Here is my story; The Diary. All copyright belongs to me only.
Claire frowned as two girls whispered and giggled together. Her whole class was at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby. Claire and her friend, Alexa, had been very excited to come here, because they had been told that when they got back to school they would be assigned to write a paper about Captain Cook together. Both the girls loved writing, and what better place to do research than in Whitby, where Cook learned seamanship? The guide, Mr. Thomas, was just now saying how Captain Cook had been sent to Australia, when Alexa came over to Claire, and whispered in her ear.
“Come over here, Claire. There’s this wicked-cool diary. I think it belonged to Captain Cook.”
Claire glanced over her shoulder to check that none of her teachers or schoolmates were watching them, and then she and Alexa quietly walked over to the large, freshly cleaned, glass case in which lay an old, aged, weather worn, and torn book which seemed to be a diary, as Alexa had predicted. Claire’s eyes grew bigger when she realized that the top of the glass case was unlocked, and could be opened easily and discretely.
Alexa shook her head as soon as she realized what her friend was about to do.
“No, Claire! We can’t do that. What if we get into trouble?”
Claire turned to her friend, revealing a sly grin spread across her face. “No one will ever know. I’m going to do it. You don’t have to, Al, but I’m too curious.” Claire held her friends hand while she slowly opened the lid to the glass case, ignoring Alexa’s horrified look, and touched the diary. No sooner had she touched the diary, when suddenly Mr. Thomas’ droning voice vanished, as well as her schoolmates’ whispering voices. The light was bright, although Claire could not determine what caused the light to flash so, and then everything was dark.
A shiver ran up Claire’s spine, until she realized that she was still holding Alexa’s hand.
“Al?” Claire spoke into the dark.
“Yes, I’m here. It’s so dark! What happened? Did the power go off?”
“I don’t think so. But I can see a light in a distance -do you see it?”
“Yeah, I do. I think we should walk towards it, maybe it’s someone with a torch.”
The two girls walked towards the light, and after about ten minutes they stopped. A huge, brick wall was in front of them, and it didn’t look like it was going to move anytime soon.
“We’re definitely not in Whitby anymore!” Claire exclaimed.
The girls decided to follow the wall and to see where it led. After a few minutes of walking silently, Claire and Alexa came upon a huge, cast iron gate. It looked like something out of their history books, or worse. The gate was closed, and at both sides of it stood four guards with weapons.
It was too dark to see what the guards looked like, but it was easy to tell they weren’t expecting any visitors at this time of night. The girls walked a few metres back, so that the guards wouldn’t hear them talk.
“So what do you think we should do?” Alexa asked Claire.
“I don’t know. I would like to know a few things. Like why we are here, how we got here, and where exactly we are.”
“Me, too.” Alexa nodded.
Alexa and Claire decided to start shouting. That way they would attract the guards’ attention, but wouldn’t scare them so that they would be killed, or whatever happened in their history books. Alexa found herself wishing she had paid more attention to her history teacher.
“I hope they speak English,” muttered Claire before she started shouting.
“Hello? We need help! Please! Somebody help! We are two girls! We are only fourteen years old! Help!”
That did the trick, because after a few moments, a guard came running up to them with a lantern. He was dressed in a proper soldier uniform, and that kind of scared both of them.
“What kin I do fo’ you two ladies?” The soldier turned out to have a kind heart, after all!
“Well, you see,” Alexa began “We think we went back in time. I suppose you could say we’re from the future. What year is this?”
“Why, I do believe it is the year 1760. And King George’s 77th birthday is in only two weeks!”
Claire gasped. “The eighteenth century?!”
“What did ye expect, if I may ask?”
“We are from the twenty first century.” Alexa informed the elderly man.
“Oh my goodness! And I suppose you can tell me if King George the third will ever get married?”
Alexa stifled a giggle. “I think he got -or will- get married in 1761. To Charlotte someone. History was never my best subject, so I’m sorry.”
Now it was the man’s turn to gasp. “To Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelirz?”
“Yeah, that’s her.” Claire confirmed.
The soldier looked at Claire unbelievingly. “And can you prove that you are from the ‘future’?”
Alexa smiled sheepishly. “I don’t know if we can do that. But right know all we want to know is how do we get back home? And where are we?”
