The Invitation

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Magic and love open the floodgates.

Submitted: April 15, 2016

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Submitted: April 15, 2016

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The Invitation 
M.A. Courtney

 

 

 





Millie wonders if she made the right decision as she strolls along the quiet Pennsylvania Mountains.  An attractive woman in her late 50’s she prided herself how she kept in great shape. Walks always made her feel better and helped to improve the loneliness of being alone.
 She breathes in the fall air as she saunters along the mountain road happy to be visiting her daughter. It had been over a year since she last visited Chloe. Their relationship strained, she hoped this visit this would help repair the damage.
Living in Florida, she didn’t get to visit her daughter Chloe often and her daughter does not try to see her. Sadden that their relationship has declined since her husband's death. Millie always recognized the close bond Chloe had with her father but she hadn’t expected Chloe to lock her out of her life.
Bringing her thoughts back to the present Millie- admires the start of the fall season and loves the change of the landscape. The hue variations of the leaves are stunning.  Nearing Chloe's house she doesn't see her daughter’s car and noticed it growing late.  Sighing, another evening at work
Millie enters the side door that leads to the kitchen and the silence is deafening. I could have remained home!. Millie makes herself a cup of coffee and moves out onto the deck to watch for Chloe. The tranquility of the neighborhood has her feeling melancholy. Wondering why is Chloe holding me at a distance?
After a while she sees headlights approach and an automobile drives up the driveway, at last, it's Chloe. Millie smiles and waves as Chloe gets out of the car.   “Hi, hon,”   “long day?”. Chloe shrugs as she gathers her folders and reports then slams the car door.   “Same ole same ole” she groans as she walks past Millie and into the house; behaving as if  Millie were a piece of furniture. Millie follows Chloe inside wondering why the somber mood.
Chloe drops her things on the kitchen counter and goes to the frig for a refreshment. Millie leans by the counter,   ” I have a thought..how about we go out to eat, my treat?”.  Chloe faces Millie,   “Too much work to do, but you go mom” as she gulps down a bottle of water.   " You need to eat?”. “yeah, I’ll take
Millie watches as her daughter walks toward the den and wonders why did she bother coming for a visit?. I’m alone here, I could be along at home!. Unhappy that the visit shows no improvement in sight Millie sighs and makes herself a light dinner alone again!. Another evening with no interest from her daughter or desire to spend any time with her. What is it that causes Chloe to act this way?.
The next morning Millie finishes her breakfast as Chloe swallows the last of her coffee.  Chloe gathers her things ready to leave, “I’ll be late again so don’t expect me for dinner”.  With annoyance,  Millie responds   " Again!".
 “Are you sorry I came, Chloe,?”  “You don’t seem to have any time to spend with me".  Not concerned that Chloe's anger will flare up Millie continues. " We don’t see one another that much during the year". Chloe moans,   “Oh mom don’t start that again. I’m busy and I am not sorry you came”.
 "Well, it sure as hell seems like it!".
Annoyed  “Look, mom, I don’t want to argue and I don’t have the time" grabbing her papers Chloe leaves for work slamming the kitchen door.   "Humph!"  Looks as if I have been dismissed. Angry at the thought as Chloe pulls out of the driveway.
  Millie strolls into  the large open living room and admires  the elegance of the home.  So much space  for one person, she thinks. Her daughter sure has expensive taste and liked to display it. Oriental rugs scatter along the rich walnut wood floors. Glass  tables with shiny black bases hold the unattractive glass.
A large white L-shape sectional faces a huge stone fireplace. Why in the world  white! Millie Thinks- but then, she has no kids or animals to dirty it. Abstract paintings in black and white encased in silver frames that gleamed hung on cream- colored walls. The added color was the splash of pillows on the couch. The home had a  sterile, and cold feel. Millie gazes out the huge bay window overlooking the endless mountains. What a beautiful sight
“Well” nothing else to do I guess I'll go for a walk.
Millie enjoyed the cool morning air as she strolled along the mountain trail.  Listening to the birds chirping providing a melodic sound, and  squirrels sitting chomping on acorns. When she realized that she hadn’t been on this path before it became  an adventure. It was fun to discover new terrain.  Along the path a faint sound of running water becomes audible. Curious, Millie follows the sound and discovers where it is coming from. Intrigued, to explore further but realizes there's  too much thicket for her to trample through. When finding a clear path that leads through the brush and comes alongside the stream.

Amazing crystal clear water sparkled as it flowed over the rocks.  The sunlight peeking through the trees gives the water the appearance the heavens are blessing the brook. Rippling waters cascading over the rocks with such speed furnishing a soothing sound, with small white caps flowing over the  jumbled rocks.
She walked to the edge of the stream kneeled beside the water and placed her hand in the flowing rapids. It was cold and she could see her reflection in it.  Millie enjoys the gentle water gliding  over her hands and the peacefulness of the area, when suddenly, senses, she is not alone. A  crackle occurs in the woods and she’s startled. There stood a striking large silver buck with a luminous light encircling its entire body. Stunned at the sight Millie blinked a few times to be sure of what she is seeing. The beauty of the animal caught her off guard. The buck was massive it stood on the other side of the brook staring. It was the most magnificent animal she has ever seen!.  This splendid buck was not frightened of her presence. The animal's regal stance and  antlers were huge.  Not able to recall ever seeing a silver buck nor one that size.  

Millie eases herself up from her kneeling position careful not to scare the buck away.  On impulse, she speaks to it.
“Hello,” she whispers as not to scare it away admiring the majestic  look of the animal. It's, large milky brown eyes penetrated hers  as they each focused on one another. Then a suggestion occurs in her head   “Follow me”. Startled she mutters “Hmm, that's strange”.  What gave me that idea that?!. Why would I follow the animal?. The buck turns s away looks at Millie and again the thought” “Follow me” invades her thoughts.
Am I crazy she wonders.  Then she watches the buck saunter into the thicker part of the trail on the other side of the stream. Millie searches rocks sturdy enough to use to get to the other side without getting wet.  Successful follows the animal mumbling “This idea is crazy",  but fascinated she follows. The  brush was thick as Millie makes her way to keep up with the buck. Careful to avoid being scratched from the branches and thorns trudges through.
Struggling to keep the animal in view Millie abruptly stops in her tracks. A mysterious mist hung in the air. It was thick as mud and as wide as two garage doors joined together. It hadn’t engulfed the entire area only a small piece. How strange….it hung there in the middle of the trail. There was no fog today yet it hung there!.  The day was sunny and bright without a cloud in the sky. The buck stops stares at her and glides  through the haze.  Hesitant to follow the buck through the mist yet curious she decides “ Oh what the hell." it's just fog and walks through it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



