Raging Love

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Raging Love

I have a rage in me…

A cold heartless rage…

A thoughtless madness of passion…

A sensual heat of violence…

Words of hate

broken dreams

Rage that burns the blackest souls…

But there is love….

Ignorant silent love…

Caring thoughtful embraces…

Sacrificing hopeful fancies…

Hopeless romantic

broken heart

Suffer the raging love inside my heart…

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Picture Credit Link:

http://jmountswritteninblood.com/tag/literature/

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Mellow Morning

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Mellow Morning
Sitting with the lights on low.
Sitting with no place else to go.
Won’t you be my good time to talk.
Not a good time to take a walk.
Look me in the eye and tell me what’s on your mind.
Because deep inside you aren’t the leaving kind.
Say the words deep in your head.
You know it is all about what you said.
Sitting with the lights turned off.
Sitting where the world turns hot.
Come on be my good time to talk.
Please don’t be my reason to walk.
Let me tell you exactly what’s on my mind.
Because you know I am not the leaving kind.
I’ll say the words right out of my head.
It’s always about what I never said.
Sitting with the lights turned on.
Sitting here knowing you’re already gone.
There will be no good time to talk.
Decided it’s best just to take a walk.
Never got to tell you what’s on my mind.
Never thought you’d be the leaving kind.
All I can remember is what you said.
Now I can’t get you out of my head.

Photo Credit Link:

http://www.layoutsparks.com/pictures/dark-goth-0

The Princess and the Water Dragon

Suggested Pandora Station: Lindsey Stirling

The Princess and the Water Dragon

By: Abby Adams MCMB

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The small cry rang throughout her room waking her from her sleep. She slipped out of her large satin covered bed and followed the tiny shrieks sounding below her bedroom. Slipping on her robe and slippers she opened the door to her room very slowly on its creaking hinges before sliding through a slender space into the cold hallway. Straight ahead of her she heard the trickling of the water that ran below the castle through its long unused dungeon.

The heavy warped wooden door hung open, the sound of the river that swirled beneath the staircase drew her down the stone steps until her slippers soaked with the cold water. She slipped them off and placed them on the step behind her. The piercing sound echoed off the stone walls again as she shrugged her robe off and folded it on top of her shoes. In her trance she waded out into the water until she stood in the middle of the dark dungeon.

Sliding through the water swiftly, flashing his spines above the water briefly, a water dragon made lazy circles around her. She laughed as he leapt up like a dolphin from the dark water. He finally floated up in front of her and she scooped him up with both hands. He stretched his scaled nose up towards her, his mouth almost smiling as they stared at each other, the only sound ringing through the dark dungeon was the trickle of the water from his tail flipped over her arm.

“What a beautiful creature you are,” she whispered.

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Story Inspired Artwork by: Justin Goodrich

She brought him up to her lips and kissed his cold nose. A flash of light made her gasp and drop the dragon back into the water. He swam away glowing through the water into the far reaches of the dungeon following the swollen river out of the castle. She waded out of the dungeon and back up the steps to her room. She watched out the window as she changed her night gown. The river winding through her small island kingdom to the ocean on the horizon stretched out before her. Just beyond the castle the river glowed brightly in the woods.

She leaned out the window straining to see what caused the light. Hoping the water dragon had made his way safely out of the river. A shriek startled her away from the window and she stared stunned as a massive blue black dragon burst up from the woods into the moonlit sky. She stumbled over to her bed and threw the covers about her watching as the creature flew off towards the sea, tumbling and shrieking. She burrowed into her blankets and soon trembled herself into a deep sleep.

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The bell clanged early in the morning waking the princess suddenly with a gasp. Activity bustled outside her door as the castle staff awoke and went about their business murmuring rumors of the tragedy that had befell a nearby village the night before. She drew on her robe again and left her room before her ladies came to dress her. She skipped down the stairs in a hurry to get to the kitchen where the news would be abuzz and out loud. She could sneak in a door and listen unseen for a time before the servants would discover her.

“A dragon…” one maid whispered as the princess passed. The two maids curtsied with rags in hand and went back to polishing the giant mirrors of the ballroom as she strode past them. Their whispers renewed as she slipped out of sight and down a secret hallway to the great kitchen, filled with noise and loud voices.

Instead of testing her luck and the creaky door at the end of the dark hallway she crouched before it and listened intently. She was rewarded with the loud voice of the cook on the other side.

“The whole village gone,” the cook exclaimed. “No one left to tell the tale of how it happened. But there’s some who say it was a dragon. One fellow says he saw it taking off towards the ocean last night in the wee hours. Sapphire blue it is. Water dragon for sure.”

The rest of the cook staff murmured replies. The princess sat heavily against the door and put her head in her hands. She thought of the little dark blue dragon in the castle’s dungeon and then of the flash of light that had followed her kiss.

