Memories Lost in Time

Katirina Hartford is a 16 year old girl from Gold Gait High. Everything is fine until she discovers a family secret. Soon she finds herself in a sticky situation in the past, trapped. She must find her way home and while fighting for her life and for the love of her life. There is mystery, deception, and high stakes. Will she make it home, or will she be stuck in the past?

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5. Secrets Revealed

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4

Secrets Revealed

“Katirina fell through a painting at the ball and now she is gone!” Cynthia exclaims as she runs into the kitchen of the Hartford house. Bethany goes white as a sheet.

“No… oh my heavens!  I hoped this day wouldn't come,” she whispers. “I thought when the gene skipped me it would be done and the line would end with me.” She looks up with tears glistening in the corners of her eyes. “Rhiley our worst fear has happened; Kati has the gene and is gone and… and.. there is nothing we can do,” she sobs. Rhiley cradles his wife’s head and murmurs in her ear.

“What are we going to do? Where has she gone?” Cyn is hysterical, she gasps, “What… what if she's trapped, we've lost her forever.” Streams of tears rush down her face.

“That's just it: we can't do anything. Beth doesn't have the gene, the only other person with the gene would be her grandmother but she is too old.” Rhiley has a grim, complex expression.

“The only thing t-t-to do is...wait...” Beth and Cyn both beak into hysterical sobs again. But from this point on all they can do was wait and hope if Kati ever comes back she will be okay.

 

~~

“B..bu..but, how? Why? How could this be?” I am in shock. How could I have just been in the year 2015, and now be in 1842? “This can't be happening… I must be dreaming. I need air.” Without waiting for the butlers to open the door I pick up my skirts so as not to trip on them, throw the doors open and run through the corridor to the outside doors. As I get outside a narrow stone path catches my eye. Following the path I discover a stone bench under a small gazebo. Checking for anything that might damage the dress I, decide it is safe to sit down. After a moment or two I realize that I am not dreaming, the mere fact that I am sitting under this gazebo means that I am truly in the past somehow. In the early 2000s this very gazebo was knocked down in a windstorm as was part of the school, which is why we have the new gymnasium.

“Ah, yes, I find I too need to escape those crowded floors at times.” A figure  emerges from the shadows. My hand flies to my mouth to muffle my scream as I nearly fell from the bench.

“Come now Miss Hartford it is only I, Marcellus. No need to distress,” he says with a chuckle.

“Well you shouldn't sneak up on a lady like that. Especially one in such a state as I.”

“You are upset? Why? Shouldn't you be enjoying my father's ball?”

“Oh bugger, you wouldn't understand, if I told you, you’d think I was crazy. I just met you; why should you care?”

“Well I am merely trying to help a kind soul such as yourself.”

“How very kind of you, Mr. Sperry, but I am afraid there is nothing more you can do.” I stand up and raise my chin. “Now if you'll excuse me, I must be off. I must be getting home.” Wherever that is, I think to myself. With a quick turn on my heel I run down the path. Without looking I run, and run until I can run no more. Catching my breath I realize I have made it into town. Slowing my pace I look at the shops along the way. As I round the corner to the next shop I have the odd sense that I have seen this shop before. But that can't be: this area of town was torn down for a hotel just before I was born. Then all at once it hits me. I know this shop because I have seen it in a painting at Gram’s house. This is great-great-great-great-great grandma Anita's shop. I can't believe it, and as luck would have it she walks out and straight into me!

“Excuse me, miss, I didn't see you there.” Her voice is stern and holds authority. I can not move. I am frozen, speechless, left to gawk at her with saucers for eyes.

“Come now child say something you looked as if you'd seen a ghost.” She throws her hands to her hips.

“Meme? Meme Anita? H..how?” I stammer. “But you’re only a painting on Gram’s wall,” I whisper. Her eyes dawn in realization that I can not find.

“You.. You have it? You have it!” she exclaims with glee.

“What do I have? I have nothing.”

“Your mere presence suggest you do, come now, come along child we have much to discuss.” She starts back to the shop but I do not move.

“Come girl, I will not hurt you, I promise. All will be revealed in due time; now hurry.”

When we are inside she leads me through the shop to a door behind the register. The door lead into a hallway which has a staircase. She descends the staircase, at the bottom is another door and through the door is a quaint little living room.

“Please sit, would you like some tea?”

“Please.”

“Very well.” She leaves the room to where I assume is the kitchen. After a minute or two she returns and sits across from me on the couch. She sets the tray on the coffee table between us.

“What shall I call you child?”

“My name is Katirina Hartford.”

