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When There Is Magic

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Matilda woke up with a pounding headache. She looked around and found herself in a place that looked like a stone bridge. Where am I? she wondered. Where is this place? It looks strange. The dress Matilda was putting on looked strange to her. She looked down at it. It was green, with a cinched waistline and it billowed out till it reached her ankles. It had lace trimmings on the sleeves and the hem. Even the footwear looked our of place. It was a flat sandal with ropes that were almost up to her knees. Is this a costume? Who is playing pranks on me? She thought. She tried to stand up but she could not. Her whole body ached. Somehow, she looked smaller but she couldn't seem to place it. "Who is here? I need help!" she cried out but there was no answer. Matilda tried to remember how she had gotten here and the memories came flooding back. Matilda, a young lady in Oxford comes across a poem that transports her to another era and changes her life forever. In this strange era, sh encounters challenges in which she has never dreamt of facing before. Will she overcome them or will she let them overwhelm her? Read this amazingly spellbinding story to find out.

CHAPTER ONE - IN THE BEGINNING

Matilda woke up with a pounding headache. She looked around and found herself in a place that looked like a stone bridge.

Where am I? she wondered. Where is this place? It looks strange.

The dress Matilda was putting on looked strange to her. She looked down at it. It was green, with a cinched waistline and it billowed out till it reached her ankles. It had lace trimmings on the sleeves and the hem. Even the footwear looked our of place. It was a flat sandal with ropes that were almost up to her knees.

Is this a costume? Who is playing pranks on me? She thought.

She tried to stand up but she could not. Her whole body ached.

"Who is here? I need help!" she cried out but there was no answer.

Matilda tried to remember how she had gotten here and the memories came flooding back.

**********

Matilda was a young woman of twenty four years of age living in Oxford city. She worked in a bookstore from the hours of nine in the morning to six in the evening. Matilda was a very beautiful lady with long blonde hair. She was of average height and had rosy cheeks.

Matilda had no parents, siblings or friends. She didn't even have a lover. She lived a very lonely life and after she closed from her workplace, she returned to her small flat until she had to go to work again.

Oxford in the year 2015 was a bustling city and Matilda found herself busy in the bookstore from morning to evening making sales, keeping records and bringing the logs and inventory up to date. The store sold antique books and was often swamped with customers.

However, one day before the close of work, Matilda found some free time. It seemed as if the flow of customers had stopped. A new stock of books had just come in and she found her attention drawn to a very heavy looking old brown book. She slid it from the shelf, took it to a reading table and began to flip through it. It wasn't that the book was old but rather, it had been printed in the old times, centuries ago. It was hand written.

She went on, flipping the book and stopping to read through some parts of it. It was a book about spells and she found herself laughing at the silliness of the thought that magic was still in existence. Some of the spells in the book made Matilda to shake her head and conclude that the book had been written during the time that witches existed. Some of the recipes in the book had ingredients like a two day old crow's blood, the crushed bark of a cider tree, four leaved clovers, mint leaves that had bloomed in the summer and many other bizarre ingredients.

Matilda also found a spell that returned lost fortune, a spell that cured epilepsy, a spell that cured blindness, a spell that could renew physical features, a spell that prolonged life and even one that cast evil eyes away from someone. She was about to flip the page over to the next one when she found a spell that made her to stop short.

The spell spoke about bringing one's true love to the person. True love was a novel concept to Matilda and she chuckled at the overall silliness of it.

The spell read:

"For the love of all that is magic, I shall find that who was made specially for me.

Thou shall love me and cherish me for all thy days to come,

Thou shall make me feel on top of the world and bring me a type of happiness that rivals few.

And we shall forever be in love with each other till the end of days.

Instructions: Say the poem three times, stamp your left foot two times and stamp the right one four times. Clap your hands five times and close your eyes."

Suddenly, Matilda found herself saying the words of the poem out loud. She said it three times, stamped her left foot two times, stamped her right foot four times and closed her eyes. After a while, she opened them and thought. What a silly thing! Nothing could surely happen.

Before Matilda could close the book, she felt a strange breeze chilling her body from head to toe. She was suprised at this effect. The breeze began to swirl around her, chilling her body to the bones. All these events seemed eerie to Matilda.

