She whipped around, to see nothing but the old gate of the Manor. She had always wondered who lived in there. People said that they could sometimes see a shadow behind the old curtains, racing back and forth. She’d never seen it, of course. She never saw the things that the old men whispered about in the park, or heard the things that the gossipy old women seemed to think so interesting about the house.
It was just a house, wasn’t it? She stood up, looking hard, trying to see what the other people said was there. How old was the Manor, anyways? She approached the blackened gate. Grandmother had told her that long long ago, there was a terrible fire in the Manor. Most of the family that lived there managed to get out, but the eldest son was trapped in his room by the fire.
Of course, that was just an old wives’ tale. She was sure that there were no such things as ghosts. The Dead always passed into the Summerland. Mother had told her that. All spirits of the Departed always went to the Summerland. It was the natural course of things.
She placed a hand cautiously on the gate, which swung open as soon as she laid her hand on it. Slightly unnerved, she yanked her hand back, but walked in through the rotten wooden gate and made her way to the charred porch. It took less time than she thought it would to walk up to the front door, but once she got there, it took an eternity for her open it. It wasn’t hard to open, no. She just didn’t know if this was such a good idea after all. Maybe…maybe there was something in this house.
However, the door swung open just as the gate had. Taking a deep breath, she walked in.
Her heartbeat seemed to echo throughout the entire house.
Thump, THUMP. Thump, THUMP.
There was something about this house. Something…sad. She shook herself. There were no ghosts. There never had been. There never would be.
She walked back to the door, only to see that it had disappeared.
But, how was that possible? Doors don’t just disappear. Maybe she was looking in the wrong place. She walked to the window, only to see that it wasn’t nighttime at all. The sun was shining and the grass, instead of being withered and dying, was lush and green.
What was going on?
She rubbed her eyes, hoping it was just some sort of strange dream, but when she opened them again, it was still daytime.
There was a child playing in the grass. She was sure that there had been no one outside a moment before.
The child’s laughter filled the air. Almost as if it were right behind her. It seemed to permeate through everything.
“What are you doing here?”
She turned hastily to see a boy standing in the room entrance. He looked to be about nineteen years old, but he was dressed in an odd fashion. As if he were from the early nineteenth century. But, it was 2010.
She looked around wildly. “I…” she couldn’t seem to get to what she was trying to say. What was she trying to say?
“I…I don’t know…” she whispered, cradling her head in her hands and sinking to the floor.
She felt him sit down on the floor beside her. “Don’t go crying like that, now.”
“I’m not crying,” she replied, annoyed. “I’m just…confused.”
“And what are you wearing?” he asked, looking at her Halloween costume. A pirate wench.
“Oh…um…er…this is just for Halloween…” her voice trailed off.
“Oh…it’s…um…look, can you just tell me where I am?”
“In my father’s house.”
“But…that’s not possible…I thought no one’s lived here for ages…”
He looked confused. “What are you talking about? My family’s been living here for a century.”
She sighed and covered her face with her hands again. “This will seem like a stupid question, but what’s the year?”
“I’m sorry…could you repeat that?”