Outside, That Door
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An Excerpt form "Outside, That Door"
Could it be the fancy trend, which was set by Queen Victoria,
that fascinated her? Or, was it because, it was a time of new beginnings
with railways being laid, and new inventions popping up all the time?
Amanda could only guess at what that advancement meant, to the
people of that Era. Yes, she simply adored that period in history. She
knew she was truly enthralled with it. That is why she thought this
whole phenomena that she experienced, came straight from her
imagination. She also knew she could not wait to look outside that
That door scared her to death, yet . . . Amanda knew, it was beckoning,
to her. She could not stand the suspense any longer, she had to see
what would happen. Slowly she mounted the stairs, and grasped the
door knob. She immediately recoiled from it, as if it were sizzling hot!
She stared at the door, in hesitation. Not understanding her fear, yet
wanting to conquer it, she grabbed the door knob again and turned it
slowly. A bright blast of sunshine filtered through, as the door opened.
It seemed almost, as if she jumped out of the doorway, onto the side
lawn. Then, just as quickly, she closed the door behind her.
All was very quiet for a moment, until she heard children talking to
one another. The first voice Amanda heard was that, of a little girl
speaking. She was telling Freddie to quit cheating, if he wanted her to
play Hop Scotch. The little girl spoke to Freddie again, saying, “you
better play fair!” Amanda kept holding her breath, at intervals. She
also held her eyes shut tight, she was so afraid to open them. She was
afraid to view this little girl and boy.
She didn't know if she’d be able to keep her composure, and after what
seemed a long time, Amanda opened her eyes. When she did, she saw
the little girl looking up into her face.
“Hello, my name is Sarah,” she said cheerfully. Then Sarah asked, “are
you the lady that bought this house?” Flabbergasted, and shaking,
Amanda managed to find her voice. It was very squeaky when she
answered, “yes, yes, I bought this house.” Sarah asked, “do you live in
it all alone?” “Yes,” Amanda told her, remembering how Joseph had
mentioned her living, alone. Just then, Freddie ran up to where
Amanda stood, and he asked in a loud belligerent voice, “are you
going to play or not, Sarah?” Sarah smiled at Amanda while looking at
the boy, then answered, “okay lets go, Freddie.” Sarah then told
Freddie a stern voice, “and, if you cheat one more time, I quit!”
Watching them walk away, she noticed Freddie’s pants. She had seen
these type pants in old photos, looking just like those of the “Victorian
Era.” They were referred to as Knickers. Amanda knew too, that his
round cap was very popular during that Era, and it was called, a
Sporting Cap. She saw that Sarah had long curls, with a big bow
holding the curls together. Sarah’s dress had fancy frilly, petty coats
with bloomers underneath, as well. Oh my goodness, Amanda
exclaimed . . . These children look like a picture from a history book! I
don't know how this is happening, but it definitely is happening! Just
then, she looked down at her clothing, and to her amazement . . . she
was wearing a plain yellow frock. It had pretty daises embroidered
around the collar. She could see these, for the collar was huge. Amanda
saw too, that she was wearing a black boot type shoe, and felt a ribbon,
tying her hair back. The ribbon was knotted at the nape of her neck.
Next, she noticed the air was clean and fresh. It also seemed much
easier for her to breathe. She could smell the horses, the fields, and the
flowers. Everything had it’s own distinctive scent.
She noticed, these scents weren’t all mixed together, as was the
polluted air she was used to breathing in. In a distance, she could hear
a train, and then, she heard a carriage coming up the road. She felt
suspended in time. She didn’t want to turn and run back into her house.
Yet, she was afraid to move further into this world. A world, she had
only read about in history books or novels. Now, she was here! How
on earth could that be? “Please, dear God“Amanda whispered, “will
you please help me?”
Then she asked, is this really happening. . . Or, am I completely
insane? Just then,a carriage came to a stop, directly in front of
Amanda! Joseph was sitting inside of the carriage, with a fashionably
dressed woman. As He greeted her, his eyes smiled. Joseph spoke,
saying. . .“hello Amanda, I'd like for you to meet Rose.” While
introducing the two, Rose gave Amanda a long look, as if peering
straight into her inner being. She smiled, what seemed a cynical smile
then said, “it's a pleasure to meet you.” Amanda, still not believing
what was transpiring, found her voice, long enough to mumble, “nice
to meet you, as well.” While standing there speechless, Amanda
couldn’t help but notice, that Rose was a very attractive woman. The
tan suit she was wearing, complimented her auburn hair, and light
complexion. She had rouge on each cheek, and red lipstick on her full
lips. Her smile was very nice and wide. Yet, Amanda could sense that
it wasn't genuine. Rose went on making conversation telling Amanda
that she and Joseph had just come from town. She went on to say, that
they usually made the trip a couple times a month. Amanda was very
glad that Rose was prattling on.
She continued, telling what she and
Joseph had done while here or there. Amanda got the drift, as well.
