Times With George Washington
I stood there dumbfounded for a minute till I realized that I had yet to answer him. He didn't believe me, and there was no way in HECK that I would tell him the truth. As calmly as I could, I looked directly into his blue eyes and about lost my thought there….
"I can't tell you exactly how I came here, General Washington, but I can assure you that I mean your camp no harm. And quite frankly, I don't know myself. It was just as I've told you; I took my dog out for a walk, he ran in the forest, I chased him and wound up at your shooting range." I said all of this without looking away from his eyes. The General stared at me a moment then stood up, not taking his gaze off of me (which made me uncomfortable cause he's so freakin' intimidating!). Everything seemed to hold its breath as he stared into my soul. After a while he snorted softly, clearly amused at my determination.
"Well, it seems you're telling the truth for all I know." I breathed; I hadn't realized that I was holding my breath. "But I'll have to keep a close eye on you. I still don't know why your business has led you around these woods, but you don't seem to be of any threat. But just to make sure," He walked toward me and at the sudden movement I back away, he hesitated sensing my nervousness. "I'm just going to be checking for any hidden weapons. Nothing to be nervous about." He then slowly walked toward me then knelt on the floor feeling my pant legs, then around my waist and then my arms. Finally he was done. "Nothing there, you're free." I stared at him a moment till I realized it was a joke. I smiled.
"Thanks for sort of believing me, Sir." He shook his head.
"No need." He turned to leave. "I'll let you sleep then. Good night, Miss Donnet."
"Mr. Washington." He stopped short, not turning around. My breath was stuck in my throat for a moment but I managed to say, "Thank you, for all of this." I could sense that he smiled a little, then he left and tied the door flap to the pole.
What on earth happened there? I asked myself as I was pulling off my pants. Hunter was asleep, too tired to care anymore. I pulled my shirt over my head, feeling the cool breeze tickle my tummy and chest. I stopped short. Breeze? I looked over my shoulder and saw the flap wide open. My face went scarlet. I grabbed the night dress from the cot and covered myself with it while I investigated the flap door. The tie must have come loose. I thought. But, wouldn't a General know how to tie a knot properly? I pulled on the night dress over my head so I wouldn't accidently drop it and tied the flap securely then inspected my double knot. I shrugged my shoulders.
"Meh, good enough." I yawned. I lay on the cot that was to be my bed-which was surprisingly comfortable- and fell asleep almost immediately.
My dream that night wasn't pleasant. I dreamt that I was wearing the most beautiful gown that I've ever seen from the 1700's but I was tied up in a dark room that stank of alcohol and rotten meat. I was crying. All the sudden the door opened to reveal the silhouette of a man, I had to blink a few times in the bright light. He was yelling about something at me as if I committed a serious crime against him and he slapped my face rather harshly. I fell to the ground with a thump. I was numb, cold, afraid and especially angry; but I was also lying on the ground. The man laughed and pulled me to his face and kissed me very hard; kissed me with mockery and lust. I gagged and coughed and cried for him to stop, but kissing wasn't the limit; he wanted more. I watched this horrible dream continue as this man ripped every ounce of clothing off me and I could do nothing but cry. Hands and legs tied I could do nothing but I tried to protect the one thing that I treasured.
I awoke in cold sweat. Hunter was licking my face and the warm morning sunlight gently caressed my face.
"Good morning, Hunter." I said groggily, he barked with enthusiasm-which made me jump about twenty feet in the air. "Do you want breakfast?" bark! "Thought so." I smiled. I stood up from the cot and found that my back was really stiff and it cracked when I stood straight. I sat back down and just sat there in a blank stare, I have no idea how long I was sitting there when it finally dawned on me that something was amiss. "Wait…" I looked around and found my phone in my pants' pocket and looked at the time. 7:58 am. My heart came running out of my chest in full panic.
