A Crack In Time

This is the story of Anna George, of how, driven to the edge, she decides to take her life in her own hands and run away. But, in the darkness of the forest, a change happens and time turns Anna's world upside down...

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3. Firelight

 

 

The ground was wet, soggy, dirty. Anna felt the mud dampen her clothes as she lay, face down, on the ground. What had happened? What WAS that diamond in the air? She slowly pushed herself up, her eyes squinting through the sunlight. Just as she was finally upright, she felt something rush beside her, like a large animal swooping past. That's when the horse knocked her back on the ground.

“Whoah!” She heard a man's voice and her heart began to hammer as she heard him jump off his horse. This was the men again, they had found her. It was over. Or was it? She felt two strong arms lift her to her feet, two arms clad in bright, red velvet.

“I'm terribly sorry madam, I simply did not see you! May I ask, what were you doing in the woods? Did nobody tell you it was the hunt today?” He spoke softly, and properly, like from another age. She looked up at him. He was tall, freckled and wearing an old fashioned riding cap.

“I...I didn't know there was a hunt. I didn't think people hunted anymore!” Anna's voice sounded small and squeaky compared to his. He let out a chuckle.

“Well, you are a strange one! Why, there was a hunt here only last month! Do you work at the castle? You do look like a maid!” He glanced down at her, and for the first time, Anna noticed she was wearing a black dress, with a (now brown) pinafore tied at the back. What was going on? Where was she?

“I...I'm too young to work, I am still only at school!” He frowned.

“School? Girl's do not go to school! It is not uncommon for one as young as you to work for a great family!” Anna began to shake.

“What is the year, sir?”

“What?”

“What year is this?”

“Why, the year of our lord 1546!”

“Oh,” she gasped, and fell to the floor.

 

When Anna awoke, she found herself in a great bedchamber, hung with rich tapestries and wonderful paintings. She was lying on a huge bed, a four poster, with heavy curtains draped around it's frame. It was dark outside, and a small figure was sitting beside her, by a roaring fire.

“Is't you awake now missus?” The woman, an old, withered thing, who spoke in a heavy country tone, looked at her, and Anna could see her face was a kind one, her eyes a warm hazelnut, flecked with green and silver. They were beautiful eyes, eyes Anna had never seen the likes of before.

“Where am I?” Her voice sounded weak and it hurt her throat as she spoke.

“It's alright Missy, you's in my quarters, I don't know what you's was thinking, out in the woods all alone! Nobody know where you came from, you just appeared! Now, where are you's from?” Anna felt her head swim with all the questions.

“Well, if I'm honest, I'm not sure how I've come to be here, all I remember is a great gap in the air and someone finding me. The rest is a blur.” The old woman smiled kindly and mopped Anna's forehead with a warm cloth.

“You's caught a dreadful chill, Sir Chaplain thought you's might have the fever, he keeps asking after you's, very nice nobleman, very proper. Knows his place.”

“Who's Sir Chaplain?” Anna asked, sitting up slightly.

“Why, the Sir that found you's! He carried you's back to the castle, at great pains too, I mays add!” This woman was obviously a servant of some kind, she hadn't been taught how to speak well at any rate. Then, Anna remembered her conversation with the man in the woods, how he had told her of the year. 1546. How was it possibly 1546? These things just didn't happen! It wasn't possible! Nobody could time travel, giant shimmering diamonds didn't just appear in the air! She must be dreaming!

“I think I need rest, my head is spinning!” Anna turned over, her mind trying to process everything at once.

“Alright then missus, I will come back to see you's in a while.” She heard the woman bustle from the room.

 

For what seemed like years, Anna tried to sleep, but her mind was not even remotely interested in resting, so, eventually, she gave up and pulled the sheets off her. The glow of the fire cast shadows around the room and it wasn't long before Anna was scaring herself, seeing shapes in them. Placing both feet on the floorboards, Anna stood up, feeling her legs seize up. Suddenly, she felt a great pain in her head, and everything began to spinn. She shut her eyes, but could feel the air around her begin to run, begin to become liquid like, she felt the breeze of the woods against her face, and suddenly, the warmth of the fire disappeared, and she was in daylight. Opening her eyes, Anna found herself back in the woods, standing by a tree, exactly where she had seen the diamond. She was back in her own clothes, and there was no clattering of hooves around her. She was back. Anna felt the air around her, but there was nothing to be felt. Everything was back to normal. But what had happened? Had it been some strange dream? No, if she was sure of anything, it was that what had just happened was completely, one hundred percent real. 

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