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
The reached town and Robbie glanced at Cierra, who was still steaming and giving her the silent treatment. The bodyguard sighed.
"Where do you want to go first?" she asked evenly, trying not express any emotion other than patience. The brunette didn't answer at first then told her how to reach the bookstore. Robbie parked nearby and asked Cierra to remain seated until she got out and walked to the passenger side of the sedan. At least the women didn't argue this time, thought the tall blonde.
She opened the door for Cierra and looked around as the smaller women got out of the car. Everything looked okay so they made their way into the new and used bookstore. The scents of old books hit them first as they entered the shop, Cierra wandered slowly for several minutes before Robbie asked what she was looking for.
Still keeping in mind that the woman knew nothing of the colony she shrugged.
"I like really old vintage books, especially 'how to' books printed in the 1800's," she mentioned casually.
"Oh, okay," Robbie grunted, not seeing the appeal but still willing to help look. They both sorted through the piles of books and occasionally found something of interest.
"Hey! Look what I found!" Robbie grinned, opening an old murder mystery book.
"May as well buy it. The used books here are pretty cheap," Cierra suggested.
"I think I will," Robbie answered, putting the book into the cardboard box they were using for their purchases.
Cierra herself wasn't having much luck as Robbie until she ran across one pile that had been pushed to the back edge. The collection must have come from one person because they all were together, neatly bound with heavy string. She glanced at the titles in excitement and put the entire bundle into the box.
"Okay, I think we found enough for now. We have other places to go," the brunette told her bodyguard.
They paid for their purchases and placed them into the trunk.
"Where to next?" Robbie asked, silently admitting she had fun in the bookstore.
"The flea market on the far side of town. I figure we'll be there until we have to go back," she informed Robbie.
The security expert winced because it's hard to watch over someone in huge crowds. "Okay, but promise to stick close to me." Cierra agreed and they got into the car.
The flea market was going strong since it was a Saturday. Tables were set up in long straight rows. There was no way Cierra could view each table in the short time they had available but she was going to do her best.
"Okay, I'm looking for antique kitchen gadgets and hand tools that are in good shape or easily fixable," she told Robbie. Cierra knew she needed as much help as possible and hoped the woman wouldn't spend the entire time glaring at anyone who got close to her.
Robbie let out a huge sigh and wondered if she shouldn't have gone into accounting like her mother wanted. She spent her time glancing at tables and scanning the people around them hating the fact her job was being done badly. She should have refused to bring her here instead.
"Ohhh, look! I found some old tea strainers!" Cierra squealed, untwisting them and inspecting the insides and pleased to see them rust free.
Robbie snorted. "What good are those things? Never heard of tea bags?"
Cierra sent her an exasperated look. "For home grown tea. I love the stuff but hate those bits getting in my mouth," she said, explaining what she believed was obvious.
Robbie didn't bother replying. She looked around uneasily once more and hoped nothing else caught the brunette's eye so she'd grow bored and want to leave. The bodyguard was wasting her time hoping.
Cierra was armed with knowledge from books and the Internet knew what things she wanted for the colony. Anything simple and sturdy that would work in a community that had no electricity. She picked up several items and wondered how'd she carry her booty. Her arms were getting full and asking Robbie to carry items would be a waste of time since the woman was there to protect her. The young woman looked around and spotted a table with book packs. She bought one for a reasonable price then began stuffing her goodies inside. She slung it over one shoulder and continued to look around.
They were passing a table with odd tools and Robbie stopped which surprised the Jumper. She looked at the table herself but didn't recognize the old tools.
"How much for this old derringer?" Robbie asked. It was one of those gambler specials that only held one shot.
The grizzled old man behind the table rubbed his chin. "Well, it still works although it could use a good cleaning. How about $400?" he asked, beginning the fine art of haggling. Robbie sneered. "Not for something not restored. How about I give you $75?" she countered. They haggled for several minutes until they both agreed on $275.
Cierra grinned, pleased Robbie found something she liked. Maybe the tall woman wouldn't fuss any longer. Cierra looked at the table and spotted an odd contraption.
"What is this?" she asked the old man.
"Oh, that? It's a seed planter for corn. See this trigger? You pull it and one kernel drops. It's so the one planting the garden doesn't have to bend over. Still works too. They aren't complicated and last forever. That one is from the late 1800's. I'll take $75 for it and even throw in some hay hooks. They aren't pretty but great for people with farms. What do you say?"
Cierra grinned and took them without haggling. She tossed the hooks into the bag and held the long seeder in her hand.
