Fans Write for Fans
Sarah Jennifer’s First Samhain
by N.D. Roberts
West of Lynnwood, Massachusetts, Ten Years after the Force de Guerre Left for Space
Sarah Jennifer clucked to halt her mare and dismounted in the glade by the clear stream. She’d followed the signs of water for the last few miles and was glad to finally reach it so they could quench their thirst. As she led the mare she had named Cordy to the water, she took in her surroundings and thought about which of the two paths leading from the oak, ash, and rowan trees she should take.
She had been wandering without much purpose since her family had left for space some time ago, and her route had gradually led her east. She was still trying to shake off the melancholy that had dogged her since their departure.
She had needed to break from the military; to live for something else, even if she didn’t know what that was yet. She hadn’t expected to feel this lonely when she’d said goodbye to the Colonel and the rest of her family, but she had made her choice. She had chosen love.
When she looked up she saw the stars beginning their nightly dalliance so she tethered Cordy to a nearby tree, deciding to camp in this peaceful copse. She gathered deadfall and started her campfire, then put the kettle on for tea. She would forgo her tent on this clear summer night, letting the stars be both her blanket and her entertainment.
Arranging herself on her bedroll after a brief supper of rabbit and wild onions, Sarah Jennifer stared up at the sky and thought about her family. What were they doing right now? Did they know that without them she didn’t feel at home on this planet anymore? Grief gripped her insides. Why had she stayed? It was a relentless constant which drove her during the days, but her rage turned to hot tears every night as she made her lonely bed under the stars.
She’d settled for a while with Jeremiah, but it hadn’t worked out in the end. Her Uncle Kaeden had warned her about the consequences of falling in love with an unenhanced human. “We are not for them,” he had said quietly when she and Sylvie fluttered over Magnus all those years ago. He had repeated his warning when she chose to stay on the ranch. Kae had been right—she knew that now. Jeremiah had become a part of her past, and she was left to deal with the consequences of her self-imposed exile. Every day she wondered why she’d condemned herself to a possibly infinite existence alone.
She missed her parents. Her whole family, really. Hell, she even missed Bogdan, farts and all. She was furious with herself for wasting the remainder of their time together, indulging her pity party and playing cowgirl.
It hadn’t been a complete waste. There was Jeremiah, and the life they’d built together after the Dark Messiah had saved their asses. Their marriage had been good, right up until it became clear she was not going to age any further. Then something changed for him.
As the years passed, the distance between them grew until it encompassed their lives. They spoke only about the ranch, neither knowing how to bridge the gap. She’d been mucking out the yard one day when he walked past. The look of loss in his eyes had broken her heart and forced her to take action.
She’d left him like a thief in the night, stealing away with only a horse, her rifle, and a bag of essentials. It had been as difficult as saying goodbye to the Colonel and the rest of her family for the last time, but her decision was made.