Heaven has a slight problem and is in need of a little help. With the devil taking souls and putting them into wars that have been fought previously, to change our futures here and now as we know it, Heaven must find a way to stop him and does. Meet Kayle, a very dizzy and often clumsy college girl who’s life and world is about to change. Kayle has been asked to find two small girls (Jerradiah’s Grandchildren) who have been killed in a house fire, their souls taken by the devil and hidden back in time. Kayle must find them and return them before the devil and Jerradiah find her and take her soul. Kayle has a difficult journey ahead of her, fraught with dangers and countless wars. Kayle cannot stand alone against the devil himself so Heaven sends her help in the form of two Mountain Men, Tiny and Bear…. Her journey was never going to be an easy one, especially when you have friends like these.
Copyright © August 21st 2014 Antony Atkinson
The right of Antony Atkinson to be identified as the author of the works (PCHANIM) has been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright, designs and patents Act 1988.
Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the copyright owners.
“When just living is not enough,” said the butterfly,” Hans Christian Andersen,
I would like to dedicate this book to my youngest daughter Trinity Marina Atkinson who gave me the inspiration to write this book, also to the memory of my dear friend Darren, which I had many a happy childhood and I will always remember him.
I would also like to thank Steven Allan and Lisa Guy for all the help they have given towards the editing.
I also would like to give a special thank you to my dear and close friend Allison Minto and Teddy for helping me with the final editing.
Chapter One: The Race
Chapter Two: Waterloo
Chapter Three: The Stranger in the Park
Chapter Four: Kayle’s Vision
Chapter Five: Little Caesar
Chapter Six: Kayle’s Encounter
Chapter Seven: Hudson River
Chapter Eight: Fort Stanwix
Chapter Nine: Kayle’s Escape
Chapter Ten: Freeman’s Farm
Chapter Eleven: The House Fire
Chapter Twelve: The Ferryman
Chapter Thirteen: The Return
For the past 45 minutes Teddy the family pet boxer had been sitting quietly and patiently watching, waiting to sink his teeth into a lovely slice of pepperoni that was, for some strange and very fortunate reason was now in front of him. It was small, it was insignificant and it was but a crumb. But to Teddy it was not small or insignificant and after having his eye on it for so long he was well and truly in love, his eyes bulging, fixed and in a hypnotic like state as he sat there waiting. Sadly time was running out for Teddy as the sunlight was now slowly poking its head through the bedroom curtains. Contemplating when and how to make his move and to finally reap his long awaited reward and taste it, he had one small tiny and barely noticeable problem. It was still stuck to the top lip of Kayle’s face and she was fast asleep in bed. He did however try earlier to get his tongue around it and lick it off but to no avail. Hard and crusted it was stuck fast. Teddy knew Kayle would be up soon, and with it his chances of eating it gone! Thinking to himself he had no other choice other than to attack with great determination and fortitude and having little choice and now very little time, he was left with no other alternative but to pin the subject in question down with all fours and finally gnaw it off her face, thus he waited and watched for his moment until……. There was a very loud Scream!!!!!
Kayle was now feeling a little dazed and very confused as to what had just happened and what had gotten into Teddy that morning.
“Beep Beep” (Alarm sounded) 7:35 a.m.
“Bloody hell I’m late!”
Kayle’s college was hosting a running event that morning to find the ‘Best of District’ runners for her County, and her race was to start at 8: am. She had less than 30 minutes to get there.
Without hesitation Kayle shoved her feet into her slippers…well at least one of them.
“Where is my other slipper?” she shouted, bending over and looking under the bed.
“TEDDY, where is it?”
Teddy was in his element when chewing Kayle’s slippers, it brought a sense of closeness sniffing and chewing on them, a bonding between dog and girl in his mind and it was his god given right to do so.
Kayle hoisting her slipper up from Teddy’s mouth with doggy dew sagging down from it.
“AW TEDDY!!!!!”She called out while waving the slipper high above her head.
Teddy was having none of it and felt deeply offended by the remarks that Kayle now bestowed upon him and ran for cover under the bed.
She threw what remained of her slipper to one side then grabbing her jeans, slipped them on and fastened them.
Hastily pulling on a t-shirt and grabbing her sports bag, she ran towards the stairs.
Before even taking the first step, she tripped over Teddy, who fancied a second chance at retrieving the pepperoni. Kayle knew nothing until her body and her behind came to a hard and abrupt thump at the bottom.
