The nightmares and dreams had gotten worse to say the least. Amelia would wake up screaming or in tears after hearing an echoing gunshot within her head or be so confused that she would walk tiredly around the room trying to put the pieces of this large puzzle together. The girl in the red dress had yet to make another appearance also, adding to the mystery that is all of this going on Amelia’s life. It is like something in the puzzle was missing, a vital piece.
That one phrase she had heard in the classroom haunted her endlessly and was on an unstopping loop in her thought process. It scared her frankly, if it were evenly remotely true. Could history be watching her next move? What is so important that history could change because of it?
“Up, up, up!”
“Mmm,” grumbles Amelia as she tugs her pillow over her face.
“Get up!” Exclaims her mother, tugging at the baby blue sheets wrapped tightly around her daughter’s body like a cocoon. “We have to get your hair styled.”
“But it’s Saturday…” Groans Amelia irritable, exhausted from the nightmares that occurred the night before that were so intense that they kept her up into the very late hours.
“That is exactly the point!” Her mother shouts out, running a hand through her greying her hair. “Today is that town reenactment. We need to get your hair styled for this afternoon, it starts at seven and it’s already two.”
“Five hours? But I don’t wanna,” Amelia mutters under her breath.
“But you’re gonna.”
Reluctantly, tired Amelia climbs out of bed and walks right past her scowling mother towards the shower and turns up the temperature and steps in, letting the warm water run down her back and easing the tension in her muscles. Am I seriously going? She asks herself. Is it really worth it?
When she gets out, her mother sits in the room, a curling iron heating up on the dresser and her deep blue dress lying on the bed with the various undergarments and accessories next to it. With a sigh, Amelia’s mother grabs the white corset and starts to fasten it in the back.
“Do I really need to wear this?”
“Yes you do.” Amelia then wheezes as the corset is pulled very tightly from behind. Briefly she wonders how they were able to breathe back then.
“But it merely a matter of form and shape. I’m comfortable without it.”
“Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear it.” Her mother retorts, pulling another string tightly as Amelia clutches the bed frame.
“What if I don’t want to.”
“Then too bad,” her mom says dryly. “Suck it up.”
“Well, that’s very reassuring isn’t it?” Amelia asks, her face flushed and voice dripping with heavy sarcasm.
It had always been ‘suck it up’ since Amelia was little. When she scraped her knee, broke or lost a toy or was upset. It was always that same phrase. Never changed and never would, ‘suck it up, you can act better than that’.
Quickly becoming melancholy, Amelia shuts her mouth as her mom finishes tying up the good-for-nothing corset.
After the corset and pantaloons are on, her mother sets to work on her hair, curling each dark brunette lock into a ringlet and letting it cascade down her daughter’s back and then pulling two strands from the front and pinning them to the back, completing the wanted look. Then comes what Amelia is dreading the most of all, the hoopskirt. When Amelia puts it on, she shuffles over to the mirror and takes a look.
I look like some sort of cupcake, she thinks wearily as her mom starts to put makeup on her face, making her lips a pale glossy pink and applying blush and eyeliner and mascara to make her eyes more noticeable. The dress is then pulled over head, the neckline stopping a little bit below her collarbone and the half sleeves annoying her mildly as her mom ties the black ribbon in the back and adjusts the black lining and laces on the cuffs. The black buttons are straightened quickly and then Amelia grabs the black parasol and fan, along with a small drawstring bag, completing the costume.
When she looks in the mirror, her breath is caught in her throat. She looks as though she could have stepped out of a history book, her innocent blue eyes glowing with amazement as she stands up straighter and stares back at the girl that could never be herself.
“You look beautiful sweetie,” her mom says. “You really do.”
Amelia gives a smile back at her mom in the mirror and brushes off some imaginary dirt from her dress and walks into the dull kitchen to see they have about half an hour before they leave to go to the reenactment site in the middle of an almost unknown battle field where she will have to dance and very possibly sing if she is caught there by her choir teacher in the barn.
A thundering of footsteps is heard from the staircase as three boys emerge wearing grey uniforms and thunderous expressions. One of them Amelia recognizes to be her brother, Eric, scowling at their mother as she smirks from the doorway and saunters off into the parlor.
Amelia laughs as her twin brother yanks off his hat and throws it at the wall angrily and plops down across from her at the table, his friends cautiously sitting with them.
“Looking good boys,” she chuckles, placing her stuff on the ground next to her.
