This is being submitted for the Daily Prompt: Back to the Future
The assignment: Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place. Write a story in which a person or thing is out of place, or recount a time when you felt out of place.
On a sunny afternoon, a young woman dressed in a tartan kilt and sash sat by a village road eating a meal she purchased from a peasant she met while traveling. This was the fourth year that she visited the village and she hoped that this would be the year that her wish would come true. Williamena Wallace picked up her wooden placard and began to walk about the busy village.
Meanwhile on the other side of the village, a group of people marched out of the woods and witnessed strangely dressed people all around them. It appeared to be a festival but not like any they had ever attended before. They saw men dressed in all manner of garb and mostly not wearing kilts and the women did not seem to pay respect to the tartan of their clan. “What was this strange place?” said their leader. Little did he know the correct question should have been, “Where and when is this place?”
As the clan came through to a clearing in the woods, William Wallace saw that the enemy of his people, King Edward Longshanks Plantagenet and his Queen Margaret had also arrived in this strange place. Fellow countryman, Robert du Bruce was also present. Looking around, it appeared to be a gathering of locals and a well-dressed man was speaking to King Edward. Both Edward and Margaret appeared to be confused. As William Wallace and his clan approached they remained hidden from view but they could hear what was being said.
“You are visiting the village of Crossford in the Duchy of Northumberland.” “I am the Duke and this lovely lady of my heart is my Duchess.” Smiling at the visitors, the Duchess walked forward to take the Duke’s arm. “It is the year of our lord fifteen hundred and sixty one and you are not our king. Our sovereign lady is Queen Elizabeth. God save the Queen,” said the Duke.
“I am the King of England as was my father before me. It cannot be 1561 as I sit on the throne in 1307 and I have no Duke in Northumberland. What is all this strange talk?” shouted King Edward. Noticing that her husband was showing his temper, Queen Margaret reached out for his arm and said, “Edward my dear. Don’t get so angry. Let us listen to these good people as they appear willing to explain the meaning of their strange statements.”
The Duchess began to speak but was interrupted by the sound of bagpipes as a group of people dressed in Scottish tartan came into the clearing and stopped in front of the proceedings. The Duke welcomed the newcomers but William Wallace did not return the greeting. “I won’t feel welcome when I know the enemy of my people, King Edward and the man that turned his back on Scotland, Robert du Bruce is welcome in this strange place.” The King and Robert du Bruce reacted strongly to Wallace’s words but the Duchess stepped forward to address the gathering. She had a knowing smile on her face.
“My good people. I truly know what has happened and if you allow me to explain, you will know too,” said the Duchess. “You have come to the village of Crossford in the Duchy of Northumberland and it is truly the year 1561. You see Crossford sits on the edge of a wood that has been enchanted by fairy magic centuries ago. Each year when we hold our festival people come from all over; however some of our visitors are transported from a different time and place with the help of fairy magic. We find that it is often when one of them is at a crossroads in their lives. They are often faced with a big decision and many of the people from their time and place connected with this decision come through with them. In previous years our visitors have been Robin Hood and Maid Marian, King Arthur and his Knights and the Three Musketeers when they faced such a crossroads in their lives. The magic continues this year and it seems that Robert du Bruce has decisions to make about his Scottish loyalty and you good people have come through the woods to help him decide.”
The Duke sensing that with these visitors, there could be war, addressed the crowd. “In Crossford, we pride ourselves on the hospitality of our people. We don’t get involved in warfare but are not opposed to addressing our differences on the sporting field. Won’t you join us this afternoon for a tournament joust? Won’t you spend the day with the good people of Crossford and maybe this magical hamlet will help you resolve your differences.” King Edward, Robert du Bruce and William Wallace agreed to give the Village of Crossford a chance. King Edward and William Wallace reluctantly shook hands.
Williamena Wallace came forward through the crowd to join William Wallace and his clan.
She couldn’t believe that she was living in 1561 and meeting her ancestor, Sir William Wallace. No one knew how the day would unfold but it sure was magic.