An 1880 Love Story

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…Maeve Cantrell was not the women she once was…Rail thin, tall, hands showing veins and age spots, Grey hair pinned carelessly in a bun atop her head…
She looked around her world, a Rail Station in the mountains of Colorado. Many, many miles down the line to the nearest town of any size at all. Just Railroad employees and a few Indians here, employees of her husband, Lyman. 60ish and looking every moment of it from his years of rail work and no respite to come anytime soon, it would seem.
Snow had been falling for 5 days and the train was 3 days late…late enough for real worry, if not panic .. She thought of their life together as she busied herself trying to keep the stove going in the Public Room. Unrealized dreams of a new bride, a child lost to illness in just such a storm as this. A quiet couple who became “silent”, unable to comfort one another..going through the paces, completing the tasks, intimacy gone, conversation gone, two old people sharing the hard, cold mountain life, cold themselves, from the inside out.
She went to the door and observed the blizzard raging and quickly closed the door. An avalanche?, The Bridge giving out under extreme conditions, Lyman and his workmates succumbing to frostbite and eventual death, a very real threat in conditions like this.
A noise outside…the Indian Woman pounding on the door with news that a traveler on horseback reports that they are just getting the train underway after a snow slide in the treacherous Baldy Pass. All are well though near frozen…
She quickly springs into action and begins to prepare a hot bath, bottles of liquor on the public table, some braised meat and vegetables…surprising herself with the feelings of relief, and the tears of gratitude, welling up in spite of her resolve not to let them.
Hours later..the door flies open with snow furiously blowing in framing the figure of a tall angular grayed man , staring at her..Their eyes met and a thousand words heretofore unspoken exchanged themselves in their gaze…
Later, much later, after his hot bath, after she rubbed his body with soapy cloths and rubbed him down with liniment, they fell into bed, the bed they both had thought they would never share again. For the first time in many years, she turned towards him and began an embrace to which he reciprocated, silently they made love, then noisily, gutteraly they achieved the release of years..
In the morning hours, before the dawn, he whispered near her pillow, ” I have thought to give up the “Road” and move us to town. A small house near other folks, where you might have some other women folk to talk with. A small smile crossed her lips, and something, long asleep, reawakened, Something Good, and warm in spite of the brutal storm outside….


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2 Responses to An 1880 Love Story

  1. Joyce says:

    I know you started continued stories on another site are they posted here under Catsman? I would enjoy reading them.


    • Thecatsman says:

      Take a gander at the Blogroll in the right hand colum on this blog.There you will find listed Lesleafs..That is Leslie’s blog and it is already an impressive collection of short stories.I have e-mail subscription available on her blog also so you can get a direct connection to it.


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