“TEDDY!” shouted Kayle angrily.
Father came running out from in the kitchen.
Bending his head to an angle, he smiled a little, seeing what was now becoming a morning ritual between Girl and Dog.
“That bloody Dog, It will be the death of me”
Her father Robert laughed, “Poor Teddy always gets the blame.”
Kayle, with the help of her father, quickly regained her upright position and composed herself.
“Morning” said her father.
“Morning” Kayle gave an abrupt reply.
Her father now waved a plate in front of Kayle “I’ve made a little breakfast…”
“Sorry I am in a hurry, I am late….” said Kayle Before he could finish his sentence Kayle had grabbed her coat, hurriedly kissed her father on the cheek. She ran out of the house and along the garden path, slamming the gate shut as she did so.
“Morning Kayle” shouted Miss Beal from across the street.
“Morning!” said Kayle
Not stopping to make conversation, Kayle kept running along the street across the park and towards her College.
Kayle and her Dad lived alone after her Mum sadly passed away a few years ago, taken by cancer.
It did not take her straight away but day by day. Kayle witnessed her Mum going from that of a full of life and can do all lady to that of a frail and weak woman until she sadly was no more.
Now Kayle and her father lived alone with Teddy and Kayle spoke little of what had happened, they both side stepped the conversation every time it was brought up in one way or another, with neither of them wanting to hurt the other over their loss. It was hard for Kayle at such a young age to see her mother pass away like this, she helped as much as she could before the need of home help and then sadly the hospital was the only option.
Her mother worked locally as a cleaner but in her free time she was an entomologist, a butterfly collector. She had different species of moth and butterfly with names such as Essex Skipper, Swallow Tail, Purple Hairstreak and Blue Morphio to name but a few. They now adorned the walls of their home, with vast vibrant colour’s stretching out from one room to the next. Years had passed since her mother had died and now Kayle and her father lived in a two up two down council house on the edge of the city. The house itself was nicely kept inside and out with Kayle spending most of her free time keeping everything as her mother would have wished it to be. She balanced her school time and her running sessions at their local harriers to that of the washing, cooking and the general house chores. The area in which they lived was quiet, though it did have its moments.
The college was only about a couple of miles from where they lived and taking the short cut under the subway was not so much of an added bonus but more of a necessity, especially on this occasion. She was late and saving time was paramount.
After a short while Kayle had finally arrived with only minutes to spare. Without hesitation she ran through the large black gates and along its driveway towards the entrance.
Kayle was running the 1500 meter race that morning, though her speciality was long distance or cross country. The other competitors were already dressed and out on the track warming up. Eager to make up for lost time Kayle headed to the changing room. She quickly took off her jeans and dragged her tracksuit bottoms off before slipping on her spikes then pulling her top on. She ran out onto the field to meet the others there, Kayle went over to join her friends, Matt and Richard, who were standing alongside the track. “Hi Kayle, said Matt “You’re late! “I know I know…” said Kayle.
Matt was the quiet boy in her class whom could always be found sitting at the back of the class room, probably through his shyness and inability to socialise with others. He was no geek though, a little over-weight with his sticking out podgy belly, just a little out of the ordinary with his long unwashed hair. Always wearing his black leather jacket and supporting heavy metal t-shirt with chains that seemed to go on forever and then suddenly vanish into the pocket of his ripped jeans. Kayle glanced toward Richard and gave a smile. “Good Luck Kayle” said Richard.
Kayle was quite fond of Richard. He was funny and cute looking with his thick rimmed glasses, small skinny frame and always an upturned collar on his oversized leather jacket. He was always getting into trouble with the local boys as they loved to pick on him, chasing him from pillar to post. This did not deter Richard as he believed that they were, of course, jealous of his good looks. He saw that as a burden at times, one that he had to bear willingly. He always thought of himself as a ladies’ man and loved the girls even when they did not reciprocate his feelings. Running toward Kayle, Matt and Richard was Christine, already returning from her warm up and looking as fresh as a daisy. Bumping Kayle a little as she arrived, Kayle took a step back and in doing so stepped on Matt’s foot with her spiked running shoes. Matt gave out an almighty bloodcurdling squeal!!!!….
Kayle turned towards him smiled a little and thinking it all a game, happily joined in.
Christine giggled a little.
“Where have you been? Asked Christine “You’re late?”
“I set the wrong time on my alarm.” Said Kayle
“You have something on your upper lip”, said Christine pointing.
