glow of the room. "D-dusty?"
"Shhh," Dusty kissed Alex gently and made her promise to stay where she was, "I'll be right back."
I'm not a child, Alex slipped out of the blankets and kept low to the ground. I can take care of myself, she fumed as she shrugged into her clothes.
At the front door Dusty slipped her barefeet into her boots, squared her shoulders and unlocked the front door. She stepped out onto the porch, and fifteen sets of eyes turned to stare.
Dusty advanced across the porch, using all of her six foot height to intimidate them. "Go home, NOW."
The men stood in the yard, some mouths agape at the angel of death on the front porch. The fire highlighted the angular planes of her face, casting half in mysterious shadow. Her eyes glowed with more then firelight.
"I SAID. Get. Lost." She took a step down the porch stairs, hair billowing out behind her in a dark cloak as a cold winter wind swept through the yard.
The men shivered as it touched their spines and sent icy shivers through their veins.
Evil had come to Bluerock.
She smiled then and they stepped back as one. She studied each robed man and though their masks held their identity she recognized at least one pair of weasely gray eyes.
The man who had lit the torch held his ground. "You have been warned!"
Dusty cringed. He sounded like a fire and brimstone preacher on too early of a Sunday morning. "I have been warned?" She raised a dark, sultry eyebrow, "No, YOU have been warned! Stay off this land."
"God does not allow sinners!" The torch wielder spit.
"Strange. You're still here." Dusty said coolly, as her wry side surfaced in full force. I love a good fight.
"You are an abomination!" He screamed. The robed men around him gathered courage with his words and stepped forward again.
Ok, now the fun begins.
"And you... you are a sick little bastard!" Alex yelled from the safety of the front door.
Dammit, I told you to stay inside Alex, this could get dangerous, but Dusty kept her face a mask, revealing nothing.
"Get off my land!" Alex yelled and threw open the front door, unable to bear Dusty outside, alone, with this angry mob. And for the first time she saw clearly past the raging fire and to the white robes and masks. Her fingers loosened momentarily on the baseball bat but then a surge of anger and adrenaline coursed through her body and she raised the bat menacingly, in full sight.
Dusty gently touched Alex's shoulder as the young woman stood even with her and glanced into dark green eyes. With a look back at the gathered men she took one more step down the porch stairs, keeping Alex behind her.
"Shall we settle this right now?" Dusty asked, her voice surprisingly calm and cool while her blood boiled and begged for a fight.
"WE will settle nothing!" The man screamed. "God will decide your fate!"
"Uh huh. God has never done anything for me. I tell you what. Why don't you have your God come and tell me to leave, then I might think twice about it." Dusty grinned, but the smile never reached her eyes. She was taunting them, she knew, just asking for a fight.
A small step behind Dusty reminded her suddenly that this wasn't just her fight, that Alex was here, and in danger.
"You have one day to leave, bitch. After that..." He let the words trail off menacingly, "God won't need to decide what to do." He retreated a step and the others turned to leave.
"Ok, bye bye... boys." Dusty waved.
Alex opened her mouth to scream a departing epithet, but Dusty quickly gathered her in her arms and covered Alex's mouth with her hand.
Alex struggled briefly, till Dusty whispered in her ear.
"Shhh," Dusty warned, "now is not the time."
"And when will the time be to beat their asses silly?" Alex whispered as Dusty's grip loosened and she struggled out of Dusty's arms to look up into her face.
"I don't know," Dusty replied, as she watched the robed men disappear into the darkness. "I don't know."
Alex shrugged Dusty's other hand off her shoulder, went down the porch stairs and stood in front of the burning cross. "Fucking bastards!" She took a swing at the cross with the bat. Sparks shot up into the air and the cross titled dangerously. "Stupid, idiotic, fucking bastards!" She struck again and sent the large wooden cross into the snow. It hissed and protested against the wet ground, sending wisps of smoke into the air.
Alex kicked more snow on top of it, till it smoldered and hissed into silence. Then she stood, bat in hand, tears running freely down her cheeks.
"Feel better?" Dusty asked, once again at her side.
"No," Alex choked, "I don't feel better at all." She dropped the bat and turned to Dusty's open arms. "How can people hate so much?" She whispered, leaning into the embrace and soaking up Dusty's warmth and solidity.
"I don't know," Dusty wished she had some answers, wished she had a way to keep her lover safe. Would they leave Alex alone if she left? She didn't really think so. Tomorrow she'd go to the sheriff, and see what, if anything could be done. She tightened her arms around Alex, wondering if Alex would leave this all behind, hop in the Jeep, and find somewhere to start all over.
They retreated back into the house, where they turned on numerous lights and waited for the sun to rise.