Hello! Sorry this one took SO BLOODY LONG! But, as you can see, I had been working away at all my many other stories. Then I got a little bit of writers block. My brain just keeps wanting me to bring the Doct… er, John Smith in there RIGHT NOW! Hopefully it won't take this long with the next chapter. Especially since a few of my other stories are drawing to a close.
Pain. That was all she had felt; pure, utter, burning pain. Before it had been so intense that she had blacked out. Now she felt warmth against her skin, and she knew that she would be okay.
Through the thick black fog that was smothering her, she could hear voices. Someone yelled out and another voice responded. Then the voice was talking to her, but she couldn't make out what they were saying through the water that was drowning her and dragging her down.
The next thing she felt was someone picking her up and wrapping her in a blanket, and then she was moving; first being carried, then driven in a very shaky car. Somewhere in there, she blacked out again. When she came to, she was lying on a soft mattress.
This time, the world came into focus more and more. Eventually, she was able to open her eyes, and keep them open. She was met by the sight of an older blonde woman with a heart shaped face, peering anxiously down at her.
"Oh, thank heavens, you're awake," the woman said, crouching down next to her. "How do you feel?"
"Like my head is burning," she groaned. The woman placed her hand on her forehead and felt for her temperature.
"Hmm, your temperature is back to normal," she commented, and then she softened her voice. "I'm the Matron, Nurse Redfern. What is your name?"
She opened her mouth to reply, but faltered. She knew her name. Of course she did. How could she not know her name? She struggled to think, grasping at what ever she could. Finally and image came to her, a blood red flower with sharp thorns down its stem. In her mind she heard a familiar voice shouting the word to her. The voice was a man's and it was filled agony and anguish as he screamed her name at her.
"Rose…" she finally answered. "My name is Rose… Where am I? When am I?" the last question came to her lips, almost like a habit.
"When?" the nurse said in bewilderment. "It is the tenth of November, 1913."
"Yes, yes, of course," Rose said in a daze.
"Are you alright? You were found unconscious in Mr Clarke's fields. You were naked and rather badly bruised."
Bruised? For some reason, Rose thought that it should have been worse. "What happened?" she asked.
"We were hoping you would be able to tell us… Frankly we feared the worst…" she said the last part quietly. She noted the horrified, confused look on Rose's face. "Can you remember anything?" she asked in concern.
Rose thought hard, trying to dig deep. But nothing would come. There were only three things that would come to her mind. No matter how hard she tried. Rose. Doctor. Bad Wolf. That was it. Nothing else. Nothing else would come. She knew that there was something there, but she just couldn't get to it. The memories were being held out of her reach.
"I - I can't remember anything…" she said shakily. "I can't remember what happened… I can't remember where I'm from, or anyone I know. There's just… nothing!" And now she started to panic. What was she going to do, when she didn't even remember who she was?!
At that moment, there was a knock at the door. A moment later a short nearly baled man wearing round glasses stepped into the room. Rose subconsciously drew the sheets tighter to her, even though she was wearing a night gown that in her opinion covered far too much.
"Ah, she's awake," the man said in a matter of face tone. "How is she doing, Matron?"
"Well, Headmaster, physically she's near fine from what I can tell. Just a few quickly disappearing bruises and exhaustion. But I fear she's suffering quite a severe case of amnesia. The only thing she can recall is her name."
"And what might that be, young miss?" he said, his voice becoming soft as he turned to face her. His expression was one of sympathy that she did not expect to see on such a war hardened face.
"Rose, sir," she tacked on the last part instinctively. "Rose…" Rose what? She didn't even know her last name. She tried to think for a moment, but still it was only those three things that would come. Rose - already knew that one. Doctor - well, if she was a doctor, she didn't remember a thing about it. Besides, were there even female doctors in this time? Bad Wolf - …well, she wasn't bad… but it was the closest thing she had to name. "Wolf," she finished. "Rose Wolf."
"Miss Wolf, I'm afraid that the village doctor has had to leave to deal with a family matter in London. Nurse Redfern is the best in the village after him, and I trust she will take good care of you. Now, I hope you can excuse me, but can you recall anyone? Any family, husband, who may be worried for you?"
Rose stopped to think again, but trying to recall anyone else was near impossible. She tried again, but a sharp stab went through her head. She gasped then shook her head.
"Hmm, well, I'm afraid you will have to stay here for now. Other than your memories you seem to be in well enough health. I could provide you a place to stay and perhaps even some work as a maid… Actually, tell me, Miss Wolf, can you read?"
"I, erm… I think so," she replied. It was a couple of seconds later, but finally something came to her, just a small thing. "Shakespeare… I think I like Shakespeare…"
"Well then, perhaps, if you stay here," the Headmaster said. "You may like to take over as our new librarian."
Still in utter shock, all Rose could do was nod.
Rose looked about the library. It wasn't as big as her library - or so her head told her. But it was quaint, and quite sweet, yet somehow it retained that well kept school look. But that was probably because libraries didn't look like this anymore.