"Ready for the next table?" Robbie asked, barely hiding the eagerness from her voice.
"Oh my God! Is there anything left at the flea market or did you buy them out?" Sharon asked as they began unloading the sedan. The two women chuckled and continued to fill rubber totes with their stash with the exception of the books. Cierra would read through them later. They had to hurry since it was nearly noon.
Cierra tossed the last of the items into the tote and headed for the barn with Robbie on her heels. The smaller woman unlocked the door and headed inside but not without allowing Robbie a good glimpse inside. Cierra cursed under her breath promising herself not to do that again. She shut the door and bolted it from the inside.
Back in the New World the women decided that the two bulldozers were ready to be returned. Before Cierra had even arrived they had loaded the heavy equipment onto their trailers and placed them exactly within the marks so Cierra could transport them. The Jumper arrived at her usual spot that was always kept clear on the work site.
"Hey, chow time!" JP hollered at the crew. The women dropped what they were doing and headed for the jump site. Cierra glanced over to the clearing where the communal kitchen was being built. They already had the foundation down and a rough frame was up. It wouldn't be long before they would need the roof tresses, which were on order. They had to be put up partially and assembled since they had no crane to lift them.
"It's looking good!" Cierra told everyone.
"Yup, it should be closed in after next week. I hope they deliver the trusses soon though," said Carey.
"Tomorrow afternoon," Cierra told them. "Okay let's get going."
"Cierra, we gotta bring back the heavy equipment," JP told her. "I'm going to eat and shower then drive them back to the rental place. The shorter time we keep them the cheaper it is. The backhoes we need a few more days."
"Okay, some of you hop into the rigs and I'll move it and you all at the same time, then come back." Cierra waited until several women jumped into the closest bulldozer cab before she touched it.
Once back at the barn she jogged over to her jump spot and returned. It took several trips but the women were patient. Once everyone was back they unbolted the door.
Outside was a very upset blonde holding a .38 aimed at the group as they walked out of the building.
"I want to know what is going on with this freak show, and I mean now!" Robbie had seen the look on Cierra's face and had wondered what she shouldn't have seen in the 'empty' barn. She had walked around to the gap and spotted the trailer with the bulldozer sitting in the barn. There was no way it could have been driven into the building. Not believing her eyes and even doubting her own sanity, she had rushed to the front doors and waited.
JP looked at her friend and realized it was time to clear the air and hope for the best.
"Robbie, put that gun away for God's sake. We aren't a bunch of criminals and no one is gonna do anything stupid," she promised. The blonde took a step back and shook her head slightly. This was weirder than one of those sci-fi shows where aliens took over a town. Cierra decided it was up to her.
She walked slowly towards the nervous woman and held up her hands to show a lack of aggressiveness. "Robbie, please. I guess you need a logical explanation at this point and we'll tell you everything. I'm going to come close and I want you to do something, okay?"
Cierra held out her bare arm until it was near the two handed gripped pistol. "Robbie, you've spent time with me and you know I'm not a fighter, just a nerd. I want you to place one hand on my arm and I promise everything will be made clear, okay?"
The blonde looked at her, wondering why she had made such an odd request. What does touching her have to do with answering her questions? In spite of her doubts, she carefully took one hand from the pistol and placed it on Cierra's tanned arm. She watched the smaller woman raise her other hand slowly and wrap around a stone necklacethen the world suddenly tilted.
Robbie wobbled on her feet and Cierra stepped to the side, hoping the gun wasn't fired accidentally. It took several seconds for the woman to adjust then she looked around her.
"What in Hell is this!" she yelled.
"Ahh," Cierra smiled, "Not hell but as close to Heaven as humans can get. Shall I tell you a story?" the brunette asked and sat on a tree stump. Robbie's legs went limp and she sat ungracefully on the ground. This story had better be good.
The women had gone in to eat lunch knowing there wasn't a thing they could do until Cierra returned. Cyd had eaten quickly and was now sitting against the barn and waiting somewhat patiently.
JP had reassured her that Robbie was the sensible type and wouldn't harm Cierra. She was so confident of that she had gone inside the house to shower before driving back the heavy equipment. Cyd wasn't as sure and chose to wait.
Cierra brought the shaky security expert back almost an hour later. She was still in shock but no longer waving a gun around.
"You doing okay? Cyd asked both of them. Robbie nodded her head and walked slowly towards the house while Cierra hid a grin and walked over to Cyd for a hug. She was pleased that her friend was waiting up for them.
