I am speechless, frozen, I can’t move. My vision starts getting blurry. My head starts spinning. I can’t breathe. I CAN’T breathe! My chest is heavy. Everything is spinning around me. I manage to drag myself back inside the empty store. It must be a hallucination. I must be dreaming. I am sure there is a logical explanation! Maybe this whole day never happened. I am still in my bed, it is still Tuesday morning, my alarm about to go off any minute. I collapse on my knees, trying to take a breath.
It’s just a panic attack Ales. You have had those you know it. They can’t hurt you. Breathe. BREATHE!
Okay, okay. Let’s think logically. I bring myself up and start pacing around the now empty store trying to come up with the most rational explanation. It happened when I dropped the necklace. Maybe if I do that again everything will go back to the way it was.
I stand still and hold the chain of the necklace in front of me and drop it.
Okay. Maybe I am doing it wrong? Maybe if I read the saying it has on the back, the way I did the first time and THEN drop it.
- ubique, quo fas et cor – I say quietly, so people passing outside can’t hear me talking to myself and drop it. Still nothing. I start hyperventilating again. This can’t be real. I must be dreaming. I MUST be.
I stop pacing and look around. I can’t think of anything else. I drop on the floor defeated, leaning against the cold empty wall. Desperation and shock are settling heavy on my chest. I don’t have a watch, and alongside with everything else my phone has seem to be gone as well so I have no idea what the time is, but I know that if I don’t find a way to go home tonight my dad will be worried out of his mind.
I sit and stare at the white wall opposite me, thousands of possibilities going through my head. Maybe I fell and hit my head or I was drugged with something, or I have completely lost it and I am going out of my mind. Each version seems scarier than the one before.
After sitting like that for what feels like eternity I decide to get up and get out. There must be a way. And even if not, I can’t just stay in this empty shop forever.
When I walk outside the sun is high on the sky, not bothered by any clouds, shining bright. It was mid-afternoon just a moment ago, and now it seems like it’s still morning, The air has that feeling of freshness to it like it does in the mornings, but I decide not to think too much into it. I have enough things to worry about. For example, other than the time of the day seeming different the climate has changed as well. It is hotter that it was in London. Is? I don’t know which city or country, or world this is. I turn around and once again look at my reflection on the window.
My auburn curly hair which was coming to just below my shoulders is gone and long brown hair now extends up to my tights. It is straight and the top part of it is made into a half ponytail tied with a leather string. My eyes are big and green. Wow I have always wondered what I would look like with green eyes, but then again, I still don’t know because my face is also different. I have freckles all over my cheeks. I am wearing brown leather boots which look like the string wrapped around them is holding them not to fall apart from my feet. I am wearing black flare skirt, which makes moving easy as opposed to the black corset I am wearing, thankfully there is a white blouse underneath. I also have a long cloak that is extending to the ground, and it has a big hood, which if I put on hides my face completely.
I look like a warrior. Like these clothes are specifically chose so I can move and hide easily with them. Hiding of course wouldn’t be easy if I was in actual London, where I would look like some kind of musical cast member. A way to stand out. But here everyone is dressed in similar clothes some reminding me of Robin Hood, which makes blending in easier with this outfit.
I inhale and exhale deep breaths and go over my options in my head. They are not many. I can ask around and see if someone has an idea where I came from but they might think I am crazy. I look at the pendant again searching for a clue. When I look carefully, at the back where the big Latin writing was there is something written with the tiniest letters I can barely make out. Regnum thorax laneus it says. Hmm, I can just walk around showing people the pendant and someone might know something. But let’s start by finding out where exactly I am. I stop one old lady just passing by me. She is holding a small boy by the hand, and she is hunched forward. Looks like walking is a struggle for her.
-Excuse me- I say and she looks at me, keeping her distance- which city is this?
-Orcedvia- she replies, keeping her distance without making any eye contact and hurries on her way. Her demeanour tells me she is trying to escape this interaction.
-Orcedvia- I repeat to myself, trying to comprehend this. With every second this whole day seems more and more like a big, well executed April’s fool’s joke. Any second now Ro and Dalir will jump from behind a tree and we will laugh and laugh about this for years.
But it doesn’t happen.
As soon as I think of my friends a sadness wraps around my heart. I wonder what happened to them. Are they still in London or are they here, and if they are here, are they in different bodies like me? That thought scares me, because if that is the case, I will never be able to find them. Or they me. I start walking without any destination in particular, just hoping that maybe I will see something, get a clue on what to do, or this dream will end and I will return to my mundane life, which now seems like a bliss that is thousand miles away.
Regnum thorax laneus- I keep repeating to myself. Maybe that’s the spell that will help me return? Maybe that is my escape door.
As I walk, I am observing my surroundings and Orcedvia makes me feel like I have returned to the past, to long before I was born. There are not any cars or any trace of technology whatsoever. People are on horses or carriages; streets are cobbled and houses are made of bricks. There are trees here and there, and there are no sidewalks. Well, I guess you don’t need sidewalks if you don’t have cars. At the distance I see a tall mountain, its peak seems frozen. The town is at a base of a mountain. Definitely not London. There are kids running around here and there but mostly people seem to be on the rush, not bothering with each other keeping to themselves.
What draws my attention is the outfits everybody is wearing. I don’t know about any prehistoric time when people used to dress with boots, capes and leather skirts or pants. The younger or middle-aged people I pass by seem muscular, everybody resembling warriors, and the older people look like the first old lady I encountered, like the mere activity of walking is a struggle. I stop a couple of people on my way asking them about the necklace, and if they know what Regnum thorax laneus means but they either don’t answer to me, or they make it obvious that they are not keen on talking to me. They just reply with a simple “I don’t know” or just shake their heads and continue on their ways.
After walking for what seems like an eternity, I feel my stomach starting to hurt. I have been here for what feels like hours and I haven’t eaten since lunchtime at school. I have the feeling that I have been going in circles. Everything looks the same, the people look similar to one another and no one is willing to help.
I drop against a tree defeated and start crying. When is this going to end? All I want is to return to my warm bed and food. Any kind of food. I sob into my palms, and people pass by me, like they don’t even notice I am there, let alone crying.
All of a sudden everything goes black.
I have something over my head and someone is holding my arms. I try to escape but they are way stronger than me and I fail terribly.
I start screaming. I scream with everything I have, hoping that someone will help me. My voice is muffled by the bag over my head. Thank God its not a plastic one at least, I would’ve been dead. It smells of something. All of a sudden, I can’t scream anymore. Like all my strength is drawn out of my body at once. My eyelids get heavy, and the person holding me seems to be easing his grip on my body. Yes, I can run, I can escape. But I don’t have the strength. I can’t keep my eyes open. And I surrender to the sweet embrace of sleep.
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