A Sensational 4th for Blair Sandburg
Brought to Him by The Powers That Be
and James J. Ellison


Police Detective James Joseph Ellison, retired and Dr. Blair Sandburg, PhD, anthropologist with minors in archeology, psychology and recently forensic anthropology, were out of the country. Requested by the current government of a volatile Middle Eastern country when a mass grave was uncovered. Blair was brought in to organize the dig and examine the remains to determine how and when the people had died. Jim went along for the ride because the lifemates and former work partners couldn’t bear to be apart. Plus, it was commonly known but never spoken aloud, that when the partners worked together, results were produced rapidly and accurately.

After a long day at the site, the partners showered in preparation for bed. They lay on top of the sheets surrounded by mosquito netting listening to the life that went on around them. The dull rattle of the ancient air conditioner that barely cooled off their room was trying to lull them to sleep. Blair reached out his hand to clasp Jim’s and after a while spoke.

“You know, when I was a kid and traveling around the world with Naomi, she always found a way to bring us home to the States for the Fourth,” Blair explained as he snuggled closer to Jim. “It didn’t matter which part of the country we landed in. We could be in Texas or California or Maine, Mom and I would always go to the local fireworks display.”

Blair turned his head to gaze at a tiny flag that he had fished out of his backpack and placed in a glass on their bedside table.

“I know, Chief, and I’m sorry,” Jim began. “I was hoping to get us home in time but...”

“It’s not your fault, it’s no one’s fault. I could have postponed.”

“No you couldn’t have. The political timing was right and who knows when things might change. Blair, you made the right decision,” Jim said as he gave Blair’s hand a squeeze.

“Still, I kind of miss it, man. Ya know?”

“I know, Chief,” Jim said as he closed his eyes hoping he could come up with a way to make Blair feel better about missing home and the Fourth.

Jim settled his head back into his pillow letting his mind wander, allowing the universe to invade his thoughts. When he opened his eyes, his world was tinted blue.

“Who are you?” his younger spirit self dressed in green combat fatigues asked Jim. They were standing in the all too familiar Peruvian jungle.

“Enquiri, Sentinel of the Great City,” Jim replied.

“Who are you?” his younger self asked again.

“Lifemate to Blair Sandburg, Shaman of the Great City, and one unhappy Guide.”

“All decisions have consequences,” his spirit self stated the obvious. Jim stopped himself from rolling his eyes. It was not a good idea to piss off the spirits.

His spirit self then morphed into the black jaguar, Jim’s spirit guide. Jim and his panther cocked their heads when they heard a forlorn howl of the wolf.

“He misses the celebration and fireworks back home,” Jim said to his panther. The panther grunted in acknowledgment then morphed back into Jim’s younger self. They stood toe to toe staring into each other’s eyes and listening to the sad howl of the wolf, Blair’s spirit guide.

“Let him see through your eyes,” Jim’s alter ego commanded before he transformed back into the panther. The panther heard the wolf again then took off toward his direction in the forest.

“It’s never easy,” Jim muttered as he forced himself back to the real world.

“Jim, you okay?” Blair felt Jim shiver next to him. “I’m usually the one who’s always cold,” Blair joked. “Besides, it’s gotta be 80 in here. Uh, Jim, what’s never easy?”

“I took a small trip and of course I don’t understand what I was told,” Jim griped.

“A trip. You mean you had a vision? Wow.”

“Settle down, Chief, I’m not sure what it all meant. Why can’t they just say what they mean?” A rhetorical question which he and Blair had debated on numerous occasions.

“Do you want to talk about it? I mean, maybe I can interpret what you saw,” Blair asked hopefully.

“He said, let him see through your eyes,” Jim mumbled.

“Let who see what through whose eyes?” Blair asked with a grin as he turned toward Jim.

“I dare you to say that again,” Jim said with a laugh as he grabbed the younger man and positioned his body on top of his own. They had to be discreet in this country. Their hotel room afforded little privacy. So they saved their lovemaking for the shower and shared quiet intimate moments when they were in bed.

Blair settled onto Jim’s muscular body. They gently kissed then stared into each other’s eyes. Jim let himself hover on the edge of a zone so that he could explore the depths of Blair’s deep blue eyes.

