DISCLAIMER: This is an original story and may not be reproduced in any manner although copies for personal enjoyment are allowed providing title, author, etc remains on the copy.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: my Beta Reader did this to me. I am in middle of writing 3 other works and she just mentions, 'What if ' and sends me off on another tangent. Send virtual shaking of finger at her and tsking at her at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at SDerkins61@yahoo.com
WARNINGS: Some dark tones, f/f action, some bad language, all the typical things that may be offensive to individuals then avoid reading story.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
And a Door Opened
Story Idea by Golden_Ruhl
"I've put out feelers to get an idea of how many would like to join us," Cyd whispered.
"You what!" Cierra hissed in a whisper, not believing the tall butch was really serious.
"You think I'm joking about this but I'm dead serious. Now, I didn't tell people this was about another dimension or anything like that. I asked if they could move to an island where they could live without all the trappings of the big city and did all their own work if they'd go for it and I was amazed how many women said yes. More and more people are nervous about our future. Between terrorists, war, crime, and all the people hooked on drugs it's a scary place. Not everyone can make a living in a small town where it's considered safer."
"Yes, I know that. But to actually leave everything behind? I think it sounds like a nice fantasy but the reality of it would be damned hard to swing. Remember all the communes during the sixties? Almost every one of them failed," Cierra reminded Cyd.
"Yes, because it was an age of drugs and rock 'n' roll. It was about free love and living on the edges of society. I'm not talking about getting a bunch of barely out of their teens to join up but women old enough to know what they want. And we can have basic laws without having every action controlled by lawyers. People we deem a danger to us just gets popped back into the real world," Cyd chuckled.
"You've been thinking about this all night I bet."
"Yup, and I'm so hyped I can barely sit still."
Cierra sighed. Yes, it sounded like a nice dream but all she could think about is that Hallie would never agree to it. Cyd's plan revolved around her. She was the only one who could transport people back and forth. What if she died? Then everyone would be stuck there with no hope of escape. To be able to jump she would need to be right there. She saw no evidence that she could travel distances only realities. She and Hallie lived in San Diego where her girl friend was doing her best to become a partner at her law firm.
How in the world could she expect the ambitious Hallie to give that up? She couldn't. To follow Cyd's vision would mean losing Hallie.
"I can't do it Cyd. I'm sorry." Cierra spun around and headed back to her hotel room, not seeing the look of disappointment on her friend's face.
Once in her room she began packing. The convention would end that evening and she planned on checking out and loading her car so she wouldn't have pay for another day at the hotel. She picked up her bag and was about to leave when she spotted the large rock on her counter. She picked it up and turned it in her hands aimlessly, thinking she had better drop it outside rather than leave it there.
She checked out at the front desk and headed for the parking lot. She was about to toss the rock into the stone garden when she changed her mind. She'd keep it as a souvenir. She opened her trunk and tossed it inside along with her suitcase.
"Hey, Jumper, get over here!" a voice said from the other side of the lot. Cierra looked up and saw Cyd standing there nervously. She walked over to join her and saw two other people also hiding in the shadows. As she drew nearer she noticed they were carrying rifles. Both looked comfortable handling the guns but not at ease carrying them in city limits. Both were tall and athletic and wore sensible rugged clothing.
"You said we could go back and look around," Cyd held up her hands, stopping her protests. "Yeah, you nixed the colony idea but I want my friends to see that place too. They think I made the whole thing up. By the way, this is Carey and JP," pointing to the women as she introduced them. The women nodded nervously as Cyd slung a rifle over her shoulder.
Cierra glanced at the other two women who looked scared as hell. Carey was medium built with light brown hair and hazel eyes. JP was tall, lanky but looked strong. Her blue eyes were striking with her shoulder length dark hair. Both shifted nervously since walking around with loaded rifles was a sure-fire way of ending up in prison. They looked like they wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. She turned to them, wanting to make sure they were really prepared for the jump.