“Oh my, what have I done?” she whispered.

She got to her feet and hurried back out of the secret hall and up the stairway. She glanced at the door to the dungeon as she made her way to her room. It was closed tight and latched this morning. She wondered if her vision had actually been a dream caused by the shrieks of the water dragon that had terrorized the land last night. But as she burst into the room she saw her maids holding her water stained slippers and still damp nightgown.

After they helped her dress in her riding dress and piled her hair up on top of her head she dismissed them and picked up her cloak. She looked out of her window for a long moment towards the area where the dragon had appeared in the sky the night before. She turned and left the room her long skirt flying out behind her as she swept through the front hall and out into the courtyard. The stable hand had her horse waiting on her.

She could barely contain herself as she was helped into her saddle and arranged her light blue velvet long skirt across the back of her horse.  She guided the white stallion, prancing on his impatient feet through the castle gate. He danced a little more as she reigned him, feigning the decorum of an educated princess as the stunning pair made their way into the forest for the princess’s daily ride in the forest land around her father’s castle.

Peace had reigned for as long as she could remember. She could leave the safety of the castle walls without a guard, and her father had not seen her before the news of the dragon attack had reached him, so today was no different. The stallion would protect his rider to the death having been raised by her loving hands, but he was a high spirited horse and the two long time friends loved to run wild and free through the forest.

She slid her leg from around the pommel on the saddle and grasped the quivering horse with her thighs, clad in the leggings she had slipped on under her dress after her maids had left her dressing room. The pressure made the stallion stop in his tracks just as they disappeared in the tree line. She felt his muscles bunch in his shoulders as he readied for the command that always came next. She sunk low over his neck and buried her hands in his silken mane.

“Go!” she whispered in his ear. The energy quivering in his muscles burst through the both of them and the forest began to whip past her.

With her cloak spread wide behind her and her upper body crouched over the neck of the glimmering stallion she looked like strange blue wings coming out of the horse’s strong back. His feet pounded and as they burst through the woods into the meadow she leaned back and tossed her head flinging her arms wide, trusting the horse beneath her who ran in wild zig zags and loops around the meadow. He threw back his own head tossing his mane letting out neighs of joy at the daily exercise, his muscles stretching taking the distance in seconds and doubling back across the open field.

After crossing and looping the flower covered meadow several times she took up the reigns again and pulled the flighty horse back into control. He obeyed although his muscles still twitched and quivered with adrenaline. She turned him towards the woods again, where the river ran across the length of the island. She knew every inch of the lands belonging to her father around the castle.

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As they entered the woods again and she heard the bubbling river, a groan came from the direction she was heading, a small very quiet groan, followed by a splash. She slipped from her horse, tying his reigns to a nearby tree and unclipping her long skirt from her waist. Without the volumes of material she was free to climb through the brush in her short skirt, thick leggings and leather boots that she had tucked her dagger into before leaving her room.

She no longer looked like a frilly pretty princess, and when the man lying on the river bank saw her, he thought he was seeing a warrior princess come to kill him with her dagger drawn. He gasped and tried to escape tripping and falling into the river further. His head submerged and he came up gasping and choking on the muddy water. She let out a loud laugh and put her dagger away as the naked man continued to try to trudge through the sludgy water beneath his feet.

“Stop,” she said as he stumbled and fell again, thankful he was waist deep in the cool water. “I am a friend.”

He stared at her for a moment, silent. Then he moved towards the shore, making her turn quickly as he exited the water.

“Wait right here,” she said keeping her back turned to the silent man behind her. “I will get you something to cover with.”

She went back through the bushes to her horse who waited, dancing and huffing at her impatiently. She pulled the long skirt off his back and patted his neck as she took off back through the bushes keeping her eyes on the ground. When she returned the man had gotten back into the water and was busy washing himself, once again waist deep.

“Here you are,” she said startling him. He turned and stared at her. “Who are you?”

He shrugged and returned to washing, a grimace crossed his face as he gently washed a wound across his chest. She frowned and sat to watch him finish bathing. As he moved back to the shore again she turned her head and when he cleared his throat she looked back to find him wrapped in her long skirt. She smiled and got to her feet. He smiled but still stood silent.

“Can you speak?” she asked. He shook his head opening his mouth. A small gasp of breath came out and nothing more. “Oh dear, okay. Well my horse is on the other side of the bush and he can carry us both. Would you like to come with me? Get clothed and that wound tended?”