When she exits the fog she is in a clearing that faces a meadow. Millie's eyes widen and a low muffled sound is uttered from her.
 “Oh my god... how beautiful”. Bright blue skies, white puffy clouds and sunshine that welcomes you. Amazed at the sight and in awe of the view. Emerald green fields,that spread out for miles, flowers as far as you can see with a powerful enticing scent.  Everything is  vibrant in color!.  Small groups of trees sprayed throughout the field as if supplying shade for those that seek to sit under them. Possibly to picnic or enjoy shelter from the sun.
A light dew sprinkled the meadow so that the sun's rays has it glistening. Millie looks for the buck but no sign of it.  Now where did it go?.
Unconcerned she continues to walk through the meadow "this meadow is amazing" she murmurs.  Strolling further she is in awe of what she sees. She hears the soothing sound of water and observes a small waterfall nestled between two mountains. The colors of emerald green trees and blue water along with the soft gray of the mountains takes her breath away.  Awestruck “I believe I am in the land of Oz!...
Millie continues on her discovery of the field and sees a small cabin. Several horses in a circular corral fence not far from the house are  left for them to wander without harm. She continues with her stroll enchanted with the countryside when she stumbles upon a man stacking wood. 
There he stood a tall, dark-haired man, his hair sprinkled with gray gave him a distinguished look. Although not someone you would expect doing manual labor. He has a muscular build and is good looking she observed.  
He stopped surprised to see a woman gazing at him and asks, “Ma’am are you lost?”. Millie stammers for an instant   “huh, uh no, well yes I believe I am” with a nervous  laugh. He had a slight brogue which sounded sexy. Removing his hat and wiping his forehead,   “parts of the mountain can confuse a person”.
  “The woods are dense and if not from here a person can easily become lost”.  His smile  was warm and friendly  which put her at ease and his eyes were a deep green she could get lost in. She loved to listen to him talk...it had a sing-song sound that was mesmerizing.
 “I hope I haven’t disturbed you?” she asks ushering her thoughts back to the present. “No, no not at all “he replies. He steps closer to her and she blushes. He extends his hand “My name is Sean, Sean Fjord. This is my homestead as he gestures in the direction where the house sits. Millie shakes his hand and notices a strong callus hand  from hard work yet, a gentle shake. ” My name is Millie Chadwick... I am visiting my daughter”.
  “Well isn’t that nice,” with a wide grin  “Does your daughter live near?”.  Millie laughs and points towards where she came from in the woods.” Over that way,”  the large house on the hill. Sean gave her a bewildered look.  “Do you know my daughter?” she asks. He scratches his head   “I don't recall homes in that direction” ma’am.   “I’m in the valley and the mountain behind me has deep slopes with rocky terrain. " No home can be built there”.
  Hmm….. that’s‘ strange. With a chuckle,   “are you sure”.   "Well, then I am lost for certain”. My sense of direction is not the best to begin with.  Following that beautiful silver, buck threw off my sense of direction. She caught the change in his facial expression not understanding it. Sean asks   “A  silver buck?”.  “Yes, a rather large silver one”.   “why?” curious due to his reaction to the mention of the animal.
Sean changes the subject   “Excuse my manners….  May I offer you something to drink or perhaps  something to eat?”.  Sean gestures for her to follow him towards his home. Millie doesn’t hesitate “yes that would be nice” smiling as she follows Sean. When they reached the cabin Millie halts.  Staring at the house and  amazed at what she saw. ” Why I have never seen a roof like this before". It has….  moss on it?. How odd.