“Well Katirina, you already know who I am it seems. But onto more pressing matters.”

“Yes. I find myself in a most peculiar situation. I'm afraid I'm lost.”

“So you have the gene?”

“What gene?”

“The time travel gene of course.”

“Is there such a thing?”

“Well obviously child, you're here are you not?”

“Oh I have only just discovered I am here, but I am very confused.”

“Ah yes let me explain.” She looks into  the depths of her cup. For a moment I think she is not going to say anything but then she looks at me and speaks in a hushed tone.

“Long, long ago in the time of dragons and knights and sorcerers lived a happy farming family. Their farm was small but prosperous, it brought enough food for the family to survive year-to-year. One winter a terrible storm came and they found themselves in the middle of a blizzard. The father and mother boarded the windows and lock the doors to keep the heat inside. They were just sitting down to give the children the last of the bread they had for that day when they heard a knock at the door. The father got up the gun from the mantle and went to see who it was. Upon opening the door she found an old woman wrapped in shawls and covered in a blanket of snow. When she saw the man she asked frantically, ‘Please sir, spare an old woman a piece of your bread and place to lay her head for the night. I do not ask much and I do not need but a scrap of your food, anything as it may, and a place from the weather where I can spend the night till the storm passes at dawn. Oh kind sir, I beg of you have mercy for a old woman like me. I shall not survive the night without place to stay and there is no shelter for miles around.’

“The man turned to his wife and children. They barely had enough food for themselves, they had none to spare. With dead eyes and a heavy heart the man replied, ‘I'm sorry poor woman, for we have no food to give. No room spare. Please know we would help you if we could but there is nothing we can do. I'm am truly sorry.’ With a flustered sigh the woman gave her apologies and thanked the man and his family and walked away. After setting out the bread for the family the mother excused herself from the table. Feeling sorry for the poor woman she took her share of the bread grabbed her shawl, a blanket, and left to find her in the storm. Following the old woman's shuffled footprints she ventured Into the storm. Only a couple of minutes later at the edge of their property she found the old woman huddled in a ball by the fence. She approached with caution. ‘Here, have my bread. I can survive the night without my meal. I shall wait till my next but you you are older than me and you have no place to stay please follow me I think I have a place for you.’ Lending the old woman her elbow she walked her to the back of the house where the barn was nothing more than a shed really. They walked into the barn and the old lady sat on the floor. The young woman grabbed some straw and the old blanket and made a bed for the old woman. ‘I hope this will do you tonight. I shall bring more food in the morning if I have some to spare. I will skip my meal if I must. I wish you the best in this winter storm I will see you at dawn.’ The young woman started to leave when the old woman spoke, ‘Wait come here, come now, I have something for you. A gift to show my appreciation, for if not for you I would have died tonight. So for you I will give my blessing, my blessing and a spell... May your crops be prosperous and your family bloom, that no harm come to your bloodline. And for you alone I give this gift, you will have the gift of time. To go backwards or forwards in time to do as you please. To help you in your life, or just to do small deeds, but there is a catch you shall only travel through paintings you have to have a painting of the scene. the setting of where you would like to go, and a painting to get back so wherever you go bring the painting of the present day with you so you can always get back to your time. If not you shall be stuck in the land from which you traveled. But for a kindness to someone in need this gift may change to how you need it. Only time will tell how this gift is revealed for better or for worse. But only a girl born of your blood will develop this gift, and only if of good heart. The more pure the heart and kinder the heart, the stronger this gift will develop. The young woman stood up dazed, making her way out of the barn.”

 

“So that's all? Just some random woman's blessing?” I say in disbelief.

“Oh no, not just any woman; a sorceress from Wales. She was most powerful in her day, but alas she disappeared never to be seen again. It took many generations to figure out the powers we have today, how to work, then how to use them, how to protect them. Some women in your family, our family have not received the gift. But it is all still a mystery.” She looks at me over her cup. “Tell me, were you at the ball just now?”

“Yes.”

“Mhm, and how did you get here?”

“Well, we were at the ball in my time and I tripped on to… er… through a painting on the balcony, I think,” I say, recalling the night's events.

“Yes, yes, and when do you go back?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know, back to your time. I assume you came to elapse for the week?”

“Elapse? What are you talking about? I hadn't the slightest clue I could do this until I fell.”

“Oh dear, so you weren't told?”

“No.”

“And you haven't a painting of your time with you?”

“No.”

“Your family had not known of this gift?”

“No.”

“Oh my. Then I'm afraid you are stuck.”

“Pardon?” I was now starting to grow fearful.

“I'm afraid you have now way back to the future, you are stuck in the past.”

 

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