She could barely recall the dream she had last night. She only remembered falling, then flying across the sky. A slight knock on her door chased that dream away, faster than the sunlight squashed the remnants of her sleep.
“Good morning, Victoria darling! Time to wake up.”
She bounced out of bed.
Immediately she went to her vanity and fixed her hair.
She adjusted her favorite tortoise-shell hair-pin in her hair and took a good look at herself in the mirror.
She had always wanted what they called a ‘kiss’: a little smirk on the side of the mouth that made it look like you were always happy. She saw herself becoming a woman just like her mother. The grace and warmth that came with a kiss. Mornings weren’t kind to dirty blonde hair, but a good ponytail would tame the beast on her head. She washed and slipped into her school uniform. She raced down the stairs with her books in tow.
“Mother, I’m here.”
“Good. We can go over your lessons now.” Her mother, graceful, prim, and proper, set down Victoria's breakfast at the table. Her father sat on the other side of the table, reading the newspaper with an ear perked at their conversation.
(Lessons related to Girl’s school, while Elizabeth eats properly- with occasional intervention from her Father)
Suddenly, the Grandfather clock chimed 8:30.
“Oh no! You’re going to be late! Go, quickly!”
She put on her light jacket, kissed her parents and ran off to school.
She had spent all afternoon studying for her exam today. She reviewed her lessons with Mother again and again until she knew everything there was to know about the material. She'd pass her exam with flying colors, and then her life would truly begin.
On the way past Great Ormond Street Hospital, she passed a Gentlemen's Club, with powerful men standing outside with large saucers of some colorful liquid. As she passed them she almost felt compelled to see what was inside. One of the Gentlemen pulled out his pocket watch and conferred with his friend that it was in fact 8:36.
That's fourteen minutes, she thought, before bolting down the street, her books clenched tightly to her chest. Dreams about acing the test and finishing school couldn't keep pace as she raced down Lambs Conduit Street, towards Theobalds.
Sweat trickles down her face as she makes it to the door, cold air rushing into her lungs and drying her mouth.
Tests have a way of speeding up time before they're taken and slowing it down when done. By the time she left school for lunch, she felt like she had written a whole book in the time it took to write two pages of notes.
By the time she got home to have lunch with her mother, a particularly different routine than from the other children in the boarding school, she felt like the morning went too fast and the afternoon too slow.
(Dialogue about life and such)
Victoria walked down Tottenham Court road, taking time to enjoy the sky and the sunlight peeking through the smoke clouds. The world felt like it was moving too quick, so she slowed it down a little. Unfortunately, she didn't notice a group of boys following behind.
"'Ello, little girl."
She froze in place, her legs refusing to run. Out of the throngs of people emerged four burly, dirty scoundrels, heading straight towards her.
"You seem too old for school. Why not join us in Wonderland?"
The other boys snickered in agreement, while her mind stood blank. Her eyes pierced through the crowds, looking for someone's attention.
"If you come quietly, we won't drop you into the water on the way back." The leader snickered, pulling out a switchblade.
No one stopped. Mother was at home. Father was at work. No one to save her.
She slunk away from the outstretched knife and the cold blue eyes.
Someone dropped a pot on the street, the clanging sound shaking her back into consciousness.
She turned and ran away, back up Tottenham Court.
"Oy, after her!"
The four boys rushed after her, but they couldn't catch her. She sprinted back towards home, towards safety.
The boys didn't have a chance. They slowed down, but she kept running. Turning down the familiar streets, now darkened by a haze of fear and panic. She jumps the steps and tugs at the door.
"It's locked. I forgot my key inside"
She felt the hoodlums coming around the corner.
"MOTHER! PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR!"
She tugged at the door hoping that it would give, but it never did.
She heard them. They were close.
Their footsteps could be heard as they crossed the street.
She dropped everything and launched herself across the street, tears flying off of her face. Her legs pushed as far as she could, creating enough distance away from the boys as they ran down her street. That was HER street. They were walking past HER home. It was like someone was robbing her of her safety.
"Oy, are these her books?"
Don't touch my books, she thought. Please don't touch them.
"They must be. Who else leaves them in such a hurry?"
"She's still out there, boys. Ichabod would beat us if we didn't bring a girl back. Let's keep moving."
Victoria didn't wait for them to finish that sentence. She continued to rush down a street, any street. The tears blurred her vision. The stones felt uneven under her shoes. Yet she flew down Cleveland street, unknowingly turning onto Foley Street and making another right, hoping to reach another street. But after making another right, she found a dead end. Amidst the crowds of people, she could hear them coming.
Yet it was at this moment, scared for her life, in the middle of an unfamiliar part of the city, crouching down in an alleyway, tears streaming down her face, that a face met hers. A familiar face, yet unfamiliar all at once. Brown eyes met hazel once again.