"You're sure you want to go?"
"This is for real, right?" one of the women asked skeptically.
Cierra grinned. "Yeah, it's real alright. Well, lets get this over with then. Put your hands on my arm. When we jump you might feel a little dizzy for a moment but that's normal. Ready?"
The other women nodded and placed their hands on her left arm. Cyd placed her palm on the smaller woman's right upper arm so she was free to reach for her stone. Cierra closed her eyes to picture the other world and felt the familiar sensation of the jump.
The two newcomers both swayed as their feet settled down but otherwise recovered fast. They looked around quickly.
"Oh my God, it is real," JP said in wonder, her blue eyes taking in the surroundings.
"Look, there's the bear prints from yesterday. Boy, he must have been pissed when we disappeared on him, the whole place has been thrashed," Cyd commented as she looked at the ground. Huge claw marks nearly obliterated the circle Cierra had drawn. Chunks of soil and grass had been torn up from the angry bear.
"I hope he doesn't come after us today. Bears tend to be territorial," Carey added.
"We'll all stick together and keep our eyes peeled. Remember, Cierra isn't armed and she's our only way back so protect her at all costs," Cyd reminded her friends. They agreed and suggested which way to explore first. Carey removed a red strip of cloth from her pocket and tied it to a nearby bush before taking a compass from another pocket and glancing at it. Cierra decided she was the survivalist type and knew what she was doing.
"Okay, let's go," Carey said.
They explored for several hours but didn't come across any wildlife that required them to use their rifles. They spotted deer and birds and even reptiles that had long disappeared from California or had become so rare few people had seen them.
JP was thrilled to see them because she worked for the game and fish department. She expressed a wish to take several pairs of what was now endangered species and bring them back someday. Cierra felt guilty. They could probably do it and help build up the animal population that were fighting to survive. Everything revolved around her and she held back because of her desire to remain with Hallie, who barely spent any time with her anymore. She was pitiful.
Cierra opened the door to her apartment and was surprised to find her girlfriend home. It was a rare occasion when the lawyer was home before dinnertime.
"Hey, what a surprise," Cierra said with a grin. She put down her bag and walked up to Hallie for a hug and kiss. "Let me shower and change and we can go out for dinner, how about that?" Cierra suggested.
"Oh, sorry. I have a business dinner tonight. I'm meeting with clients in about 45 minutes. We'll go out another time, alright?" Hallie asked absently as she picked up the mail.
Cierra felt a wave of disappointment, which was becoming more common by the month. She loved Hallie, she really did, but was this how it was going to be for the rest of their lives? With her sitting at home and wondering if Hallie would come home at a decent hour or spend time with her like they did when they first met? Cierra couldn't remember the last time they spent an entire day together and relaxed. Not even on Christmas day, when Hallie got a call from one of the partners asking her to keep care of one of his buddies who had landed in jail for DUI.
Cierra sighed. "Hallie, I think we need a serious talk."
"Oh? About what?" the redhead asked as she opened a bill.
"About us," Cierra managed to say firmly. She was beginning to feel a kernel of anger growing.
"What about us? Things are fine," Hallie said with exasperation.
"No they aren't. Where are going Hallie? We're barely more than roommates anymore. You work late and crawl into bed after I'm asleep. When you do happen to come home you have your briefcase full of projects to go over. Okay, you want to be partner and I can appreciate that, but that isn't all there is to life. You need to think about balancing everything before you burn out."
"I'm fine Cierra, really. Things will get better once I make partner, you'll see," Hallie promised, not understanding what Cierra needed.
The brunette felt a sharp pain between her eyes forming. This wasn't going to work. "Hallie, have you ever considered taking on a more sedate practice? Perhaps in a small community?"
The redhead snorted. "Oh yeah, right. Take on farmer divorce cases and bail Uncle Jed out of jail for shooting the neighbor's dog? No thank you. I like the city. I like my Mercedes and designer suits and have no intention of being bored to death in some small town."