He nodded slowly his dark grey eyes riveted to her face as she spoke. She took his hand and helped him through the bushes. He grunted and whimpered once as he stretched to avoid a thorny vine. She held his hand as they approached her startled horse. The stallion snorted and stomped around the wounded man, but when he got close enough to lay his hand on him the horse calmed suddenly and stood still as the two mounted. The horse grunted a little at the extra weight, but being the fastest and largest horse in the kingdom he was accustomed to his mistress and several of her friends clinging to him on mad dashes through the meadow they had just crossed. None of the princess’s friends’ horses could keep up with her stallion.

The stallion made his way out of the woods carefully with the taller rider seated politely behind the princess. He had piled the excess of the long skirt between his half naked body and her back and sat back with his arms crossed against his bare chest. She sat further up on the saddle, wrapping her leg around the pommel and arranging her short skirt around her upper legs, sitting side saddle. She looked the part of a warrior princess returning with her knight from war as she entered the castle walls.

The people came and stared as they made their way to the castle steps to meet the stable hand that anxiously waited for the princess to return. As the stallion trotted up his head flung high in the war horse pose he was born to, the man leapt down keeping the blue velvet wrapped around his body as the stable hand’s servant ran to fetch the king. The people gathered as their princess slid from her horse and mounted the stairs with the tall bronze naked man wrapped in her skirt. No one gasped about her attire, all knowing her carefree spirit and habit of wandering the woods in wool or cotton leggings instead of her proper long skirt.

The man was the cause of the murmuring through the crowd. He was sleek and shiny, his skin was tanned dark as if from many hours in the sun. His mop of blue black hair looked as though it was still wet as it glimmered in the morning sun. He was muscular and strong, his shoulders were lined with defined muscles. The princess and her silent guest were met by the castle staff and half the royal guard when they entered the hall. Her father was mounting the top of the stairway, her mother clutching his arm, her face bright white with panic.

They strolled down calmly for the sake of the staff but as soon as her foot reached the bottom step, the queen flew across the hall to her daughter and wrapped her arms around her. The king followed strolling quickly, a serious look on his face as he came to stand before the man beside his daughter. The two towered together over the smaller women. The king was no small man and had his share of war and trouble before he had brought peace to the island and his daughter was born. He glared at the silent man who defiantly stared back with his steely grey gaze. The princess put her hand on her father’s arm.

“He is not a bad man, father,” she said glancing up at the quiet stranger. “He cannot speak, but he understands us and he has been wounded. I had to help him. Maybe the dragon did this to him.”

At the mention of the dragon the man jerked around and looked down at the princess wide eyed. She caught his gaze and was suddenly reminded of her strange night in the dungeon, of the little water dragon’s small black eyes rimmed in steel grey. She almost gasped and stepped back but caught herself. Was this what her kiss had done to the creature? She unwrapped herself from her mother’s arms and eased closer to the now trembling man.

“It will be okay. You’re safe here,” she took his arm and her father motioned for the servants to help her show the man to a room to be clothed. The castle physician was called to tend to his wound.

The princess left him to the care of the castle servants and went to her own room to change her clothes and rearrange her hair. She dressed carefully in a grey and white silk dress that swirled around her in soft waterfalls of fabric. She carefully brushed her hair and had her maid pull it back out of her face, curling the tendrils with her hot iron. She put on a dark blue sapphire necklace and made her way out of the room and down to the dining room to have the noon meal with her parents and their guest.

He was already seated, looking dashing in a grey suit of clothes. His chest was bandaged underneath but he sat tall and straight in his chair as though no pain ran through his body. He was not smiling as he stared at the sun pouring on the floor from the high windows in the dining hall, but as she entered the room he looked up and his face lit up with a broad smile. Again she thought of the smiling dragon from the night before and grinned brightly back at him.

He quickly rose to his feet and pulled out her chair. Her father chuckled at the man’s politeness to his daughter and the warmth between the two young people. They both smiled at each other like a couple courting and as he took her hand to help her in her seat she covered his with her free hand and smiled up at him sweetly.

“Welcome guest,” her father’s voice boomed over the din of the servants moving about preparing the meal for the royal family and their usual company of family and friends. The man smiled and nodded around the table and then returned his attention to the princess seated beside him.

The day went by quickly with dancing and entertainment that would keep the castle booming with life until the sun sank below the horizon. Though the princess and her stranger did not speak it was as if they had silent conversations with their eyes. They danced together and played games with the other guests of the castle. The man offered to help struggling servants from time to time as they served up the food in large quantities and also helped to feed the fires that raged in all the fireplaces.

He swept the princess into a waltz around the grand ballroom as the king called for the musicians to play again. The two turned and twisted as others joined their dance. She kept her eyes locked on his, their fingers locked together as the music swirled around them. She smiled softly and he smiled back. His hand on her back held her tightly against him. The crowd seemed to melt away as he looked down into her blue eyes. They felt like they were alone on the dance floor and it seemed like their minds spoke to one another, but her smile melted away from her face as she heard what he was saying in her head.