Sean gives her an odd look and replies, "the majority of homes are built this way. Keeps the home cool in the summer and warm in the winters".   “What covers your daughter's roof?”.  Asphalt shingles she replies.  “What are those?”.  Surprised  “why it's a shingle”. He smiles and opens the door for her to enter.
When they are inside the cabin she is enchanted with it. It was small but cozy. Millie was astonished when she noticed a pot belly stove for cooking and no running water in the house!. An outhouse in the back was used to expel bodily waste.  Stunned that he had none of the modern conveniences. Was he Amish she wondered?
She marveled as she watched him make a fire in the potbelly stove and heat water on it for coffee. "Is that what you use to cook?". Curiosity getting the best of her she had to ask. He smiles and says "Yes it tis… and works well" as he continues preparing the coffee.
They had lunch and chatted for hours. Time  flew bye and, she was having a wonderful time. Someone to talk to and who listens!. When she realizes how late it has gotten   “I have got to get back.  “Thank you for lunch and good conversation”. Sean asks, “Are you sure you will find your way?.” Laughing “sure I’ll just back track no problem”. Concerned   “I could walk you part of the way to be sure?”. Shaking her head, “No, no I’ll be fine Sean thanks again”.   She smiles as she walks out the front door and in the direction in which she came.
Sean stands on his porch and watches her stroll back towards the woods where she appeared. An interesting woman he guesses, and easy on the eyes. His attraction towards her was very strong and surprised him. He ponders what Millie said regarding the silver buck, the myth. I wonder if it's true after all?. Watching her disappear into the woods Sean goes back inside his cabin.
Sean walks over to the bookcase and grabs the book Folklore and Myths off his shelf. Searching for the chapter relating to the visit. How once every hundred years it happens.  There is always a large magnificent silver buck called Romulous involved who opens the portal. The animal is a magical buck who can use telepathic messages to convey his thoughts. He lives in the mountains and can use his supernatural powers to detect if a person is pure of heart or evil.
His job is to travel the hills of Kilshore  protecting it from outside invaders entering this world.
Sean scans the book and finds the chapter that explains the visit.  A person must have a pure heart to be invited. He wonders now if it's true and not a myth. It was obvious, she was lost and talking crazy... or maybe she imagined the  animal?. He puts the book back on the shelf and gives it no further consideration.
A tidy man, he cleans up the lunch dishes while his thoughts wander to Millie.  Hopeful he may see her again.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  Millie reached her daughter's house after hiking for quite some time. She assumed at one point she had gotten lost, but that magnificent buck appeared again out of nowhere. Odd how it appeared?. The buck  came into sight in front of her on the trail. She followed the animal and was back on the path to her daughter's place.
Chloe again is not home. Millie makes herself a small dinner and goes over the wonderful visit with Sean. Happy, she decides she may visit him again. Contented from the day's outing, Millie hadn’t noticed or cared that she had eaten alone once more.
Millie wakes up the next morning to blue skies, excited to begin a new day. She strolls into the kitchen and there sat Chloe with her coffee and a newspaper.  “Morning hon” cheerful Millie says. Chloe looks up from her paper and mumbles   “Morning mom”. Millie prepares her breakfast and asks   “want eggs, honey?” I can make enough for two.”
Chloe shakes her head and continues to read   “No thanks”.
 “Gee what a wonderful conversation we had  “Millie jokes. Chloe looks up irritated “for christ sakes mom are we going to do this again!”.  Stunned at the outburst   “I was joking honey- and don't speak to me like that!".
 “I am still your mother or have you forgotten that?".Staring at Chloe.
 “How can I? you never let me forget it!”.
She slams the paper on the counter angry   “you always start this shit, do me a favor and get off my back!”. Chloe storms into the other room.
Millie shaken at Chloe's outburst remains frozen at the stove while her eggs burn. She discards the burnt eggs and has lost her appetite.  Wondering why Chloe treats her this way.  Both of them have become so disconnected from each other. Millie considers if she should just pack up and go home. I don’t need this... But then her thoughts go to Sean. If I leave I won’t see him again. And I want to see him again!. This is silly at my age I shouldn’t be feeling this way but I do!....  He stirs something inside me I haven’t experienced in a long time...desire and feeling like a woman again…
Millie goes for a stroll and in Sean's direction. That will perk her up from the morning's outburst. She dressed warmly since the weather gets chilly in the mountains. And begins her walk to find the path that leads to Sean. She strolled for what felt like hours. I am sure I went this way?.
Determined she continues  until she hears the running brook. The soothing sound so pleasant and peaceful to listen too ... “Thank God!” she moans.
Millie scans the wooded area and finds the opening where the thicket is thin. She has a difficult time finding the rocks she used as a path to cross over the rapid water. Frustrated, she scrutinized the pile of rocks to use but none would work. Millie bends down alongside the stream places her hand in the cool flowing water her hand movement in a slow rhythmic motion.
The calming effect of the water eases her frustration of not finding the path to cross over the creek.
Within minutes, Millie catches a glimpse out of the corner of her eye a movement. She looks up and there stood the magnificent silver buck!. They looked at each other when the path that leads over the stream materialized. Surprised, to see the stones appear she crosses over them and follows the buck. No thoughts were needed this time…
She walks through the haze and exits the woods.  Millie enters the clearing .. and is welcomed with blue skies, white puffy clouds and birds singing.  They decorate the sky with joy as the sun's rays shine brightly over the glisten meadow.
  An array of Flowers in all their fiery glory of color explodes as far as she can see as if it were a blanket covering the meadow. Millie quickens her steps as she nears Sean’s cabin. Yearning to see his warm smile and hear the faint brogue when he speaks. Strange, she met him once yet she was eager and drawn to be with him again. Were they destined to be together?.
Millie knocks on Sean's cabin door and waits. Hmm, erupting with anticipation to see him she knocks again harder this time. Still no answer...  Becoming impatient, wondering where he can be. Millie scans  the land straining to see if she sees him in the field.  Steppings off the porch Millie walks around to the back of the house. Disappointed  He must be out. She notices a small barn and strolls toward it hopefully he might be in there. I’ll check there before I leave.  When she realizes that Sean is not in the  barn she sighs disappointed Oh well, he had no idea I was coming.
She leaves the barn and walks towards the woods when she hears the rattling of wagon wheels. Millie turns and detects Sean arriving in horse and wagon!.  Happy to see him she waves. Sean sees her climbs down from the wagon with a wide grin  “well hi there”. His smile couldn’t be any wider and his eyes twinkled expressing happiness to see her. Millie beaming,   “I stopped by to say hi,”  Then realizes that sounds so lame!. I sound like a schoolgirl!.
“Come inside” he motions to her, climbing the two steps onto the porch. He holds the cabin door open.  Brushing the dust and dirt off his pants with his hat  “I came from the fields so please excuse the way I look”. Millie looks at Sean and thinks  he looks good anyway he's dressed!.
 “May I ask you a personal question, Sean?”  Intrigued.  “Sure,” Sean says. Careful not to insult him she,   “Why do you use a horse and wagon? and not a truck?”.
Sean frowns perplexed   "What’s that?”.
Laughing “okay funny man a truck,"
 “You know, four wheels, an engine,"
 “Wouldn’t it be much easier than a horse and wagon,?."
Millie recognizes his confusion regarding her question and decides not to spoil the visit “oh forget it, it’s not important”. Sorry, she asked.
Relieved... Sean smiles and gestures for her to sit at the kitchen table. A small square shape wooden table large enough for two. Sean pours them coffee and places small cakes on the table for them to nibble.  Suspects Millie has problems asking strange questions but he doesn’t care. He's aware he has a strong attraction towards her and wants to see where it goes. So, she might be a little loose in the head. There could be worse things to deal with he considers.  He watches how her eyes sparkle, her taut body with curves in the right places and her giddy laugh has his manhood wanting her. She is a hint of sunshine. Her attire is peculiar- never meet a woman who wore trousers before. But who cares.
Sitting there he imagines how she would feel lying under him. Her lips so full he did all he could to restrain his desire to grab and kiss her. They talk for hours enjoying each others company unaware  how late it had become.
Millie admires the cabin as she takes in the warmth of the house.   Cozy and welcoming. Nothing fancy... wood  throughout the small cabin exude all man. No frilly curtains on the windows just wood shutters, it works she thinks. A  huge stone fireplace that commands the room and lights up the small cabin providing heat and a soft glow. Oil lamps!.. he has no electricity, pumps his water from the well and lights his house with oil lamps.
How archaic. He’s living in another era. Why? and  Horse and wagon!. Please!.... strange man but I am drawn to him she realizes.  He may just be eccentric that’s all she decides…..
  Millie comes out of her reverie and noticed the day's light is dimming,  both had not noticed or cared. They were happy to be with each other. She stands,walks over and puts her cup and plate in the basin to be washed. A signal the conversation has ended.  As she turns from the basin Sean comes up behind her.  She feels his masculine presence. Her stomach flips flops and her emotions stirring in her are powerful.
  He turns her around  pulls her into his arms and kisses her.  Unexpected, by this sudden development, yields to her emotions and kisses him back.
His kiss was passionate and desire rose within her. She puts her arms around his neck and they continued to kiss.
Sean's body pressed against hers aroused and stimulated her desires. His kisses became more demanding.  His hand encircled her breast when she pulls away. Gazing into Sean’s eyes   “it's, late I need to head back”.  His smoldering eyes piercing hers, his husky voice filled with passion  “do you have too?”.
 “Millie this feeling is new  to me and my desire for you is powerful”.  His eyes pleading with her to stay.
 "I want you" he murmurs to her.
 “I want you to stay, with me”. Puzzled,  “What are you asking, Sean?”.
 “I want you to spend the night with me”. Holding her as if she were about to flee he kissed her again. This time, the passion was intense. He kissed her lips then with slow movements he slithers  to her throat and nibbles her neck. He methodically unbuttons her blouse  exposing voluptuous breasts.  She gasped and moaned from his touch.  His his manhood pressing hard against her body  she ached for him.  She felt as if a fire were flowing through her veins.
“Sean, I, um I'm not sure this is the right thing to do”.  “Hell," his voice husky with passion,   “We're not kids anymore Millie we know what we want”.   “I want you”!. Pleading.
 "I can’t explain it but it’s right".
 “I have never done something like before,and asked a woman to stay with me without marriage”.
With no other comment from Millie and sensing her agreement
Sean  takes her hand and guides her to his bedroom.
Nervous and excited Millie says,  “it's been a long time”.  He places his finger on her lips, “shhh we’ll explore each other together”....
He leads her over to his bed and removes her clothing. One article at a time as if she were a delicate flower careful not to tear off its petals in haste.  His eyes filled with passion admires her plump breasts round and firm. Nipples erect he kisses them and she moans. Her hips firm and curvy as he slides his hands up and down them. He places his hand between her legs and she moans from his touch. It’s moist and ready for him yet he continues to tease her senses. Her body convulses   “Oh, oh my god!”. He lays her down on the bed as he explores her body with his hands and tongue.  His kisses slide up her legs exploring every inch of her.  Millie yells "Oh god, oh god" as she reaches for him.
“Sean, Sean...” hurry as  she moans with passion, he straddles her and enters her. Unable able to contain his passion any longer they both move  together in the same rhythm. Slow at first, not able to control himself  he moves faster and faster.  Pumping harder and harder his body wild with passion when they both erupt and climaxed together. Screams of ecstasy exploded the room.  Millie wasn't sure if she was the one screaming.
Exhausted Sean rolls off Millie and onto his side. Panting they both gaze at each other. “My God,” she says,  “That was wonderful!”. With a wide grin, he replies  "it sure was…. ready for round two?”.  Chuckling with a mischievous grin,   “I'm game if you are?”.
Panting   "woman..are ye trying to kill me".
Millie grins   "No.. I am not finished with you!... Catch your breath and we'll go at it again".
With a gleam in his eyes,“ round two!.”  He kisses her breasts and lingers at her nipples playing with them. Twirling his tongue and nibbling at her nibbles....her body is on fire from his touch. “Your tongue is magical” she moans. He glides with slow precision to her stomach working his tongue in a slithering pattern until he settles at her mound. He can hear her heavy breathing feel her body twitching. When he reaches her spot  he remains there. His tongue plays with her bud teasing her until she screams with passion.
Millie grabs his hair and yells,  “Oh, good lord". Her body convulses and falls limp after she climaxed. Sean straddles her and thrusts his manhood into her wet  pleasure spot. Pumping and grinding with an intense need to devour her whole being. When it's over they both fall asleep in each other's arms content from the love making.
The next morning  Millie walked into the kitchen there he stood at the counter with a wide smile.  The aroma of coffee filling the small kitchen.  “Nice shirt,” he remarks. Millie  curtseys   “Well thank you, sir, this was what was handy   “she gestures to the shirt. “You look sexy in my shirt” handing her a cup of coffee. “Thanks, I could use this” as she takes the coffee cup from him. Contented she sits at the table. Sean with a mischievous grin   “I hope last night was to your liking ma'am?”.
 “Oh boy was it ever! she laughed. I slept like a log". “I"m glad to hear it”. He walks over and gives her a lingering passionate kiss.
“I need to reach my daughter can I use your  phone?”.  A puzzled look on his face   “What? sorry... what’s a phone?”. Millie surprised   “What ‘s a phone?”. Sean serious,   “what is a phone?”. “Oh, you stop it,”laughing it's a phone!. You’re a real jokester”. “Forget it- I’ll check to see if I can get a signal outside on the porch; I need to let Chloe know I’m okay since I didn’t come home last night”.
 “A signal?.”
 “Okay, funny guy I get the message you don’t want to hear or talk about it.
Sean changes the subject not wanting her to become annoyed  regarding this phone thing; and concerned that she may have more serious problems than he thought. He recollects her telling him where her daughter's house was which wasn't possible. Now the phone thing. He changes the subject.
 “I need to go into town….. want to come?”.  Happy to be asked,   “Yes I'd love to.” Not wanting this time with Sean to end.
 “I need to wash up before we go, is that okay?”.  With a twinkle in his eyes “I could wash your  back for you grinning”.
 “Let me heat water for the tub,”...Gaping at him  “ tub?”.
  “How do you expect to wash?”. He chuckles.
Millie in disbelief shakes her head amazed.
They spent the entire day together.  When they entered town Millie was amazed at what she saw. The atmosphere and flavor of the town were archaic yet had a quaint charm to it.  Narrow streets with cobblestone alleyways and small shops lined the streets like rowhouses.  Roofs had grass on them like Sean’s and a few had slate roofs.  And the majority of buildings were painted in bright colors of reds, greens, yellows, and blues. They all had peaked roofs with  delicate carving along the trim. A festive look to the old town. No shopping malls or department stores.  No technology or modern transportation.
This town is as if time had stood still and never aged. Millie guessed how odd it must be not to have the modern conveniences of the day available. But then, since they aren’t aware of such the modern inventions; they can’t miss them. So what's going on here?.  
The main transportation was horse and buggy.! How crazy it is. Peculiar- how the people appeared happy and content. Baffled why they live  this way she explores the town further. She asked Sean the name of the town so she can google it when she gets back to her daughter's house.  ” Tis Kilshore his says with pride". A  grand town".   "I was born here and I expect I'll die here as well!".
Curious "You wouldn't"t want to explore other cities?."
He shakes his head   “No everything I need is right here" with a gleam in his eyes he says "except you!".
Her stomach churned with joy and she  wanted to stay with him but she ignored the remark.
She alluded to Sean that  the town had no phones, computers or tv s!. He appeared to be confused when she mentioned it yet, didn't want to discuss it. She remembers how puzzled people were when she asked where she could find a phone and looked at her oddly. What the hell is going on here?  She surmised he was teasing her when he feigned astonishment when she brought up those things. But apparently he wasn't.
It's as if she is in a town  hundreds of years behind the time. But, how can that be possible? Yet, the people were thriving. It’s like this was their own little world hidden on the side of the mountain; away from the outside world. The town was small yet offered everything  a person requires to survive….
Utopia!... is what comes to Millie's mind. But how could you live without the modern conveniences? I'm not sure I could!.
  Sean introduced Millie to a few of the townspeople as they walked towards the general store. Gudmund Stoen owned the general store and Villy Heiser owned the feed store. The men weren't"t dressed very  different from home. Work trousers with suspenders and vests. Although she remembers no workmen wearing suspenders!  And their beards! Gudmund had a tapered beard but Villy had a long unkempt one.
Both men were polite and had a brogue…..Somehow they sensed that I didn’t belong here. They kept looking at my clothes.
When I was introduced to them, I felt they could look right through me. Very intense stares and they appeared to be on guard.
Gudmund got Sean aside and whispered something to him.  I couldn’t hear what was said but suspect it wasn’t complimentary  the way he kept looking at me. Sean wouldn’t tell me.
When both left the general store Millie asked:  “so….what was all that whispering about?”.   “Whispering?.”  Nonsense-  Gudmund was asking me a question.
Sean steers her further down the street to change the topic.
 “Sean he was saying something about me...right?”.
He was about to answer Millie when they bumped into a  woman he knew.
The women’s clothing caught her off guard.  Sean introduced Millie to Hanna Opland an older woman with black hair and silver streaks running through her hair. Thin and proper… She wore a full-length dress,high neckline with no skin showing. The dress gathered at the waist, long sleeves and a slight frill at the bottom near her ankles. The dress buttoned up the back  and she wore a fancy bonnet!.
Millie thought the dress would be a nuisance to put on with all those buttons. But remembers seeing photos that resemble what she was wearing in a history book.
After they said their goodbyes and left Hanna Opland- Sean  thought he would never escape her inquiring questions. A busybody he remarked to Millie.  She was still in a state of shock from the clothing. But, the one that made an immediate impression on her was Moe. He was a large stocky man with thick blonde hair and a slight accent.
She guessed Swedish or Norwegian. He was warm and friendly with a jovial smile. She liked him right away.
 “How’d you do ma'am,” he asks tilting his worn hat. Smiling. “Hello, it’s nice to meet you, Moe”. Excuse me placing his arm around his wife; me wife Bettina with pride introduces her. She smiles a warm smile " tis nice to meet you".
  Bettina wore a full-length dress draped over her ankles  and was plain with a straw hat. Millie’s first impression of the two was they looked  similar to Mutt and Jeff the cartoon characters in the Sunday paper. He has a stocky build with a barrel chest and a full head of blonde hair. Bettina is a small framed woman with mousy blonde hair and plain features very unassuming.
Moe beams with a wide grin giving a quick glance to Sean.
Asks Millie where she is visiting from. When Millie tells him he and Sean exchange a brief glance.  She noticed that something was spoken between them ….just in the look.“Oh, I see” he says.
  “I’m afraid I'm not sure where that is?” scratching his head. But “tis good to travel East and West, but, after all, a home is best”.
Millie smiles “yes that's  true” confused at what he said but tried to be polite.
Sean in a processive manner puts his arm around Millie’s shoulders and ends the conversation. Saying their goodbyes to Moe and Bettina. They walk towards Sean's wagon when Moe yells, “Sean me boy are ye, still on for Saturday nite?.”
Sean turns faces Moe grins   “depends on this little lady if she is visiting or not”.  Concerned she interrupts, “Oh I don’t want to cause any trouble between you two”.
 “Now don’t you concern yourself”. He leans and kisses her; then  guides her to his buggy giving a wink to Moe.
When they arrived at Sean's cabin, they both knew the day was at an end. The sun was setting behind the mountains creating a soft glow. They unload the wagon and Millie says   “Sean I need to leave; I wish I could get in touch, my daughter”. For the life of me, I can’t understand why I can’t get a signal!. Yet after being in town that explains a lot. He ignores her comment and asks “Why can’t you stay another night?”.
Feeling forlorn  “Oh I want to Sean, but I need to let my daughter know that I am okay”. Disappointed,   “I understand I’m just being selfish I don't want you to leave”. He takes her in his arms and kisses her... his sexual desire mounting.  She never experienced  such a longing.   “I have to go Now!”.
She untangles herself from his grip   “I’ll be back tomorrow if you want me to?”. Smiling,  “I want you to.” passion expressed in his eyes.
 "All right then... until tomorrow". Reluctant to leave his loving embrace she  pulls away from him and walks to the door.
Millie leaves and proceeds toward the woods as Sean watches her leave. Feeling a void in the pit of his stomach; I have  known her a short time but my need for her is so strong. Sean watches Millie enter the woods and then disappears.