“Oh” said Kayle reaching up and scraping off the remains of her late night pizza snack.
“You need to warm up” said Christine “but a bit late now as the race is just about to start.”
Kayle frowned on reply “I had my warm up already after running all the way here
Christine was a tall girl with child-like braids in her hair a long square face and wearing oversized clothing, brightly coloured jumpers and skirts. She was always ahead in her class and always had the highest scores when it came to her report work. Christine was good natured and was always full of life. She gave off an energetic aura that Kayle felt every time she was in her company.
Kayle did not dress out of the ordinary, wishing to blend in with the crowd and not draw too much attention towards her. She was always nicely spoken and with the fairest of olive skin, shoulder length reddish hair and a long protruding nose. She was a bit of a clumsy girl, either falling over or down something or someone and always finding herself in the wrong places at the wrong times.
She was a quiet person and a little shy. It wasn’t in her nature to speak her mind due to fear of saying something wrong, something that could be misconstrued or that others would simply ignore her, turn away or maybe laugh.
Her mam passing away affected her in many ways and she became drawn in on herself, although lately, Kayle was becoming more of herself. With the aid of her friends who helped bring the better side of her out and convince her to be more open.
Kayle walked to the starting line. Having glanced along to see who she was to compete against, the nerves were beginning to set in. This race was no different and she needed to come in at least third to have any chance at all to go on. She took to racing and had done so for the past two years, dedicating most of her free time to cross country. Helped her rehabilitate herself from her mum’s passing away and it also helped her focus her mind more as well as have more drive. She had a goal in life on which to strive for.
All the girls that day wore their Harrier’s vests depicting the colleges they were from and all the girls were keen to be a District runner.
The gun sounded.
She was tired before the race had even begun, all she seemed to do that morning after clambering out of bed was run. Run she did, and run she could, the one thing Kayle did best in her life was the running.
They all jostled for positions before settling down for the first part of the lap, each runner falling into a steady pace.
Kayle put all her thoughts and feelings behind her and concentrated solely on the race at hand. She was determined to finish, but not only finish, her mind was set to win.
Steadying herself into a rhythm between her feet and her heartbeat, she settled behind the leader over the first lap Feeling the rest of the field breathing down on her close behind she had to focus more than ever but she was determined not to be taken. The bell sounded for the last laps. She was now beginning to feel the strain due to the events that she had endured that morning but she kept going. Breathing heavily, they entered the last 100 yards to the post. Coming off the bend with the leader now stepping up her pace and was beginning to pull away. Kayle looked towards the leader and was having none of it. She had fought so hard over the years to make good of herself she wasn’t going to be beaten easily. After coming off the bend and finally finding her second breath she kicked hard in her challenge for first place.
She stretched out her legs and dug in, lengthening her stride, and with every foot she came closer to the lead runner. She was now shoulder to shoulder with the girl in front to make the last final effort made her move and with only 50yards to go she made it. With every ounce of energy and strength left in her legs she gave all and chased hard to take first place in the run but on doing so clipped the heel of the leader that was not to deter her. She strengthened her stride, made one last ditched effort and ran as fast and as hard as she could to the finishing line. Breaking the ribbon as she won she began waving her arms around in the air and jumping for joy. Such jubilation on winning, she could not have wished for anything better.
She was delighted that she had finished, and not just that but in first place.
Matt and Richard were the first to run over to congratulate her. Still waving her arms around “I know”, she said. I Know and thank you guys!” before they could even utter a word. Matt and Richard looked towards each other and then back at Kayle.
Kayle smiled “Thank you!”
“What for?” asked Matt and Richard
“You came over” said Kayle “to congratulate me on winning!”
Why isn’t anyone bringing me a trophy or a medal even a bit of cake would be nice.
Again Richard and Matt looked at each other and then started to laugh.
Kayle now looked a little confused “Why are you laughing!?”
Richard then grabbed Kayle and spun her round as he did so.
“What’s up?” asked Kayle.
“Look”, said Richard “do you see anyone celebrating..?”
Everyone was looking down towards the field no one was clapping or cheering at her win, not even a squeak.
Kayle looked on in bewilderment “Oh!”
“What’s up?” asked Kayle “Why isn’t anyone celebrating?” she looked, bemused
“Look” said Matt “down there”
At the bottom of the track she could just make out a heap of bodies all twisted and in a heap, the entire girl’s track and field runners were a tangled mess of body and limbs.