“I must leave from here,” he whispered in her mind.

“Why?” she thought her eyebrows gathering in concern as they gazed at each other.

“I am dangerous, my love. Very dangerous,” his rasping voice said inside her head. “I must leave from here.”

“No. Don’t leave me. I feel safe with you. You can’t be dangerous. You will never hurt me, I know it,” she thought shaking her head and breaking their gaze. The spell broke and he frowned as their connection was broken.

The crowd returned from the haze around them as she laid her head on his chest for the rest of the dance and closed her eyes to the pitter patter of his heart. He held her hand hard as the steps quickened and they spun into a fun country dance. He caught her attention again, spinning her around eliciting giggles and smiles. She laughed and whirled with him and the crowd clapped and laughed at the young couple enjoying themselves. The happiness of their meeting returned and she thought nothing more of the whispered warnings in her mind.

They stopped as the music ended and he led her out to the gardens surrounding the back of the castle, attached to the ballroom. She held his hand as they walked out into the fading sunlight. He looked toward the sunset and frowned. She looked up at him concerned at the change in his mood again. He turned to her and gathered her into his arms. She melted into him tossing her head back, not understanding this sudden bond they shared.

Brushing her hair from her face he gazed down at her again and caught her eyes. She closed them as he cupped his hand beneath her chin. This time the words poured into her head. Thousands of different languages, all professing love for her and telling her how beautiful she was, all whispering urging her to hear him and understand. She didn’t know the languages, yet she understood the words perfectly, she felt lost in his love. Her whole world glowed around her as he kissed her and her arms wrapped around his neck as though she were clinging to the edge of a cliff.

“Don’t love me,” he whispered suddenly in her head. She broke away and stared into his eyes again.

“I can’t help it,” she thought back.

“It’s not safe for you to love me,” he whispered. His arms tightened about her as she tried to step back.

“Love isn’t safe. It’s wild and free and dangerous,” she thought her eyes filling with tears.

“I am too wild and free and dangerous,” his voice rasped pleadingly.

“I am stronger than you think,” she whispered out loud. She rose up on her tiptoes and kissed him again. He clutched her to him and held her tightly as his body began to tremble. The sun had sunk below the horizon and darkness began to fall over the castle grounds.

He trembled in her arms and suddenly began to push her away. She fell back as he shoved her hard a low growl rumbling in his throat. His eyes flashed and he roared out in pain. She scrambled to her feet tearing her dress as she stood. He was shivering all over and it looked as though droplets of water glimmered around him. He looked at her with fear in his eyes.

“Please run!” his voice exploded in her head.

She shrieked and ran inside as a flash of light engulfed him and inhuman shrieks issued out of the light. The crowd inside had huddled together staring at the exit to the gardens, the men surrounding the group of ladies their hands on their weapons. When she stumbled in alone, they started forward until she threw her hand up and rushed forward.

“The dragon is coming!” she yelled as they all gathered around her.

That caused the group to disperse. They ran to their places in the castle, the women to their rooms to hide and the men to find their weapons and armor to fight. The shrieks of the dragon burst through the castle sending the princess running back to the exit to the garden. The royal guards caught her as she tried to run out into the cooling night. She gasped as she saw the giant blue black dragon shrieking amongst the roses and flowering trees. It snorted and growled and when it caught sight of her being held, struggling against the guards, her hair streaming around her face and her dress torn, it roared in fury and stretched out a scaled claw knocking the men and the princess to the floor.

Stunned she laid on the floor staring at the dark sky. Blood poured from a scratch that extended from her shoulder across her arm and breast. His claw had brushed past her as he had knocked the guards away like flies. She sat up clutching her tattered dress to her. She stood silently still listening to the heavy breathing of the creature above her. Even in the presence of this giant scaled fearsome dragon she still felt warmth and love. She wanted to stretch her arm out and touch him, but as her arm came up he let out a whimper and swung his head away.

She let out a little sob turning her own head away. The dragon hanging his head in shame didn’t see the archer come to the castle wall, he didn’t see the trembling guard, who had never seen a dragon in his life notch his bow and arrow and aim it at the dragon and the princess below him. The princess was gazing up at the heavy breathing creature when the arrow struck her in the back. Her breath caught in her throat causing the black and grey eyes to swing back to her.

Rage and pain rocked the creature as he watched her crumple to the ground below him. A roar of madness shot out of his mouth and as he took to the sky a sudden barrage of arrows came flying at him. His blue black form shot across the darkening sky, shrieks of sadness and sorrow sounding throughout the castle and across the land. He came back down with a vengeance, fire pouring from his mouth and nose, his claws outstretched towards his assailants who poured from the castle to defend their king.