Millie with a heavy heart walks back to her daughter's home. She searched for the buck, but there was no sight of the animal.  Already missing Sean, she’s surprised by her feelings. Only  known him a short time but her feelings for him are unexplainable. It’s silly I know she thinks, but I want to be with him. Her thoughts focused on Sean kept her busy until it registered to her how long it had taken her to find the path back.  The sun had already gone down and the darkness has set in...  Shadows play tricks on her and she half jogs to get out of the woods. Grateful to reached her daughter's place…..
Millie enters her daughter's side door that leads into the kitchen and  the house is empty. “Chloe she calls..no answer. Millie strolls into the large living room put on a light. Thinking,  I guess my overnight stay had no impact on my daughter whatsoever!”.  It’s apparent she wasn’t worried!. Millie goes into the kitchen to make herself something to eat and drink.  Demoralized, she doesn’t give a damn!. I’m a gone over night and she couldn’t care less. I could have fallen- lying dead in the woods for Christ sakes!.
  “I'm not going let it bother me!”. She declares.
After preparing her dinner a burger and salad  decides   “I'm in too happy a mood to let her behavior affect me”. Millie places her dinner on the round table at the kitchen nook; A bay window that looks out over the patio and the mountains plus part of the driveway. She sits to eat when she hears a car door slam. The sensors light up outside and she sees Chloe. She walks in and notices Millie at the kitchen table. In a casual tone,   “Gee mom, next time, at least, give me a heads up you're not coming home”.
Millie stares at her incredulous asks,  “Do you care?”.   “I could have fallen or worse be dead!.” Chloe sighs “using dramatics are we?” rolling her eyes. Millie angry,   “It's evident you don’t give a damn about me let's be honest".
 “Oh mom please, you're a grown woman don't make a big deal out of it”......
Chloe walks past Millie into the living room dismissing the whole discussion, but Millie chose not to let it go. “What did you think when I didn’t come back last night?”.
Unconcerned she shrugs glances at Millie “I figured you stayed over at a friends house. Millie's voice raised in anger “who?.”
 “How do you know if I have friends?”. Emotionless and bored with the conversation Chloe says,” I’m tired mom and I  don’t want to discuss whether you have friends or not”.
 “What have I ever done to you for you treat me this way?”.  I loved, cared and protected you.
Chloe throws her hands up and shrugs her shoulders   “please not this crap again!”. I'm so fucking tired of hearing you complain about how I treat you”.
 “I’m going to bed!" enraged Chloe walks past her and Millie hears the door slam.
Millie walks over to the sofa, sits, and cries; baffled and dispirited  her daughter has become a heartless, cruel  person. Where did she go wrong as a parent?.  Millie yearned to talk to Sean and wished he had a phone. She sobbed until there were no more tears to fall. Remembering she had dinner on the table Millie lumbers into the kitchen throws out the remains of her dinner and goes to bed.
She woke up early from a restless night's sleep due to the argument and things Chloe had said. Millie enters the kitchen and sees Chloe walking out to her car. That girl works all the time…. or is it because I’m here!. Millie darts out to Chloe’s car and motions for her to roll her window down so she can speak to her.
Millie notices  Chloe rolling her eyes but ignores it.
Irked   “What! Is it!”.
 “The things we said last night. we need to discuss them,”  Pleading and frustrated " look, mom, I gotta go I’m late and I don’t want to go over that shit again!” She rolls up the window and she backs down the driveway.
Millie stands watching her in disbelief. Stunned,  remains there frozen in her tracks.  She admires the view and splendor of the landscape. So tranquil. The leaves are changing colors and the air’s cold and crisp. She walks back to the house and sits at the table in the nook. I have to go home she mumbles; my being here isn't  good for either of us. Heartbroken she cries and wishes things were different, between them, but she realizes it is what it is. My daughter could care less if I live or died. Millie places her hands over her face and weeps.
  When she visits Sean today she tells him her plans. She dresses in warm clothes, the fall season almost at its end. Thankful she brought a few sweaters not expecting to stay beyond October. Millie begins her walk the same way she has done before, but discovers she’s having trouble finding the trail. The woods have shed a majority of their leaves and the path looks different.  She listens for the running brook but doesn’t hear it. Millie searches for that magnificent buck who appears out of nowhere but not this time.
Tired and hungry from hiking most of the day; discouraged that  she can’t find the trail and may not see Sean again she turns back. I’ll drive into town tomorrow  and ask the locals' how to locate the town. Maybe, they can give me directions so I won’t become lost again. Bewildered that she can’t find her way. Perplexed, she had no trouble the previous time. But the buck helped her then. Damn!  where is that animal now!.
When Chloe arrived home that evening Millie careful not to anger her asks   “Chloe may I borrow your spare car to drive into town tomorrow?”. As Chloe saunters past Millie, she glances at her “sure mom keys are on the hook in the garage”.
 “Thanks,” Millie said as she watched her daughter walk past her. The painful realization that the two of them have nothing in common;  that blood is the only thing that ties them together.
Relieved, she can take the car; never knowing when Chloe’s anger will flare up and too tired to argue.  Millie hadn't brought up the morning conversation again. Nothing more was said between them that evening....