Matt and Richard laughed louder, “you accidentally tripped the runners up, and they all came down like dominoes.”
Matt and Richard laughed some more.
Kayle sighed, “Oh Dear
Not wanting to attract any more attention towards herself as she already had done so, she made her way quickly towards the changing rooms with her head down feeling embarrassed.
“Don’t be so disappointed!” shouted Matt, “At least you’re through.” After a short while Kayle returned to the field and re-joined Matt and Richard.
“Has anyone said anything?”
“No, nothing.” replied Matt
Christine came running over, “How are you?” she asked. Kayle said “I am fine.” Christine smiled, “Well at least you are through!”
Kayle dipped her head a little and said “wish it was in better circumstances” in a disappointed tone. “You were winning anyway” said Christine “so don’t worry about it too much.”
It was now Richards turn at the track and field. “Come on Christine, we’ll go stand on the sides and watch their race
Christine, Matt and Kayle came closer to the side tracking to have a better view of Richard’s race.
“Come on Richard!” shouted Christine “show them what you can do!”
Standing at the side of the track as the race began, their conversation drifted towards other matters, not that of the race but more pressing concerns.
“Have you heard Kayle?” said Christine. “Have you been watching the news of late?” “It’s a bit depressing” said Matt.
The local news that morning, or any morning for that matter, was all about the increase in deaths throughout the town. The country as a whole was suffering, panic was spreading furiously. Countless accidents and disappearances had become commonplace, particularly amongst the young.
Christine said that many of their fellow pupils at their College had mysterious accidents or had been taken ill and that it was not just affecting their school but the whole country
Most students were not willing to take the risk and adventure outside most schools had closed due to lack of attendance. Kayle looked across the field and it was light, with very few supporters and not so many competitors.
Kayle remembered that a young boy who was in the adjoining class to hers had died last week and others who she also knew had fallen ill. It was such a mystery as to why so many young men within the area were dying and even the police ventured to the Colleges to find answers, ask all sorts of questions as to why. No one seemed to understand why or what was causing the fatality rate amongst the young to rise so dramatically and even after investigating it they still did not have the faintest idea.
Richard began to enter the races final lap and with only the last few yards to go, he now led the field. With such a small distance left, he was well on his way to the finals.
Christine, Matt and Kayle ran over as Richard finished, congratulating him on his win.
“Well done Richard!” said Christine
“Well at least it’s under better circumstances than mine” Kayle quibbled.
“At least there were two of the College athletes who qualified for the next stage and the schools coach would be delighted with the results
She drew closer to where Richard was standing.
But just as she was about to congratulate him Richard turned his head towards her a little then collapsed to the ground. There was silence, Christine let out a loud scream, and without hesitation Kayle quickly dropped to her knees were he fell.
But there was no response to her words.
“What’s happened? Asked Matt
“Don’t know” said Christine, with tears now streaming down her face, “he just collapsed…”
“Richard, are you alright?” asked Kayle again.
Within minutes there were runners and spectators beginning to crowd around.
Trying again but still without response.
Kayle then stretched out her hand towards his brow and touched the top of his forehead.
At that instant there was a blinding Flash………
17th June 1815
Kayle opened her eyes in surprise her hands were now firmly clenched around a Musket and not on Richards’s brow.
“What the..?” said Kayle shocked.
She quickly lifted her head and glanced around
She could not see Matt or Christine, no students or Athletes, but men dressed all in blue and white tunics, holding muskets and weapons of some description either in their hands or draped across their shoulders. Her jaw dropped and upon moving her feet to stand up she noticed she was standing ankle deep in mud. She glanced down once more at the musket she held and caught a slight reflection of her face in the metal.
She shrieked and dropped the musket into the mud. When Kayle looked at her reflection it was not that of her but that of Richard.
She drew both hands quickly to her face, her hands plastered in mud.
Her attention now drew to her hands, stretching out her fingers to their full extent she began to furiously rub the mud from them to get a better look. “They’re not my hands!” she shrieked “They’re Richards’…”
She began to realize that she was not in her own body but that of Richards, but why she did not know. “I remember being on the running field but now I don’t know where the hell I am”
She looked around and found she was dressed in a blue uniform with gold braiding to the cuffs with a white lapel and a small white bag to her hip.
She bent down to pull the musket from the mud but just then she felt a hand grab her by the collar and start to pull her to her feet.
