The Traitor (Echo Diary #10: Dave R. / Mercury Rose)

(1880: Lincoln County, New Mexico)

I was riding with a gang out of Southwest New Mexico and a pal I miss now in more ways than one. I was at the bar, leaned over a whiskey when they first walked into my life. I believe it was in a small town in New Mexico, one that was wiped out of existence in time. A dusty street/ one bar town, with a dirt floor and plank bar that served the rotgut that I had come to need to keep my mind straight. It helped then, especially when my life I had built in a Northern town had blown up due to affiliations and bad timing.

As I sipped the amber liquid a tall shadow crossed the doors sunlight and entered. I half turned to see two men enter the bar and take a seat at a table in the room that a new friend was sitting at. They ordered coffee and my pal waved at me to join them. I turned at my seat at the bar, and watched them, but didn’t join in. I didn’t trust anyone new that quickly. My friend gave them info on the gang and had them join up. They seemed eager to prove their worth, but I was not impressed and pretty soon they were the enemy.
The traitor stuck to the lanky guy like a feeder fish and looked at my friend and me as if he was afraid of the hedonistic, rough we were involved in. He had tried to be a bad ass prior to this, but couldn’t hack it and turned to be a wannabe law dog eventually. Because I kept him as an acquaintance he was not clear in my recalled memory, but now I recognize his soul completely.
I can remember him now as a shadow that I kept the corner of my eye on. He wasn’t someone I was concerned with and knew I could take him down easy enough if I had the chance. I also knew the true terror he felt in his heart when he would look at me, the whites of his eyes glowing in the firelight if I moved suddenly. That memory makes me smile now, actually…
He rode with us for awhile, bent on his own reasons, which turned out to be whatever the beanpole wanted; to take us out and get the reward and notoriety. They both turned to the law when things got sticky. I was fine with it, had never trusted them and was happy when they left. It was my true friend that had a problem with their traitorous ways. But this traitor and his tall Law abiding man was nothing to me, no more so than some vague memory that I recalled only when prompted. He wishes he was more to me in his heart.. but he will always be the scared guy who helped the people take my pal down. Pathetic little life he led.
When we went our separate ways we ran into each other one other time, on a cold December night, when my pal and I were captured. It wasn’t the first time and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. I wasn’t too keen on heading up North to face the ‘consequences’ but I wasn’t worried either. Things tended to work out. (Actually, I think it was my cool-headed outlook that scared a lot of those around me, considering I didn’t look the least bit worried about a hangman’s rope, or the courts. But that is something to tackle another day.)
The journey North was a long one and the weather slowed the travel. Shackled to my friend in the back of a buggy it was rougher than riding a horse. When the weather worsened Bean Pole decided to stop for the night at a Boarding House nearby. There we slept through a snowstorm, played cards, and had a strange holiday meal with our captors. But I remember quite vividly the Traitor watching me closely and nearly panicking if I moved to fast, even though I was unarmed, and chained.
Despite this.. the worse thing that traitor has ever done to me.. was falsely identifying himself in another life.
Enough about him… he is dead to me and is of little consequence to my existence, then or now.

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(present day: Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Recalling your past lives can be confusing and convoluted at times. It is hard to know what to believe and who to turn to. I had extensive experiences, which will all come to light in the feature Echo. But one of the most profound experiences was when I thought I had found a very good friend from a past life. The old soul in me, the Ruffian, was open to the idea of finding one of his pals again. So much so that I allowed the falseness of his words to placate me and make me more open then I should have ever been. He came at me in my current incarnation as my pal. We connected and shared some memories.. memories he would have had being an observer of it all. Maybe his ego was so big or it was wish fulfillment for him, but he pretended to be my friend. We bonded over similar experiences and reveled in the idea that we were not alone. We even moved in with him and his family, for a few weeks, to bond more. There my true-self was validated by some amazing things, but what was a bit confusing and questionable was his fear of me and the way he would avoid being the same room alone with me, and didn’t want to dive deep into our memories of that past life. That’s what I had come to South Texas to do, to revel in each other’s memories of a life long gone.

Earlier this year I thought he was still who he had claimed to be, and had pretended to be. And I, missing my friend, my ‘pal’ sought him out, to reunite again and be friends, damning the present issues we had that had torn us apart for nearly ten years. In so doing I didn’t get him but reunited with his old family, the one he had abandoned. (Yes, he is the same traitor and selfish man he has always been.)
His old family and I are friends now, and they are helping with Echo actually, as well as the Border Ruffian project, among other little details. I had wanted to still meet up with the man himself again, to recall glory days and see what damage we could do in this one.