“Let him see through your eyes.” The words repeated over and over in Jim’s mind. Suddenly Jim grabbed Blair’s hands and positioned them on each side of his face. Jim mirrored the gesture with his own hands on Blair’s face. Jim stared intensely into Blair’s eyes and willed Blair to do the same. Blair followed where Jim led.

“Where are we?” Blair whispered, afraid that the vision would end if he spoke too loudly.

“This looks like Washington, D. C.,” Jim said as he looked around. “I’ve been here before.”

“Well, duh,” Blair commented, garnering a Jim glare. The partners had been to DC many times, together and separately throughout their lives.

“That’s not what I mean. Look at what the people are wearing,” Jim said as he looked around trying to remember.

“Looks like the 70's, very retro, man.” Blair loved the clothes. In fact his wardrobe wasn’t all that different.

“You would have been a baby or a toddler, Chief. Making me about eleven or twelve...” Jim said, his voice trailing off as he was remembering. “A business trip! My Dad had a business trip to the capital and he took me and Stevie with him. My mother had already left us but Dad took Sally with us. His business contact got us special tickets to see the...”

Suddenly it was night and the sky became a blaze of color as firework rockets shot up into the night sky and exploded into all the colors of the rainbow. A huge band was playing John Phillip Souza and the spectators were all waving miniature flags.

“Wow! This is so....” For once Blair had no words to describe what he was seeing, let alone what he was thinking. ‘Watch and accept this gift from your Sentinel,’ Blair heard in his head. The voice sounded like it belonged to the Chopec Shaman Incacha. Blair understood the great honor that was bestowed upon him. He continued to watch with awe, the wonderful display that surrounded them.



Jim woke feeling a hot weight pressing down upon him. He quickly opened his eyes to see Blair fast asleep and still laying on top of him. Jim smiled at the soft snores. Blair seemed to be wrapped around Jim like a thick blanket. A very hot thick blanket that was becoming heavier with each passing minute.

“Hey, sleepy head, time to wake up,” Jim said softly.

“Five more min...s,” Blair mumbled somewhat coherently. Blair went to reposition his pillow under his head when he realized that his pillow was smiling back at him. “WHOA!” Blair gave a startled shout as he rolled off Mount Jim and got tangled in the mosquito netting.

“Easy there, Chief, before you strangle yourself,” Jim chuckled as he helped his lover untangle himself. Within a minute or two Jim got them both straightened out.

“Thanks, Jim,” Blair said cheerfully as he sat up and settled against the headboard.

“My pleasure there, partner.”

“Uh, Jim, did we see what I think we saw last night?”

“What did you see?” Jim asked.

“I think I saw a huge 4th of July fireworks display with a marching band and everything!” Blair said with enthusiasm, his hands flying everywhere as he spoke. Jim smiled; there was his bouncy guide. Jim was afraid he wouldn’t see Blair this happy until that got back home.

“I saw it too.”


“I’m not sure but I think ‘The Powers That Be’ knew you were missing the 4th celebration so they staged one for you through me,” Jim explained.

“That’s so...wow. I didn’t know we could do that,” Blair said.

“Neither did I but who am I to argue with The Powers. Did you enjoy it?” Jim asked as he gazed into his lover’s eyes and gently caressed Blair’s high cheekbones.

“I loved it and I love you. Thank you for sharing that memory with me.”

“Thank The Powers,” Jim quipped.

Blair closed his eyes in silent reflection, thanking the spirits for allowing them to travel on a different plane to witness a happy moment in Jim’s childhood and one that brought joy to Blair as well.

“Thank you,” the young Shaman whispered. The sentiment was echoed by Jim.

“As much as I would love to spend the entire day in bed with you, Professor, we have a job to do,” Jim said in a slightly serious tone.

“Yes we do. A very important job,” Blair agreed as he and Jim got out of bed to start their day.

Before they left their room, Blair reverently took the small flag out of the glass, rolled it up and put it back in his backpack.


Feedback for Sabina

or email to snrn@nyc.rr.com

Return to Fireworks Challenge