The Chronicles of Louis Brandon, Time Traveler – Chapter 8, conclusion — Chapter 9

Hi everyone, this is a short scene because I cut A LOT of religion and philosophy out from the original draft, which seemed like a hangover from my Ph.D. days. Reading it even bored me! 😄 So today in our story, things are heating up between Louis and Stella. Next time we’ll find out just how much..! 🤷‍♂️❓🤷

© 2022, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!

They walked on in silence, enjoying the cool evening air.

The quiet was amazing. Twigs snapping underneath their feet, birds readying themselves for the evening… the 21st century still had pockets of unspoiled nature. Mankind hadn’t ruined everything yet.

After a few minutes, they talked gently about the mystery of creation, the meaning of life, and different beliefs that had cropped up through history.

“It all gets pretty confusing,” Stella said. “So many ways to look at it. So many different religions…” Her voice trailed off and suddenly she felt great warmth for Louis as if her heart had been watered by a love lying dormant since they first met. Without thinking she took his hand. He didn’t resist.

Psychology Today

“What to believe?” she mused as their fingers interlocked. Turning slowly to retrace their steps, they began their blissful walk back to camp.

After a while, the sounds of a guitar and singing drifted through the trees.

Rollin’… rollin’… rollin’ on the river…

Louis recognized the tune but couldn’t place it. Not Frank Sinatra or the Beatles, he searched his vast memory. But that was about as close as he got.

Chapter 9

Back at the camp, Sonda graciously offered Louis and Stella her tent for the night. After some communal small talk and a granola bar each, the time travelers retired under the fragile protection of the nylon canopy.

Louis hadn’t been close to a woman in years, let alone a beautiful vid-star whom he loved. Inside the tent was another world all its own and the gentle sound of Stella’s breathing was driving him mad.

So close… he thought.

Louis didn’t feel a desire to ravish or be ravished but longed to slip into her sleeping bag. He was socially adept enough to know that their mere hand-holding didn’t automatically open a door to that kind of intimacy. Holding hands could simply be a childlike friendship or a brief moment of contact between two lonely people. He didn’t even know if it would be alright in the nearness of the tent to reach for her hand. But he wanted to. After a few more moments of being mesmerized by her soft breathing, he couldn’t hold back. Being that close was agonizing.

“You asleep?” He whispered in the dark.

“Yes,” Stella responded, basically saying she knew what he was thinking and would have no part in it.

“Good. Me too,” Louis replied sheepishly.

Listening to her gentle undulations against the otherworldly chirping of the crickets, he whispered again almost inaudibly, “Did you ever hear the song, Stella By Starlight?”


“Harry James,” he added superfluously.

“G’night Dr. Brandon,” she slurred.

“It was a postwar tune…” Louis murmured before the two drifted off into the arms of Morpheus.

The next morning was overcast and chilly. A few deadheads were up lighting a fire when Louis awoke.

Stella was beside him in his sleeping bag, nestled in close. She felt warm and her unwashed hair gave off a slightly oily, alluring scent.

I’ve died and gone to heaven, Louis thought.

© 2022, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!


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