Once the blonde was far enough away the smaller woman giggled. "Poor Robbie, she had a bizarre day."
"Yeah, but she'll get over it. JP said she'd be okay with it once she got over the shock," Cyd told her friend.
They walked towards the back yard where everyone was having lunch. Someone had given the bodyguard her chair and another had handed the woman a stiff drink along with a pat on the back, empathizing with her reaction. It wasn't every day when someone jumped into a parallel universe.
Robbie lifted her green-blue eyes when Cierra joined them. "So," she began, her voice shaky, "that's why the interest in old stuff? I guess that makes sense," she mumbled to herself, "No electricity, no indoor plumbing. Gotta have gadgets like great-grandma used to use. Yeah, that makes sense."
Many of the women smiled but didn't laugh at the poor security expert. They remembered going through the same thing their first time and they had prior warning.
Jenny stood and placed her hand on Robbie's shoulder. "Hon, why don't you finish your drink and go lie down for a while? You'll feel better," she suggested. The taller blonde nodded and gulped down her whiskey then stood. Taking a deep breath first, she took a step towards the house.
"Okay, drop them off right here," Cierra told the delivery crew. The trusses came just about at the perfect time since the women had the frame up and ready to enclose it. They wanted the roof done by tomorrow in case of rain. The enamel gutters would be delivered in two days. They hadn't originally planned on them but after reading that rainwater was best for making soap and lye they thought better of it. They would use the empty barrels from the barn to collect the water. Besides, it never hurt to have saved water in case of a dry month. The soft rainwater was nicer to bathe with and a lot cleaner than well water.
"Going to take them there?" Robbie asked calmly.
"Yup, want to come along?" Cierra asked with a grin. Robbie had seemed okay after her nap yesterday but seemed a bit edgy. Perhaps a trip or two would ease that.
"Um, sure. I am your body guard after all," she reminded the smaller woman.
Cierra could see more than a little fright in the woman's eyes and she wondered what the woman would do now that she knew the big secret. Would she tell her friends in the Secret Service? Perhaps she ought to test those waters.
"Robbie? I know this has been rather unsettling for you, but I have to ask how you are feeling right now."
The woman sighed and shrugged. "This is just too bizarre to explain. Everything I knew for fact is far from the truth. If I told anyone about this they'd think I went bonkers."
"Do you think you ought to spread the word? It could cause us trouble if you did," Cierra mentioned gently, not wanting to make the woman defensive.
"My training says yes but I quit the SS because the government doesn't always do things I agree with in the name of security. I know if I said anything that they certainly wouldn't allow anyone with knowledge of this place to go free. Not only the women here but myself included. We might be locked up for the rest of our lives where we couldn't tell anyone what we knew. That's the best scenario. They could easily try and force you to do as they want and use the others as leverage to get what they want," Robbie said gravely, making Cierra shiver in fear.
"So now you resent us," Cierra said with regret.
No," Robbie grinned, "I can understand what you're doing and why and see no threat to 'National Security'. Hell, I wouldn't know anything about things here if I hadn't stuck my nose into it so it's my own fault. So, that means I'm in," the blonde said.
"You want to go with us when we move? You do realize this is pretty much a lesbian community, right?"
Robbie chuckled. "Does it really matter? Oh, I know JP has been trying to get the nerve up to get an answer about my sexuality for years. It amuses me to never answer."
"And you didn't answer me either," Cierra grinned.
"No, I didn't" Robbie replied smugly. She motioned the smaller woman to the jump spot and joined her.
The weeks passed and Kelly Peterson who took over the computer duties and correspondence with hopefuls joined them. Also, the communal kitchen building was nearly finished and Cierra sent over many totes with the women to stock it. In a few day's time the cooks would begin cooking lunches at the site in order to grow accustomed to cooking primitively. They planned on taking several starter cultures along so they could make their own yogurts, bread yeast, and cheese. They would fill the root cellar and transport crocks and canning supplies as well even though they wouldn't be needed until after the first crops were harvested.
The books that Cierra had found were helpful, explaining how to save things like eggs for several days without the use of refrigeration.
Also, several more women had joined them, crowding the too small house. Six women who volunteered to sleep in the new building solved this problem. They would take along air mattresses and a solar shower for bathing. The cooks supplied them with food so they could cook over a campfire.
