“This is the one. The proper attire for your outing.” She said at last.
“Are you kidding me?” Turning to face the mirror, I realized what she had me dressed in. How was I supposed to go on a journey to explore the lands in a floor length gown?
“No miss, I would never kid you. It would be most foolish for me to treat her ladyship in any sort of childish way; you are very clearly not a kid.”
“What I meant by asking that was whether or not you were serious. Do you really think that this dress is appropriate for travelling across the lands?” I gestured toward the mirror and up and down the length of my gown, trying to make my point. “This will be impossible to walk around in. Especially if we run into any rocky patches.”
“Oh.” Her face bore an expression of confusion. “It did not occur to me, Miss, that her ladyship would actually be walking on her journey. I assumed you to be taking the carriage or perhaps some other mode of transportation.”
“It would please me more to walk and actually learn the land.” It was difficult to keep my voice even and not let it show how aggravating it was to continually be called ‘ladyship’ in a land I had never known.
“Let me see what I can do to correct my mistaken.” She turned to walk to her basket of cloth and thread amongst an array of other materials. Stopping just steps from the basket, she turned back to me and looked down. “If it pleases her ladyship.”
“Aren’t there any jeans that I can wear?” I asked her, growing weary of the formalities associated with this place.
“None that I know of, Miss, and I know this land.” She never looked up from the floor.
“Very well. This will just have to do. I’ve grown tired of putting on new outfits and would rather just proceed with the tour.” Without any hesitation, I strode from the room before she had time to insist upon yet another outfit without any improvement. I had two explicit goals in mind that I wanted to accomplish. I need to try and locate the young girl, Katie, and see what truths I could get out of her and I wanted to do so before I went out to explore the lands, which just happened to be my second major goal.
It turned out that I didn’t have to go far to find Katie. When the clothier had rudely dismissed her from my room, she had gone just beyond the door and into a small enclave. Apparently, she was awaiting my departure because she poked her head around when the door clicked shut. Seeing that it was me, she jumped out into the middle of the hall, grinning.
“I was waiting for you.” She said softly, noticing that I was looking at her.
“That much I can see.” I smiled. “In truth, I was actually on my way to find you.”
“Me? Why would you try to find me? Aren’t you leaving?” Her tone was bitter, leaving me confused.
“Honestly, Katie, I’m not sure what my plans are. The world that I know, the place that I’m from, is not this one. I don’t even know what I’m doing here.” Sighing, I slide to the floor and the side seam of my gown rips.
“But you do know. Or you will. In just a few days, you’ll remember here and you’ll want to stay and you’ll forget there and we’ll keep you this time, I promise.” She rambled on; it seemed as though she was on the verge of tears.
“None of that makes sense.” To me, it seemed as though a very confused seven year old girl stood before me, possibly searching for answers just like me.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.