“Not so bad yourself,” One replies, smirking. “Eric you never told us about your sister,” He says eyeing her carefully.
Amelia scowls at her brother and Eric looks at him frightened.
“I told you about her, Rob, I did.”
“Uh-huh,” Amelia states. “Probably not true.”
“EVERYONE IN THE CAR!” Shouts Mrs. Davis, grabbing the car keys from the hook near the door, coming out in a fairly simple civil war era dress that Amelia is mildly jealous of since it wasn’t as elegant or annoying as hers.
The car ride made Amelia want to bang her head against the window until she passed out or died, either was fine with her, as long as she could escape the three boys one way or another. The entire ride was non-stop High School Musical sing alongs to the music emitting from their phone speakers. It wasn’t the music that annoyed her, no, it was their off key and pathetic attempts at singing the correct notes. Her musically trained ears wanted to fall off.
When arriving, they saw the crowds of people eating various foods as a man presented a slide show on a newly built, wooden platform set up for the occasion. You could easily tell who lived in the town from those visiting and touring since the tourists were not wearing the costumes, which weren’t many.
The sun was just beginning to set, casting an eerie glow on the scene. Ancient music was emanating from a small band in the barn that echoed through the area. Amelia walked into the large barn, taking in the rustic smell and vibrant music as she listened to the clinking of beer glasses and watched the various couples dancing in the room in time with the beat.
Looking at her in awe from across the room was Jack Darron, her long time neighbor and good friend since the eighth grade when he spilled soda all over her at the new year’s party and she had responded by punching him hard in the jaw. He was entranced ever since and now was no exception. He ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair as he debates his next move.
Slowly, he makes his way over to Amelia, putting his hands in his pockets nervously as he gets closer.
“You clean up nice,” she says, looking at the greyish-tan uniform as she picks up a glass of water from the refreshment table.
“Not so bad yourself, Hey, I was wondering-”
“Is that Mister Jackson?” She asks, panicking.
Jack turns around and looks to see it is indeed Mister Jackson trying to make his way over to the two teens, waving at Amelia as he pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“Yeah,” Jack says, mildly disappointed.
“No no no no no, he can’t get to me. If he does, he will make me sing,” she says quickly.
“But you have a good voice,” Jack replies.
“Let’s dance!” She exclaims, grabbing Jack’s arm and dragging him onto the dance floor just as the all but familiar Dixy quickstep comes on, the one they learned to dance to gym the week before for an hour everyday. This song now annoyed them to death.
The tempo increases as they quickly dance to the music, traveling across the room and breathing heavily as Amelia tries to avoid her too persistent choir teacher. Still, Jack could not be any less happy right now as he stared at his best friend’s elegance. Her dark hair arranged beautifully and the dress bringing out the deep color of her eyes.
“Yeah?” She wheezes, looking about
“Nothing,” he states finally, earning a confused look.
Standing in the entrance way, her face lit up from the candles and lights of the room, is the girl with the golden hair, in the same deep red dress watching the scene in an analysing gaze.
A distraught Amelia pulls from her friend’s grasp as Rosalie runs from the entrance way, her dress billowing behind her. Amelia looks at Jack then back at the door and takes off sprinting. Her feet clicking against the floorboards as she bursts past the doors and into the tent covered field.
She glances about, looking at the glowing white structures for signs of the girl. When she turns, the girl is standing at the tree line then takes off.
“Wait!” Amelia calls, following her into the dark woods.
Twigs and thorns snag at the hem of her dress, slowing her down mildly. Her breath becomes labored as she feels she is getting closer and closer but is yet so far away. It is so dark, so very dark and the air is humid, making her feel sticky and claustrophobic.
“History has it’s eyes on you,” a voice says.
“Why?” Exclaims Amelia, gasping for air as she slows to a stop. “Why is it watching me?”
A hand grasps Amelia arm tightly, causing her to turn around and come face to face with the girl that she had seen so often.
“Who are you?” She asks the girl in a whisper.
With that, the girl’s eyes turn a deep red that matches her dress and steps closer.
“History has it’s eyes on you,” she says. “You must go back!”
A sharp pain lances through Amelia’s chest, burning through her like a hot knife being twisted about. She lets out an agonized cry as her vision begins to blur and things begin to disappear around her. A haunting voice follows,
“Time goes quickly,
Time goes past.
hear this saying that I shall cast.
In the darkness and in the light,
You shall leave this very night.
Alone you feel
And alone you are.
Time for you to leave and go far.”