As for the new members, they would begin making adobe bricks for building. The bricks just needed a few basic ingredients that were mostly free to harvest at the farm. The one ingredient was nearly free and abundant in Californiasand. They would put the goo into the molds then place them on boards so they could dry, turning them ever few days until they were done baking in the sun. A kiln was being built at the colony site and once finished the sun-dried bricks would be fired rather than wait 3-4 weeks for them to dry naturally.
Cierra, Jenny, and Robbie joined the new group. Between them they managed to mix and mold nearly 2000 large bricks a day. The field behind the barn and house was covered with batches of drying adobe.
The women chatted while they worked to make the time pass faster. The work was monotonous and dirty but making bricks was better then living in log houses, which were drafty, and a fire hazard. Although adobe could dissolve with rain they planned on weatherproofing the outside walls and put pitched roofing on top. They found that the weatherproofing itself was cheap to make once they looked it up online. The roof would be made of homemade ceramic tile layered on top of split logs and clay filler. The resulting houses should be cool in summer and easy to heat in winter.
The days were rather peaceful with no sign of trouble brewing so when Sharon rang the alarm bell at the back door the women were startled. Robbie took her radio from her jacket and turned it on.
'-can you hear me? There's a group of strangers coming up the driveway. You had better get up here!' Sharon's voice squawked over the radio.
Robbie handed the radio to Jenny and told everyone to stay out of sight until she investigated. She ran for the back door and hoped it was something innocent like a door-to-door religious group.
Once inside she ran for the front windows and peered outside. A group of people consisting of 3 men and a woman were about to knock on the front door.
"Okay, I want everyone to grab a gun but keep it hidden on you. This might be something perfectly innocent. They don't look like Feds," she told the other women who were waiting behind her. "Jackie, I want you to stay in the den with Kelly in case we need backup. There isn't any need for them to know how many are in the house."
There was a knock on the door. Robbie tossed a jacket from the coat rack over her to hide her holster then opened the door.
One of the older men spoke up nervously. "May we enter? We came as tribal representatives for our people and wish to speak with your Shaman."
Robbie looked at them carefully. They certainly looked like American Indians. Now curious she opened the door wider in invitation.
The small group walked inside and looked around.
Sharon walked into the room and invited them to sit down and offered to get them something to drink.
They accepted offers of lemonade and sat down. No one spoke at first and the silence was getting awkward, finally Sharon spoke up.
"Well, what brings you to our little farm?"
The eldest once more cleared his throat.
"We have heard a rumor. We don't know if it is true, but on the tiny chance that it was we wanted to speak with youabout an alliance."
"And that rumor is what?" Robbie asked, wanting them to lay their cards on the table.
"That you have a Crow Spirit Shaman living here."
"A what?" Robbie said, not certain of what that meant although she suspected that he meant Cierra.
The old American Indian laughed. "The crow is revered by many tribes for its ability to travel from our world to the spirit world. A Shaman who has captured the crow spirit can also traverse this boundary."
"Hmm, and if this rumor was true, then what? Exactly what do you seek? An alliance for what?"
"This can be quite hard to explain. There are a few among many different tribes who are not happy living on reservations but even less happy finding a life off of them. Oh, do not mistake this as unhappiness for all. Some tribes are quite wealthy from running casinos and such. Then again, there are many people who live in poverty. Some wish for the old days before the missionaries arrived. Life was simple then."
"Yes," said the woman, "people lived with nature, not against it. There wasn't a lot of wealth by modern standards but people were happier." The other three nodded in agreement.
The woman continued. "What we would like is to find out if the rumor is true. And if so, if we could convince your Shaman to take us with her."
Robbie and Sharon shared glances before replying. "You've given us something to think about. You have to understand, we can't answer you question at the moment. There are dangers involved. Before we speak again we would like to know more about you and what would be involved if you could do as you wished. Perhaps if you could give us names and numbers where we could reach you? Then give us time to talk. We'll get back to you in a few days."
One of the men looked like her wanted to argue but the woman nudged him with her elbow and answered for the counsel. "That is acceptable. Perhaps a written proposal by us would be helpful as well? It could answer the basic questions you'd like to ask."
Robbie thought it over and called to Kelly to join them in the living room. The young woman entered with a pad and pencil since she had been listening from the doorway. She gave the woman a leaf from the pad with an email address.
"Send your information here. It will come directly to me. The sooner we get your email the sooner we can answer your questions as well," she urged.
The four left the house and drove away in an older sedan with California plates. Robbie memorized them for future reference.
"Call the others inside Sharon. We need to chat then consult the others when they return," Robbie said. This was getting interesting now, she thought to herself.
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