When Millie arrived in town the next morning she went to the local diner for help. When that was unsuccessful she asked around  town…. but no one has any idea what she is talking about. One woman in the diner told her,  “I have lived here for over 10 years and there's no such place”. Millie inquires “Do you hike in the mountains?.”
The woman with her know it all viewpoint remarked-  “Well, no dear.. but others hunt and hike and they have never spoken of a town there?”.  Feeling chagrin by the woman’s tone   “Well thank you just the same,”. She finishes her coffee thinking someone must know!. I mean it's on the other side of the mountain!.
A young woman approaches Millie   “Excuse me ma'am, but I couldn’t help but hear what you asked”. Don’t mind her- the young woman motions to the other woman..she thinks she knows everything! she whispers.  “My brother's friend is a hunter maybe he could help?”.  He knows those woods inside and out.
Millie perks up   “That would be wonderful how can I reach him?.” The young girl writes a name and phone number on paper and hands it to Millie   “you can reach him here”. Grateful Millie reaches into her handbag when the girl says   “no, no please I wanted to help”.
“Thank you very much”. Grateful, Millie holding the paper as if it were a precise document in her hand; hurries to the front door to leave. Eager to get back to her daughter's place when the other woman approaches her and suggests that she mark her trail next time. Hmm, not a bad idea Millie acknowledges. If the woman was jesting she didn't care it made sense.
 “Thank you again for your help” and leaves the diner.
Millie puts the phone down baffled. The hunter told her there was no such place and she must be confused. “Lady, I have hunted all over that mountain and there's no such place”. She recalled the conversation several times.  I am not imaging it. Sean's body was against mine his lips kissing me, the lovemaking. I ate in his kitchen!.... This whole thing is absurd!.  Pacing in the living room perplexed.  It's there. The town is there I know it! but why doesn’t anyone else know of it?
That evening Chloe arrives home late and had little to say. “Chloe” Millie calls to her “What now?”  annoyance in her voice. Millie sighs counts to ten then responds,   “I wanted to tell you I am contemplating  going back to Florida”.
 “This visit hasn’t worked out the way I had hoped and I appear to be in your way?”.
Chloe suspicious of her mother's motives asks, with a scowl “Is this a new quilt tactic you're using? because it won’t work!”.   “No, no I wanted you to know of my plans that's all”.
 “Let's not fight okay?” Millie pleads.
 "Fine, I'm tired and just want a hot bath and a strong drink".
Chloe satisfied with the answer; walks into the living room and to the liquor cabinet.  Pours herself a glass of Jack Daniels and strolls towards her bedroom. Millie stands stiff and watches Chloe leave the room without another word.  What have I done to deserve this treatment? I am at a loss. Nothing I do seems to please her and only agitate her further...
The next morning Millie admires the colors of the changing leaves as she strolls along the mountain trail. The oranges, yellows,golds, and reds blend together in such a natural manner; that only nature could mix. Every so often she stops and listens for the babbling brook but hears nothing.
Millie-ties yellow ribbons on every other tree as markers so she can find the path easier next time; if she remains longer.  Tired she stops to sit on a log when she swears she hears running water.  Straining her ears she then bellows   “yes!”. Springs up excited and follows the sound as it becomes louder as she gets closer.
Thrilled to see the brook she notices there's something unusual  about its appearance- the brook has shrunk!  How is that possible?.
Startled she looks up and there’s the buck!.   “Well, there you are?!”. Thankful and happy to see the animal she laughs "I am so glad to see you!"
  The huge silver Buck stood motionless; his large brown eyes staring at Millie as if he were waiting for her. No thoughts occurred were required. Being confused “Do you want me to follow you?”.
Then she realizes how stupid that sounds; of course, he wants me to follow. Although this time the animal sent no message; He remained still watching her.
She finds the rocks she used as steps before and realizes how shallow the stream had become. Once over the brook, the animal turns and leaves. She follows and as she nears the mist notices it has also changed its shape. It isn’t as, wide or thick as it was the last time. Not giving it much thought she is overjoyed to have found it.
Millie eager and not fearful walks through the mist and enters the clearing out into the meadow. What welcomed her was the view of Sean's cabin.
She sprints to get there faster and into his arms. She has much to tell him.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Both sat on the porch swing Sean's arm around Millie happy being together.  “I am so happy to be here,” she says as she looks into his eyes. Sean leans in and kisses her   “I have missed you”.   “I wasn’t too sure you were coming back”.
Surprised, “Why would you say that?.
Not wanting to share his fears with her he changes the subject.
 “Well, I’m just glad you're here now”. With a wide smile, he gives  her a squeeze.
 “Oh, no Sean I tried but, I got lost”. “Hmm, he nods,” .
 “What hmm?”. He looks around  his homestead contemplating on how to tell her what he suspects.
 “Spill it,” she says more insistent. Hesitant to say but he wanted to tell her,”I have a theory why you had gotten lost, now it's  a theory” he stresses.
 “Okay, I am listening,” as she listens to him.
When I was with Moe the other day he brought up the conversation you both had and where your daughter lives. Millie nods and recalls the conversation and listens with interest.
Sean stands up and leaves Millie sitting on the swing. He leans against the railing, faces her and continues. Moe thinks you had a special invitation to enter our world.
Mystified her eyes widen,   “Your world?.”
Alarmed at what he was explaining   "What are you saying?. "You're  scaring me Sean".
“What invitation, you're making no sense. Confusion showed on her face.
He  gestures his hands to slow down in attempts to calm her anxiety.  “Now wait and listen before you jump to conclusions”. He  explains the myth and how it  keeps people out of their world. How outsiders can contaminate it with their hostilities, anger, and greed. There is a magical animal who roams the mountains protecting Kilshore.
 “Go on” Millie listens without interruptions trying to wrap her mind around this outlandish theory.
It is said, Sean continues that the myth happens every 100 years for a short period of time; and an invitation is required to enter. Now you mentioned a huge buck you followed to get here.
 “Yes that's right and I saw it again today”.
He rubs his face as if to clear his thoughts. “The buck Romulous must have been your entry?". Legend goes that  special people who have a pure heart can enter, but must be invited. Wide-eyed and dubious” And this buck has a name?”.
 “Oh please give me a break!”.
 “Sean I don’t want to hurt your feelings but that's crazy”.  "YOU sound crazy!".
 “I know how it sounds but that's the myth, legend, or whatever you want to call it”. He explains...
As legend has it Romulous a powerful magical animal has the ability to take different shapes depending on the circumstances. And I guess he chose a buck since you were hiking in the woods.
  “You must admit it makes sense ?” He attempts to appeal to her logical mind.
Millie says nothing trying to absorb what he’s saying.  Can she believe it?!. She looks at Sean in disbelief   “That sounds crazy”.
 “I mean- do you hear what you're saying?”.
He sits down beside her takes her hands in his and in a calm voice,  “I know, I know but it makes sense doesn't it?”.
 “To whom”?.
 "Otherwise, how did you get here?".  
 “That talk about phones and computers. We have none of those contraptions here. So you see it makes sense.”
 “Okay….  then what about the shrinking brook?” Hungry for him to give her more answers. To make sense of what he is saying.
Stumped “shrinking brook?”.
“Yes”. She further explains how it has dwindled in size and shape,  the water doesn’t have the speed it had at first.
He scratches his head  “I don't know this is too bizarre for me”. Millie laughs   “bizarre for you! what about me?".
Laughing,   "you sound like a lunatic"....
Millie stands up and walks over to the railing. Taking a deep breath she can smell the pleasurable fragrance of the grass. She marvels at how tantalizing the aroma is in the air;  filled with the smell of the flowers in the meadow.  She changes the topic needing to grasp his explanation of the myth.
 “It’s so peaceful here. I am so happy and content. why do you suppose it’s that way?” Sean puts his arms around her and murmurs,
 “Because you belong here with me”. He cradles her in his arms.
 “Oh, Sean”  she turns and puts her arms around his neck and kisses him.
He holds her tight and he kisses her lips, eyes, then her neck. “What else is there to this myth?” she interrupts his direction of kisses.
Sean looks into her eyes reluctant to upset her,  “The invitation is for a short time then expires.
 “Expires? what do you mean frightened?
The person allowed to enter our world can either stay or leave before the portal is closed for good.
Distressed   "Portal what is it?. Where is it?".
Then remembers the haze and how it had shrunk.   "Oh God, Sean it's happening." The fog I walked through has become thinner and less dense.
That must be the portal….and its closing!.
Her eyes widen gasps   “Oh God-  how long does it stay open?”.
Sean shakes his head   “I don't know".
To soothe Millie's fears ,   “ Look, I have a book on myths and legends let's see what it says it may help”.
Panic in his voice  “I don't know what else to say- I don’t want to lose you.
Smiling she places her hand along the side of his face.   “Such a strong face” she murmurs.   “I don’t want to lose you either Sean.”
He covers her hand with his as he kisses her.  “I want you” desire in his eyes.  “I want you too”.
With a naughty grin, he takes her by the hand and leads her into the cabin and into his bed. With a bemused expression, she asks.
 "What about the book and the myth?".
 "Forget the book, tis more important things to attend to” a devilish gleam in his eyes.
With a twinkle, in hers ,  “ Yes sir!... more important things to do.
They make love that afternoon happy and content being with each other;  no concerns entered their minds regarding the legend.