"Well, that answers that. I'll start packing my things. I'll be out by this weekend Hallie," Cierra announced. She loved Hallie but she wasn't going to change and Cierra needed more than being the convenient lover of someone when they felt frisky.
"Wait, you can't be serious " Hallie said, looking up from her stack of bills.
"Yes, very serious. You and I want very different things in life. I want to mean something to someone who loves me just as much as I love her. I don't want crumbs anymore and that's all you can offer. I'm sorry." Cierra left the room and locked herself into the den. She pulled the piece of paper with Cyd's cell number out of her pocket and dialed from her own. She didn't want the number showing on Hallie's phone bill.
"It's me, Cierra. Were you serious about the whole thing? I'm willing to give it a try if you are," she offered.
"No shit?" Oh hell yes! Damned serious. Where are you?"
"Back in San Diego. Can I move my stuff into your place for now?"
Cyd's voice grew serious. "What about your girl friend?"
"I'm so sorry Cierra," Cyd told her, genuinely saddened by the news.
"Me too, but it's for the best," Cierra said, her voice tight. She sniffled and grabbed a pad of paper and pen. "Give me your address. I'll probably be there in a few days."
Before Cierra knew it she was involved with a whirlwind of activity. They already had a growing list of women interested in joining the venture who were all sworn to keep it secret. Among the group were indeed a pair of doctors along with a nurse (They had been working for a small clinic in Tucson) several ranchers and farmers who were tired of always being broke because of the economy. There was an engineer, a teacher, and assorted women from various walks of life who had a wide range of skills.
Word had spread through the Internet and word of mouth. They lived as far away as England and New Zealand.
"We can't move them all there at once," Jenny harped. She had been shocked at first but quickly joined the rank of true believer once she saw the other world for the first time. "Think about it. Many of these women have children. Do we really want to put them through the early stages of building and scraping out a farm? Let's do what JP suggested. We pool our funds and buy a ranch near the area we want to settle. We can transport materials little by little and have a handful of us build a few basic buildings to tide us over. Besides, this is wilderness. We need to clear land and dig wells. It's dirty hard work. Once we have the worst done we can bring people in a few at a time."
"Yeah, sounds good," another woman agreed. "While this is getting done the ones waiting can make arrangements to 'disappear.' We already have a trust started in case anyone changes their minds once there so they can return and start over."
The original group had sat down and wrote notes for days, thinking of every possibility. Everyone who wished to join them had to liquidate their assets and transfer their money to a local bank near the site of the future colony. Everyone would contribute a specific amount in order to buy materials and supplies. Cierra and the 'council' had already determined Cierra could jump anything she was touching with her skin, regardless of size or weight, as long as it wasn't embedded into anything. She couldn't transport planted trees for instance.
With the available funds they could buy lumber and bricks. They wanted to buy a small ranch with a large barn so they could drive a loaded truck into it and transport it to the New World fully loaded without it being seen. Cierra could return with it emptied later.
Also planned was a charter that everyone had to agree to. Each colonist had to work as part of the community and follow their basic laws. Everyone worked for the whole or not at all. They didn't want people to join if they were going to be freeloaders. They also wanted the people to be free to explore their own talents and gifts. The actual time needed to be given to the community each day wouldn't be excessive for most of the year once established.
Cyd had expressed that she wanted to see artists and craftswomen practicing their arts. Anyone with a needed skill such of weaving or glass blowing would be expected to donate less time to farming because they eventually wanted to have limited purchases from the modern world. They wanted to be self-sufficient on the most part with the exception of medicines and as Cierra laughed, 'women's monthly menace supplies.'
