ONCE UPON OUR time, there existed an abundant, sagacious old wood where misshapen time gambolled capriciously in the hidden furrows of memory.
In the distance, imbedded amongst the broad greenery roamed a young woman whose acute dishevelment painted a picture of tribulation. The torn black silky night gown that hung precariously on her slight frame, told immediately, that this excursion was not deliberate in nature.
As she continued on a pathway that to a willing visitor would have delighted, her discomposure was made evident by erratic movement. Her dark probing eyes darted to and fro upon the foreign landscape, as coarse scrub brushed against her weary body.
A plethora of wispy ferns surrounded the path, the gossamer foliage of which glistened through cylindrical shafts of light. Shadows were in pursuit, as the busy wood sang in a cacophony of scurrying birds, warning of night’s entrance.
She gazed up and saw a remote and distant sky, the blue horizon so unfathomable, that is could have been a faraway sea. Her legs were heavy with fatigue, but resignedly she sallied forth, as a somnambulist along an unchartered route. With only time, illusive as the shadow of a fleeting lover, accompanying her.
From afar, suddenly a figure appeared. The desire for illumination prompted the desperate woman to cry out, but her voice would not travel. Again she tried and again, but to no avail.
It was as if she were trapped within a nightmare, where fear itself had intervened and stymied all chance for salvation. Jumping and frantically waving her arms about, she attempted to attract the young man’s attention, only to fail, for he continued in the opposite direction. Sadly, a mass of thorny, impenetrable scrub prevented her from following him.
Apparelled in historical costume from a period long gone, he resembled a character from a Georgian novel. He wore a bright burgundy velvet coat, the intensity of which was exaggerated by the contrasting presence of a pearly satin brocaded waistcoat matched by a cravat wrapped up to the chin, tight cream britches, and black riding boots. He radiated a physical beauty that defied gender. Tall and svelte, his fair long hair framed eyes that emulated a clear blue sky.
The sight of this man took her aback. His concentrated gaze however, much to the desperate woman’s chagrin, kept looking forward. Breathlessly she stood shaking her head in silent despair as the ethereal figure floated further, and further away, until disappearing completely into the arcane forest.
The House is an adult fairy tale rich in mystery and intrigue.
Here is a tale of a woman so absorbed with historical novels that her own reality ceases to offer any hope of romance and beauty.
Until one day this dreamy idealist finds herself in a mysterious forest. How she arrived there is unknown. Soon she encounters a dilapidated house, within whose ancient walls magical rooms that transport to parallel worlds lie in wait. There she is transmigrated to 18th century England, where our heroine interacts with an odd mix of characters whose dysfunctional lives become immediately apparent.
Her first tribulation involves a nefarious lord, an archetype of the monstrous characters one encounters in fairy tales. The ramification from this confrontation sets the tone for the narrative.
A magic portal finally enables escape from the austere Georgian dwelling. She is then spirited back to the enigmatic house, and a journey to Regency London follows, where a large cast of eccentric identities present themselves.
Late one night, following a long stay in Florence, a young, heart-broken poet arrives. His introduction to the beautiful time traveller offers promise of restoration and love. But there are several more obstacles ahead before her destiny in this curious adventure is made apparent.
In the end an unexpected twist is revealed. But like all good fairy tales, this surprising conclusion is pleasing, even though the means of getting there are dark, and at times sinister.
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16
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