But, recently some new historical evidence has surfaced, that has allowed myself and the Echo team to figure out some truth… that he was NOT my pal. He was the shadow traitor that was barely a memory to me until his photo resurfaced along with a new one of me, and my genuine pal.
That knowledge has freed me from the desire to contact him again; although for a few moments my past-self wanted to do some serious damage to him. That has since rolled off me like water off a duck’s back now, and I am confident in the truth we know. He will not be getting much in the way of any attention in Echo, or the other projects.. and Dave? He is still looking for his true pal and hoping one day to find him again. If you’re out there.. we will reconnect!

by Sophia B. (inspired by Dave R)
Copyright @Wickedlydrivenmedia2018 (January 13, 2018)

Buried: Echo Diary #4 (Dave R. & Mercury Rose)

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September 1880, Lincoln County New Mexico:

I had left the bigger towns of the Northern territory and had made it to the deep crystalline white sands of the desert. I was heading to a place I knew I could ease up for a few days, take stock of the situation and decide what the plan was. I was in some trouble, but in had some worse scrapes before. Maybe it was time to head to new territory; I had friends to the west where the red desert lay, that would gladly welcome a gun for hire like me, to deal with their little legal problem.

I continued past the white desert into the foothills and into a canyon where the air came from the South and you could feel the humidity. As I reached the ridge I slowed my horse to a trot. It was the middle of the night and the occasional creek of my saddle and a horse shoe scraping on stone didn’t wake the homesteads I passed.
The moon greeted me from behind the clouds as I passed over the babbling creek and turned the bay up into the forest. I paused at the top of a ridge and sighed. This place had become home and I relished the peace that surrounded me now. The crusted old oak was still there and I had to smile as I dismounted then, letting my only trusted companion now graze and rest.
Taking my gloves off I felt the old wood against my fingers I kneeled down, feeling my way along the tree. There in between the exposed roots I began to dig. I would make quick work of it and get to what I was after.
Once it was done I took a long draw from my flask and leaned against the trunk of the old oak, looking at the moon and contemplating the long ride ahead.
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April 1982, Lincoln County New Mexico

Anxious preteen stuck in the back of a family car as the parents decided which roadroadtrip would be the most exciting to get to our destination. I ignored them for the most part, concentrating on my music blaring into my ears from my walkman that held my sanity.
The dull lifeless desert I had started to loathe had given way to white sparkly sand. That’s when it began. I recognized this place, this white beauty under a deep blue sky. It felt as if I was in the Sierra’s again and all that I was, and all that I knew of me, was remembering something old in my memory again. The recollection came greeting me and the preteen wants and desires melted away.
As the car I was in drove through a canyon I knew more and more. Memory came flooding back, tree lines and rocks looked familiar and the creek we passed over made my heart race as I knew it was there before I even heard it. My parents were delighted I cared about the trip now as I started asking questions they could not answer, about where we were, and handed me the map.
I poured over it and saw a ridge that went up from where we were now. As the car stopped and my family got involved in looking at land to buy, I started to explore. The air seemed somehow more humid here and inviting. I worked my way up a hill and came to what looked like a deer trail. I could still hear my parents discussing things and so wasn’t that far from them.. so I kept going, working my senses and feeling things I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I was no longer Rose… I was someone who felt home here, who knew exactly where to go.
I topped a ridge and walked down a small rise and found an old oak tree. The thing had seen better days, but looked familiar. So familiar I closed my eyes to get my bearings as a sea of dizziness flooded my body. I leaned against the tree to get a grip and felt a charred line on the trunk, probably from a lightning strike. I slumped down and sat in the dirt and strange thoughts entered my mind that were not my own. Of gunfights, camaraderie, and whiskey? Strange as a pre-teen I had thought of such things except in the old westerns my Dad would watch sometimes. Then memories of the man shooting at me at the rocks in Sierras came to my mind. Was that not a dream, or was I just hallucinating now.
For some reason I knew I had to dig, and feeling between the roots of the old oak I did just that, digging until my fingers hit the softer, cold earth on my fingers. I was about to give up on this odd fruitless quest, when my hands felt something hard. Digging around it I was able to pull it loose. It was caked with dirt and hard to distinguish.
Deciding this odd adventure had to end I took this odd relic and worked my way back down the ridge. Dusting myself off so my family wouldn’t suspect I found a creek and washed my hands and then took out my clod of dirt discovery.. As I washed it off in the cold water.. to my amazement it was an old coin. I nearly dropped it in the creek from surprise but managed to keep a hold of it, my hands shaking, not from the snow melt water, but what lay in my hand. I now had proof, of … something; that maybe my strange dreams and illusions were not dreams at all.

(Written by S.M.Bungay, inspired by events and D.R.)

Copyright @2017 Wickedlydrivenmedia