I decided to take a power nap after a very edifying, but exhausting, weekend. As I dozed, Rulon Owen showed up. I let him in the door, seated him, and performed the amenities. He wasn't interested in food or drink.
Me: Should you be here?
Rulon (his face coloring): Perhaps not, but I won't stay long. I need to give you my thanks for beginnin' my tale. It is . . . easier now to go on.
Me (studying his face): You are going to have a hard time over the next few years.
Rulon: Years? It won't take years to give the Yankees their comeuppance!
Me: I live now. I know a few things.
Rulon: Hmm. You have a point. (He seems abashed.)
Me: I will bring you through it, but expect hard things.
Rulon: Thank you for the warning words. (He tilts his head.) I am a mite chagrinned to see myself as you see me.
Me (not sure if I should grin or not. Thinking better of it.): You're young and strong, and have plenty of vitality.
Rulon (quirking an eyebrow): I am a lustful dog.
Me (tilting my head): That too. I hope getting married helped.
Rulon (mouth twitching. I don't know whether to expect a frown, or what. Finally, he chooses to share a huge grin.): It did.
Me: Good. Now go to war. Get that out of your system.
Rulon: You make it seem like a rite of passage.
Me: In a way, it is. You'll be fine, but don't expect it to be easy, you hear?
Rulon (sobering): You will take care of Mary?
Me (nodding): I will. (I rise to my feet, not knowing where Mary is waiting, not wanting her to wait long.) Expect hard times.
Rulon (rising, his face cautious): You've said that four times, now. You won't tell me details?
Me: No. Go back to your wife. Your time with her now is short.
Rulon. Don't I know it! Thank you, Mom.
And he's gone.
Copyright © 2013 Marsha Ward
*This is a work
of fiction. I don't really talk to time-traveling characters from my
novels. I do like them a lot, though, and am glad they pass under the
rainbow from time to time to visit me in my own time and place. To order autographed copies of my novels, The Man from Shenandoah, Ride to Raton, Trail of Storms, and Spinster's Folly, visit my website at marshaward.com.