"Crap, Hunter! I'm late for school! Where's my-" sudden pop of realization of where I'm at. The memories of the day before came flooding back to me. I sat down on the cot again and sighed heavily. "Ri-i-i-i-ight. Can't, cause I'm flippin' in the 18th century." I patted Hunter's head "Which also means," I flopped on my back on the cot again with a happy sigh. "I can slee-pah. In." Hunter licked my hand then walked to the flap and sat whining at me. I groaned. After what seemed like an eternity I managed to untie the double knot from last night and Hunter bolted out into the open, barking excitingly throughout the campground. I groaned again, I'm already in hot water as it is. But then I realized that I can't go romping about in a campground full of men in my nightdress, so I tried finding the dress John gave me. I took my dressing gown off and placed my bra on then proceeded to unfold the garment to reveal the full length of the dress and I heard a soft plop and looked down. I picked up the fallen object and recognized that it was a corset. My gosh! I have to put this on? Actually what disturbed me more was why he had these in the first place. I stared at the piece of under clothing for a moment.
"How on earth am I to put this on?" I cried. "It's not like I can go up and ask one of these men and say 'Hey, I need help putting on this piece of underclothing, which by the way is impossible to put on alone, think you could help me?'-"
"If you ask politely, I might be able to help you." Came a deep rumble behind me, I nearly jumped out of my skin!
"Don't. Do that. Ever. Again." I grasped my chest, trying to calm my heart from going overdrive and my face started blushing as General George Washington came into my tent. He stopped short then turned around to face the wall of the tent, rubbing the back of his neck, I could have sworn he was blushing as much as I was.
"Madam! If you please, would you be so kind to put on your skirt?" He asked rather embarrassedly.
What's his problem? Wait. I looked down to see that I wasn't in anything save my panties and bra. My whole body must have been scarlet. Apologizing over and over again, I quickly placed on what I think was the modest skirt and quickly tried to put on the petticoat but a hand on my shoulder stopped me. I turned around to find George Washington looking at me with rather amused eyes.
"The petticoat goes over the corset, Miss Donnet." I glared at him.
"Well, huff, puff! It's kind of insulting that you know a lot more on how to put on this dress than I do myself! And you seem better than when you came in." I huffed. The General raised his eyebrow. "Did Hunter disturb the camp? Is that what you came here for?"
"The camp has already been awake before your dog came to greet us, so he caused no disturbance. On the contrary, he's brought some sort of joy to the camp."
"Sorry, but do you think you can help me ? With the-uh." My face grew hotter when I realized what I was asking. "Look I'm not entirely sure of how it works nor am I familiar with it, as I've said last night, I'm no lady." The General just chuckled in amusement.
"I'm afraid it wouldn't be appropriate for a General Officer to assist in such a situation. However," he stopped me before I could groan again. "It would take as much time to find someone who can help you as it would for me to assist you now. Turn around." I rolled my eyes and did as he said. "Now hand me the-" before he could finish asking I handed him the stupid undergarment. He reached around my waist and helped me place on the corset right side up. He began to tie the stupid corset to my body when suddenly a question burnt through my mind.
"Quick question. How do you know how to tie a corset? And what's first to last when dressing?"
"My younger sister Betty, could not tie a corset to save her life. Of course when the servants weren't around to help her, I was the one for the task." He pulled sharply on the ribbons and I let out a small gasp as my chest was being smothered.
"How on earth can women breathe in this thing?" I cried as the General kept tugging and tying the darn thing tighter and tighter.
"I doubt they can, but it is the fashion these days." He said indifferently.
"Oh my gosh." I rasped.
"Just a few more strands to go, don't worry." He tugged harder around my middle and I gave out a cry of pain. He hesitated when I gave out that cry, giving me a chance to breathe into my crushed lungs.
