Bright Lights

Scarlett continued along a dirt path, eventually reaching a strangely-uniform stone road. 

She chose to walk alongside it, a few yards away to save the soles of her feet from the rough terrain. Hours or perhaps days later another road crossed her path. 

She pondered a moment and, turning, followed the new one. 

Small buildings started to appear, along with smaller roads weaving off into the landscape. Scarlett was amazed-the architecture was like nothing her fractured mind could recognize.

No gothic influence at all. How quaint. Simple, clean lined and tiles remarkably flat for shingling. 

It was horribly strange.

Not to mention the strange carriages parked in front of what she assumed to be each manor house. Not a single horse tethered to the metal fences. 

And the local garb. My, oh my. 

The women were dressed in an even more revealing fashion than she was, in her nightclothes. Strange cosmetics were plastered to their faces, becoming twisted as they stared at her as she passed. 

Their gazes likened her to vermin. 

Scarlett combed through her hair with her fingers, tying it into a chignon at the nape of her neck with ease. She squared her shoulders and held her head high, regally and with grace.

Her sharp blue eyes quickly dispelled the strange reactions around her, though they seemed to return within a few heartbeats. 

Had they never seen someone on the street? Were there no beggars in this odd place? 

And more importantly, why was no one offering her any aid, a woman in need?

A young man passed by her, staring but doing nothing as he continued on his way.

Scarlett fumed.

"You there! Stop! You call yourself a gentleman, paying no heed to a damsel in distress?!"

He turned uncertainly, wondering if she was addressing him.

"Yes, you! How could you act this way? This is a crime punishable by the Crown!"

The End

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