The queen screamed from her room high above the garden as she looked down at the grey mound of silk that was her daughter. Her maids held her back from the window as she tried to climb out to get down to her little girl. The dragon swooped over the castle grounds again swatting at the soldiers that wielded their swords and shot arrows into the air at him. The king, astride his daughter’s white stallion, shouted commands at the soldiers, unaware of what had happened to his daughter at the hands of his own archer. That same archer was struck from atop the castle wall with one swift blow of the dragon’s claws.

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As the dragon landed amongst the soldiers and king’s guards his feet smashed knights in the full armor. Though the gash across his chest still gleamed with blood from the night before the arrows they shot at him bounced off his scales and their swords merely scratched him. He was ten times bigger than he had been the night before and tonight he was not confused and lost, he was outraged. His fury poured out of him as he fought the soldiers and then swung around face to face with the king himself.

Suddenly his outrage melted away as he faced the father of the princess he had loved. He stood still, his scaled chest heaving as he prepared to give himself to the king’s sword. A whispered moan came through into his mind and his head swung in the direction of the garden and the pile of silk that was slowly turning crimson as it soaked with the princess’s blood. She moved a little and he took off from the ground knocking the king from the horse and tumbling the stallion over on his side with a shrieking cry.

He landed just feet from the princess who was writhing on the ground now. Light was illuminating her shoulder where she had been scratched and she clutched it tightly. Her blue eyes searched wildly around and when she saw the dragon before her she calmed and though her whole body still shivered, she laid very still. The dragon stretched out his large clawed hand and very gently gathered her up. She sighed and closed her eyes as he held her to his chest and took off up into the sky.

The queen shrieked out the window after the disappearing dragon and her wounded daughter. The king mounted the stallion and rode out into the night. He searched for days but came back without even seeing the dragon, although he didn’t sleep through his whole journey.

The kingdom wept for their lost princess, but as time passed the grief calmed. The dragon did not terrorize the people of the island again, but those who braved the night in the following years told tales of a strange reptile looking woman resting on the cliffs at the edge of the sea, watching with her giant dragon lover sitting beside her. Keeping guard over the island and protecting the land the princess had loved.

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Picture Credit Links:

http://need2read9.blogspot.com/2012/08/fantasy-pictures.html

abstract.desktopnexus.com

wallpaperweb.org

www.hdwallpapersinn.com

Fire of Insanity

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When pain takes over common sense and loneliness whisks away love from your heart and your bones… When the blinding light of hope tears your sight from tear stained eyes and makes you blind to all that is good in the world… When nothing seems to make sense and tears are the only thing to douse the fire of insanity…

My tears cannot put out the flames…

Forgotten desires… Hidden meanings… Stale honeymoon…

Expectations high… Fallen down amongst the fall colored leaves…

Swirling in the river… Lost in the sea… Floating among the clouds….

No need for fairytale dreams… No happy endings wait in the wings… You are not the princess…

No damsel in distress… Stronger than life’s toils… But not strong enough to survive alone…

Pain robs your happiness… Strength takes your sweetness… Doubt steals your sight… Sadness silences your words… Love breaks your heart… The fire of insanity burns your soul to ashes….

The Gypsy and The Cowboy

Suggested Pandora Online Radio station: Portishead (artist)

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The Gypsy and The Cowboy

By: Abby Adams

Time tells many tales of many different lives, of many different souls that travel this vast Earth in search of the one thing the heart yearns for day in and day out. The world filled with dreamers and heartbreakers living life after life breathing the breath of a heart ache in search of one thing to make them whole.

True Love…..

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The cowboy had ridden his horse from one end of the countryside to the other without meeting a single soul he felt the need to stay with. He travelled with a buck colored horse with white socks and grey streaked strands of hair flowing from her head and tail. She was a steady horse. A loving horse that stuck close to her master even when he ventured to places a horse would rather not venture.

She would snort and paw as he thrashed across a river pulling hard on her reigns. She tossed her long mane in defiance, but eventually relented to his sweet words of confidence that the water was no higher than her knees while he waded out, waist high, soaking his leather chaps and cotton breeches to the skin.

At night she stood steady and close to the sleeping form of the cowboy. His own hat set atop her head, his jacket laid across her shoulders.

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Then one day he came across a gypsy caravan in the woods. It’s bright colors stood out against the surrounding forest. A sleek stallion stood tethered to the side of the pink and blue railings of the built on porch. Its benches were laid with hand sewn pillows embroidered in gold and silver.

The cowboy slid down from the horse and very quickly jumped right back up onto her back as a very large black dog stood from the shadows of the benches.

“Well ol’ girl I reckon we oughta just keep going on this one,” He whispered into his horse’s ear.

She twitched and nodded at the dog. The huge powerful creature nodded in return and laid back down on the porch, disappearing again from sight.

The cowboy pulled the reigns turning away from the caravan and back off the trail into the woods to camp.

