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May 2014
Mom should’ve been here by now. I sat on my frilly blue and purple polka-dotted bed waiting for the knock on the door telling me mom found my dress. Finally, it raps on my door. “Mom! Did you find it?” My eyes widen as the silky blue sways in her arms, it’s beauty sings as a caged bird let free. I gasp in admiration. “I-It’s wonderful!” I pick it up and it glides down into a perfect fit.  “I’m glad you love it. Come down after you finish getting ready.” The door thuds after her. Looking across the room I note my honey brown hair that curls into pigtails. Restraining the squeal that is caught in my throat, I travel the length of my room to the mirror.

     The mirror sits on an antique dresser that my mom found at a garage sale. At first I didn’t care much for the ancient wooden junk that is at least half a century old. Now the gold-tinted metal gleams with pride once again. Rusty gems were in carved into an arc surrounding the mystic glass. “Lydia! Can you go upstairs and get that box down for me?” Mom’s request interfered with my thoughts. … Go in that dusty attic? “Sure mom!”

       Out the door and into the hallway stood a door like any other in our house. It squeaked open as eerily as what you’d expect in a haunted house. ‘A box, a box’ than out of the side of my vision I thought I saw motion. I shook it off as just being a spider or mouse. Soon my footsteps lead me to come across a dresser and mirror identical to the one in my room. It was cluttered with cobwebs and spiders. “Not very well taken care of, are you?” I muttered the joke. I looked into the mirror expecting to see a light blue dress covered in dust and sparkly silk material, but there was no reflection at all. I looked even closer at the mirror, before realizing, there was no mirror at all.

     I looked around until I found it behind the dresser, sitting on the ground. I touched one of the gems that surprisingly glowed despite the rust. Something shone until I was blinded. A tingle ran through the hand that brushed the mirror’s gem and flew through my arm until it encompassed me, racing into my every feeling until I couldn’t feel anything. My eyes shut and refused to open themselves.


     A gentle breeze grasped my hair, as music descended from the air. I could smell what seemed to be a banquet of some kind, mixed with perfume. Slowly my eyes lifted their veil to lock with waves pounding against a brick wall. I was looking down from a balcony into the erupting sea. The white brick-made balcony was large and lonely even with the brush of people walking by. I hid behind the rose-red curtains to look around. People danced and talked. Some ate. The music paved the trail for their feet to follow, all very gracefully. The men wore suits that tails drip to their knees. Their white shirts buried under sashes of gold, red, or blue. Sometimes holding medallions, some only dressed in ties. The woman wore Victorian dresses of every color and shade. Frilled hats with flowers were arranged on their heads.

     Wait, I’m not supposed to be here. I was in the attic, going to the café with mom. What was I doing? My head ached from the effort to recall my actions. Why can’t I remember? I stumble backward only to reach the balcony’s edge. Where is this anyway?

      I dive back into the curtain to search for my answer. The softness of the curtain was a rose pushed to my nose. I peeked through the small gap to find a page carting some clothes past my hiding spot. I sneaked next to the cart being wheeled into a doorway, planning to find a way out. I lost the page and walked around until I went through an archway door. The cool air spiraled against my silk-trapped skin. The scent of flowers bloomed around me. I found the garden labyrinth.

     Walking through the maze’s hedges I arrive at a beautiful fountain displaying crystal clear pouring waters. Everywhere I gazed, flowers embraced the greenery. My breath deprived my lungs of air as I took in the sight. It was so magnificent under the light of the full moon. A few lamps lighted a sidewalk path maneuvering along the hedges. I circled the fountain, taking in the surroundings. My silk dress was shining in the dim glow. The sceneries beauty entranced me.






     I didn’t see a shadow before me, and almost fell to the ground. In a graceful swoop an arm latched around my waist to pull me to my feet. “Be careful to look where you’re going, please my lady.” He bowed his head while his slim rimmed glasses started to fall off of his face, suddenly he looked up at me; sliding them back on with a slight wave of a finger. “That garb isn’t from around here.” He noted my sky blue dress with interest. I’m not even sure where I am. “I seem a bit lost. Will you help me?” he stares at me closer, a deeper curiosity shines in his green eyes, daintily brushed by his dark hair. “My dear, if it brings you comfort to know, we are in London at the Buckingham palace.”

