On one memorable example, Allister found himself in a courtyard in Orleans. He was young then-perhaps twenty. And what brought Allister to this place was somewhat a mystery, though one could not rule out the possibility that the former contents of the empty flask played a large role. In fact, one could not overlook the blaring evidence that this empty flask was familiar in many affairs of this sort. But, Allister would later claim that it was the stars and the moon that beckoned him into the streets of France to walk alone by their guidance. And, once they had led him into unknown alleys and down strange sidestreets, Allister took that breath and made the decision that he was not lost. He stumble-stepped into the open courtyard and looked to the sky, which was much the same as it had been at the beginning of the night.
He set his hand to rest on some carved stone pedestal to steady himself. The stars and the moon reached down to reveal that resting six feet above Allister was Joan of Arc, on horseback and holding a sword. Allister cocked his head so simply to the left and looked up. He could feel the whiskey slosh against his cranium. And it could have been the sloshing sensation, it could have been the whiskey itself, or it could be this new place he had found lit by the night, but Allister climbed the pedestal. Climbed so that he balanced just in front of the great bronze horse. And ever so deliberately, Allister reached for the bronze reins. He felt them in his hand, the coolness of them, how odd that reins could be so frozen, how uncomfortable it must be for Joan and her horse to have been held still for so long. And Allister tugged. Gently at first. Then a little harder, just enough to let the horse know that it was time to move again. And it did. The horse moved its bronze neck, let its bronze head be led by Allister-who guided it from the pedestal to place its hooves on the Earth's ground.
Allister lifted a hand to Joan who had yet to move from her pose. But, at this request, she did. She shook her head to deny Allister the offer and, instead, dismounted with a steadied and casual ease, landing with a light touch of the feet-lighter than you could imagine bronze feet ever landing. Joan looked at Allister and smiled happily. Allister would never forget the smile. For, though this night could be attributed to the delusions of whiskey, the propping of the corners of those bronze lips brought with it a simple warmth that Allister had never felt before or since. Just as Joan, from bronze, became real; Allister felt himself, from whiskey, become sober.
Joan brought her sword to rest on Allister's shoulder. Allister, knowingly, knelt as Joan brought the sword back up and then rested it upon Allister's other shoulder, knighting him. Joan laughed silently and Allister laughed audibly, for Joan was simply a soldier herself-a two year veteran at only nineteen years old. And there they laughed.
So much had changed since her time on top of the horse. There had been a burning. There had been hatred. There had been a canonization. And finally there had been a bronzing. But she was just nineteen. Were there any questions trapped beneath that bronze? Allister was already older than she by an entire year and, as time would reveal, he would still have many years to come.
Joan said nothing, but simply looked up to see the tall buildings, see the simple dirt streets of the city she had saved now paved. Allister instinctually offered Joan his hand again. And, this time, she accepted it. Allister never felt Bronze so real. Together, they explored Orleans for the first time-Allister for his first time at night and Joan for her first time in the twentieth century. There was no sound, much laughter, and a slew of firsts for Joan: a first glimpse of an automobile, a first ride on a bike (which resulted in a first fall from a bike), a first listen to a trumpet blare sweet jazz whilst Joan and Allister peeked into Joan's first glimpse of a smoke-filled club, a first dance (a second dance would follow-both would be filled with clumsy human missteps on bronze feet, to Allister's embarrassment). And before the sun rose, before Allister watched Joan grab her bronze sword and mount her bronze horse, and before Allister guided them back atop the pedestal, Allister gave Joan a simple first kiss. In return, Joan gave Allister her final bronze smile as he fell asleep at her horse's hooves.
And when the sun peeked above the horizon, it found them both in a courtyard in Orleans.