“I do not know how to get ye’ home, but I do know where ye’ are. You are standing outside the wall of Whitby, England.”
“Are you sure?”
“As sure as I am that I have ten fingers and ten toes, that I kin tell ye.”
“We were in Whitby when we came here,” Claire pointed out. “Hey, Alexa! It’s 1760, Captain Cook is living here in Whitby at this very moment!”
“And who might Captain Cook be, by any chance?” The guard asked.
“He’s a great sailor. He sailed -or will sail- to Australia, and then he was killed by people from the Sandwich Islands. He died in 1779.”
“And where is this Captain Cook, then? How old would he be at this moment?”
Claire paused, using her fingers to count.
“Thirty one or two.”
“Alright, you’ve convinced me. You and your strange clothes -unsuitable, really- are from the future. How are you planning on getting out of here? We certainly don’t want you to stay here, and tell everyone when and how they’re going to die and what they will achieve in life!”
Alexa nodded. “We don’t want to stay here. But we don’t know how to get back home.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll take you to an old lady elder, and she can tell you more than I. She knows everyone, too.”
The sun had risen, while the two girls and soldier had been talking, and just then a shout sounded.
“Daniel! Are ye planning on comin’ back anytime this century?”
The guard, Daniel, shouted back. “I’ll be there within the minute.” And then he turned to the girls, talking in a low voice.
“Go into Whitby. The gate’ll open in twenty minutes. Go to the clothing shop, and buy something suitable to wear.”
The girls looked down on their t-shirts, shorts and flipflops.
“Then ask someone for directions to Mother Mathilda’s house.” Daniel placed a bag of coins into Claire’s hand. “She will help you. Good day to you two, now. Good luck.”
“Thank you for your help.” Claire smiled at the elderly man.
The girls waited around for about twenty minutes, and true to his word, Daniel opened the gate for the day. As soon as the gate was open, the girls ran so fast passed the guards, hoping they wouldn’t attract unnecessary attention because of their clothes.
Eventually Alexa and Claire found the clothing shop that Daniel had talked about. They entered the store, and it was surprisingly huge. The walls were lined with fabrics of every color (no neon colors, though) and pattern. There were probably about twenty or thirty people in the shop. Some worked there, and some were grand ladies and gentlemen come to be measured for their clothing.
As soon as Claire and Alexa walked into the huge shop, a little, plump lady walked up to them.
She seemed quite hysterical. “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! You had better come with me, young ladies!”
She literally dragged the two girls to another room, much smaller, and sat them down. Immediately she started measuring them, and then she found a dress to fit each girl. They were very long dresses, and very heavy. It definitely looked like something out of the eighteenth century.
“There, that is better. Much better, in fact. What are your names, dearies?”
Claire smiled at the kind and warm hearted little lady.
“My name is Claire,”
The lady nodded in approval.
“And mine is Alexa,”
The lady frowned, and then told them her name.
“Alright. My name is Abigail. I believe your dresses will come to about six shillings, if you please.”
Claire found enough coins in the bag Daniel had given them to pay for the dresses, and then gave the rest of the coins to Abigail.
“For your generosity.” Claire explained.
The girls soon walked back out of the shop, and down the cobbled road. There were people selling food, and lot’s of carriages and businessmen.
After a few minutes, Alexa stopped a boy who looked to be about seven years old.
“Excuse me, but could you tell us where Mother Mathilda lives?”
The boy’s eyes grew big and he ran away, saying nothing but a hastily spoken “Pardon me, miss.”
The girls tried again further on. They stopped a girl this time, also about seven years old. She was walking toward the market with a basket.
“Excuse me, but could you tell us where Mother Mathilda lives?” Claire asked the girl.
The girl’s eyes grew big, also, but thankfully she did not run away.
“Yes, miss. She lives down the road. I am going there now -she is Her Ladyship’s mother. You may follow me, if you care to, miss.”
“Yes, thank you.” Claire nodded.
The little girl led them down the road, and then they stopped at a large building.
The girl ran the bell, and then she ran away, just as the boy had.
Before the girls could say anything, the door opened, and a butler came in sight. “May I help you, miss?”
“Yes, please. We are looking for Mother Mathilda.”
“Come right in, please.”
“You may wait in the parlor. I shall go see if she feels up to seeing visitors. What is your name, and why are you here?”
