It was about three o’clock, on the 8th of January 2009 when it all began...
I found it in the attic of our new house. Although I say new, the house was very old. History owning its presence. But that’s why I had always been so highly fond of the dwelling on Liberty Street, London, I liked old. My name for the place was Scarlet Cottage as of its faded coat of red paint. Although it never really was a cottage, it wasn’t of cottage size proportions, so I suppose It was wrong to name it as such. I should have stuck with house.
The place was large, about the size of a manor. And owned a wide abundance of neatly set rooms, each with their doorway’s leading to a roomy and generous balanced corridor. Thick, peach carpet lay tightly across the floorboards, and pretty oriental wallpaper embellished to walls. Not our decoration, but the last person to have lived there was my great great grandmother. And I suppose she wouldn’t have adorned the place with any care, since before the last Great War. A while ago I guess.
She’d lived there for a long time, I wasn’t quite sure how. Eighty-Six years. Born, bread, and died in the same place. So therefore passing away at the awe-inspiring age of 86, she was very frail and ill-equipped for everyday life. So relief must have struck her when the last heart beat, beat its last pulse. Then the lids of her eyes, closed heavily for the final time. So we got the house, Grandma had left me it in her will as her only granddaughter.
My name is Anne Meadow. I’m sixteen, and have pale blonde hair that resembles white cotton; thin, wavy and it never does exactly what you want it to. The reminiscent of threading a small needle. My eyes are sky blue and my nose is so petite that its hardly visible between my eyes, which are so big you’d think I were high on drugs, and my lips which spread almost the entire distance of face.
I like my name Anne, although I should have been called Maggie, which frankly is ghastly, something some old women who eats custard creams and drinks tea all day would have. Maggie was my Great Great grandmother. That was her name. It’s a tradition in my Dad’s family that your first daughter is given their Grandmother’s name, and the first boy their Grandfather’s. But neither I nor Teri had liked it. Dad wasn’t particularly happy about this (Neither was his mum. Although his Dad, had died before I was born. Alas only one parent complaining we were breaking the tradition). Therefore Bertie would still take to the habit of addressing me with it. It was really infuriating.
My Dad is Bertie, and he and my mum have recently got divorced, after twenty years of marriage. It was almost certainly his fault; having an affair with a pimped up tart almost half his age. But it would make no difference anyway; I had barely seen him at the best of times when he lived with us. He was either working, or at the pub. The, at the pub part been a lot more likely than the first. Let’s just say, when I did see him, he wasn’t particularly of sane mind.
My Mum is Teri, a rather cordial and self-lozenging kind of person. Although at times, a little too gullible. Even still, she really is everything the word Mum foretells, interlaced with a fine pink bow and dredged with a faint whisper of imagination.
The front door suddenly opened, the hefty locks clicking back into place, until a voice, muffled through the walls; ample and made of solid stone, filled my ears, “Anne!” My mum called my name in melodic tones, “Come down here, the van will be here soon.” Van?
I ran down stairs, slowly. They were steep and the carpet was fraying, loathed in a coverlet of thickening dust. I didn’t even stop to reply to Teri’s command; instead I was simply following it.
“Anne is that you?” Did I really have to answer that? She had called me. And the house may be big. Big enough to hold twenty others’ twice the size of me. But Teri knew all too well that I was the only one here. And even London burglars’ wouldn’t make the noise I was creating, dodging bin bags and suitcases at the foot of the stair case. Yes, I suppose I did have to answer, “Uh,” Was I actually thinking about it...“Yes mum, it’s me.” I griped. A sigh of relief settled Teri’s conscience. She wasn’t yet content with the idea of living in a city, all that news of unlawful killings, knife crime and drug abuse. It sent shivers down her spine.
Teri spoke, “The van ‘il be here soon.” Yes, like she said. But what van?
“What van?” I replied as I finally managed to get past the bags and suitcases.
“What about it?”
“What van?” I said, raising my voice.
. “Oh, Anne come here. You’re speaking a load of rubbish.” She retorted.
I huffed, and walked through the dining room. Then on into the old fashioned pantry, with peeling pink paint on the walls and a few odd items of stale food lying around.
“...But Anne, love, don’t step on anything!” She said whilst perched on the edge of the table, shining the cutlery with an old piece of cloth.