Kayle turned her head and glanced up and down at the man who was dressed also in a blue tunic with a white waist coat. He was also wearing a tall square hat with a red plume, gold badge as well as red banding and a red and blue rosette that sat on the top. His lily white trousers were tucked into long leather boots that came up to his shins and he was waving his sword in his hand. And with a strong French accent spoke. “Pick up the musket and get back in line.” She looked around and saw others dressed similarly to her, having a white sash that crossed the chest as well as red cuffs and collar. What was happening? What is going on here and where the hell I am! “Is this a dream?”
Looking around, quite dazed, the officer again shouted at her pointing all the time to the ground telling her to pick up her musket and to get back in line with the other soldiers.
She glanced down, he was pointing at the musket lying there in the mud. She could do no more than what he had told her to do, with such anger in his eyes. She felt scared at what he might do next, especially with the sword in his hand.
Kayle leant forward and tried to pick up the musket from the ground having to use both hands as it was lodged in the mud. Pulling and tugging at it to release it from the mud’s grip, she tried standing up it was quite difficult due to the thick mud that was now gripping her boots and clothing and finding herself once more sitting back down in it, gripping her holding her with every movement that she made.
The Sergent, now with steam coming out of his ears as his anger was clearly boiling over, franticly grabbed hold of Kayle’s collar and started to pull her jacket without even a thought to Kayle still being inside of it, he shouted louder than before, screaming at her to get the musket from the mud. Kayle could do no more than to try again. Kayle took a firm grip of the musket with both hands and with one deep breath pulled with all the strength she could muster, finally freeing it from the mud’s grasp It was extremely heavy, in fact too heavy for Kayle to keep control of. It launched itself like a guided missile up over her shoulder it went only to come to an almost abrupt stop, embedding itself between the Sergent buttocks. The French Sergeant was stunned for a few seconds as he looked down to what he had received. With shaking hands he pulled out the long bayonet blade that had embedded itself inches deep. Tears now filling his eyes he ran from the field without another word to Kayle. He was screaming and crying as he did so, holding on to what he had left of his pride.
Kayle was unaware of what had just happened and, with the force, found herself back down in the mud once more.
“Oh dear,” she said
When Kayle managed to finally stand up she maneuvered herself to stand along with the others who, by this time, were all in hysterics as to what had happened. “Where has that angry man gone?” She wondered, rolling her eyes and shrugging her shoulders as she did so.
Once in line she looked across the open fields in front of her and saw that there were men everywhere. Hundreds if not thousands, all standing waiting in rows and all facing forward, dressed similarly, carrying muskets. Though many were talking amongst themselves some seemed to be praying and others singing as well as telling the odd joke. She glanced back down at the long musket she was holding, it had a bayonet attached to the muzzle with a large clump of red blood stained cloth now attached to the tip.
Running her hand the length of the barrel, removing clumps of mud from it, she began to wonder what her mother and father would make of the musket she now held in her hands.
Knowing her father loved history he would have been in his element to hold such an artifact,
she looked closer at it and noticed that the barrel had a flint lock with brass frizzen and a finger ridge on the trigger guard. It was quite unique for such a musket which was used by the French in the Napoleonic Wars. She remembered her father often bringing home old weapons, muskets and other artifacts of war, to study and use in his lectures. She could recall the lectures that she herself received from her father, much to her annoyance and often ending with her falling asleep. Now Kayle was a French man and not just any French man but a soldier on a battle field.
She did not know why or how she was there but she knew one thing, that she was in Richards’ body but had retained her own thoughts and mind.
She thought long and hard about the situation and why she was now standing there and all she could think was that it all happened when she touched his brow. At that moment everything around her seemed so unreal. “It’s all a dream?” she wondered. A soldier threw a piece of cloth at her and she caught it with her now free hand. She looked up towards the soldier. He nodded, as if to say “Clean it she glanced at the soldier again.
He was old with a long grey beard that was woven to the ends and such a thick moustache that it covered most of his face. He looked ancient.
He looked in his 70s, all wrinkly, just like a saddle bag, his thick hair covered most of his face. She noticed that he had piercing blue eyes.
The man spoke softly to her with a French accent.
He was wearing a large hat which looked like bear hide and was dressed quite smartly with a blue tunic and red cuffs along with cream trousers and waist coat.
He leaned forward to her a little and said with a soft, deep voice.
“My name is Pierre.”
“Pierre?” asked Kayle
Kayle stuttered a little, “Thank you Pier.”
“You are welcome. What is your name?”
Kayle stuttered a little in her reply.