Later that afternoon after they made love they went through the book for answers.  Millie scours the pages feeling frustrated. She  puts the book down on the table dismayed shaking her head.
Worried “Sean,   “I can’t find any information where it says  how long the portal stays open?.”
He walks over,  picks up the book and thumbs through the chapters saying nothing. Not wanting to display his concerns to Millie.
 “That’s what Moe said.”.
Exasperated, “Well what authority does Moe have!.”
 “Darlin, he"s Norwegian, they are accustomed to these strange myths. Besides, Moe means well and wants  to help us.”
A sense of defeat envelops her and walks out onto the porch. The sun is setting and, she doesn’t want to leave. She sighs, Sean followed her out to the porch and puts his arms around her.   “Stay with me Millie,” he whispers in her ear.
Upset,   “How can I?" I am torn; I have a life and daughter back home”.
 “A daughter who has no time for her mother” he muses. A daughter who never once asked where her mother goes or where she stays overnight”.
With a tremor in her voice,   “I know, I know but I love her and she is all I have in the world”.
He turns Millie around to face him   “You have me now... I love you…. I want you to marry me”.
 “I want us to build a long life together”.
With tears in her eyes   “Oh Sean I want  to marry you but, but... what about Chloe and my life?”.
He replies with tenderness   “What life? you’ve told me many times you and your daughter don't see one another”.
Sorrow written all over her face   “Yes that's true but still do you know what you are asking of me?".
He understood the confusion and despair Millie is facing; so he backs off  the pressure for her to stay.
 “I am being selfish but I want you with me period; I understand the choice you face.”
 “I can’t say I know how you feel since I have no children of my own, but I understand your dilemma”.
 ” Please don’t throw away what we can have”. He pleads.
Tears well up in her eyes   “Thank you for saying that”.
 “And I won’t...Sean, I want what you want. For use to be together always..”
 “Come,” he says extending his hand with a smile. " Let us have dinner and a glass of wine; let us enjoy each other while we have time”. Millie smiles takes his strong hand and follows him.
The next morning Millie rubs her eyes as she enters the kitchen after a satisfied evening of love making. Sean standing near the cupboard with a hot mug of coffee.  “Good morning A mhuirnin” darling. he beams reverting to his Gaelic language.
 “Too much love making last night tired you out?”  with a chuckle and gleam in his eyes. Laughing she takes his mug of coffee and replies “No never, but too much wine”.
 “Aye, that will do it”.


