The Lancer Fanfiction Archive

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Buckskin

 

 

Twists, Turns and Miracles

Celebrating Andrew Duggan 2019

It was December 28th. He could not control the tremble of his hands. The Scotch in the glass quivered, and he set it on the table, not wanting to give away the emotions that threatened to run wild as he looked around the brightly lit room. The fire cast a warm glow about the great room, and the lamps joined in illuminating the faces of the family he loved beyond life itself. It wasn’t that long ago he cursed his life, this time and… his maker.

Murdoch couldn’t believe her answer.

“Yes, Murdoch, I will be your wife!” and Catherine Garrett threw herself into his arms. He’d never been so happy as he was with those words. She said yes! And Murdoch was the happiest man in the world. They married and moved West to find their dreams.

They were to be parents! And then the trouble that poisoned the land got worse. Murdoch sent her away to keep her and the coming baby safe. But she died, and baby Scott was taken away. Taken before Murdoch could see him, hold him and tell him how much he was loved. Gone. And Murdoch was alone; the happiness and life were ripped from his soul.

Murdoch met young Maria and fell instantly in love. Fell hard as she filled his heart with excitement and passion, and he was consumed by feelings he thought lost, never again would he hold love in his arms, never again to feel the sheer joy of it. But this love wrapped him in the blanket of hope, that life would now hold meaning. The baby that he would soon hold in his arms gave him strength, and he began to plan, plan for a future with his family. And he would bring Scott home. Two Lancer children to carry on his legacy!

Gone! They are gone, and his heart broke. Shattered beyond any hope of repair. Murdoch Lancer wanted to die. His efforts to bring Scott home were useless, and his failure to find Johnny brought him debilitating grief. What did I do to deserve this punishment? But the question remained unanswered.

Murdoch lost his faith and himself. Alone and once more a broken man, Lancer became his focus, his anchor on what sanity he retained. If only… 

They remained in his heart, he thought about them often in the beginning. But it was his inability to bring them home that caused his spirit to break. As every year passed, Murdoch fell into a more profound depression. December 1st marked the beginning, but it was also Teresa’s birthday. She didn’t deserve the morose atmosphere that held Murdoch paralyzed in its grip. He forced himself to celebrate her special day with happiness that wasn’t in his heart.

By the time December 19th came, he felt like giving up. But December 23rd had him weeping into his pillow at night as the empty bottle fell to the floor. Christmas Day was forced happiness, again for Teresa’s sake. And finally December 28th, Murdoch’s own birthday, he wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and never wake up.

“Hey, Murdoch!”

The shout snapped through to his brain, jarring him from those sullen and brooding memories. Murdoch blinked away the moisture that blurred his sight and fogged his mind.

“Ya alright, ol’ man? Ya look kinda peaked, this is a time ta celebrate, not be sad,” the suddenly concerned tones from his younger son penetrated his wandering thoughts, corralling them back to this gathering, this miracle in his life.

Johnny came forward and shoved Murdoch’s drink into his hand.

“Take a drink, Murdoch. Ya, look like ya need it.” Again the honey velvet of Johnny’s voice pulled him in, to the here and now.

Leave yesterday behind. They’re finally home!

Wrapping his fingers around his glass, he took a swallow and couldn't help the grin as it crept across his face. He stared at the miracle around him. His family. And he felt the emotions course through him. Scott home and safe from the horrors of the war, memories of his incarceration at Libby beginning to fade. Johnny alive and home safe from his early life alone, wandering and gunfighting, all life-threatening, especially for one so young. And Teresa, so young, thrust into adulthood after the death of her father, Paul, Murdoch’s foreman, and friend. She was there at Murdoch’s side, pulling him through, sitting at his bedside, and urging him to not give up when all seemed lost.

“Murdoch, open your presents before Johnny does it for you! You know how anxious he gets!” Scott said, laughing as he elbowed his brother’s ribs, making Johnny snort a laugh in response.

Murdoch allowed himself one more thought before complying with the request.

Oh, Catherine, Maria, and Paul! Can you see our children? Can you share with me this beautiful gift? Our miracles!

Murdoch looked around him, looked into the eyes of each precious face, and again felt the sweet tears as they threatened to fall. This was too much to hope for. The gut-wrenching losses of his sons turned now into unbelievable joys when they returned. And though Teresa was not of his blood, she was a cherished daughter.

Life was filled with uncertainties. There were twists and turns in one’s journey during his time on earth, and nothing to promise good fortune and happiness. Sometimes it took a while.

It had been a long time coming, but now, Murdoch Lancer had it all. Three beautiful miracles and a life with then all together! This was a birthday he would never forget!

 

 

~ end ~

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