14 October 2011

#FridayFlash - Just Go.

Could it be true?

Akeva’s hands shook as she placed her belongings back in her backpack, not that it mattered if she damaged them now. The most important things in her life were nothing but the most expensive and technologically advanced doorstops in the world.

Was it even probable? Statistics weren’t Akeva’s strong point, but she knew the chances of time travel were infinitely small. Yet here she stood wearing some old fashioned nightgown in the middle of what they said was Scotland, 1661.

Too anxious to do nothing while she waited for Meriel to return, Akeva ignored her protesting muscles and left the comfortable bed. But once out of the bed, she didn’t know what to do, so she paced the cramped space of the tiny room.

“This can’t be happening.”

If she could think this through, she’d find a logical explanation for all of it, the lightning, getting lost in the forest, waking up here.

She moved through the small space, touching things, making sure they were real. The rustic chair, check. The dresser, check. She pulled at the nightgown collar, check. All real. Even the cold wood floor under her bare feet felt real. So if everything was real, then she had to be somewhen else, not 1661.

Wait a minute. She pulled out a dresser drawer, searching for metal rails and ball bearings, but shook her head when she found only wood. Running her fingers along the dovetail joints, she couldn’t find any evidence of wood glue.

“It could still be a luddite community of sorts.” She slide the drawer back in. “A community that kept a weird calendar and believed they were in Scotland.” She shook her head at the thought. “Right.”

To accept that she’d traveled in a lightning flash, had landed in the middle of some strange parallel universe, stuck in what would’ve been Renaissance times was crazy. “Not possible, it had to be dream.”

Remembering that people couldn’t read in their dreams, Akeva searched the room for anything to read. Not even finding a magazine, she hastily pulled out her camera operation manual and read the page introducing aperture priority mode. She threw the book on top of the bag. “Not a dream.”

Akeva stared out the window at the large hills beyond the green fields and trees of the large. She’d spent spent three miserably long days in those hills, wandering and looking for help. When she couldn’t even find the Big Dipper in the sky, she’d assumed once she’d found people that everything would make sense. And now that she’d literally tripped upon help, she couldn’t come up with a plausible explanation. And no closer to getting home.

Someone cleared a throat, startling Akeva. She turned to find Jean carrying a tray piled with food into the room. At the thought of food Akeva’s stomach grumbled.

Placing the food on the dresser, she said, “For yer wame.” The housekeeper wore the same guarded expression as before.

Akeva didn’t care that she stuffed her mouth, or that the dry biscuit stuck to the roof of her mouth. It had been three days since she’d had a decent meal, she’d eat just about anything at the moment. However, the old woman’s scowl deepened as Akeva reached for another with one hand and for water with her other hand.

After devouring another biscuit and a long drink, Akeva wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “This is almost better than a double bacon cheeseburger.” The woman’s silence hit her like a sledgehammer. Without a word, the housekeeper left the room. “Whatever. Just trying to be nice.”

Alone again, she resumed trying to make sense of her situation. By the time she finished the cheese and apples on her plate, she still had no better handle on what to do.

Then the door opened again and in walked Jean, again, this time carrying a bundle of clothing. The woman kept her distance as she placed it on the bed, “Put these on.”

Akeva said, “Thanks.”

With barely a nod, the housekeeper acknowledged Akeva’s appreciation. Then, still keeping her silence, Jean retrieved the tray. The woman shook her head as she noticed all the food was gone.

Akeva couldn’t find it in herself to be embarrassed at her gluttony, especially after three days of only trail mix and water. Let the old woman sit in judgement, it wasn’t like Akeva could stop her. Besides she had larger issues to deal with, like figuring out what to do.

At the door, Jean turned back and glowered at Akeva. With her stone hard voice, she said, “I dinna ken who ye are or from where ye hail, nor do I care. But that Meriel has a soft spot for folks, always assuming the best of a person. Dinna be taking advantage of the lass’s trusting nature.” Her cold, grey eyes glared at Akeva, “This family doesna need yer kind of trouble. So, it would be best for everyone that ye leave this place. Soon.”

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