Here he gestures for her to sit   "I'll prepare you breakfast".
Millie does as she's told and watches him prepare her breakfast. She  marvels at how he makes it look so easy.
He has no  modern conveniences to use. Could she live this way?. Is her love strong enough to give up everything?. She shakes her head as if she could rid her thoughts of the turmoil inside of her.
Millie reverts her thinking back to yesterday and his proposal. Conflict stirs within her. She  wants to stay, but Chloe keeps invading her thoughts like a nasty toothache. How can she leave her daughter?. What mother could do that?. What if their relationship doesn’t work? How could she return?.
Too many things to consider and time is running out. If only I had more time she mumbles not realizing she had spoken it aloud.
“What did you say, A mhuirnin?.” He lovingly speaks in Gaelic to her. Millie surprised says, “ What! Oh, nothing just thinking out loud”.
 “Care to share?” Sean asks as he finishes cooking the breakfast. “No, nothing just swirling thoughts" she replies troubled.
After they finished eating Sean asks Millie if she  wanted to go with him into town. She didn’t hesitate she wanted to stay as long as she can with him and said yes.
Millie loves the quaint town, everyone is friendly and she admired the small shops with their offerings. Canned goods, textiles for dress making and blanket; feed for the animals and wares for their households.  When they rode into town it bustled with horses and wagons. People in their usual attire walking up and down the dusty road; busy with their own lives shopping and buying supplies.
He strapped the horse and buggy to the wooden railing and he helped Millie out of the wagon.   “I am having trouble believing this” she mumbles.
 “Believe what .“ Curious he asks?.
 “Your mode of transportation and the town”.
He frowns   “What's to believe, this is my town…. very different from yours I guess?.”
 "Oh God yes!  Big time!... My town has everything you want".
 "All the modern technology, conveniences , cars, trains, air travel, all you need".
 "Sean there's no comparison ...the progress that has been made  is remarkable".
He remains quiet.. watches how her face lights up when she talks about her world. Fearing he will lose her- if not to her daughter..her world.
Millie scans the town   "it's so old! but then I guess this was the way it was back then I guess”.
He chuckles and says   "darlin, most towns are old".
 "Yes, I know....but this is another era not just a different town in the same time period."
 “Why the sudden concern? You’ve been to town before?”.
 “Yes..true but you hadn’t asked me to marry you then”.
 “That changes everything Sean”. Trying to explain.
Serious he says  "This is the way I have lived and my parents and grandparents before them. I know it no other way".He was resolute in his reply.
Millie stood and surveyed the town as if this  was the first time she had seen it.The colorful buildings just burst with color, and the  alleyways with their small shops  built snuggled to each other lined like row houses.  The clicking of the horses hooves on the cobblestones made a melodic sound that was hypnotic.
Back home or in her world the stores were modern; so many had glass and marble exteriors with mannequins in fancy window displays. Name brand stores offered much to the consumer yet, their atmosphere was sterile and cold. Malls, shopping centers, traffic light, stop signs. So different she thought.
Streets with pavement, not dirt. Traffic and the noise of buses and cars honking; angry  that other vehicles weren’t moving fast enough. People scurrying by in a hurry to get wherever their destination was. Not inclined to smile or utter a salutation to another. Busy in their own private world.