"I'm sorry," I wheezed, "I'm not used to this." I face palmed my forehead. And I think I just ruined your good name now. Anyone within a mile could have heard that. I blushed. He pulled harder this time as he got lower to where it came about my waist and this hurt more than my chest. He started to get a little rougher and it was getting a bit difficult to breath. "M-Mr. Washington. Too tight. Too tight!" He tugged even harder once more and this one shot my breath out of my system and I screamed "THAT'S IT YOU'RE GOING TO KILL ME!"
"I doubt any woman has ever been killed by a corset." I could tell he was thoroughly amused by my reactions as he tied a small bow in the back, finishing his work. "Although, yours may be a bit too small a fit for you, Miss Donnet, hence why I had to pull so hard. I'll have to remember getting you a new one once we're in Philadelphia." I started to pull on more of the undergarments when he said this, I looked at him with confused eyes.
"You're really taking me to Philadelphia?" I pulled down the undershirt-I think. He sighed heading toward the front of the tent.
"Do you need any more assistance on getting dressed?"
"PLEASE? I have no idea what I'm doing!" George sighed and started to tell me what all goes on first, I followed his instruction and pretty soon I had myself in the traveling clothes John had given me. George wearily sat down on the cot and looked at me with a slight smile on his lips. He twirled his finger around gesturing me to do the same, I did so. The gown flowed around me as I spun, feeling the air course through the skirt and play with my legs. Although it wasn't meant for any party or showing off, it was still the most magnificent dress I've worn. I smiled with joy.
"Thank you for helping me, Mr. Washington." I curtsied. A small smile tugged on his lips but it disappeared as quickly as it came. He stood from the cot and headed for the entrance to the tent, he looked back to me while I was still admiring my dress.
"We'll leave in the evening. Please be ready by that time, Miss Donnet." I stopped fiddling with my dress and gazed into the General's eyes. I broke the gaze and stared at the floor, I was getting a little angry.
"Why are you taking me to Philadelphia, General Washington?"
"It's more of a business trip actually." He sighed, seeing he won't be leaving my tent anytime soon. "I'm taking you to Philadelphia to keep a closer eye on you, Miss Donnet. I'll have time to look for your family thoroughly in about a month so-"
"But why?" I quietly demanded. "Why Philadelphia? I live here. In this state. But I-" I bit my tongue. I don't live in this time period.
"I'd rather you were with me on this errand to Philadelphia to keep a close eye on you. And I'm not trying to sound pervertish in any way."
"No, that doesn't sound pervert-ish at all compared to the random event that occurred not ten minutes ago." I mumbled, but as soon as the words slipped my mouth I instantly wished them back. George's eyes narrowed.
"As I've said before, Miss Donnet," I flinched. "We shall be leaving in the evening, pack up what you have until then-"
"I don't have a bag." I laid out flatly.
"I'll find you one then." He huffed "In the mean time, you can explore around the campgrounds and say your rounds of hello's to the men, and find something useful to do for your spare time. But mind you." He grabbed my shoulders and looked at me squarely in the eye. "Stay out of the forest, Miss Donnet. We're not the only ones in these woods, and I don't mean those kinds of animals. Stay near the campsite and at least have an escort with you if you have to go snooping." Wait. What? Wasn't he angry with me a moment ago? George released my shoulders and walked quickly out of the tent to leave me to my thoughts. Hunter trotted in shortly after looking as happy as ever. I patted his head.
"Out of that whole awkward scenario, of course now is the time you pick to come in?" I was kind of exasperated from the whole event, but Hunter licked my hand and panted happily anyway. "Well, I'm dressed and ready to go anywhere, I guess I could go and explore the camp and say hi to the soldiers…" Hunter enthusiastically ran out the door, came back in as if to say 'Are you coming, slowpoke?' then ran back outside. I smiled and followed.
"Ah, Rachel! There you are!" John ran up to me with a big grin on his face and waving. I smiled and waved back.
"Hey, John! You were looking for me?" John laughed nervously.
"Not in particular, Miss, the general told us not to bother you while you were sleeping. You had a rough day yesterday so you needed the rest of course, but I was wondering if you'd ever wake up." He blushed and laughed awkwardly.