“...Ouch!” I tripped, whilst coming through into the kitchen. My right foot clicked as it managed to become lodged behind a metre high CD rack, which formed the shape of a highly coloured lizard. It was laid on its side across my path. As I plummeted towards the ground the calving knife Teri was buffing slipped from her hand, landing but half an inch from my left arm. Teri tensed forward to catch me. But she was unable to reach, so it was lucky one of my arms was alert and caught the work surface of the kitchen cabinet.
“That hurt. A lot.” I exclaimed. “Move this crap!”
Teri passed me a firm hand and pulled me back up to her level, “I was trying, well I was going to get you to....and anyway there’ll be none of that language in, erm...my house.”
“What language.” I snapped.
“No swearing, madam!!” She chuckled.
I joined Teri on the table; a great big oak thing, which was stained with the last fifty years of deterioration.
“Were going to be okay Mum, aren’t we?” I said, suddenly in a very profound tone.
“I don’t need no man to keep me going, love. I’ve got you and that’s all that matters.” She smiled, but you could see that from behind the expression, her mind was a heart-rending place to be.
I smiled back, “I love you Mum.”
“I love you to baby.” She conveyed, whilst burying her face into my hair. I could feel a sort of dampness on my scalp, and a faint weeping sound that told me she was crying. I waited a couple of minutes and then spoke. “Mum ...” I said.
“I’m fine love. I’m fine. Just give me a minute.” She unburied her face from my hair; she looked pretty bad, with two long channels of black mascara running down her cheeks. She then grabbed her bag from beside herself on the table and pulled out a pocket mirror. Looking in mirror, she used her sleeve to clean up her face, and then began making herself up using a small brush from her bag, and a few items of makeup.
“The van will be here really soon now....better be quick.” She mumbled whilst applying a final coat of mascara. With all the fuss I’d forgotten to ask her what on earth she was blabbing on about.
“...Err.., Mum. What you on about?”I said, slightly distorted.
“That’s what you were wittering on about earlier, you should have just said.” She sighed. “Your...err....Dad -”
“Dad!! Dad’s coming here. Why on earth...that man...if he comes anywhere near you, I swear I’ll -”
“Don’t worry love. You don’t have to talk to him, or even look him. He’s just bringing over some of our stuff.”
“I thought he’d....gone.” I said wiping a tear from my eye.
Bertie was in the midst of moving to America. His new girlfriend had relatives there and they were going to buy a house and start up a family. Frankly I thought it was sick. This girlfriend of his looked young enough to be his daughter; she was in fact only three years older than me!! This surely meant she’d only just left school; to be taken advantage by a sick, twisted man who regrettably was my Father. I thought of this family of hers. Wouldn’t they be horrified if she were too get pregnant by a thirty-nine year old man, so I didn’t know how long they would actually be in America.
His Girlfriend, I’d only met her the once. And I wouldn’t actually say that I met her. All I remember was her lying in bed with Dad, and Mum bawling at him to get out the flat and never come back again. She was called Mandy I think. She had blonde hair and was very slim, your typical teenager. Young and naive.
I could honestly say it was one of the worst days of my life. If not the worst.
Teri stood up and placed her hands loosely on her hips, “Not yet. Tomorrow I think.”
“How long do you think he’ll be until he gets here?”
I wondered how he was actually going to get the belongings here, I wasn’t sure how much there was but Teri had said something about a van. He didn’t even own a vehicle. If he actually went to work when he said he did instead of getting drunk and sleeping around, then there would have been a possibility that he could buy one. With his own earnings.
“Where did he get the van?” I asked.
“I think its Mark’s pick up.” She replied. “But stop asking questions. I know zilch about him anymore. Not that I actually care. He’ll bring our things today and then hopefully we’ll never see him again. Ever. And I’m telling you it would be for the best.”
Suddenly we heard the shriek of tires on the hot tarmac. We ran into the dining room and looked through the windows. The van was blue, faded and blurry, although that may have been the windows; coated with sixty years of collective grime. The engine stirred and Bertie stepped out of the cab. Alone. At least he hadn’t brought Mandy along with him. I glanced over to the back end of the van. There were piles of boxes, suitcases, and clothes stacked high in a mish-mash of unnecessary mess.
“Shall I go help him with the stuff? We’re going to have to put it all upstairs, cos’ there is no room down here. But the stairs are really steep Mum.”I said softly.
“No love. I will. You can go in the attic, and we’ll lift the things up there. It’s not like we actually need any of it.”
“Erm...But...” I said thinking of the spiders.
“But, what?” She responded as there was an impulsive knock on the door. It seemed to emit a huge spam of intense volume in the air, and the silence that followed made me feel as if I were been gagged; the restriction to speak or at least I felt I shouldn’t.