Rose wanted her to know she and Joseph were more, than mere
friends. Amanda stole a glance at Joseph, who was eying her with a
look of interest. His eyes sparkled as if he knew a bunch of secrets
about both women, but wouldn’t tell. He flashed his beautiful smile at
Amanda, and she felt something stir within. She never ever felt
anything like it before, in her life! She felt what she thought might be
the first pangs of love. Oh no, that couldn't be, this isn’t real, this isn't
real! Amanda kept repeating those words to herself, again and again.
She thought that maybe she was hallucinating, or that she was just too
obsessed with things of the past.
She shook her head slowly, while thinking, now . . . I'm toying with the
idea of falling in love with a guy from the Victorian Era! She was
becoming filled with fear. She kept telling herself that she was losing
her mind, then she’d scold herself saying, that she wasn’t!
Joseph looked toward Rose, and Amanda, and said, “Amanda, I am
giving a party at my home this evening.” He shifted from one foot to
another, seeming a little unsure of himself, and Rose noticed. Clearing
his throat, he continued, “I was waiting for an opportunity to see you
again, to offer you an invitation.”
There was a pause, Amanda had been listening, but she couldn’t
believe her ears! She thought to herself, what on earth is he talking
about, how can I accept this invitation? Joseph smiled and asked,
“would you give me the honor of attending?” At this point, Joseph was
acting as though Rose wasn’t even there. “I realize it’s short notice,”
Joseph continued, in an apologetic voice. Amanda's thoughts were
really beginning to spin. She didn’t know how to answer, for she didn’t
know what would become of this. She felt numb, with so many
thoughts going through her mind, she was confused. Amanda was
trying to think rationally, then decided . . .What’s the difference if I say
yes, or no? She was not in control of anything, in these phenomena
that have occurred so far. So, with that thought, she replied, “it would
be my pleasure, Joseph, what time will the party begin?” Joseph gave a
look of relief, at Amanda’s acceptance, and answered, “since you live
across the road, why don’t I come calling, at eight o’clock this
evening?” Amanda nodded her head in agreement, mainly because she
could not find her voice. Rose stood by, quietly fidgeting . . . And
feeling uncomfortable. She could also feel herself getting angrier, by
the minute. She could see that Joseph was blatantly flirting with
Amanda, as though she wasn’t standing there, to witness it! But, she
continued standing there like a wall flower. For neither love, nor
money, could she think of one word to say. Rose knew, that was so
unlike herself, and it worried her.
Joseph suddenly remembered she was present, and as he turned to look
her way, he saw that trouble might be brewing.
Rose knew . . .From the very day she saw Joseph speaking to Amanda,
her quest to make Joseph her husband, would become much harder.
Joseph didn’t say much that day, when she playfully asked him about
Amanda. Rose could sense then, that he might be attracted to her.
At the time, Joseph replied to her questioning him, by saying, “Rose, I
don’t even know the woman.” Rose thought, that he might be correct, but
also knew if he'd have his way, he'd get to know the woman,
Amanda abruptly excused herself, saying she had to get back to her
house. Joseph called after her, “I will be calling promptly, at eight
o’clock this evening, Amanda.” She turned to look at him again, and
simply nodded her head. Breaking into a run, Amanda headed for
home, as fast as she could.
Joseph pulled his carriage away, and steered the horse toward his
driveway. When he stopped his carriage, Rose haughtily stepped from
the carriage, not waiting for Joseph to help her down. He knew she
was angry with him. When Rose behaved in that manner, Joseph
seemed to enjoy getting belligerent with her. He knew he'd get a spark
out of her, and that tickled him. Joseph looked directly at Rose and
said, “Amanda seems a bit shy and humble, Rose.” Smiling, Joseph
finished with, “you might take a few lessons from her.” With that said,
she gave a snort of disapproval, turned and stepped up into her
carriage. She yanked hard on the reins, as her carriage moved quickly
up the road. Joseph stood looking after the carriage, and began
laughing. He continued laughing loudly, all the way to his front door.
Once he stopped laughing, he began to think of what had just
happened between them. He wasn’t sure what his feelings might be,
concerning Rose. He couldn’t help but wonder why he enjoyed getting
her riled up. He thought that her actions showed, that she really did
have feelings for him. One sure thing, he knew she was out to snag
him. Joseph smiled, with his thoughts going back to Amanda. He
knew Amanda was certainly someone that Rose didn't want to have to
Hoping to get some well needed rest after spending his afternoon with
Rose, he prepared to take a nap. He was happy that he happened onto
Amanda, and happier yet, that she accepted his invitation. Yes, he
would certainly look forward to this evening.
Back inside the confinement of her basement, Amanda tried again to
regain her composure. I don’t know what is real and what is not real
anymore, she thought. She remembered that it was eleven-fifteen,
when she last looked at her wristwatch, before going outside that door.
Checking the time again, Amanda was startled that twenty minutes had
passed. It seemed only a few minutes, that she was gone.
She asked herself, what am I to do? Should I tell someone, would they
believe me? No, no. . . They would not! They would lock me up in
some institution for years, maybe for the rest of my natural life!
Why, she asked herself . . .Why did she go outside that door again?
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