The words over at Three Word Wednesday are caress, jagged and ruthless.
My mother stands on the apex of the jagged hillside behind the barn, blowing a tarnished bugle.
Breathless as I crest the hill, I see her concern: hundreds of Imperial Japanese troops amassing at the border of the farm, in old man Jenkins’s alfalfa field.
“The big sneaks,” she says, sneering around father’s corncob pipe. “So much for the treaty of ’04.”
The alfalfa field is awash in men in olive-drab uniforms, brass buttons that glint in the sun. Bayonets are attached to their Arisaka rifles. Battle lines are being formed.
“No cannons – yet,” mother says. “Looks like they want to fight close-in, close contact. We just might have a chance.”
We rush down the path to the farmhouse, my mother’s hand pressed between my shoulder blades and propels me forward with earnest. She opens the big steamer chest in the parlor and takes out my father’s double-barreled flintlock pistols and hands them to me, which I tuck into the waistband of my jeans. She retrieves her Hawken .50-caliber rifle from over the hearth, slings the deerskin satchel that holds her wadding and lead rounds, slings her power horn. Into the pockets of her apron, she secures her Chippewa tomahawk and a weathered Bowie knife with its elk-horn handle.
“Those Imperialists are ruthless,” she says. “Best you should know that going in.”
Tears begin to stream down my face. With her thumbs, she caresses the wetness into my cheeks. She puts a hand under my chin, taps my nose with her delicate index finger.
And snaps her fingers.
She reaches into the steamer chest, brings out a square of red velvet and unwraps two jeweled daggers. The most beautiful weapons I have ever laid eyes on. I hold out my hands and she presses a leather-wrapped handle into each palm.
“These were your father’s,” she says. “He used them to repel the Cossacks in ’92.”
conversations with myself
3 minutes ago