writing

Acushla Bound – Part Three

Mikaela wondered if, when she fell asleep in her dream, would she have another dream or return home to reality. She curled up under the sheets of the small bed in the inn and drifted off.

As Mikaela slept, she saw visions of an ethereal setting, and she found herself standing behind a bare backed man sawing wood. His shoulder and arm muscles rippled in the light which streamed down through the trees. He set down his saw and wiped his brow.

Mikaela found herself holding a tall cold glass of lemonade. “Would you like a sip?” She asked.

He straightened his back and slowly turned around. He smiled a crooked grin and his eyes sparkled in the light. His strong hand reached out. “Sounds delicious!”

Delicious was an understatement, Mikaela thought to herself. But, everyone looks perfect in dreamland. She looked down and admired herself…she hadn’t looked this good since she was twenty.

She stretched out her hand to him. His fingers lightly brushed hers, sending little tremors of excitement through her. Sparks of attraction flashed between them as their eyes met once more.

She could stare at those eyes all day. He looked into hers, as if he were reading her soul, then lifted the glass to his lips. Those lips have probably kissed a thousand lasses before. All she wanted was just one.

As he lowered the glass down, he saw the wanting in her eyes. His lips curled at the corners as he spoke. “Thank you.”

He handed the glass back to her, brushed her cheek lightly, then turned to go back to work.

Mikaela suddenly woke, still in the inn. Her dreams teased her. Not even a kiss? She looked around and realized daylight had started streaming through the window. Time to get up anyhow, she thought to herself.

She donned her worn dress and headed out. Harold stopped her just before she made it out of the door of the inn.

“Ms. Mikaela, won’t you have at least a biscuit before you head out for the day?” He inquired. “I have just brewed some tea, have a moment with me will you?”

Mikaela looked over Harold. He was such a sweet man; she couldn’t say no to him. So she slid into one of the two chairs he had set up for tea and sipped his brew. “This is lovely tea, Harold. Thank you.”

Harold chuckled, “Don’t thank me, thank the missus! She made breakfast this morning; she’s still back in the kitchen you know.”

Mikaela heard nothing from the back of the inn, but continued to smile and make small talk with Harold. As her tea faded and the biscuits disappeared, she realized how much time had passed.

“Thank you for a lovely breakfast and conversation this morning, Harold. I must get over to Mrs. Taylor’s though.” Mikaela stood up.

Harold shuffled out of his chair and with a quick nod, bid Mikaela thank you and farewell.

Mikaela admired the sky this mid-morning. Somewhere was sunny and the clouds floated across the sky.

Mikaela made her way into the Clothier and greeted Mrs. Taylor.

“Good morning, Ms. Mikaela,” she greeted back. “I have your items ready. I hope they are to your liking.”

Mikaela unfolded the garments and checked them out. Two sets of riding pants with blousen shirts. “These are perfect!”

Mrs. Taylor smiled with pleasure. “Oh, I almost forgot.” She stumbled into the back of her shop and brought out a pair of soft leather boots. “Would these fit you?”

Mikaela’s eyes lit up. The leather was supple and boots would be so much more suited for a journey. “How much, Mrs. Taylor?”

Mrs. Taylor blushed a little. “For you, just a single silver coin, if you have?”

Mikaela was startled, only one coin? She looked in her purse, and pulled out one. “Will this do?” She wasn’t sure of their monetary system, but everything was copper, silver, or gold in her bag.

“Oh yes my dear. That will be perfect. Here, you need a satchel to carry your goods.” Mrs. Taylor handed her a roll which she could attach to Pepper’s saddle.

Mikaela was touched by Mrs. Taylor’s kindness. “Can I give you a hug?”

Mrs. Taylor’s face lit up. “Of course my dear! Such a good soul!”

Mikaela gave her a hug then bid her farewell. “Thank you for everything!”

Mikaela headed to the stables and checked in on Pepper. Pepper reared at the door and was ready to head out. “Whoa, Pepper! We can head out in a minute. Let me put my affairs in order.”

Pepper calmed for a minute, then neighed at her naggingly. Mikaela opened the stall door and led Pepper to the inn’s hitching post then patted him on the face. “I’ll be right back.”

She went back to the inn, changed into her new clothes, and closed up her affairs with Harold, then she and Pepper headed back out on their journey.

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