“I’ll get it,” Teri said mellifluously. There was another abrupt sound of a fist pummelling against the wooden front door. “I’m coming alright.” She hollered.
“No I will mum.” I said, turning and looking towards the hallway.
I took a large gulp of air and made my way into the airy corridor. The front door was to one end, and the precipitous flight of steps to the other. Through a small window of frosted glass on the door, I could see the hazy image of my Dad’s head; short, brown, cropped hair. Narrow, blue eyes and a wide deep-set jaw. He smiled as he seemed to see me to, but then veered round so all I could see was the black screen of his leather jacket. I sighed, then took the metal door knob firmly in my hand, and turned it. As it opened I was greeted with a swift draught of afternoon air, and then as he turned around, the proverbial flaccid face of my Dad.
“Hi Maggie.” He uttered.
As I said, he was still his juvenile-like self that he had been thirty years ago, and he still took to calling me Maggie. It’s just another in an exceedingly long list of negative aspects about my Dad.
“It’s Anne, Dad.”I muttered.”Now you’re going to bring our things in. Then leave.”I stated then swerved round, leaving the front door open and heading for the stairs.
I shouted to Mum, “It’s him, mum! I’ll be in the attic so you can pass the stuff up.”
“Thanks love.” Then I heard her sigh as she proceeded towards the door.
I was about halfway up the stairs when Mum called me again. “Anne, will you take these up with you? Please.”
Teri was stood at the very foot of the flight of stairs; an overflowing bin bag in one hand, and a small suitcase in the other. As I looked at her it was still quite obvious she’d been crying earlier; her irises were a strong shade of red, her pupils were a considerably smaller than usual, and her cheeks glowed with an indistinct crimson colour. She had her hair tied loosely behind her back, black ringlets dangling from the ends, and was wearing long aubergine coloured dress. She’d lost all sense of want to look respectable since Bertie left her, and I was sure that she was about to give up on life completely.
“Oh, fine.” I replied and went back down the stairs to get the bag and case from her.
It took me a fair while to get into the attic. There was the thought of spiders; eight web spinning legs, twining and weaving complex patterns. I believed that they were absolutely horrible creatures; therefore I’d say I had an extreme case of arachnophobia.
Then there were the ladders which were attached to the inside of the door; they were way too high to reach, and I had to retrieve a foot ladder from downstairs.
And then finally there was the bleak and sinister environment that attics always betray, I’m not going to say I wasn’t at all scared. I was; although it wasn’t that I was specifically afraid of the dark, I just wouldn’t say I was a fan of it either. But is anybody?
So I wasn’t exactly on cloud nine, to find that it was a dark and rather dingy attic room. Cobwebs hanging from the beams, home to spiders’ and their dinners’. Box after box after boxes stacked in non-symmetrical piles, arranged in no assortment of preparation. And an anaemic light dispersing through a small loft window; set at the Forty-Five degrees angle of the sloping roof. Then there was the floor, which gave my no more confidence in this venture; just a series of woodworm eaten timbers, covered by many thin wooden boards.
I hurled the brimming cases through the small, square, space in the floor, closely followed by a black bin liner, of which my nail’s had clawed several holes at either side. Then I dumped them all on a sturdy timber.
With a silent cry of relief; free of any strain on my arms, I looked intently around. The air was full with a thick matter of dust, which was making it a little hard to breathe. There were odd items of bulky furniture, which made me wonder, how it had been possible for them to fit through the diminutive hatch?
The first thing I discerned was a small closet; it drew my eye as some part of it shone spectacularly; a gleaming tunnel of colour that seemed to pick up every last particle of light that had made it into the attic. I looked a little closer; it was the two handles, used to open the structure that was the source. To me they looked diamond encrusted, but if they were, surely such an exquisite piece would not be kept in such a grubby place.
Also I noticed there were a large number of boxes. Different shapes. Different textiles used to make them. Different Purposes. But there were still a great deal of the object. Most were wooden; older articles. However there were a few plastic and metal items. These would have been recently stored in here, most likely just before Grandma went to meet her maker.
I couldn’t really make out much else, so consequently began looking around for a light source. A switch. A torch. Matches. Anything really. But it looked as if this house was from before the times of electricity; therefore no light switch or torch. And even if there were some matches I had nothing to strike them with anyway.