      I gasped; London was so far away from New York. It’s across seas. I gulped at my next question as sweat pricked the nape of my neck, “What’s todays date?” His eyes sparkled at the question. “Why, it is June 28, of 1838. The entire castle is bustling at these very words. It’s a day to remember. Now my dear, I must take my leave and see to the ballroom. Farewell.” He bowed, than turned to leave. His slow stride seemed like a dance all on it’s own. My gaze was caught on his figure following the foot trail until he had disappeared. I sighed at my first encounter with someone in this grand place. The Buckingham Palace, in 1838. …1838!! That can’t be right, it’s 2014. Then the shock hit me as if bricks fell from the castle onto my forehead; the clothes, the language, the pages, and royalty. This couldn’t be London in present Great Britain.

    I circle the garden once more before I decide to go back inside. The young noble had realized my clothes didn’t belong here, probably anyone who sees me would recognize this too. I start off towards the footpath. The melodic rhythm still swirled in the breeze. Than for a second I thought I heard a footstep. My head twists back only to see a shadow move. The cool air now seems icy. Multiple possible things to say to the night air gallop through my mind. “ Such a lovely night,” is the one I decide on. From behind me a few feet back I imagine a sigh. No, not imagined, but actually there. It’s too real. I turn on my heels just to catch a glimpse of a black cape caught in the wind, as it’s master floats into the open. “My, It is lovely. However, I didn’t realize such a strangely dressed commoner as you could enter this palace.” His smirk shows sarcasm as easily as his eyes. “I never intended to visit a palace, even less in London.” My honest answer only has him conceal his laugh.




     “I’m sure you didn’t. Yet, your dressed for a fine occasion.” His hand reaches for mine. I pull away from the willowy figured glove. “Why not allow me this dance in the garden?” I back away, aware that his voice is too prescient and I should be careful. “Are you going to be wary of me?” his gaze turned pained, his blue eyes that were once full of playfulness now melted into hurt. I unintentionally reach out for his gloved hand. His laugh echoes past the foliage. “Such a naïve girl.” Dread decided that this nobleman should be avoided at all costs. I ran towards the palace. “And so the chase begins.” He snickers and rushes after me.


     I pass through the archways, glancing back now and again to find the caped captor flying along my tracks. If only there was some way to lose him. I ducked into the nearest doorway. At the far end of the hall I could see a door with a sign saying, “Dressing room”. I flung myself under a table and tablecloth to hide myself as my pursuer rounded the corner into the hall. I tucked my head between my knees and waited for his footsteps to fade. The warm place that held me trapped was close and too easily discoverable. I held my breath and tried to sink into the darkness. I’m not here. No one can find me.

     After enough time flew by to ensure my safety, I crawled out from under the table. The cloth draped over my head. I looked back and forth, half expecting to see a smirking smile, and haughty eyes. A girl stares down at me. She’s at least ten years old. “Shhh.” I press my finger to my lips and gently smile at her as if we’re keeping a secret between us. She giggles, copies the motion to her own mouth, than delightfully skips away. I let out a sigh and stand up. I follow the hall to the dressing room. The door creaks open and I look around once more, startled by the sudden noise.

     I sneak inside hoping find that the room is abandoned. In the darkly lit room, only my footsteps sound. As far as I can tell, no one has entered lately. I walk over to the carts of clothes and run my hand over the first one on the stack. It’s a ruby-red dress with fine material and some gems similar to those in the mirror. … The mirror. Not in my room, but the attic. My head hurts again, but I know I touched its gem before winding up here. How? I look through the dresses until I find a light blue and white one. The bowed sleeves come down to my elbow with frills encasing the bottom. The neckline forms a squared area of similar white frills. A small white sash acts as a belt that drops into the skirt of the dress. Two similar white ones come down each side. I pick up the light material and set it near my feet.
      My old silk dress easily slips overhead, making way for the new clothing. After tugging tight sleeves and bodices into place the light dress swoops over my feet. I spin through the dark room only to stop at catching someone’s eye. I immediately turn towards the frozen face. It is my own reflection in a mirror. I face myself as my sight settles on the dress I wear. My honey brown hair curled over the dress from my pigtails. My eyes sparkled it’s matching blue to the dress. In the corner of the room, next to the mirror, sat a large wooden box. I looked through it to find that it was full of jewelry and accessories. I prodded its contents until I found sky blue bows to wrap in my pigtails.