This was to be her home until she could remember who she was and where she was supposed to be going. But already she was uncomfortable. It didn't feel right being here. And everything was all up tight and proper. It almost felt like she was out of her time. And it didn't help that people seemed to have been gossiping about her, because everyone had stared at her as she walked to the Library.
She straightened her stiff borrowed dress and smiled up at the shelves. She noted that a few were out of order and quite a lot seemed to be missing, especially in the history section.
"I'm afraid it's rather in disarray," Headmaster Rocastle told her. "The last librarian was quite old and a little bit strange in the head before she passed away. She didn't keep very good track of the books, but she was like family to us all. She had been with us for many, many years. Back before I was a boy even. But I'm sure you'll do a splendid job."
"Thank you, sir," Rose dipped her head.
"As you can see, a lot of books have been taken from this section. Our history teacher, Mr Smith, tends to rob the library of every book possible. I can ask him to bring as may as possible back if you wish to do an invitatory."
"Well, I guess that would be a start," she smiled. "I wouldn't really have known what to do first. Thank you so much for this."
"That's quite alright, Miss Wolf. I hope that your memories return soon." Then he turned on his heal and left.
Rose got to work not long after she had been set up in her room, which lead just out from the library. She had been wearing a pair of diamond earrings - god knows how she could have been able to afford them - and one of the maids had been sent to trade them in the hope she could get enough money to start her off. She didn't really care about the earrings. They didn't feel all that special to her.
So far she had made her way around a few of the shelves, just straightening them out and putting out of order books in the right place. She figured she would check which books were on loan later. But already she was beginning to feel tired. She'd been working for an hour or so and the numbers were beginning to blur in front of her.
Just then she heard the doors slam. She peered around the corner just in time to see them fly open again and be slammed shut as a bunch of boys came charging in. One of the boys grabbed a smaller boy by the collar.
"Listen, you little wimp. If you-"
"Oi!" Rose called to them. The bunch of boys started at the sound of her voice and spun around to face her. "What do you think you're doing? Let go of him!" They all seemed so shocked by this that the boy's grasp slipped and the small boy was able to pull away.
"You can't speak to-"
"I bloody well can. I don't know what you were taught when you were growing up, but you don't push others around. Now, get out of here and leave this boy alone, or I'll tell Mr Rocastle."
The one who was obviously the leader of the group glared at her a moment before he conceded and gestured for the others that they were leaving. Not without one last push to the smaller boy who remained behind. When the door had closed, he let out a sigh of relief.
"Thank you, Miss," he said.
"Are you alright?" she asked him.
"I'm fine, thank you. I've had worse."
"What's your name?"
"Timothy Latimer, Miss."
"I'm Rose," she smiled at him. "Rose… erm, well, I'm going by Wolf," she said awkwardly.
"Oh, are you that woman they found who's lost her memories?"
Rose nodded. "Listen, Tim, I know what it's like being bullied. You've got to stand up for yourself." Tim just looked at the ground. "But I'll tell you what; you can hide in here as often as you want, as long as you help me with inventory. To be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing. Just that Nurse Redfern wants me to be near her, just in case. And I don't want to be a burden. So, do we have a deal?" Rose held her hand out.
Tim looked at her curiously. "You're not like other women," he told her. Then he smiled shook her hand. Suddenly he gasped and went pale. He got a far away, panicked look in his eyes.
"Tim?" Rose asked. "Tim!" He looked up at her, startled. Fear was evident in his eyes. "Tim, are you alright?" she asked in concern.
"Erm, yes. Yes, Miss Tyler," he said quickly, drawing away his hand.
"Are you sure?" she asked. "You've gone pale." She didn't even notice when he called her by a different name.
"Yes, I'm fine. I was just thinking… I was going to ask you… But you wouldn't remember."
"Ask me anyway," she smiled.
"Do you know Mr. Smith?"
"I'm not sure," she shrugged. "I'll have to ask him when I meet him." Tom followed her as she went back to the shelf she had been on and continued working. After a moment, he picked up on what to do and started helping a shelf over. The entire time, he kept a cautious eye on her.
"You're taking this pretty well," he commented after watching her happily shelve away fro five minutes. "Losing your memories and all."
Rose gave him a weary smile. "I'm really not. I'm actually freaking out. But… there's nothing I can do about it for now. There's not point in stressing about. I mean, in the movies something always triggers it and they remember, so…"
"…Movies?" Tim said in confusion. What on Earth were movies? Were they like a film? He had heard of films, but he had never seen one.
"I don't know, I guess I'm just trying to be optimistic," she sighed, putting away another book.
"Well, you're doing a good job, ma'am… Thank you. For letting me stay here."
"Well, I could probably do with the company."
"I think you will remember who you are," he said with a certainty she wished she had.
"Perhaps… but for now, let's just see where this job takes us. I always did like a new adventure."