“But that is an unusual name for a boy, sounds to me more like a girl’s name!”
“Are you a girl?” Pierre asked.
Kayle thought about what she had said but considered it best to play along, she replied again stuttering as she did so.“Richard. Ahh Richard, let me help you, it is not easy for such young men, without experience at such great times like these, to be brave.”
“You stay with me in rank, follow what I do and stay close then no harm should become of you.”
Kayle said again “Thank you.”
“Now clean the dirt from the musket or it will not fire, or worse still, it may backfire, killing you.”
“Where are we Pierre?”
“Do you not know?”
“No” replied Kayle.
“Why?” asked Pierre, “Did you bang your head when you fell?”
“Why, of course we are on our way to meet The Duke!”
“The Duke?” said Kayle
“Yes”, said Pierre “Wellington at Waterloo.”
Kayle looked on in astonishment “WATERLOO!?”
Pier laughed, “HAHAHA!”
The Frenchman extended his hand towards Kayle.
“Monsieur, are you sure you are OK?”
“I am Pierre…said Kayle “Well I think so”
Pierre, “War does that to people…”
Kayle took hold of Pierre’s hand and pulled herself free to drier land.
“Yes of course.” Said Pierre
Kayle “What year is this Pierre?”
“Monsieur” said Pier “you do not know which year this is?! Are you crazy, maybe a bit of mud has made its way to your brain, why it is 17th June 1815.”
Kayle stood up once more and started to rub the dirt from her face and tunic again with the cloth that Pier had given her for her Musket.
“We camp now” said Pierre “and tomorrow morning we march. For now we relax a little and fill our bellies ready for what lies ahead.”
All the Soldiers broke their lines and headed towards an open field.
It was raining very heavily, coming down upon on her face. Seeing was now becoming difficult.
In the distance she could just make out tents, many tents. In fact hundreds or so it seemed all neatly in rows. All assembled on the field, as far as her eyes could see or what she could make out through the rain splashing her face.
She could also see camp fires ablaze in and around the fields and in between the tents many a soldier busy building their own.
The field was becoming saturated with the rain and with every footstep she felt her feet sinking into it. By the time they had made their way over to the soldiers the rain began to ease a little.
Pierre looked up to the sky and said,
“It is good the rain is stopping, we are able to get dry.”
“Here, come with me.”
Kayle could do no more but to follow Pierre.
“We camp here, in the field.” said Pierre.
Pierre threw Kayle a wooden tent peg and then hauled a large wet Canvass cloth from the rigging.
The tent was up in no time and Kayle and Pier settled to eat a little.
Pierre spoke, “Here, eat this.”
Kayle nodded “Thank you.”
Pierre handed a plate full of meat and a little stub of bread that looked more like a biscuit.
“Here drink some of this”, said Pierre “it is good, it will relax you a little.”
“What is it?” asked Kayle.
“Well wine from my Farm”, said Pierre “you will like it, is good.”
Kayle then asked “You lived on a farm Pierre?”
“Yes” said Pierre “with my family…” On this note Pierre produced a picture, not a photo, but a small miniature painting of his relatives.
“This is my Mother Aimi and my Wife Alisia.”
“Your wife is very pretty.” said Kayle. Then she said “This meat is very tasty, what it is?”
Pierre looked a little taken aback as to what Kayle had asked “Why, Horse, of course.”
With that Kayle began to choke and her face began to turn a little green “Horse!?”
“Yes”, said Pierre “lucky for us or we would have had no food at all. We have gone for days not eating, we are luck a few horses died on the way here and so now we eat a good meal.”
Pierre reached again into his coat pocket he produced from it a small animal.
“And this little fellow is Pottie.”
Kayle smiled a little “Pottie?”
“Yes Pottie” said Pierre “he is my Ferret.”
“Your ferret…?” said Kayle.
“Yes.” said Pierre.
“He has been my good friend on our travels.” Pierre broke off a little bread and started to feed it to Pottie. Kayle then reached over to stroke him but Pottie was having none of it and bit her finger hard. Kayle screamed.
“Are you sure you’re not a girl, asked Pier “you scream like one.” “I think Pottie likes you.”“He likes me?” Kayle said, looking bewildered.
“Yes” said Pierre “this is how he greets people, if he did not like you he would run away from you.”
Kayle said “Pleased to meet you Pottie.”
By this time the wine has begun to hit its mark and Pierre started to sing a little to Pottie.