"Really? What time is it?"
"I'm guessing around noon,"
"Aw, that only leaves me a few hours to explore before…" I trailed off thinking about all I could do in a few short hours.
"Before, what?" John asked inquisitively.
"Hmm? Oh, um…the General is going to take me to Philadelphia this evening." I said absently. I heard John cough a few times. "What?"
"Nothing." He smiled slyly and looked away from me.
"Wha-a-a-t?" I insisted, poking his side.
"It's nothing really," he coughed again but turned back, "I think you should get breakfast, you haven't eaten anything yet have you?" as if on cue my stomach rumbled, which earned my blushing and John's laughter. I smiled, I like John's laugh, it's a very heart-warming laugh.
"Ok, so what? That doesn't give you an excuse to change. The. Subject!" I jabbed my finger into his side along with those three words. Pretty soon it got to where I was chasing him towards the camp with Hunter at my heels. I was trying to catch up to John but my stupid skirt kept getting in the way of my legs, making me slower than I would normally run, but through John's taunting, I managed to catch up just fine. But at the corner of my eye I spied the General just exiting a tent just staring at John, and at me. His look was at first surprise but then it also had….oops, too fast. I couldn't read his expression for even a minute because in one swift instant John turned around, grabbed me by my waist, hoisted me up off the ground and carried me on his shoulder. It was not comfy.
"JOHN!" I screeched, watching his feet rise and fall behind him as he ran. "Put. Me. DOWN! Put me down now or I swear to high heaven that you would be sorry!" I was pounding his back with my fists, but John just laughed; nervously?
"The general wants to see us apparently." Oh. I immediately stopped pounding and kicking and let John carry me up to General Washington. I then realized the expression he had earlier; disappointment. I bit my bottom lip. This can't be a good sign.
John stopped a few short paces from the tent to put me down, I stumbled slightly, and my middle ached a bit from his shoulder, but that was the least of my worries. John walked up to the main entrance and held the flap open for me to see inside.
"You wanted to see us, General?" John asked. I was surprised, John wasn't nervous, not really. I guess all in all he trusted Washington enough to know that no matter the outcome Washington will always be fair.
"Yes, Leutenite McCauley. And you have Miss Donnet with you?" I stepped into his view and waved my hand sheepishly. He arched an eyebrow. Ah, boy. "I'll speak to you first, young lady." Oh, man. He sounded just like my father. John gave me a reassuring pat on the back and smiled, I smiled back, and he turned and left. I took a big breath of air and let it out in a big sigh. Here it goes.
"Yes, General Washington?" Something plopped at my feet. I looked and beheld an old leather satchel, I picked it up and examined it. No holes, no mold growing, it didn't smell that bad, and it was big enough. "Th-Thank you!"
"I thought you might have need it for your things, however few there may be. However, that is not the real reason I called you in here." I fumbled with the leather strap over my head (I'm putting it on).
"You're meaning my race with John? I was trying to find out what he was going to say but he wouldn't tell me, then he ran away and then-"
"Miss Donnet." I jumped. He didn't yell but it didn't mean it was any less intimidating. "We are trying to build an army capable enough to withstand and to even defeat the British army. I can't have you flirting your way through here, Miss Donnet, unless you can be serious enough to talk to the soldiers." He lifted my chin to were our eyes met, His eyes were kind and soft but stern all the same. "Do you understand? We are in a most serious situation. Our independence lies within how the war is fairing and what will happen next. I can't risk having you here." My anger rose just a tad but enough to speak.
"Because I'm a woman? Women aren't allowed on the battle fields because we're too 'fragile' so to speak? Too distracting to the task at hand?"
"That was not what I was implying, and you know it." I scoffed at this.
"It might have not but it sure sounded like it." What was I doing? You're bad mouthing George Washington, that's what you're doing, stupid. He didn't say anything for a long while, most likely choosing his words carefully before answering to a now angrily sarcastic teen, he finally spoke.
