I find myself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says 1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and I can see daylight at the top.
“Where have they sent me to this time?”
The twins enjoyed their fun at my expense. They would catch me with my guard down and trick me in subtle ways. It was never my choice to time travel; I had no wish to live what the history snippets in class showed us. I preferred modern life with all its comforts and privileges. I look down at myself. At least this time I was wearing clothes, even though they were ragged and threadbare! No shoes though. I shuddered in horror at the dirt encased on my skin. Lifting an arm, I sniff myself. Yikes! I smell as if I haven’t washed for months.
I look up the staircase again. The light beckons me, promising me warmth and fresh air. Dare I go up? I hesitate, not sure of the role I have been placed in. Damn the twins! If they wish for adventure, why don’t they travel the centuries? I make a fist at them, knowing they are watching and shaking their shoulders in mirth at my expense.
Bracing my shoulders, I take the first step up the staircase. It creaks and I hold my breath. No-one comes. Up I go, trembling hand holding tightly onto the bannister. My head pops out into the open air. I inhale its saltiness and stare at the huge rolling sea surrounding us. I notice the feet coming towards me, shod in well-worn shoes.
“There you are lad! Have you brought up the drink?” My gaze travels up to the speaker’s face. His unkempt beard covers a smile yet does not detract from his twinkling eyes. “We are thirsty and wish to celebrate our find.” My gaze is distracted by the flag flying on the mast. Is that the Jolly Roger?
(This post was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt of Time and Place)
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014