The camp itself was a little surreal with people singing around a fire, dancing and generally being merry. Some soldiers were reading letters, perhaps from loved ones and one man was kissing a picture, and he had tears in his eyes.
Kayle thought about where she was, why she was there and when or how would she return to her home. Why was she now in Richard’s body and where had her friends Matt and Christine gone?
What about tomorrow: “Am I really to fight in a battle that happened hundreds of years ago..?”
By now Kayle was feeling very sleepy and hoped that she would awake into her own reality and not on this battlefield. With that she drifted off to sleep hoping when she awoke she found comfort.
Kayle was awakened with the sound of a very loud bell being rung. Through her sleep filled eyes she could make out glimpses of blue tunics darting from tent to tent screaming “UP, UP!” as well as in the background the sound of a Bugler and drums banging. Pier was awake already, tossing Kayle her trousers,
“Hurry put these on and get dressed
Kayle started to do as she was asked and get dressed. It was still quite dark outside and she felt as though she had managed to get very little sleep, her head was still a little fuzzy from the wine she drank. After getting dressed, Kayle followed Pier out of the tent Pier then placed a Musket into her hands. Pier’s voice became a little more anxious.
“Stand here.” Pier insisted and then he looked Kayle up and down tidied her collar and helped her to button up her tunic.
“You will do.”
“Thank you?” “Look, said Pier “the British are yonder, so hold tightly your musket and fix your bayonet and we march to that farm. Maybe if you are lucky and you live long enough, even onto the top of that hill.”
Kayle looked on in surprise then said “The British!?”
Her knees began to knock together a little.
“Yes the British.” said Pierre.
“Richard, do not worry so much. Follow what I do and where I go, we will not live long enough to worry about what happens next so don’t.” Then he started to laugh and other soldiers around him glanced towards him and joined in.
“You need to be careful of the ground, it will hold you firmly as there was fresh rain last night. You need to be better at your footing or you will be on your ass again.” with this he laughed once more. She glanced at the soldiers and noticed how young most looked. One soldier who caught her eye only looked 15 years old so young and looked so scared.
The soldier came to her, brandishing an axe in his hand,
“Here,” he said “You can have this as I have one already and though it is small, as axes go, it will set you in good stead if your musket doesn’t fire or you get bogged down.”
“What is that noise?” Pierre asked.
“My knees…” Kayle uttered.
She looked more closely at the axe. It had a curved wooden handle and such a wide curved blade. She looked closer and noticed it had not been cleaned from its previous encounter as it still had specks of blood on the blade.
Kayle did not have much choice but to take the axe as it was pushed upon her. The axe was so heavy. So much so that it fell to the ground nearly chopping off her foot. “You need to be careful!” Pierre said.
She went white thinking about what she would be using it for and if she could even use it. She looked again across to the man but could do no more than thank him for such a menacing gift.
Recalling what she had done to bring her to this place she remembered helping Richard. Kayle did not understand any of it and was growing worried as to what would happen next and what was to happen to her.
Kayle did not know what to do other than to stand in line as the man ordered. She was now covered in mud. Her feet felt heavy with the weight of the earth on her boots. Trying to lift her feet one at a time so she didn’t get stuck she tried to prevent herself from falling over like she had done earlier.
She could hear drums playing not far away and the she could see a flag waving in the wind as it flew above her head, giving a snapping sound as it flapped in the wind, Blue, white and red were its colours, that of the French flag.
The man shouted, “Load your muskets!”
She watched as the men, now in unison, began to follow his orders. She watched and copied the man to her left as he stood his musket to the front of him. He opened the priming pan and plucked a cartridge from his giberne, bit the top end containing the powder and primed his musket by squeezing some powder into the pan. He then closed it.
He emptied the rest of the powder down the musket barrel and rammed the rest of the cartridge down on top of it using his iron ramrod. He cocked his musket and was ready to fire.
Although Kayle did not want to do it she felt that she would be in more trouble if she had not followed what was asked. Also there were just too many men around her to stop her if she did try to escape, so she copied exactly and felt that she had done everything correctly, she did however take a little longer to complete it.
Kayle could hear the drums now playing as the soldiers prepared to march forward.
She glanced again at the man to her left who was making the cross sign to his chest and saying a few words of prayer as he did so.
Looking all around the field and could see row upon row of soldiers and behind her, upon a small hill, row upon row of cannons.
There was a deepened silence as they all watched and waited.
“Listen!” Pierre said.