"What I meant to ask of you, Miss Donnet, was that if you would be an example of a young lady among the men of this camp while you're here." Oh. My anger quickly died down to shame. Arg, I'm an idiot. (ya think?) Although it seemed that General Washington was kind of annoyed he didn't seem to lose his cool. He stayed patient with me, but how long will that patience last?
"Ok, so I need to act a little more lady like before we leave for Philadelphia?" He gave me a look that told me I asked a stupid question, but he nodded all the same.
"Indeed." He turned around to glance at a map on the table; least I think it was a table. "You're dismissed now, Miss Donnet. Have Leutenite McCauley come in, I need to have a word with him." I nodded and headed for the tent flap only to be flung back by a burly man racing into the room. I expected to feel my butt hit the unforgiving floor when rough yet gentle hands grabbed me before I could react. I looked to see the General's face inches from mine. "Are you alright?" I could only nod, what else was a poor girl supposed to do? The burly man's face came into view and stood hovering about.
"My deepest apologies miss-" he stopped short when his eyes rested upon me, making me rather uncomfortable at his gaze. I squirmed a little and I knew the General felt my discomfort. Washington's gaze I noticed turned rather icy toward the man, but the gaze disappeared as soon as it came. I shivered.
"Leutenite Colonel Abbot, I hadn't been expecting you for another week. How goes things in Philadelphia?" the Leutenite Colonel was still watching me, with every breath that I took and with every shift in my gaze, he noticed, I was thoroughly uncomfortable. At last he broke his gaze from me and placed it on the general. Flippin' pervert. I acidly thought to myself, shaking away the nightmare of earlier.
Wait…No, no. The stature is wrong. The silhouette in my nightmare was rather lanky compared to the man standing before me. I sighed in absolute relief, I had nothing to fear from this man except the staring.
"Forgive me, General." I snapped back from my thoughts.
"I am not the one you should be apologizing to, Leutenite Colonel." A shiver racked itself throughout my body upon hearing the chill in Washington's voice. The General wasn't widely known for his temper but it was known nonetheless. I felt almost sorry for the man at the moment. Almost.
"Forgive me miss, I did not see you in my urgencies to contact the General." Isn't there something else you need to apologize for? I frowned, clearly the man behind me did so too, it got a few degrees cooler.
"I'm alright. You startled me more than actually harmed me." He gave a slight bow of his head.
"General, I'll need to speak to you in private, the message I am about to give will be," he cringed "rather upsetting." I felt the man behind me stiffen, obviously preparing for the new information.
"Miss Donnet." I jumped slightly. "Go find Leutenite McCauley and tell him to be prepared to be called." I nodded.
"Um, General? Could you help me up please?" I was still on the floor being held by George Washington, I couldn't really get up with the stupid dress. The General helped lift me to my feet not letting me go until he was sure that I could stand, then gently moved me toward the exit and closed the tent flaps behind me.
"Well, that was odd." My stomach gave a fierce growl and made me fully aware that I hadn't eaten anything in several hours and that I was starving! And who knows, maybe I'll be able to find John on the way.
A/N: Holy crap! So much time and yet the chapter's so small! T~T Forgive me. By the way! I have received lovely reviews for this story and I want to openly thank you for them, they made me bubble with excitement to get this chapter posted, even if it's so short. I hope that I won't be as long with the next chapter and that it will be longer, lol. Reviews are always welcomed and please be reasonable with flames, this is my first history fiction so please be gentle.
p.s. George Washington belongs to no one but himself as well as other people in history that shall appear in my story. Rachel, John, Hunter, and Abbot are my own creation and imagination (at least I hope they are).
p.p.s How did you like the little awkward moment with Rachel and Washington? Just a fair warning, with Rachel, I can guarantee that there shall be more awkward-ness! Bwahaha.