With no other option, I pulled my phone from the back pocket of my faded jeans, and arbitrarily clicked a button from the key pad. In the blink of an eye the once blank and empty screen was filled with vibrant flashes of colour. It wasn’t the best of torches, but it did illuminate the small space around me; mixing with the natural daylight that entered through the small window. I then ran the phone’s glow through the air, at last I could see more . There was an old rocking horse, a lounger and a stack of old books, to one side. And one distinctive bulky chest, to another.
“Maggie, next case coming up.” Yelled Bertie.
I sighed reluctantly, “Right.” I then ambled over towards the cavity in the floor, and heaved my entire body forwards so I had a good outlook down the pair of wooden ladders. Bertie was stood at the substructure of the set of steps, poising a heavy looking crate of china.
To me the ladders seemed to act like a hierarchy; me at the top, Dad at the very bottom and the ladders in between; the tree used to make the steps was a lot more valuable to me, than a man who abandoned his daughter to move half way across the world. And as proven trees are important factors to our existence here on earth today.
After that I stooped down low and held out my arms to make the wooden crate reachable, and Bertie moved further up the ladder to pass it to me. When I managed to seize hold of the item I grappled with its fastidious body, and finally managed to gain a firm hold over it. Subsequently I positioned my phone inside my mouth, and held it in place with my teeth, therefore my hands were free. Then I lowered the crate slowly, bending my knees, and deposited it at the side of the attic.
Without prior notice my phone began to vibrate. I removed it from between my teeth and looked at the screen, there were two large words flashing across it; LOW BATTERY! Then the handset beeped then turned its self off automatically, restoring the room to near complete darkness. Great, I thought, that’s just great. But because of the sheer extent of debris, and the underlying mystery that seemed to sit behind them, I just had to explore.
Cautiously I edged forward, but then began coughing due to filth in the air. I cleared my throat and continued. I had decided take a peek at that interesting looking wardrobe, so I advanced forward over the timbers, shielding my eyes with my hands, and been sure to step only on durable lumber.
I was about halfway towards it when I caught the inner rim of my foot on something cold, hard and that when made contact with, creating a clattering sound. Bending down I embraced it in my hands and brought it up towards my chest. Surprisingly it was rather heavy, although only about the size of a large trinket box. And it strained my back as I ducked my head to avoid bumping it on the oblique roof.
“Maggie!” Bertie’s voice sprung on my like a bull in a china shop.
“What Dad.” I cussed. But as if I didn’t know.
“Another bag and what’s with all this stuff anyway.”
“Donations for the local charity shop.” I chuckled.
I set the box on a bin liner with a soft contents, it could by clothes or maybe soft toys. Then took a spotty suitcase from Bertie, laid it across the rafters and retrieved the box. Although doing so took some time; I couldn’t quite remember where I had left it, and it was still very dark.
I lifted the lid, it was equally as heavy, and the whole thing made of solid oak. The thick layer of dust and cobwebs, that had submerged the box, transferred to my hands so I rubbed them down on my jumper.
Peering in it looked as if the box contained mostly papers’; a jumbled mass of them, in several different languages and written in different styles of hand writing. There were diaries, letters and even a collection of old birthday cards.
As I dug deeper, under the paper I found more: skeins of wool, woven belts, a bunch of old photographs, sheaves of music tied with faded ribbon. But nothing that struck a note in my memory.
I picked up a few of the old photos, they were black and white, but instantly I recalled the people’s faces. One was my Great Great Grandmother, the one who had recently died, and the other her sister. Mercy I think she was called. The two of them were sat in the Garden of a grand house, which backed onto a dense wood. They didn’t look particularly happy, but I suppose they didn’t appear to be sad either. They were just sort of, blank. I decided I wanted to keep the picture; it was a nice memory of Grandma, so slipped it inside my pocket. Then I closed the lid of the box and re-positioned it on the floor.
Once again I began to head towards the wardrobe at the far end of the attic. This time I made it without been distracted by anything else.
Up close the closet seemed to be even more spectacular. It was also made of oak, I’d guess, with doors which acquired most of its surface area. The handles, which had previously caught my eye, were round and incrusted with shimmering, diamond-like particles. And even from this view, looked to be the real article.
I tried the handle; it was stiff but the lock finally clicked out of place. Then the heavy door creaked slowly open. Inside the wardrobe was full to them brim with old-fashioned garments, and footwear. They had been protected from the dusty atmosphere until now; totally unspoiled by the environment, and from the time era they originated looked about new. The entire contents of the wardrobe were obviously feminine pieces, but wouldn’t exactly enhance how a lady would look, in drab colours and a slightly masculine style. How depressing it must have been for a girl to wear these sorts of clothes every day. I then closed the two cumbersome doors shut.