Lists of things they wanted to bring included potted fruit trees, so they would eventually have their own groves, and farm animals. They didn't want their supply of meat to be by hunting. Early man had wiped out many species in North America when they migrated to it 10,000 years ago. They didn't want to be guilty of the same in the New World. They also wanted to have organic farming without pesticides or stripping the land of its useful bacteria. One of the farmers had studied the way the environmentally friendly farms were ran in the Mediterranean and looked forward to trying it. One thing they intended to bring in large quantities was a rose bush.
Some roses were hardy and wouldn't need too much care except for a few times a year. They would grow into a natural barrier that surrounded their fields and keep out the worst of the grazers. It would be less work then trying to keep up barbed wire fences and they could use the rose hips for their own consumption and the making of potpourri.
"So, all we need is a place to start this all," Jenny sighed.
"I already have my eye on a place," Laura piped in. It's not real fancy but I think we can use it. It barely has modern plumbing. The original owners had a brewery that's now out of business because their grandkids didn't want it. We just need to get rid of all the old barrels and stuff."
"Hell no! We can use them," Cyd protested. "There's no reason why we can't grow a few grapes of our own and try our hand at wine. Even if our batches turn sour we can use it as vinegar."
Jenny grinned. "Cyd, you are the stereotype optimist. A silver lining in every cloud," she smiled softly. Cierra smirked, seeing a possible romance in the air when Cyd blushed.
The farmhouse and its lands were bought and they quickly set out to clean the main house and prep it for dorm use. It had been empty several years and needed quite a bit of cleaning. With a dozen people to help it was soon sparkling clean and remodeled. They knocked out walls and expanded the bathrooms. They knew that after a sweaty day working everyone would want to shower once they returned.
So far, they planned on having fourteen people doing the clearing of the land then starting on the first communal household. It wouldn't be more than a large kitchen and dining room with a cellar to keep foods cool. They wanted the community to eat together rather than do all the cooking in each household. Several women already volunteered to supervise and cook, needing only a few additional volunteers to help prepare meals for such a large group. There was another woman who planned on growing an herb garden near the kitchens.
"Okay, tomorrow is the day!" Cyd said, clapping her hands together happily in excitement. "Yes!" She squealed and grabbed Jenny to plant a loud kiss on her mouth. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" she chanted as she did a happy dance. Everyone laughed, even Jenny whose face was bright pink.
"Oh Geez Malone, show some enthusiasm will ya?" one of the women teased, "You're depressing us."
"I think this is a time for a toast!" Another woman shouted and others hooted in agreement. Soon glasses were passed around.
Cyd stood with her glass raised, "Ladies, to Cierra and her New World, may we always be happy and prosperous!"
"Wakey wakey! C'mon Cierra, time to get up!" Cyd said as she shook the brunette's shoulder. "Breakfast is almost ready so shake a leg."
Cierra groaned and untangled herself from the bed sheets. She yawned and bumped her way to the nearest bathroom so she could wash up before getting dressed.
Still sleepy-eyed, she went downstairs and joined the other women at the huge kitchen table. Food was already being passed around as the work crew eagerly piled up and gulped down coffee. They knew they'd work up an appetite and would be starving by lunchtime.
"God, if you feed us like this all the time we're gonna be a community of Rafael models," Jenny whined to one of the cooks.
The woman chuckled, "I doubt that. Besides, you'll burn it off soon enough. And don't forget to take your canteens either. Cierra, remember, lunch will be ready at noon sharp so get them all here so the food doesn't get cold." She reminded the jumper.
"Wait a minute!" Laura yelled softly. "Okay, this is our first official change. We're starting this colony to get away from the modern world so I want everyone, and I mean everyone," she said, glaring at the cook, "to toss all your wristwatches into this box. No more counting seconds. Jobs are done when jobs are done and not a minute earlier. We get up with the sun just like farmers of old. Agreed?"
The women shouted their approval and started removing their watches. They tossed them into the empty box and would probably sell them at a pawnshop later on.
"Okay, now we can eat," Laura grinned and sat back down.
