Here is a small excerpt of a novella I started…. I’m not sure if I shall continue it but here it is anyway!
FROM MY TIME TO YOURS
Thomas Milden skidded to a halt, just on the cusp of Covent Garden square. He rested his palms on his knees, panting. His lungs felt heavy, struggling for breath. He glanced behind him. Thick mist swirled into the alley, its fingers wrapping around the single, dingy streetlight. He could hear the market sellers packing up for the night, shouting, fighting or laughing each other. Their stench of raw meat, fish, eggs and fruit still wafted across the Square.
Thomas kept his back pressed against the wall and took a quick peek over it. Ladies wearing the tightest corsets and spilling out from all sides, sashayed across the Square with baskets of flowers slung across their wrists. They called out to ‘customers,’ one or two, occasionally lifting up the hem of her skirt, exposing thick, pudgy ankles.
Thomas felt for his leather pouch. He tipped the contents into his open palm. His stomach clenched as the one silver coin slid out. One shilling. That was all he had to his name. That’s it. He’d be thrown into the Marshalsea, paying off his debts until he died.
Dead at twenty.
Just like all the other men in his wretched family.
Clearly the poor man whose pocket he’d pilfered this from, was no better off than himself.
“There he is!”
The cry of fury ripped across the entire Square. Thomas caught the sight of two policemen charging down the alley, batons raised, ready to take him down. Thomas forced his legs into motion, uttering a soft curse. He hurtled across the Square, knocking into traders, crashing into carts, leaping over crates.
Thomas ran faster, he ducked under the arm of a well-rounded butcher and skirted around a couple engaging in a very private act up against the wall. They sprang apart, allowing the policemen to charge past.
“I said stop!”
If he could just make it to the other end of the street, it was so close…
The Salisbury public house beckoned from across the street. Amber lights flickered against the translucent window. The landlord. Jack Gareth. He’d help. He’d have to.
Thomas clutched the leather pouch to his chest, glanced to his right, leapt onto the road…
He heard an ear splitting scream.
A horse’s squeal.
A carriage smacked into him, knocking him to the ground. The horse and carriage tumbled over him, crushing him into the worn road. Thomas Milden lay sprawled across the road, just outside his beloved pub. His head cracked, blood pooled onto the cobbles, leaking into the drain.
“Is he dead?”
“No, look he’s moving!”
“No, he isn’t!”
“His hand twitched, I saw it!”
“What is he wearing?”
“He’s an actor. Duh!”
Voices. Too many damned voices poking in his ears. He wished they’d shut up. A peculiar sound of angry bees also jammed into his ear. His head throbbed with an irksome pain. Thomas groaned, stirring ever so slightly.
“See! Told you he’s alive!”
Thomas prised open an eye. A tiny circle of light gently guided him awake. Was he dead? Who were these people? Were they angels? Had they come to take him away? He lifted his lids. A group of colourful faces bore down upon him, some twisted in concern, others in light relief.
“He’s awake!” A young woman in…an odd, green…hooded cloak type garment smiled at him. “You had us all worried there bruv!” A brown skinned man wearing a grey cloak type garment, reached out a hand to him.
“Move! Let him have some air.” An airy voice, Thomas didn’t see who she was, commanded the group. They obediently parted, most of them scattering back as far as they could. Thomas allowed himself to sit up. His head still strummed with pain.
Another young man, similar age and hair colour to himself, crouched down in front of him, offering an oddly shaped bottle.
“Drink some water, you’ll feel better.” He ordered, pushing the bottle into Thomas’s slack hands. “I’m Joe by the way.”
“Drink it Thomas. It’s only water.”
Hesitantly Thomas brought the bottle to his lips. Once it touched his lip, he glugged the water back, savouring every second. He pressed his fingers onto the bottle. What an odd texture? What kind of bottle is this?
“So…which theatre are you from?” Joe asked, gazing directly into his eyes.
“I beg your pardon?”
“You’re in a play right?” Joe gestured to Thomas’s dated attire. “Something set in Victorian times?”
Thomas gaped at him. “Are you talking about the Queen?”
Joe released a laugh. Then catching the blank look on Thomas’s face, the laughter vanished. “Oh…you weren’t joking. Hmm, maybe you’ve hit your head harder than you thought…” He turned, calling out over his shoulder, “Dude may be concussed!”
Confusion rattled Thomas’s brain. The young man – Joe, was talking to him again but Thomas stopped listening.
A dark green door had pulled his attention away.
“The Salisbury…” Thomas muttered, starting to climb to his feet.
“Whoa, take it easy!” Joe tried to steady him. Thomas swayed, his mind swimming with dizziness. It was slowly starting to filter back now. The robbery, the chase, the crash…
He glanced around. There were people here, but they weren’t people. Not really. They were dressed too outrageous. And the noise of angry bees he’d been hearing. They weren’t bees. Far from it. Tiny, horseless carriages scuttled across the road. There were hundreds of them, all different colours. A bright red giant, crammed with people, jostled past. It could be a bus. But again…no horse!
“I – I don’t understand…what’s going on?” Thomas asked, clutching onto Joe tightly. Then, he turned his head. He was in the same place he’d been hit. Same road, same pavement, same pub. Only it wasn’t. It can’t be. It was far too different.
Thomas suddenly grabbed Joe by the shoulders, his grip tightening with panic. Joe’s eyes widened in alarm.
“What year is this?” Thomas asked, a knot of dread tightening in the pit of his stomach.
Joe swallowed. When he spoke, it was a voice of forced calm tinged with worry. “It’s two-thousand and fourteen mate.”
Thomas didn’t even hear the scream this time, his mind clouded, his legs buckled and he collapsed into Joe’s waiting arms.