“You can hear singing. The British yonder are singing a song about Bonaparte.”
Yes, they were singing in the field that was to be soaked in blood and the French now all began to yell and shout. The noise that filled the field began to fall silent. A few moments had passed until there was the sound of cannon fire from behind Kayle.
She turned her head to the man on the left of her who drew a watch from his pocket.
The man spoke,
“This will be a historic day for all here, and for the French to win this battle for our country, and our Napoleon.”
Kayle had only read in story books about the Battle at Waterloo and of what lay in wait for her on the 18th June 1815.
The French people had overthrown Louie XVIII and within three years had amassed an army under that of Emperor Bonaparte who now planned to march upon Europe with 72,000 men at his side.
Pierre turned his head towards Kayle and gave a little smile.
“Are you OK now?”
“I cannot hear your knees knocking anymore.”
“That’s because they have stopped knocking.” “That’s good.” said Pierre.
“No……. it is not good because now it has moved to my legs and now they are wobbling.”
Kayle could hardly stand on her feet, her legs wobbled so much, buckling from side to side. Swaying, they nearly gave way because she was terrified as to what lay ahead of her and there was not much she could do about it.
It was too late as now the order was given.
Her column started to move along as Kayle, Pierre and the row of soldiers began their advance she could hear whizzing noises around her head.
Kayle lifted her hand and started frantically swatting the air.
“What are you doing now?!” Shouted Pierre
“There are too many flies” said Kayle “around me.”
“Flies!?” said Pierre “What Flies!?”
“They are all over me, said Kayle “buzzing…”
“They are not flies.” said Pierre
“No? Asked Kayle “What are they then?”
“They are shots said Pierre “fired at your head, gunfire from the British muskets from yonder.”
With that Kayle’s legs buckled beneath her and she slumped to the ground.
Pierre quickly grabbed her arm and hoisted her to her feet.
“You must keep moving!”
“But my legs..!” said Kayle
“Just try to put one foot in front of the other and try to walk in a straight line.”
Kayle did her best to follow Pierre’s advice and tried so very hard to lift her body, to start walking again. As Kayle wobbled her way down the field she could see a lot of smoke with many men dressed in red, horses running to and fro between lines on the horizon, and all the time men falling down in front and beside her as they tried to march forward. The cannon fire was frightening loud as they landed just feet from her.
But still her line kept marching ever forward towards the farmhouse, all marching to the sound of drums, and with explosions all around. The closer they came to the farmhouse the more soldiers fell mercilessly at her feet.
She was now covered in mud and with blood stained clothing, not that of her own but that of the men who had fallen.
Soldier after soldier fell and no one dared stop to pick them up or to help them, they were just left where they had fallen. Some fell silently and some fell screaming in agony as they went down.
She looked forward and could see that she was looking across an open field and there were many cannons, though difficult to see how many with all the smoke that now covered the field of battle, also thousands of troops.
The officer now gave the order to charge and so they did, all starting to run. A young man, who was standing not far from he fell to the ground holding his left leg that had been blown away. He screamed in agony as the blood poured from the open wound, but still no one stopped to help they just kept on running, too scared to stop.
The noise was very loud and Pier had to shout above it. “We are nearly there, keep running, and follow me!”The farmhouse drew closer and they were nearly upon it. There were men who ran in front of them carrying ladders and they hoisted them to the walls.
“Quickly” said Pierre “get up the ladder!”
Kayle flung her musket over her shoulder and started to climb up, though the steps were very slippery and her boots were coated in dirt.
Reaching the top, she stretched out her hands to get a firm grip of the wooden trellis and then hoisted herself off the ladder and onto the rooftop.
She lay there scared and motionless, sprawling her body out, hanging on for dear life so she would not fall.
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Heaven has a slight problem and is in need of a little help. With the devil taking souls and putting them into wars that have been fought previously to change our futures here and now as we know it, meet Kayle, a very dizzy and often clumsy college girl whoâ€™s life and world is about to change. Kayle has been asked to find two small girls (Jerradiahâ€™s Grandchildren) killed in a house fire, their souls taken by the devil and hidden back in time. Kayle must find them and return them before the devil and Jerradiah find her and take her soul. Kayle has a difficult and hard journey ahead of her, fraught with dangers and countless wars.... Kayle cannot stand alone against the devil himself so Heaven sends her help in the form of two Mountain Men Tiny and Bear... her journey was never going to be an easy one ...especially when you have friends like these.