His horse stopped short just out of sight of the caravan and would not go further. He hopped down to the ground and walked a big circle in search of two trees that would make a good place to put up his hammock. His horse followed close behind.

“You’re not scared of that half wolf dog thing back there, are ya?” He asked his horse as he hopped up into the hammock and settled his hat on her head. “If ya don’t mind tonight, I’m going to keep my jacket on tonigh. Okay girl?”

The horse snorted and nosed his cheek. He fell alseep with her warm breath ruffling his hair, her chin resting on the hammock strings just above his head.

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As the dawn broke across the field facing the cowboy in the morning, he gapped his eyes just enough to see the horizon. There in the distance stood the silhouette of a woman in pants, wearing a vaguely familiar hat.

“Hey ain’t that my hat!” He exclaimed falling out of the hammock, with a smack onto the ground.

By the time he had untangled himself from the strings of his bed the woman was gone and, he realized quickly, so was his horse and his hat!

“Damn horse thief!” He shouted straightening his jacket and tossing the remains of the useless hammock into the bushes.

He ran off across the field back in the direction of the caravan and slid to a stop in the road directly across from it. There, with his hair raised on the back of his neck, stood the huge wolf dog guarding his pretty colored home and whoever was within it.

“Whoa buddy. I’m just looking for my horse,” he said backing away slowly across the road tripping over a huge clump of grass. The cowboy threw his hands over his face as the dog leapt the width of the road towards him. The door to the caravan banged open and a woman stepped out of the dark confines.

He heard the clicking of her boots across the planks of the porch over the growling dog above him. The string of gypsy words that rang over the snarling were incomprehensible to the cowboy, but whatever the gypsy woman had said stopped the dog and the large black creature backed away, slinking around the back of his owner.

She was not as bright as the colors of her home. Her skirts were gray and buck colored reminding him, suddenly, of the horse thief in pants. She was standing above him now, offering her jeweled hands to him her long sleeved white blouse tattered in places, the laces tied tightly across her chest, a dark brown leather corset laced over it. Her hair hung around her face in clumps of unbrushed masses of shiny dark brown strands.

Her grey eyes were sad and her face was dirty but she was beautiful. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

“Sorry about him,” She said in english pointing to the dog behind her now moping on the bottom step of the porch. “He doesn’t like strangers much. You said you lost something?”

“Uh, yeah…” He said dusting himself off and trying to regain his compusure as he stood before this tall and beautiful woman. “My horse… My horse went missing. I gotta find her…”

“Well I haven’t seen a horse, but all your yelling and my wolfie over there just woke me up. It is very early in the morning you know.”

“I know, but I saw a woman in this direction when I woke up and she was wearing my hat!” He said straightening his jacket.

“Hmm… There is a gypsy camp I’m kind of following,” she said taking his hand. “Come on have a cup of coffee and we will go and see if any of them have seen your horse.”

“Uh, sure,” He said following her looking down at her tall high heeled leather boots that were a dingy white. He sure hoped he found his horse soon.

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The gypsy camp was covered with quiet whispering people setting up their wares just outside of the nearest town to catch people on their way out or into town. They whispered so they would not wake the younger children before the day began, so that the young ones would not be under foot while the older children had been awakened and set to work. Teenage girls helped set out all the jewelry and ribbons crafted by the women of the tribe, while the boys gathered fire wood and stoked the campfires for cooking breakfast.

Matronly women, clothed in bright reds and blues, their dark hair tied behind their heads with matching handkerchiefs, stripped chickens of their feathers and clucked and fussed at the adolescent children, who yawned and dallied over their morning chores.

The cowboy reached up to tip his hat at the women, but  remembered, too late, his head was bare and ended up popping his head with his hand. The women burst into laughter gibbering on in gypsy, gesturing at him as he quickened his step to catch up to the gypsy woman.

She glanced back at him and offered her hand. He caught it and caught up to her quick pace.

“Best not to talk to the market people while they are getting ready for the day,” She said pulling him along. “We will go to see the chief. He knows everything that happens around the camp. If your horse came through, he would know.”

A grand black and gold caravan loomed before them. The caravan of the gypsies’ leader. The man they simply called chief. His giant horses shuffled tethered close by. Massive dark brown creatures with muscles built to pull the huge mobile home on great wooden wagon wheels.

The gypsy climbed the steps to the caravan, but the cowboy hung back watching her white boots, thinking the whole time of his horse and her dirty white socks. A guffaw of laughter came from within and a muttered curse from the lips of the gypsy woman broke through his thoughts. She glanced back with sad eyes again before she knocked on the door. The door swept open and a man swooped out sweeping her up around her waist.

