As you'll recall, last week I ended No Way Out, at least as far as posting it here. This week I'm starting something new. Well, sorta new. It's the sequel to Trapped in Time. For right now, let's call it Trapped in Time II. Don't forget to check out the other Briefers, whose links follow my tale. Enjoy!
Trapped in Time II: #1
The sun beat down upon us like a hammer upon an anvil—relentless and fierce. This heat is different than that of the jungle. Far less humid and much dustier. The dust flies about us whenever the wind rises, choking us, making conversation optional. It is a good thing that we have water, hopefully enough to reach the next watering hole, and after that civilization, such as it is.
My head is numb, although not because of the heat, but because of what has occurred. Prior to this, we were all trapped in time in a prehistoric jungle, amidst dinosaurs and other fabulous creatures never before seen by man. Then Myron used his magic to pull us forward in time, to bring us home, but something went very wrong, and things did not work out as intended. We ended up in the wrong time and place—and now my Vittorio is missing. So is Kitty. And my pennyfarthing. Much as I miss them, it is Vittorio my heart aches for, a pain that pierces my very soul and leaves my nights sleepless.
Let me try to make some sense of this. Perhaps by ordering my thoughts, I will gain some relief from my sorrow, although I doubt that is so.
Vati, Myron, Charlie, Mary and I are somewhere in the time period that I have heard referred to as the Old West. Except it is not so old now. But it is very dirty. Big open spaces, as far as the eye can see. Tumbleweeds and heat. Except at night, when the temperature drops.
We were lucky. After we’d first arrived, we spotted a group of travelers in a wagon train. They were very kind and gave us what they could spare in the way of food and water, and clean clothes. Even a horse, to carry our provisions. We probably presented quite the sight to them. Especially Mary. None of them had ever seen a monkey before,. Luckily, Mary was on her best behavior and didn’t frighten them.
They said they were on their way to California, the land of milk and honey. They told us where we are, too. Apparently this is the Arizona territory. And the year is 1881.
Perhaps I would be more interested in this living, breathing history lesson, were I not so worried about Vittorio. At first, I assumed he was somewhere close by, and I ran about in aimless circles, searching for him, screaming his name, until Vati made me stop.
I think it has been about a week now since we first arrived in this place, I cannot be sure. I find it hard to worry about the passage of time, or much of anything else. Sometimes I worry that I am losing my religion, as well as my reason for existence. Vittorio was my everything. Is my everything. Wherever he is.
I trail behind the others. Vati leads us, naturally. Myron and Charlie walk behind him. They alternate between carrying Mary and letting her scamper on her own, close beside them. Sometimes she sits atop the horse, whom we have named Frederick. Charlie is in charge of him. He seems to have an affinity for him, and the horse shows his affection with nuzzles along Charlie’s cheek.
I am not anti-social, I simply wish to be left alone with my thoughts. The closeness which had recently sprung up between myself and Myron has turned cold. I just cannot speak to him right now, and yes I cannot help but blame him for what has occurred. Charlie maintains a buffer between us, but Myron keeps his distance, and I am happy to leave it that way. Vati tried to talk to me about it at first, but even he has given up. But whenever we make camp, he is there beside me, and his silent strength is my only comfort.
Lost in my thoughts, I look up to find Charlie approaching. “Rolf says we will stop here,” he tells me. I glance around. This is as good a place as any, I suppose. There are a few trees; they’ll afford us a bit of shelter. We can make a fire so I can cook. I don’t eat much myself, but I still feed the others.
“Doll...” Charlie lays a hand upon my shoulder. When I don’t look up immediately, he clears his throat until at last I meet his eyes. “We will find him. Do not worry, please.”
I nod, afraid to trust my voice
“Myron is sorry, Doll, very sorry...”
I know that too, but I cannot concede the point. Not yet. I stubbornly drop my gaze to the ground. He gives me a hug and leaves me alone.
Already I feel the warmth of the sun begin to recede and I shiver, both from the cold and the idea of spending another night without Vittorio. It has occurred to me that he might be in another time entirely, and in that case he maybe lost to me forever. I close my eyes against the hot tears that threaten to fall. Vittorio would hate to see me cry. He’d tell me to be brave, to never give up hope. He would not fall apart like this. I am weaker than he is, I am afraid, more...
What’s that? I hear the rhythmic thumping of hoof beats. It cannot be Frederick; Charlie has him, and is taking care of him. No, this is coming toward us. For a moment my heart thumps loudly as I imagine my Vittorio has found me, he’s racing toward me even now, and we shall be reunited momentarily.
I swipe at my eyes, and raise my face to the approaching rider as he gallops our way. It isn’t until he reaches us and dismounts that I get a good look at him. This is not my Vittorio, this is a stranger. I kick the dirt in my frustration and turn away from him in disappointment.
to be continued
Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!
Until next time, take care!