DISCLAIMER: Karen Sisco and its all characters are property of Jersey Television. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Originally posted to my LJ years ago as an attempted drabble for Atfm. Suffice it to say that I exceeded drabble length.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To darandkerry[at]yahoo.com

Childhood Fears
By Ann


Karen sucked in a deep breath and made her way further into the graveyard, feeling as if she were twelve years old again and Johnny Carter had just dared her to go into the local cemetery at midnight on Halloween. She'd never run so fast in her entire life as she had that night when Jason Hart had stepped out of the mausoleum dressed as a mummy. Of course, at the time, she had no idea it was Jason; she just knew that she had to get the hell out of there. She'd gotten her revenge though; both Johnny and Jason had sported a black eye for well over a week.

Despite the memories of her retaliation, Karen shivered when she passed another row of graves. "Marley had better have a good explanation for this," she muttered under her breath, almost jumping out of her skin when an owl hooted in the far distance. Karen picked up her pace. "I really hate cemeteries."

At the other end of Heavenly Rest Cemetery, outside its gates and through a grove of tall oak trees, Marley lay on a blanket and looked up at the stars which shone brightly above. The setting she'd provided was quite romantic as a bottle of wine, two glasses, crackers, and cheese sat nearby in a wicker basket. The only thing missing was Karen. Marley checked her watch and wondered what could possibly be keeping her lover.

"Now what?" Karen whispered softly as she stopped near an angel statue, trying to get her bearings. Marley had said that she'd be able to see the gates from the landmark, but only darkness greeted the marshal as she squinted into the distance. If she guessed wrong, she'd end up deeper into the cemetery, but more importantly, she'd be further away from the safety of her car. She opened her mouth to yell out to Marley, but quickly clamped it shut when she noted a shadow moving toward her, a very tall shadow.

With her heart in her throat, she ducked behind a tombstone and pressed her back against it, trying to make herself small and inconspicuous. The shadow loomed larger and larger as its reflection off a nearby marker kept Karen apprised of its location. It had almost passed her by when the moon peeked out from behind a cloud, casting a bright light over the entire cemetery. Karen closed her eyes and awaited her fate.

Her fear had paralyzed her, completely robbing her of her senses. The gun that she wore was forgotten, along with every self-defense move she'd ever mastered. In her mind, she was that twelve year old and the shadow was the mummy that she'd escaped from years ago. A touch to her shoulder resulted in a blood curdling scream.

"Karen? It's me, sweetie." Marley spoke softly and eased next to her lover, approaching Karen much like she would a frightened kitten.

"Marley?" Karen's eyes snapped open and she leapt forward, clinging tightly to her lover. Marley just pulled her closer and whispered words of reassurance. After a few long moments, Karen finally relaxed in Marley's arms.

"Hey, what brought that on?" Marley asked as she rubbed soothing circles on Karen's back.

"A childhood prank that I thought I'd gotten over, but apparently I just kept it buried."

"I'm sorry, Karen. Had I known, I would've never asked you to come."

Karen leaned back so that she could see Marley's face. "Why'd you pick a cemetery anyway?"

"It's not the cemetery; it's a place on the other side. The only way to access it is through the graveyard."

Karen glanced towards the direction Marley had come from. "Where is it?"

"Through the gates and into the trees." Marley gestured over her shoulder.

"Well, I've come this far, I may as well go all the way."

"Oh, really," Marley teased gently. "So I guess you're over your fear if you're talking about doing it in a cemetery."

"Ha-ha, very funny; there's no way I'm ever doing it in a cemetery. Now, show me this paradise."

Marley laced her fingers with Karen's and led her lover through the back gate and into the grove of trees. Karen let go of Marley's hand and stared up through the tree sanctuary. It was as if they were standing in the middle of a planetarium.

"Oh wow, this is amazing." Karen turned in circles, staring up at the sky.

"Told'ya." Marley plopped down on the blanket and pulled the basket closer.

Karen moved to join her lover. "This is definitely worth traversing through the tombstones."

Figuring Karen might need a little something extra to take the edge off, Marley handed over a glass of wine, and Karen took a healthy swig; gingerly, she placed the glass on the ground next to her and lay back on the blanket, looking up at the myriad stars of a clear winter sky. Marley smiled and joined her lover. The two lay side by side, just enjoying the beautiful view.

"You know," Karen tilted her head toward Marley and waited until Marley turned her way, "I've always wanted to make love under the stars."

"But what about not doing it in a cemetery?"

Karen smiled and leaned forward. "We're not in a cemetery anymore."

Grinning, Marley met Karen half-way, their kiss sweet and unhurried as she guided her lover onto her back. She wasn't about to remind Karen that they'd have to trek back through the cemetery to get to their cars.

The End

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