Can she leave all of it behind and be happy. Yet this town free of congestion, pollution, and modern conveniences  offers so much more. And Sean...this world has Sean in it. The realization that the myth is real is still mind boggling! But it’s the only explanation.
Yet how, is it possible? she wonders. I feel as if I am in the twilight zone......or maybe I am!?.
Deep in thought, she hadn’t heard Sean speaking to her. “Millie, Millie are you all right?.”
Startled she says   “what!”.
 “Are you all right?” he asks concerned with her expression .
 “Yes, yes I am fine". She hadn’t noticed Moe talking to Sean. “Hi Moe,” being glad to see him.
 “How are you doing Kjare?” dear He replied in his Norwegian language.
Her lips move in a slight smile “as well as can be expected I guess".
Cheerful “I understand congratulations are in order?" He radiated happiness for them. Sean  signals Moe with a short shake of his head but Moe hadn’t seen it.
Millie stares at Moe not responding to his question right away. Mournful,  “ Well... nothing is has been decided yet, Moe”.
Moe frowns confused at her response   "Aye I guess there's much for you to consider, well don’t ye worry, things will work out”. With a doleful look, Millie nods “I hope so”.
Sean interrupts and tells Moe that Millie hasn't accepted his proposal yet.  “Oh I see” embarrassed that he mentioned it.
 “With that let me take me leave and I hope to see you again Millie”. Moe tips his tattered hat turns and places his hand on Sean’s shoulder; gives it a light squeeze as if offering comfort. He walks into the general store and leaves Sean and Millie standing at the railing.  
 "Do you want anything before we leave?" Sean asks.
Millie shakes her head   "No."
 "Well then let's go home ."  Sean offers his hand and  helps Millie back onto the wagon. Home how wonderful that would be ...what a wonderful notion she thinks.
They rode back in silence both in their own thoughts.
When they arrived back at the cabin Millie said, “ It’s late I have to leave Sean”. His eyes pleading no.
 “I don’t want you to go.”  She recognizes the pain in his face.
Millie sighs “I don't want to either but please understand what you are asking of me”.
 “It's difficult for me to choose between my daughter or you”.
Resigned to her hesitancy, "I do….  I will try to understand and accept whatever decision you make”.
 “Just remember the portal”.
She gives him a jarring look  ” You needn’t remind me about the damn portal; that has occupied my thoughts constantly!.”

 

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