Suddenly I heard a voice. “Mag -.”
“Coming.” I defied, correspondingly making my way back over to the hatch and retrieving another crate from Bertie. Although I barely looked at him this time, taking the heavy object from his hands, continuing to disregard him as a human being. But to be frank, did I actually want him to leave? To abandon me and Mum. I knew I didn’t...really. Of course I wished their marriage was still going strong; Anne, Teri and Bertie. That’s all I wanted. Was a family such a bad thing to ask for? It was just I was finding it extremely difficult to forgive Bertie for what he’d done to us, especially Mum. I hated the way he treated her.
I settled on a box, the cheap, plastic sort, which seemed to be one of the only things up here produced in the last fifty years. And it itself was only here at this present time because it was one of things Bertie had brought. I came to a definitive answer that I was going to wait here until the next load came up; I was near to the hatch, and the light from downstairs made this area considerably more vivid to see.
I looked up. I hadn’t quite finished exploring elsewhere, so I was at least going to look where I was sat. All I saw was a sort of mesh; white and silky.
Without cause I reached up and grabbed some of the substance in my right hand, it pulled away in fine strands, bit by bit. But then suddenly from behind the ivory tinted blanket came a single, black, lean leg, about half an inch long. It crept out, followed by another, and another; three legs, five legs. Eight legs!! Oh my gosh, it was a spider. The sinister individual brought an element of surprise along with it, and it took me a few seconds to actually remove it from my hand. I lashed out and the creature fell from my skin, and then scurried alongside the wall and back into the rafters of the roof. It seemed to know exactly where to go and when, which was unusual for such a dim-witted being.
I then eyeballed the spider’s territory on the roof, making me supreme to it. After a few minutes of pondering on the spot I came to the conclusion it had gone and dipped my head. Although after a few minutes decided to take one more glance, just to settle my nerves.
I bent the web that obstructed my view, superficially with my eyes. I saw something. Not a spider. But the glistening reflection of dull, fangled metal, and the frosted, aging mirror of the glass set within it.
I leaned forward, holding my hand out in front of me, and again pulled at the web; the silk strings bonding with my skin, and dead flies falling to the shaky ground. What was it? It was hung; a chain of opalescent pearls, linked by rusted gold links that ran along in a smooth uninterrupted pattern. I wanted to jump up and grab it, to discover what was at the other end of that chain; immersed by the mesh of web and hanging timber. But something in my mind told me different. A certain self-reproach about removing its presence, after it had obviously took habitation there for so long.
All of a sudden another spider or that very same one came down and landed, mid-air in front of my face; sashaying down on a yarn of newly spun web. I gave it no attention what so ever, all I wanted to do was to reach out and take the chain. Therefore that was all my mind was motivated on. I had a sudden need for it, something that made my brain obtain the want to own it. Invisible vibes like the smell of freshly baked bread. The disarray of a sweet aroma mixing with the air, that makes you want to consume the entire loaf straight away. That was how I felt.
I often wonder how different my life would be if I hadn’t aloud my mind to manipulate me. If I had, had the strength not to surrender. But I didn’t.
I jumped. I felt as if I were soaring through the sky, flying like an elegant bird with its wings stretched out wide. Although I only had the extent of a foot or two to travel.
My hand caught it; the cold metal tapping against my skin at the juncture when my fingers ensnared it tightly. Then I fell back to the ground, and the rafters shook making dust fly around me. Therefore I began violently coughing again to try and get dirt out of my system.
Suddenly I heard somebody tentatively climbing the ladders. “Maggie, it’s me again.” Not him again.
“One minute dad...” I said, whilst examining the contents of my hand. It was a watch.
“Hurry up, this stuff is real heavy Maggie!” He complained.
I gave up. I rammed the watch in my pocket, along with the old photo, and went over to Bertie.
“There you are flower. This is the last.” Cooed Bertie. Had he just called me flower. Flower! It’s something you’d call an infant, when mewling in its mother’s arms. But at least he was been nice, and this was the last of the luggage.
“Pass it here.” I commanded. He did as he was told. “There.” I dumped the suitcase next to the other rubbish.
Bertie spoke, “Well, that’s it.”
You can go now, I thought.
He must have guessed what I was thinking as he looked at me with a pair of innocent eyes, an artificial cover for the guilty one’s that hung behind. I stood still.