“Well here she is now! My love!” He grabbed her head and descended on her with a rough kiss that made the cowboy start up the stairs, but then the massive man that was the chief stepped out behind the couple and clapped the younger man on the back.

“Now son be gentle with the woman!” He shouted throwing the boy backward. “Well, where have you been my dear? Hiding in the woods? And who is this you bring to my camp? I hope that he has money to spend.”

The conversation was loud and the gypsy woman was constantly fending off the advances of the gypsy man, who was obviously drunk.

The cowboy sputtered out who he was and that yes he had a little money and a mind to work if need be. He could chop wood and tend animals. Had they seen his horse?

All the time he was talking to the chief he glanced at the gypsy woman in grey who had her arms all but held behind her by the amorous man.

“Boy let that girl go!” The chief shouted knocking the boy around his head and batting him back into the caravan slamming the door closed. The cowboy sighed in relief.

“No boy, I haven’t seen your horse around here, but I will be sure to ask around and let you know tonight at the fire feast. You can help chop wood and earn your supper.”

The chief then reached out and took the gypsy in his arms hugging her tightly.

“You come back later. He will be sober by then. His mother will straighten him out,” The chief said to her before letting her go. “Do not leave his side he will go crazy without you.”

“I will come back later. Let me help this stranger find his horse first,” she whispered.

The chief nodded and held his arm out for her to go down the stairs. She took the cowboy’s hand and headed back towards the woods and her own caravan. The other gypsies looked on. The men folk murmuring to each other quietly and the women tsking and shushing their children into action.

The cowboy really wished he had his hat right now.

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“We will have to return to the fire feast tonight or he will come looking for my caravan,” She said as she ran up the stairs ahead of him. “I don’t have the time to pack up today. So we will go into the forest to look for your horse.”

“Who was that man, gypsy?” The cowboy asked climbing the stairs behind her. His eye caught a big black floppy hat sitting in the corner of the bench seat on the pillowed porch. She was inside the open door of the dim caravan, the inside was covered in clothes.

“He’s a bad man cowboy. One you don’t want to know. I thought he had gone for good when I disappeared. Off with some seashore harlot.”

She snatched up a long dark brown jacket and a leather cowboy hat and turned towards him. She laughed when she saw him eyeing the hat.

“The worst thing a woman can do to a man is steal his hat,” She said picking up the hat and settling it on his hat. “Whether she be two legged or four legged kind.”

He looked into her eyes as she leaned in closer. She sighed and began to move back. What came over him next he would never be able to explain, he grabbed her face gently and pulled her back kissing her quickly, but softly, on the lips. She smiled against his lips and pushed him away.

“Horse,” She said pulling the caravan’s door closed behind them.

They headed into the woods side by side, chatting about the weather awkwardly at first. Not a word of the kiss, yet. Soon deep in the woods she turned to him and ripped off the cowboy hat, sending it sailing into the trees with a laugh.

He ran to catch it, but she caught him as he passed wrapping her arms around him and planting her lips on his. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the closeness of her. The feeling of Heaven on Earth. They spent the day sitting close to each other talking and sneaking kisses in the shade.

He would never find his horse this way, but he didn’t care. The gypsy talked back to him and for once he felt like he was home just being with her.

*******************

The night descended before they wanted it to, forcing them to head full speed back to her caravan, clutching each other’s hands the whole way. She let go of his hand at the foot of the stairs.

“Stay,” She said and tore up the stairs leaping over the sleeping wolf dog stretched across her porch.

She rattled around in the caravan for a few minutes and came out a transformed woman. Her wild brown hair was loose all around her head with jewels dangling in the glossy locks. Around her waist was a black corset laced up tight. She had donned a new white off the shoulder shirt with ruffles around her wrists. Her skirts were bright pink and around her hips jingled silver coins attached to black silk. Her feet were bare.

She skipped down the stairs to him and took his hand, smiling sadly as she led him back down the path to the camp. The big black wolf dog followed close behind, eyeing the cowboy warily. The gypsy shushed him away when he circled them whining at her.

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The scene in the camp was very transformed from the quiet morning preparations for market. The women danced around in jeweled belts and long bright colored skirts. The children ran barefoot through the camp playing tag in the moonlight.

The chief was seated at edge of the fire close to his caravan. His wife danced around in her bright green skirt, twirling with the music played by the musicians in the caravan next to them. Their son was slobbering on some poor frail looking woman in purple skirts and a very dirty, torn white peasant top.

He let go of the frightened woman when he saw the gypsy and the cowboy walk into camp hand in hand. He pushed his way to her glaring at the cowboy who kept his head down, hat covering his eyes.

“Well what are yyyuuuu doing baaack heerree?!” the big brute said snatching the gypsy from the cowboy.

“Whoa buddy don’t mishandle the lady now,” the cowboy said the hat still pulled down over his eyes.

