Disclaimer: I do not own Time City or anything you recognize from the book A Tale of Time City

A/N: Now to my reviewers:

            ChocolateEclar: Yes…siblings are very annoying!!! I should know…I have a little brother whose favorite pastime is to bug me to death! J Thanks for reviewing!!!!!

            Kookle Wrenford: I'm guessing you figured the…as you put it…BACKWARD…people out. lol. I suppose it was kind of obvious who they were. Thanks for reviewing!! I'm glad you liked my story!!!!!!

Another Tale of Time City

Chapter 5

A Fear of Heights


History- year 1814

New Orleans, Louisiana

Bright white light shone all around Alannari and she was forced to squeeze her eyes tight shut, covering her face with her arm…

            When Alannari opened her eyes, the first thing she noticed was that the room she was in was drab, dull, and tiny. It was nothing like the places in Time City, and yet nothing like the 20th century, the time in history where she had grown up. 'This must be the 19th century', Alannari thought. By the time the shock of being in history had worn off and Alannari turned around to face the door of the little room, Sunaiviv, Agni, and Naiviv had already left. Alannari reached down for her suit case only to find empty air. Alannari looked down and groaned, she had made it safely into history but obviously her suitcase had not. Feeling rather annoyed, Alannari walked out of the room and set off to find Agni.

            Alannari did not find Agni but did discover that the tiny room was the only thing tiny about this house that she was in. After going down hallway after hallway and peeking into room after room, she was soon hopelessly lost. Once she had gone into the 10th bedroom decorated in pastel frilly trimmings and was about to give up, she suddenly came upon a very old looking door. It was surprisingly plain compared to the rest of the house and Alannari opened it up to investigate.

            Behind the door was the longest stairway she had ever seen. It just spiraled up and up and up, as far as she could see. Slowly Alannari made her way up the stairs, getting quite tired by the time she had gone up at least 2 flights of stairs. When she had finally reached the top she had to lean against the wall, panting before she tried opening the door. Shoving it open she found herself at the beginning of a long hallway lined with doors. She walked along, opening doors, peeking into rooms, and searching for anything interesting. The last door was closed and when she tried to open it, she found it locked. Giving the door a strong shove, Alannari tried her best to force it open. Finally the door gave way and she found herself holding half of the handle that had come apart from the door.

            She tossed it off to the side and stepped into the room. A window right across from the door was open and the tattered curtains billowed in the breeze. Alannari strode over to the window and looked out. A gasp escaped from her. She was looking out on a huge plantation surrounded by trees. A great river ran not far off to the West. And clear blue sky stretched as far as the eye could see. Looking down Alannari realized that she was at least 3 stories up and probably in what was the attic. Alannari's knees bended underneath her and she collapsed to the dirty floor of the room. She hated her fear of heights. When she was in Time City it had always prevented her from going up the Gnomon Tower.

            Once she had calmed down, Alannari stood back up and looked around the room. The only furnishings were a small bed, a rather large chest, and a night stand. The bed looked as if it had been used recently. The covers were piled in a heap at the end of the bed and the pillow had fallen on the floor. Walking over to the chest, Alannari had just opened it and had begun to look through its contents when she heard a door open. Alannari jumped up, surprised, she hadn't remember closing the door. She turned around only to see that the door was still open and hadn't been touched. This confused Alannari even more.

            "Who are you and what are you doing here?" A voice said. In the corner of her eye, Alannari could see a tall girl glaring at her. The girl was wearing a dirty, ragged, brown dress and had the reddest hair that Alannari had ever seen.

            "I…I…" Alannari started, turning around to face the girl.

            "What makes you think you can just burst into my room and go through my things?"

            "I'm sorry, I didn't think anyone else lived here," Alannari said meekly.

            "You…you live here?" The girl asked, her glare turning to a look of worry.

            "Yes, we just moved in," Alannari said hoping that this really was their house.

            "Oh…well never mind," The girl said, running to the window and jumping out of it.

            "What do you think you're doing?" Alannari screamed. She ran towards the window and looked down. Leaning slightly over the edge of the window, all Alannari could see was fancy bushes and nicely trimmed grass along the edge of the house. She tried to turn sideways so she could see onto the roof. A tall figure had just disappeared from the roof and into another window, two down from Alannari's. Without thinking, Alannari quickly climbed out of the window and began to make her way across the roof. About halfway to the window, Alannari saw a little glimpse of the ground below and, suddenly realizing what she was doing, her fear of heights took over. Clinging to the roof, Alannari looked desperately around for help.

            Taking a deep breath, Alannari let go of the roof and slowly stood up. By practically crawling across the roof, Alannari finally reached the safety of the windowsill. She dropped through the window and into the room. From there she started to run towards the stairs, hoping to find the girl. As soon as she got to the stairs at the end of the hallway, she could tell she had gone towards the wrong one. Looking back over her shoulder, she saw that another staircase was at the other end of the hall, too. Only that one had a door, like the one she had originally came up. The ones she was in front of now had no door; it looked as if it had been torn off. She started down the stairs. Carefully at first, for the stairs were really steep.

            Alannari never was that athletic and got tired after only a few stairs. Seeing that there was a railing on the outside wall of the stairs, Alannari sat on it and slid down the railing the rest of the way. This idea seemed to work perfectly and Alannari was having lots of fun. Until she came to the bottom of the steps, that is. The stair railing ended abruptly at the door at the bottom. A door that was getting increasingly larger in size as Alannari slid farther and farther down the stair rail. Realizing that there was no way to jump off the rail and that she couldn't slow herself down, Alannari closed her eyes tight and yelled as loud as she could, hoping someone would hear her.

A/N: I feel really sorry for Alannari in this chapter. I hadn't meant for her to be so afraid of everything but I think she chose to be…lol. These characters really do surprise me sometimes!