     I walked into the open hallway, now littered with people going to and fro. Anyone from passerby’s, young nobility, servants, and pages. Once the hall emptied I fled the room, hurrying through the corridors until I met with the room that created the harmonious trance. At the ends of the great ballroom sat crowds eating and laughing. Clusters of on-goers danced and chatted. In the middle of the farthest side of the room sat a throne that was embroidered with metal marks from centuries of legends. On the throne sat a woman at least eighteen of age. Her regal crown shone despite other attractions surrounding the dance room. A page strode over to her as she flourished her hand for his service. He stood and listened intently to her whispers. Finally, he stood and roared for the room’s attention. From his mouth spilled cheer and wistfulness, as he demanded the crowd’s ear. “Our young Queen Victoria’s coronation has completed. Now starts a new era! Let the celebration proceed.” The room reverberated with hope, love, and admiration for their new ruler.

     ‘Queen Victoria has been crowned’ having no clue how to find a way home, I disconsolately decide to join in the festivities. The crowd moves into a larger room. I stagger after them; the mass pushing everyone forward. We pass the kitchens. The aroma of cakes and deserts of every kind rises into the cool night air. The only smell more perceptible than delicate delights is the perfume penetrating the entire castle. We enter a by far more spacious ballroom. Empty amphitheater seats loom overhead, tied into the walls for onlookers to watch the ball unravel. Once again I glance at these to notice black material hangs over the edge. A head moves as people fill the seats. A nobleman with a black cape and familiar blue eyes takes their seat next to men and woman of high status. I walk into the mop to hide myself, while watching him. He laughs and chats with them as if he’s known them all his life.


      Unable to watch where I’m going, I trip. The harsh, solid ground hits my knee as if I’ve met a tornado. I wince at the pain as I strain myself to stand. A firm, but careful hand grabs mine. I look up into green eyes shaded by recognizable glasses. “My dear, you are very clumsy.” He smiles at me as I pat my dress back into place. “I see we’ve met again.” My response comes weakly as the sore from my knee makes me flinch. “I don’t think you’ve told me your name.” I inquire. “You have not requested my name, so I haven’t told it. However, if you do me the honor of a dance, my secret may be leaked.”  He bowed and offered me his arm, as I timidly accept it.

     A new song disrupts the last, as new pairs take the stage. He walks me onto the floor, and diligently starts to dance. I watch my feet, not wanting to mistake my pace. “Lift your chin, my dear. You don’t seem to but much of a church-bell.” I looked up at him puzzled. “Church-bell?” As he tried to conceal a grin, his glasses couldn’t suppress the laughter in his eyes. “Your rather quiet. And most likely not from around London, are you?” I looked to the ground once more. Should I tell him or not? Will it start problems, or will I be okay? “It’s fine, I shall not expect you to answer a question you wish not to.” I looked up at him, solemnly. “I promised to introduce myself, correct?” I nodded, as the music that echoed around us faded into the next song.

      His movements were so fluid; he was a wave at the end of the day, flowing into the sunset. “Miss, I am known by most as William Anderson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He procured my sweaty palm into his, tenderly swiping his mouth to my fingers. I let my hand be brought back into the dance as I searched for words to speak. Once the dance ended a few moments later, I curtsey and murmur, “It’s nice to meet you. I am Lydia Olsen.” At my gesture he bows, and requests once more, “Am I trustworthy enough to understand why you are in a mysterious place you don’t understand?” My answer had been decided and started to splatter from my mouth. “Y…”









     The next sound bounces along the room, it’s symphony starting. My words mix into the noise. In my vision of the seats above, snowy dots shoot arrows in my direction. Blue eyes gaze down at me, their iciness piercing me as icicles prickle my skin. I exchange a glance with William, nod and answer, “You are. I’ll explain.” My discomfort is surely recognizable. I often peek over my shoulder above as we dance. The shadow with a glare starts his voyage through the seats to reach the stairs that pillar into the wall. He descends from the tower, only adding to my panic. My hand seizes Williams, as I give him an apologetic smile. We hurry from the room, stumbling over each other’s feet. His graceful prance, now a faltering wreak.

     Once we are outside the ballroom, I turn towards him. “I trust you, so please understand, I live In the USA in 2014. Not London, not Even in the 1800’s.” His expression is masked, but I’m sure that I’ve confused him. “I went back into time, from the future.” The simple words struck a chord with him, his glasses tilted off his nose as he listens intently. “The future? How?” even I don’t know how to answer such questions. “I’m not sure. I was in the attic with a mirror, than … ****! I’m here.” Confusion once again wonders onto his face. “I went into a storage room with old things, and found a mirror, touched a gem, now I was here.”

     “I see, but why did we run away from the celebration? I was looking forward to another dance with you.” His casual smile does nothing to conceal unasked questions. I’m not sure how to answer them ei
AnnaMarie Jenema
Written by
AnnaMarie Jenema  F/USA
(F/USA)   
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