Mary, Patsy, Lyn and Mac trudge down the dirt road enjoying the beauty of the scenery.
Nibby scampers across a meadow laden with spring flowers. Cuddles, Hampy and Foster clutch the fur around her neck.
“Looks like Nibby loves this place,” Mary laughs. She twirls, the simple full skirt flares out. “I have to say these stays are somewhat uncomfortable.
Mac shades her eyes with her hand as she stares into the distance. “Shouldn’t we be seeing the township by now?” A shudder wracks her body. “I almost feel like we’re stepping back in time.” She smoothes the long apron covering her plain blue bodice. “Our outfits look so authentic, it’s almost scary.”
Patsy adjusts the neckline of her dress. “Beth sent these, said we had to wear them. If this place is so secret, I’m surprised we were even invited here. Beth must have some connections.”
“It’s Kira’s wedding, or did you forget?” Lyn stops to pull a goathead from her stocking.
“Beth said the wedding gown is fantastic.”
“I can’t wait to see it,” Mac says. Her brow furrows. “Why’s that mist covering everything?”
“It looks like its spreading and seems to be getting thicker,” Mary mumbles. “Can’t see my hand in front of my face now.”
They are in the mist now. Sounds are muted, blanketed by the fog. They trudge blindly ahead with only Nibby to lead the way. They hear what sounds like a gun cocking!
“What is this crap?” Patsy growls. She halts abruptly, massive arms akimbo. “I’m not going one step further until I know what the heck is going on.”
“Show yer face,” a male voice demands. “Hands up.” A dark figure moves toward them through the mist. “Do ye ken what I say?”
“ACCCKKK!” Mary gasps as she staggers backwards from the figure. “You scared the bejesus out of me!”
Closer now, the figure is a mature male dressed in fitted leather breeches, with a homespun linen shirt the color of old cream. A tricorn hat covers his stringy grey hair while a string of colorful beads loops around his neck.
“I said tae reach for the stars!” His accent is definitely Scottish. “We dinnae like strangers in these parts.”
“Uh,” Lyn clears her throat. “We’re here for the wedding. Beth invited us.”
He stares at them, an eerie figure in the ghostly mist. After a moment, his musket lowers. He grins displaying wide gaps in the dirty teeth. “Well, noo, why didn’t ye say so? Me names Donal. Donal McDougal.” He wipes a grimy paw on his leathers and extends it. “Welcome lassies!” He motions with his hands. “Follow me.”
“About time,” Patsy grumbles.
Within minutes, the fog thins and then dissipates entirely. They pause, mouths agape as they stare. It is a step back in time! A colonial frontier colony in the Allegheny Mountains, with mostly log cabins, and a few larger homes made of stone. Everyone is dressed in colonial attire on the primitive side. Frontiersmen in hunting shirts, wielded tomahawks and fired muskets at a line of targets on the far side of the settlement
Beth rushes forward. “I see Donal found you,” she laughs. “And I suspect he was his usual unfriendly self.”
“I wasnae unfriendly,” Donal objects. “I led them tae ye!”
“After almost shooting us,” Mary interjects heatedly. “I almost had heart failure out there!”
“What is this place,” Mac asks. “I feel like I’ve stepped into Brigadoon or something!”
“It is something, isn’t it?” Beth leads them towards the festivities.
“It might not look like it,” Beth dips a finger in the stews. “But all this food is supposedly gluten free. I’m on a gluten free diet you know and I haven’t had a bit of problem when I visit here.”
“I wonder,” Patsy mutters.
The crowd is a wild, boisterous lot, jugs of whisky, apple brandy and ale are passed around to the males.
|Wedding cake by kind permission of Sarah, |
Banjos strum, fiddles and Jews harps kept time while one old gentleman puffs on an empty jug. Dancers whirl to a Virginia reel and then clog to a country dance. The hoedown is in full swing.
Two young males dressed in fringed hunting shirts, breechclouts, leather leggings, and moccasins circle each other, posing for a fight.
“Here we go again,” Beth chuffs. “Isn’t a day when one or more of these males has to pick a fight.
“Who wins?” Patsy asks as she watches the posturing.
“Usually the one who has drunk the least.”
The noise suddenly abates. The crowd parts as Kira emerges from one of the nicer houses. She is a vision. Handmade lace covers the silk dress in a waterfall of intricate design. Her long hair is twisted up in a braid atop her head while a lace veil cascades down. Her groom Logan walks forward and offers his arm and they stroll towards the makeshift pulpit. No minister is in sight.
“They’re what?” Mary’s brows rise,
“It’s an ages old custom that they adhere to when the minister won’t be arriving for awhile.” Beth grins. “But it’s as binding as the one officiated over by the minister.”
“Isn’t this just too romantic,” Lyn chokes up. “I’m going to cry.”
“Me too,” Mac sniffs. “I love weddings.”
“Then you came to the right place,” Beth nods. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Without further ado, let's start the party - but first here's an excerpt from Kira, Daughter Of The Moon.
Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.
Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay––and anyone else from getting too close. Now that he's back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.
“My secret in exchange for yours.”
Tantalizing. He was drawing her into his snare, but she couldn’t resist asking, “How do you know I’ve a secret?”
“To begin with, you’re hiding in a tree. What from, a wild beast?”
“Near enough. You.”
He smiled. “Was I to think you a large red bird, or overlook you entirely?”
Drawing her remaining shreds of dignity around her like a mantle, she said, “This isn’t one of my best hiding places.”
“Indeed? Where are the others?”
“That would be telling.”
The strengthening breeze tossed the branches around them as he considered. “You never could keep secrets from me, Cricket. I’ll discover them and you.
An assertion she found both disturbing and oddly heartening.
His lips curved as if the deed were already done. “Why were you hiding? Am I so very frightening?”
“Oh––I feared you were some sort of warrior.”
The humor faded from his eyes. “I am.”
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.
NB: The beautiful Wedding cake featured in this post was designed bySarah, Stressedstamper. You will find more gorgeous creations, including hand made greetings cards etc. at her blog:
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