Apple Blossom Wars
by gina below
We sought whatever shelter we could find as we needed just a moment to catch our breath. Huddled behind the bushes and the rubble of the ruined castle wall we took advantage of this momentary reprieve and filled our heaving lungs with as much air as possible. She automatically reloaded her pair of six shooters, the ones she always kept strapped to her hips. We reloaded our weapons as well as we surveyed the dire situation. Sweat and grime streaked her face and she grimly shook her head, “I’ll draw their fire, you run for the safe hold” she said very matter of fact. I started to protest but she stopped me with her stern look. “It’s the only way” she said as she stood and braced her back against the crumbling rock wall. I knew she was right, but I could not keep the sick feeling from the pit of my stomach. She drew her guns and she closed her eyes and leaned her head back just for a second and filled her lungs with air, then without any hesitation she stepped out into the carnage, guns blazing. “Run” she yelled “Run” as the smoke and the noise of the explosions swallowed her up.
I grabbed my younger sister’s arm and we tore up the hill as the hounds of hell descended upon us. Running as hard as our small weary legs would carry us, finally breaking through to the cool shade of safety. “Where is she” one of us asked, “Do you see her”? We hesitated long enough to draw our weapons then opened fire having faith that she was alright, giving her whatever cover we could to make it to the safety above. Noise and smoke consumed us, blinding us as we fired into what we hoped were the demons that chased us. Then she was there, crawling out from under the smoke with a single gun clutched in her hand. Both six shooters were holstered, empty. I had forgotten she always carried an extra one in the back of her waist band. Falling to the cool grass she heaved air into her lungs as we emptied our chosen weapons into our enemies land just for good measure. We had made it, safe and sound! We sat back under the cool shade of the mystical apple tree and watched as the imaginary smoke and carnage slowly faded away. We were safe once again from the throws of battle.
The magic of the apple tree transported us back to our homeland where the apple blossoms scented the warm spring air and the new spring grass combined with the wild onions to perfume the breeze. We waited until all of the sign of the battle were gone, careful not to bring any of the imaginary demons back with us to taint our world. Our imaginary weapons melting back into unassuming sticks as to cover our tracks. Then we sighed, grateful to be back home safe and sound. The battle had taken its toll and we gathered ourselves up and wandered through the trees to where we knew the refreshing gift of water waited. With a turn of the spigot fresh sweet well water gushed cool and clear out of the old garden hose and we took turns drinking from it. We were careful not to soak our tattered canvas shoes that would be outgrown and discarded before summer’s end. All of us splashing cool water on our faces to remove the last remnants of battle. Revived and refreshed we contemplated returning to the crusade but the sweet smell of spring called from the shady swing under the Mimosa tree. We took our respite under the canopy and reflected on our encounter. Deciding that we had had enough skirmishes for the day and the apple blossoms would only be here for a short time to enjoy anyway. So we decided to stay, stay and guard the apple blossoms. It was a good day.