I woke up thinking ‘what’s that smell?’
A pungent, rich, sickly, thick smell that was, well, vile. So bad, I had to smell myself (just to be sure, you know!) and luckily, it wasn’t me.
I sat up in my bed, and realised that it wasn’t my bed. I was sleeping on some woven rugs on a rickety wooden floor, with another woven rug over me. There was nothing else in the room.
I smelt the rugs – it wasn’t them either – and got up to look out of the window.
The Grinds were nowhere to be seen. There were trees and fields, and, yes… the reason for the smell. A pit in the middle of the field outside, with some awful coloured, steaming gloopy bubbling ‘liquid’ inside it. Overflowing from it. I’ll explain no more about this.
There was no glass in the window – it was just the frame – so I couldn’t shut out the stench.
I realised that I was no longer in the Mansion… I was in some kind of barn. The layout of the barn was somewhat similar to the layout of the Mansion, from what I could see from the room I was in. The ‘bed’ was in the same place, under the window, and the doorframe was where the door should have been / was in the Mansion.
I walked out of the bedroom and through the space in the wall. The landing was outside, the bathroom to the right, and the stairway to the left. The other rooms were across the landing, so everything seemed to be in place. Somewhat smaller, colder, and more open.
I walked into the bathroom. It was empty. Just a room with a small table in the centre. A crockery plate was on the table, and I presumed that was where I must have ate the night before.
There were no mirrors anywhere, and when I noticed that, I thought immediately about my hair. I tried to forget about it almost as immediately, but that is easier said than done with my hair.
I decided to explore the downstairs of my new-look ‘Mansion’. The floor on the landing was old, creaking wooden slats, and the stairs were literally falling apart. They supported my weight (which is saying something) so they weren’t that bad, and I managed to get down them without incident.
Well, there was one. My tunic snagged on a broken piece of bannister, pulling a thread out, but not causing a hole. I wondered what I was wearing underneath, but then dismissed that thought. And I hoped that the itchy brown was a good colour for me.
I walked across the hallway, and through the door into one of the reception rooms. A huge wood fire was roaring at the far end, and chopped tree stumps were scattered around the room, in the formation of chairs. They didn’t look at all comfortable, but the fire was welcoming. I walked over to it, and gradually began to thaw out.
It was sunny outside, and from the smell, it must have been warm, but it was very cool in the ‘Mansion’. This fire must have been burning for a long time, so I thought that someone else must have been looking after it. I couldn’t have been – I wasn’t here last night, and if I was, I’d been asleep.
Once I was over-warm, I decided to have a walk round outside, to try and find out where I had woken up this time. I walked out of the front door – and there was a door this time – two actually, with a heavy wooden slat across the inside which kept them closed. The air was better this side of the Mansion. Why I chose to sleep that side of it I’ll never know. The birds were chirping merrily.
A stream crossed the field in front of the Mansion, where the courtyard should have been.
A well dressed man in a red uniform rode up, on an equally well dressed horse. He didn’t ride too close, and held aloft a bow and arrow. He fired the arrow in my direction, and I instantly dashed back into the Mansion for cover. The arrow caught the door frame a mere second after I was inside.
I inspected the arrow, wondering why I had suddenly come under attack by this well-to-do person (who I noticed was now galloping away into the distance) and I saw that a scroll had been wrapped around it. The man must have been the postman.
I opened the scroll, and it was a notice from the Courte of the Lande that Peafants muft not vifit the senter of the town that day as the Cattle Market was in town. A poorly drawn cow had been sketched at the bottom of the scroll, next to a poorly drawn stick man wearing a tunic with a cross through him.
Peafants indeed! I thought to myself.
Obviously, the Mansion had played another trick on me, and this time had transported me back to sometime in or before the middle ages.
As I had no intention of going to town that morning, I decided to go and have another lie down on my woven rug… smell or no smell. I soon, once again, drifted off to sleep.
I woke again, shortly afterwards, and my room was back to normal. Glass in the window, door in the door, duvet on the bed, not a tunic in sight… and no smell.
I’ve been to the future and now to the past with this magical Mansion of mine… I wonder where else it intends to take me? I’ll let you know the next time…!