Song in a Minor Key Retuned
by Cathan L. Moore
Copyright 2010 Cathan L. Moore
She had been promising herself this moment for how many lonely months and years on alien worlds?
Beneath her the clovered hill-slope was warm in the sun. Norawest Smith moved her shoulders against the earth and closed her eyes, breathing so deeply that the gun holstered upon her chest drew tight against its strap as she drank the fragrance of Earth and clover warm in the sun. Here in the hollow of the hills, willow-shaded, pillowed upon clover and the lap of Earth, she let her breath run out in a long sigh and drew one palm across the grass in a caress like a lover's.
She had been promising herself this moment for how long--how many months and years on alien worlds? She would not think of it now. She would not remember the dark spaceways or the red slag of Martian drylands or the pearl-gray days on Venus when she had dreamed of the Earth that had outlawed her. So she lay, with her eyes closed and the sunlight drenching her through, no sound in her ears but the passage of a breeze through the grass and a creaking of some insect nearby--the violent, blood-smelling years behind her might never have been. Except for the gun pressed into her ribs between her bosom and the clovered earth, she might be a girl again, years upon years ago, long before she had broken her first law or killed her first woman.