“Our names are Alexa and Claire. We are here to ask Mother Mathilda about Captain Cook.”
“Very well.” The butler left, and all was quiet.
“I wonder if Mother Mathilda is ill.” Alexa murmered.
“Why do you say that?” Claire turned to face her friend.
“Because the butler said that he would see if she is up to seeing visitors. Doesn’t that sound as if she is sick? I think it does.”
“I guess so. I never paid much attention to what the butler said.”
Just then, the butler came into the room.
“Mother Mathilda will see you now.” He gestured to follow the maid standing nearby.
The maid hastily led the girls up two flights of stairs, and into another sitting room. The room was dark and gloomy. In the far corner Claire thought she could make out the figure of an old lady. Was Mother Mathilda old? She was certainly well-known around Whitby.
The maid hurriedly left, leaving Alexa and Claire all alone with the strange old lady.
“Mother Mathilda?” Alexa ventured.
“We’ve come to see you about something nobody else seems to know about.”
“Oh? Is it about Garth? Don’t tell me he died! No!” The lady grew restless in her bed.
“No, no. Nothing of the sort.”
“Oh.” Mother Mathilda calmed down again.
“Do you know Captain Cook?” Claire spoke for the first time.
“Cook? Yes, she’s downstairs. Tell her I want soup for supper.”
“No, Mother Mathilda. Mr. Cook.”
Alexa nodded. “Yes. James Cook.”
The old lady laughed, making the girls uneasy. “James was such a rascal, you know. I remember when I was a child, he came up to me and told me he wanted cake, when he actually just wanted the frosting! And he stole my cat once, too.”
“When you were a child, Mother Mathilda? James is not so old.”
“You’re right. I’m talking about my brother.”
“Do you know anyone called James besides your brother?”
“Yes! My son! His name is James. And my brother in law. And my sister, too.”
Claire sighed. This lady was not proving helpful. She was living in the past and present all together, saying things that made no sense.
“Your son, what is his last name?” Alexa asked, patiently.
“James Cook. I already told you.”
“Yes, yes you did. And we are from the future -we touched your son’s diary and we came here. How do we get back, Mother Mathilda?”
“Simple. You touch it again.”
“Where is the diary?” Claire was getting excited.
“I do not know. Why don’t you ask James?”
Alexa looked as if she were about to cry.
“Where is James?” Claire asked, biting her lip.
“Downstairs, naturally. Where else would he be? You’ll find him in the crib in the nursery. It’s past his nap time. Ask Georgina if he is awake yet. I must go wake him up or else he won’t sleep tonight.”
“No, Mother Mathilda. He is awake. Do not worry.” Obviously Mother Mathilda was in the past right now.
“We are going, Mother Mathilda. You rest well, now.” Claire smiled into the darkness, and turned around.
“Goodbye, Mother Mathilda.” Alexa whispered, and followed her friend.
Once outside the room, the girls went back the way they had come.
“Where are we going?” Alexa asked.
“To find James Cook. He must be downstairs somewhere, if he is here, which, according to my memory, he was here.”
The butler seemed very upset when the girls reached downstairs.
“Can you believe it!” The butler was mumbling.
“Believe what?” Claire asked.
“The king has died! And two weeks before his 77th birthday, too! Oh dear, oh dear.”
“I am awfully sorry. But George the third will inherit the throne now, and get married and have five children, so all will be well.”
The butler gasped. “How do you know all this?”
“It was just a guess.” Claire bit her lip again. Why did she always burst out like that?
“Where is James Cook?” Alexa asked the butler.
“Follow me, please.”
Five minutes later, the girls were standing opposite Captain Cook. It was the strangest feeling in the world.
“May we please see your diary, Mr. Cook?” Alexa asked.
“How do you know I have one?”
“Because we just know. Please, Mr. Cook? We won’t do anything to it. We just want to touch it.”
The diary was brought out. The girls could hardly recognize it. It was new, and it wasn’t torn, or worn out. Claire took hold of Alexa’s hand, and then touched the diary. There was a bright light, a flashing, and then they were in the museum in modern Whitby again.
Suddenly, one of their schoolmates turned around and saw them.
“What are you wearing? Where did you get that?”
Claire and Alexa looked at each other, speechless.