The first thing I remember that evening had to be the fringe.
The delicate fringe that lined each pillow I had been sleeping on. It was soft and long, as I began to awake from my sleepmy fingers and mind etched the strings. Pulling, and touching, my partially conscious mind, my better half finding the feeling bizarre and unfamiliar.
My eyes slowly opened; slightly dazed, I sat up and examined the space I had been in. Everything looked, quite frankly - old. There is simply no other adjective to describe the room's décor. I panicked, as would anyone else waking up on a bed, let alone in a bedroom not theirs. Multiple scenarios soon flooded my mind all at once, beginning with kidnapped and ending with murdered.
From what I could see, I was certainly not in clothing anywhere close to my century. Why would I be kidnapped and wearing something from, from – well I wasn't quite sure what era I was dressed in. It made no sense unless my captor had a very weird fetish, and then in that case I was screwed.
I glanced around and noticed there were no lights. No lamps, no switches on the walls, nothing. I pushed myself towards the edge of the bed, swinging my legs over and slowly standing up. Before I could even walk forward my eyes focused on my reflection. In front of me was a vintage vanity table, off white and carved delicately. I had to admit it was beautiful and very expensive looking. Though all thoughts aside, I ran towards the mirror and examined myself.
My hair had been put up in a bun, slightly ruined by my sleeping. I leaned forward and touched my face, I wasn't wearing any makeup from what I could tell. My skin looked fresh and foundation-less. I cringed and touched the few pimples on my forehead. Although my skin did look a few shades lighter, I immediately frowned. Rubbing my check, I noticed the white powder on my fingers.
"What the hell…" I mumbled quietly, I was done. I needed an answer now, someone, anyone to explain this to me, what was going on. Annoyed and angry, I marched towards the door – I stopped.
If I was going to be leaving the room I should bring something as a weapon, you know just in case I needed it. I turned around and observed the room thoroughly. I sighed and walked towards the fireplace. Blowing out the candle on the ledge, I hastily tore it off and through it aside. Grabbing the metal holder, I took in a deep breath and walked towards the door.
Before my fingers could even graze the handle, the door flung open. I gasped, dropping the candle holder in the process.
"Miss Ambrossio! What are doing in here?" The women huffed and grabbed my arm. I jumped at the sudden touch and pulled back. "Hey let go of me!" It took a few seconds until I realized there were other people around, in fact many people. All dressed like I was, the house from what I could see looked just the same as the room I was in. "What is the matter with you" She let go and stopped in front of me. Her face turned red and she frowned.
She was an older woman, with deep set wrinkles and alabaster skin. She looked intimidating and not pleased at all with my sudden outburst. Her hair was put up in the same fashion as mine, traced with white and red hair. Though despise how angry she looked now, her large green eyes were gentle. It was surprisingly comforting and defiantly took out some of the edge I had before.
"No matter, we have been looking for you. Mr. Shaw requests your appearance right this instant. I do believe he has some business to discuss with you" I said nothing, my mouth hanging open. I'm sure I looked stupid but honestly that's how I felt. I knew nothing about anything this lady was talking about. Who-what and how did she know my last name?
She sighed and shook her head disapprovingly, grabbing my hand and guiding me down the stairs. I did nothing but walk, unable to think as I gawked at my surroundings.
"Mr. Shaw, this is Miss Amelia Ambrossio" I Hadn't even noticed we had been standing in front of the "Shaw" family until I heard my full name. My head whipped forward and before I could say one thing Mr. Shaw spoke. "Miss Ambrossio, it's a pleasure to meet you" He smiled kindly and all I could do was stare at the man.
It's been a good 15 minutes since I woke up and still nothing had been explained to me. I have no idea what I'm doing, who these people are and why exactly everyone is dressed like came from the bloody History Channel.
I blinked and glanced toward the women next to me. She shot an eyebrow up and looked at Mr. Shaw. I gulped and put on my best fake smile I could muster at the moment. "Y-Yes It's a great, pleasure" My voice was hoarse and I started to chew my upper lip, a habit I had since I was little. "Mrs. Windly, Miss Ambrossio" He moved aside, gesturing towards a young…guy. "This is my son Robert. He just came back from fighting in Antietam"
Though I remained calm on the outside, inside I was a confused, hot mess. I knew the name Shaw sounded familiar and obviously judging by the clothing and "fighting in Antietam" I knew exactly what year I was in. The battle of Antietam happened on September 17, 1862.
I gulped, Civil War.
Thank you Mr. Findlers seventh period history class.