Once breakfast was finished, each woman scraped her plate and rinsed them before putting them into the dishwasher. It was a luxury they wouldn't have in the community. The two cooks and the pair of volunteers (one who was Jenny) would clean up and help prepare for the next meal. The volunteers would also do the shopping and housekeeping because the work crew would be too tired to do much more than eat and sleep when home.
The crew went to the barn and unlocked the heavy doors. Inside were several rented bulldozers and backhoes along with a small dump truck. They had already discussed what they would do in detail, knowing where to clear, dig, and dump so it would take the least amount of work. They had chains, chainsaws, shovels, and other assorted tools. They knew which trees to cut down and would drag them to a preplanned spot so one woman would cut them down for firewood. Everyone knew what job to do and wouldn't need any supervision.
Four women would only act as helpers until the building's site was cleared, then they would take over the job of marking out where the foundation would be placed and do the necessary ground breaking with one of the backhoes. They hoped to begin pouring the cement in several days. Only two building would be built of brick and cement. One was the communal house and the other one was the 'court house' where records would be kept. If the community thrived then there would be the need to keep track of family lines and history for the future generations. Homes would be built from native rock and wood one at a time.
They knew for there to be future generations it meant having children. Some would come here with their mothers. They had already planned on starting a fund for any woman who wanted to jump and make arrangements to conceive. Eventually their community would be mixed like Old Earth but hopefully their way of life would be established and their descendents would continue the traditions.
"Oh boy, I reek," one woman complained when they returned for lunch. The cook took one whiff of the hot, sweaty women and ordered them to sit outside to eat. She asked the helpers to fetch some chairs and put them under the shade trees so the women could cool off. There was already one picnic table under the apple tree so they could all sit out there. In the meantime, she was going to find that new hose someone bought and hook it up. They could rinse off before going back.
Jenny brought out four folding chairs and passed them around. The last one she held out for Cyd, who smiled warmly and thanked her.
"You look tired," she said quietly.
Cyd groaned as she sat down with her plate. "Yeah, and we're only half-way through the day.'
"Could you stand a shoulder rub while you eat?" the blonde offered.
"I wouldn't refuse," the tall woman said with a lopsided grin. Jenny smiled and stepped behind the chair. She placed her hands on the woman's broad shoulders and began massaging them. Cyd moaned with appreciation as the small hands dug into tired muscles. She would have thanked her but her mouth was full so she chewed and closed her eyes to enjoy the experience.
Cierra caught Jenny's eye and winked, pleased at the budding romance.
All too soon it was time to return. The group groaned and began refilling their canteens at the hose and splashed water onto their faces. Cierra took half back then returned for the rest. Cyd was dragging her feet because she was over at the table chatting with Jenny.
"C'mon Romeo, time to get moving, give her a kiss and let's go!" the Jumper teased. Several of the other women cheered her on as Cyd blushed and dropped a quick kiss on the blonde's lips.
She jogged back to Cierra and sheepishly placed her hand on a bare area of her shoulder. "Don't worry Cyd, you can play some more once we get back," Cierra said with a wink. A few moments later they were back at the work site where they left for their assigned areas.
Cierra was alone in her area. She was busy with a hatchet and hacking away at the small limbs from the tree they had cut down. One of the other girls was busy taking a wheelbarrow full of cut wood to the spot chosen for the firewood. The smaller stuff they would use in the compost pile downwind of the building site. She tossed another pile of branches to her growing pile and mopped away the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand. She bent over to retrieve the hatchet when she heard a shuffling noise nearby.
She glanced to her left and felt her blood curl as their old friend the grizzly was looking in her direction while standing on his hind legs. She froze and stared wide-eyed and wondered if he'd charge or leave. They stood there like statues for long seconds before the bear made a deep woof noise and drop to all fours.
He made a sudden movement forward and Cierra spun and leaped over the fallen log, running for all she was worth.
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