“I will haaaannddle heeeerrr hoowwever I waaannt,” the chief’s son spit in the cowboy’s face tossing the gypsy to the ground and kicking her hard.

The cowboy leapt forward grabbing the other man and tossing him over his shoulder easily. The chief’s son slammed into the ground and rolled over quickly. The cowboy spun around now standing in front of the gypsy, shielding her from the big man who was struggling to his feet.

“Leave her be,” the cowboy said slowly.

The chief’s son lurched forward, reaching for his smaller opponent. The cowboy sidestepped him, grabbing his shoulder and tossing him back into the ground away from the gypsy who had finally sat up clasping her stomach.

“Please stop,” she whispered getting to her feet, glancing back at the chief’s caravan. The door had just swung shut and the chief had disappeared inside.

The cowboy looked back at her and caught a fist in his jaw for the distraction. The gypsy cried out as he fell to the ground his hat toppling from his head. She ran to him but was was caught up by the chief’s son. He grabbed her face trying to kiss her. She screamed and thrashed as he held onto her tightly.

Suddenly a barely audible snap stopped her thrashing. Silence seemed to fill the camp as the cowboy saw the gypsy’s body go limp in the brute’s hands. He yelled out and jumped to his feet. The chief’s son, realising what he had done, dropped the gypsy’s body to the ground.

The cowboy leapt over her smashing the the brute to the ground and landed on top of him. He straddled the man’s chest trapping his arms on to his sides and began to pummel his face, his hands becoming more and more bloody with each swing.

 A loud crack resounded in the night. The cowboy straightened feeling the pain of the gunshot spread across his back. His hands fell limp to his sides and he fell to one side with a groan. The chief’s son spit out a few of his teeth and rolled away from him coughing.

*********************

As the chief’s family ran to their son and his mangled face, the cowboy struggled to his feet and gathered the gypsy up into his arms. With the whole tribe focused on the heir to the chief’s position, the cowboy walked slowly back towards the gypsy’s caravan with his love held tight to him and no one noticed him leave.

The wolf circled him, whining and sniffing the limp hand of the gypsy. When they reached the caravan, the dog almost helped the cowboy up the stairs nudging his legs with his massive head. The cowboy laid the gypsy down among her silk pillows on the porch.

“I’m so sorry, boy,” the cowboy whispered to the dog. His breathing was getting labored as the pain spread through his chest.

The giant dog ran from the porch into the woods disappearing into the night. Then the cowboy saw a flash of buck color and white in the tree line. He pulled himself to his feet, placing a trembling kiss on the cold lips of the woman he had known so briefly yet had fallen in love with so deeply.

He brushed the hair from her face and smiled sadly at her face. She almost looked like she was sleeping. Tears ran from his eyes and he heard hoof beats coming towards the caravan. He shuffled to the top of the stairs and let out whoop of laughter.

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“Well I’ll be danged,” he said as his horse trotted out of the woods, still wearing his hat.

She came straight to him and reached up with her nose. He took the hat from his head patting her nose gently. He stuck the familiar hat back on his head. Then a coughing fit came over him and he spit blood on the ground. His horse whinied and in the distance the cowboy heard the wolf cry forlornly at the full moon.

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The cowboy turned and went back to the bench where the gypsy laid. His vision was slowly fading and the cold set into his body. He laid down next to her and took her hand. He started trembling and finally his breath stopped.

The horse skipped and pranced around the small yard in front of the caravan kicking up dust. Suddenly a commotion in the trees turned her around and out burst a big bay stallion with tall glossy black socks.

They wrapped their noses around each other, snuggling, before taking off through the woods and out into the open field. Together again. Those two souls in different form. True love, will always find its way back to where it belongs. Once two souls have found each other in true love, they will always find each other, forever.

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Picture sources:

http://bestsoylatte.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html

http://www.sodahead.com/fun/hey-la-day-la-our-girlfriends-adidas-back/question-3594515/?page=13&postId=105867143#post_105867143&link=ibaf&q=&esrc=s

http://lightcolorsound.blogspot.com/2010/08/gypsy-caravan.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsey0123/6820154121/

http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Marcia-Baldwin/5960/Art-Portfolio/Gallery/Animals/COWBOY-the-Gypsy-Vanner-Horse/533070/

http://www.imagekind.com/FOREVER-FRIENDS—by-Marcia-Baldwin-art?IMID=dc80790b-4eed-4f2c-850c-349b7226db5b

http://www.rockymtnrefl.com/horsecowboysilhouette.html

http://www.free-desktop-backgrounds.net/People-wallpapers/Men-male-wallpapers/Cowboy-silhouette.html

http://www.picturesocial.com/photo/the-lonely-cowboy-3

http://www.gaiaonline.com/profiles/yukito-white-moon/12440374/