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Historical Fiction

It was time for a change, but that change didn't come in time. At least not in time as people usually understand its passing. My name is Annabelle, or Belle as I was known to my family and friends. The Belle of the Ball they use to tease.

I was always considered one of the privileged and well educated in our community. But people rarely understand the fact that well educated doesn't always exude awareness nor does it exclude ignorance. Privilege can sometimes be a hindrance to possessing the right kind of knowledge.

Considering my current plight, I've come to realize how unknowledgeable I really was.

It was hot that day this epiphany overtook me. And it overwhelmed me like the overbearing heat of that summer solstice. The crowds of people were oppressed with more than heat from the bright summer sun and the excessive humidity in the air. They exerted a rage consuming them with the blood, sweat and tears etched in the myriad patterns of their pathetic lives. Or was I the pathetic one? I was the one on the run..

I weaved in and out of the crowd seeking shelter from their madness. It was like a carnival of empty souls, avenging the harbinger of death and misery that had canvassed their lives for generations. They wanted freedom, but craved imprisonment that had been offered to them by the masters of trickery. The devout souls sought refuge in the religion of the people. The heathens sought wantoness and paganistic outlets. The everyday common person sought civility in a world that had lost any trace of being civil.

Soon I was encumbered by these people. I smelled the alcohol on their breath, the lust emerging from the energy they spent. I tried to ignore the temptation around me but was caught up in their passion. I just wanted a little magic from the mundane and the everyday, but life had been thrown into a tumultuous spin of rebellion from the very philosophy they had embraced years ago.

When the plague had hit, death had reared in the long reaching scythe he carried and cleared the way for the rest of the citizens inhabiting the world to live in a surreal universe of apathy and prostitute themselves to the ordinances of their leaders. They feared change, they submitted to unity through suppression of thought and ideals. They had given up to what they had once despised and lay their souls upon the altar of social acceptance.

I had done nothing in my little world to change anything. I just wanted the magic to return. I sought the magic of being someone other than me. That magic had landed me here. Between time and space, trying to exist in a world I thought I knew, but one that knew nothing of me.

The wantoness of the carnival had lasted for days and eventually I found a safe exit through an opening far away from the town. Isolated in the dark forest, I sought refuge. I didn't even know forests like this existed anymore. It seemed like the plague from decades ago had erased any natural surroundings. I had been ensconced on my happy little isle before the revolution took over. People wouldn't tolerate disease or false religions or confinement anymore. They threw off the chains that enslaved them and bowed to science. Encrypted by the script they followed, people like myself were frowned upon. When I finally was able to escape into the next revolution, I discovered that time was parallel and dimensions were separate yet welded together.

Until the discovery of this forest, I thought that one large guillotine was hoisted above my head ready to drop and chop. I had found myself about to be burned at the stake for wanting to be different. But I didn't know how to differ. I became indifferent to change and willingly went to the road that would take me out of noncompliance and rebellion. I just wanted to be alone, away from the maddening cries and the deafening noise of the grand silence.

Maybe now that I found this little haven, I could enjoy some peace and quiet, the solace I once owned when I didn't have to care or want for anything. I was in the in-between. Between the crazy and the sane, I found myself engrained in the beauty that I had only dreamed existed.

Within the next week I had gone through this ocean of evergreen. I enjoyed the coolness, the sun breaking through the leaves, the sound of birds singing in the shadows of the trees and the velvet dark nights with a lullaby only the forest could create. Now here I was at the end of another road, a different path.

As I walked towards an opening in the woods, a small town lay in front of me; a village of cottages and stables, with a small meeting house and church. Could this be what I had only read about in books?

Treading out onto the pathway, I came across an old lady half blind yet patiently knitting. She offered me some bread and water and bade me sit down and talk. She talked of things from the past. Tales from history, stories from her life. She struck me as someone familiar. When I asked what she was knitting, she explained it was a special pattern. It wove together time and life. It had entwined many lives and losses. It enblanketed several success stories and a number of failures. It enveloped sadness and happiness.

What was she creating now I asked her. "Oh a blanket to warm or a shroud to cover one", she explained. She told me the story of this particular weave. A well educated privileged person who knew nothing of empathy or endurance until the day of the great revolution. Then, racing through the circus of life, she came across nature and the magic she had been seeking. She grew older and wiser until she sat here, commissioned to weave, until she found herself. I was in awe of her words, her story.

Finally I asked her name. "My name is Annabelle, or if you wish, Belle, " she answered. "Dont you recognize yourself?" she asked me. Suddenly she disappeared.

I awoke in the chair, outside, clutching knitting yarn and needles in my hands.

I was given the task of weaving my life together with those around me, in and outside of my daily existence. My task was clear. Weave the web until another comes to replace me. But stitch your pattern wisely and carefully. Or that time for a change will never come in your time.


June 02, 2020 21:47

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6 comments

Fumi Ersan
01:25 Jun 13, 2020

It’s quite eloquent. The protagonist seems quite distant somehow.

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Cynthia Grove
18:51 Jun 15, 2020

Because the protagonist is very unsure of herself, having grown up distant from people. When her life is upheavaled she must face this and is given a path. The question is, was this path her decided fate or ending, or was she in another life or dimension, able to change her choices?

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Terry Ann Kunz
18:25 Jun 08, 2020

Great Story!! Such a good writer!!!

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Cynthia Grove
18:45 Jun 15, 2020

Thank you!

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18:04 Jun 08, 2020

Enjoyed reading this story!

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Cynthia Grove
18:44 Jun 15, 2020

Thank you!

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