But wait, I couldn't possibly be in the eighteen hundreds. That's impossible, in fact a week was it, that scientist proved Einstein to be correct, time travel was not possible, nor probable. Maybe I'm being pranked… No, who the hell would prank me, let alone dress me up like this and through a Civil War themed party.
That was just weird and –
"Amelia" I jumped and turned towards 'Mrs. Windly' she shot dangers at me and if looks could kill I'd be dead. She nudged me and whispered again. "Amelia, stop being rude" I looked up and my breath caught in my throat. Whoa, well wasn't Robert…cute.
Mr. Shaw still smiled, pushing Robert even closer into the circle. "My son, Robert" He said as if it was the most obvious thing. "Oh, yes" I giggled awkwardly, trying my best to sound, 'Century appropriate' if you know what I mean. "Yes, I do believe, that um I am familiar with Roberts…work" Mrs. Windly tried to contain her laughter as everyone else, including Robert stared at me with a bemused expression.
"What I mean to say is, that I am very aware of Robert's efforts in the…war, efforts" I looked down, my face turning redder by the second. I didn't even know these people, well no I do know them but not know them know them. And I still manage to myself appear like a bumbling fool, unable to put together coherent sentences. They must think I'm an idiot; I kept my eyes locked on the floor not even daring to look up.
"Miss Ambrossio, it's come to my attention that you are a nurse. Is that correct?" The voice sounded different, well obviously; it sounded completely feminine. In attempts to seem, somewhat normal and not stupid nor rude I looked up. This time it was a slightly older woman who spoke. She had the same color hair as Robert from what I could notice and the same warm brown eyes as his.
For only meeting the guy a couple minutes ago, I felt like a complete creeper for noticing those diminutive details. But I was completely put back once her question began to process in my mind. She had just asked me if I was a nurse. Well no, she said I was a nurse. And I'm sure as hell positive I'm not a nurse.
I cringed at my answer, lie - BIG LIE.
"Oh how delightful!" She giggled and set her cup down. "Tell me, it must be such an exciting field of work" I nodded and tried to smile. "I- yes, it is. Very…delightful"
They all nodded and looked at me as if they were genuinely interested. I gulped and noticed my right arm twitching. Yet another habit I had since I was younger. "It's a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day it is very rewarding" They seemed to buy it, all nodding and smiling at my answer. My heart was beating fast, I don't lie. I don't do it because I simply cannot; I get all twitchy and visibly nervous, it's never a good time.
"Well, if you all don't mind I would like to speak to Mrs. Ambrossio alone" My eyes darted towards Mr. Shaw, not even noticing all the other people walking away. He smiled and grabbed my arm gently. I gawked and allowed him to lead me towards the fire place. Speaking of, I do believe I owe the Shaw family a candle…
"Miss Ambrossio, I am not quite certain you are aware of Roberts's position?" He looked at me, and I shook my head. "Well, you see he has agreed to become Colonel of the 54th Massachusetts infantry"
"And we are asking for your services miss"
Before I could do anything I fell, my legs simply gave up and there you have it, I fainted. Thank fully though Mr. Shaw grabbed my arms and steadied me before any damage could be done. I placed a hand on my hand and sighed, glancing around to see if anyone noticed. "My goodness, are you alright?" I looked up and nodded, clearing my throat.
"Mr. Shaw, w-what exactly are you asking me?" Frankly I knew exactly what he wanted and the fact that I've woken up to a surrounding unknown, bounded by people who apparently know me and think I'm some sort of nurse. It's completely insane. This situation is insane, these cloths, people – Mrs. Freaking Windly or whatever her name is.
Everything is beyond anything I know of and the fact that I am just playing along is quite alarming to me as well.
"I believe the 54th is in need of a proper nurse, and with all the things Mrs. Windly has been saying"
"Excuse me sir for interrupting, but what has Mrs. Windly been saying" Mrs. Windly who is this lady. Obviously she knows more than I do and that scares me. I needed some closure, where am I? What the fuck is going on?
"Nothing of importance my dear, but please say you will!" I gulped, should I? I mean these people couldn't possibly pull of an entire infantry to prank me or whatever. Let alone create 19th century Boston Massachusetts, so this has brought me to thus one conclusion.
I have somehow managed to break the laws of physics and go back in time to approximately the year 1862.
Yeah, I'm a bit confused as well.
So…was it bad? Was it good? I'm really eager to hear the response to this chapter. I know this whole scenario has been done multiple times but I really do believe my story will be surprisingly different. ;) Thank you so much for reading!