“You can come down now,” He declared.
“Not whilst you’re stood there I can’t.” I scowled.
He gave up, climbed down the flight of steps, and hopped onto the floor, dust jumping from the carpet where he applied an increased amount of pressure.
“Thank you to you to.” I riddled to myself, as he disappeared out of sight. But the strange thing was, however sad and heartbreaking it was, that was the last time that I ever saw him.
In my room, which I’d chosen it earlier; there had been a lot of choice. This house was big. Everything was unusually quiet.
My new room was fairly large, a lot bigger than the one at the flat. With a window overlooking the garden; which at one point would have been very prepossessing. There were the remains of a pretty apple orchard; now only its carcass lingered. A large swing hung from an extremely old-looking tree, which would seat at least two people. And a wild mesh of flowers mixed in the now dead flowerbeds, overflowing onto the feral lawn.
Inside, my room was painted a sickly yellow colour, and lined with a rose tinted border. The floor was bare. Exposed wood; which had lost its colour over the years; now a lifeless grey shade. There was a single mattress on the floor, which looked terribly lumpy. Bertie had probably brought it; mum hadn’t managed to collate enough money to buy beds yet.
Bertie had left; I had mixed feelings over that. And Teri had gone out to seek me and her fish and chips. So I was alone. Alone in a great big unfamiliar building. There were more bags in my room than there were earlier; a black ocean of them; flowing on a sea of dust and dirt.
I spread the pocket watch across the mattress, a trail of lustrous pearls following after. It appeared to be even more beautiful in the daylight; seeming to have been given a supplementary polish. And now I noticed there were a few engraved words sat around the edge;; ‘unerwartete Liebe ist der Beginn der wunderbaren Zauber’. It was written in a strange language, I’d guess German from the length of the words; long ones.
As I picked it up the same old guilt reined back, should I have really took it? Still, I didn’t return it. Maybe I should have, that would have prevented the bad. I slid the beads through my fingers. Was this my Great Great Grandmother’s watch? I thought. So many gatherings of questions and answers spun in my head, dizzying me until almost physically sick.
I fixed my eyes on the watch; I wasn’t sure but it looked broken to me. It wasn’t ticking, or at least I couldn’t hear a pedantic sound such as that. I read the watch; the time was apparently Seven-Thirty Nine at night. That was wrong by at least an hour.
I tested my theory. There was a button on the top of the timepiece, like the sort now incorporated into a modern day stop watches. This must be an antique type. I forced down the metal button and to my surprise it began to tick within a few mere seconds. The time was still wrong, but I I was just relieved that the watch was functioning.
All of a sudden I heard the reverberation of Teri’s car outside, clearly she was back with dinner. But she hadn’t been very long, ten, fifth teen minutes top.
“Anne.” She sang as she entered through the door, she added something else but I couldn’t quite her. I could smell the food though. It was bizarre how such a distinctive voice such as Teri’s found it difficult to reach me, although the smell of a good old greasy takeaway managed to be picked up by nose to precise detail.
“Food!” She added.
After lying the watch on the mattress, I was about to depart. When some blunt and unexciting noise registered within my ears. It was distinctive enough though, that I found myself turning to see what could have been the source of it. Nothing. Nothing had changed. The watch still on the mattress, junk still covered the floor, and now everything was silent again. I edged towards the door once more. The noise came again. This time when I looked, sighing and sick of all the distractions, the watch was glowing as if on fire; a dreary and tiresome pool of light dispersing in a warm radiance. It was absurd. I was clearly crazy.
The insipid hum became gradually louder, and then other sounds began to join. The bangs and crashes. The threatening sound of smashing glass, the screaming of young children. Sirens?
The glow of the watch then started flashing. My heart launched itself into a fierce march of beating. What was happening?
I gasped for breath, but couldn’t find any. So without consideration reached out and seized hold of the watch. As soon as the metal came in contact with my skin, I knew it had been a bad idea; it felt as if the fire of London was taking place exactly in the centre of my palm.
A sudden surge of pain shot through my nerves and my fingers flopped apart, allowing the watch to fall to the floor. It hit the hard wooden surface with no sound what so ever, and when the glass broke too, it was silent. I looked at it on the floor; my hand still remaining to be a ripe cerise colour, almost the same as the seething metal of the watch. As I peered at the bungled object on the floor, my reflection looked flushed in the fractured glass which was furiously burning. I continued to look at myself, and the hands of the watch that were about to move....
Then everything went black!