"What is happening to me?" she questioned.

She collapsed heavily on the reading chair and the darkness descended on her.

**********

When Matilda finally woke up for the second time, the pounding in her head had lessened. She took in her surroundings and was puzzled. The room was beautiful. There was no doubt about that. The walls were made of stone and inlaid with hand carved symbols. It looked like the inside of a renaissance museum. The items of furniture placed around the room were like something out of an antique auction. She recalled one such auction that she had attended before.

Matilda tried to remember how she had gotten into this room but her mind was blank and could come up with nothing. I need to talk to someone. I need to know my whereabouts, she thought.

She stood up and climbed down from the bed. Matilda stretched her tired limbs and padded barefoot to the door. It was a heavy ornate door and it had been made with great attention to detail. Matilda tried the handle but it refused to budge. She then concluded that the door must have been locked from the outside. She banged on the door and shouted for help but got no response.

Matilda gave up on getting the door to open and turned away from it. She continued to survey her surroundings. The stone floor was carved with an emblem of a diamond and a scythe, intertwined together. In fact, the whole room looked like something from another world.

Finding a small window in the far corner, Matilda hurried over to it and peered down. She noticed that the building was a castle made entirely of stone. She was two stories up and therefore she could see most of the stone structure. The castle was breathtaking and the view from up here was amazing. What is this place? she questioned herself.

Matilda directed her gaze northward and her jaw dropped down in amazement. Here was the most beautiful stone bridge. Matilda estimated it to be about thirty miles long and it was connected to the castle. This is a wonder, thought Matilda.

With the sound of the turning of a lock, Matilda's eyes turned toward the door. The person on the other side of the door swung it open on its well oiled hinges. Her gaze travelled upward and she marveled at the sight before her.

The man that stepped into the room was the one who had ridden a horse to meet her on the bridge. He was handsome with striking aristocratic features. He wore a strange set of clothes. His coat was loose, it was without sleeves and it covered his body down to the knees. His trousers too looked strange as it was fastened just below the knee. The whole outfit looked ancient. What is with these people and ancient things? Matilda wondered.

The man stepped into the room fully and spoke in a soothing voice.

"How are you, milady?"

"Who are you?" she asked.

" I am Alexander, your husband," he replied calmly.

Matilda was shocked beyond words. What husband did she have and where was this place? After a while, she opened her mouth to speak.

"What a preposterous statement! You are certainly lying! My name is Matilda and I work in a bookstore in Oxford. May I borrow your phone so that I can call a taxi to take me back to my flat? I really need to go home and change into comfortable clothes."

" I don't know what the hell a phone or a taxi is but I expected your ramblings therefore I am not bothered. The healer told me that you lost your memory and that you are bound to utter some unmeaningful things. So, I will try to prod your memory by reminding you of some things."

Alexander paused to look at her and guage her reaction to the information he was about to share with her.

"We are in the year 1431. Your name is Beatrice and you are my wife. We have been wedded just a year and two weeks ago, you fell down the stairs and hit your head against a stone table. You wandered off to the Bridge of Acera earlier in the day and I brought you back to this chamber."

Matilda was bewildered but continued to listen.

"This is our keep, Acera Keep and this town is called Ludlow. I am the Marquess and you are the Marchioness. Your parents live not too far away from here with your sisters, Suzanne and Sarah and your brother, Joshua. Your personal maid is Lucia."

Matilda was stunned by the barrage of information but she was able to lay her head on one thing. The spell she had read back in the bookstore in Oxford had transported her back in time and her body had remodeled itself to fit that of another woman who was supposed to be dead.

Matilda's head was reeling. She wished she could go back to that evening in the bookstore and reverse the order of events. She would not have performed the spell. She wouldn't have thought that magic was silly and was not in existence. She could do anything to take it back. Now she was stuck here, back in time and she didn't know any way of going back to the familiarity of her life in Oxford city.

Matilda looked at the man who called himself Alexander. He was a fine specimen of a man but she sensed that he was a proud man. He seemed to think she was his wife, Beatrice who had hit her head on a stone table and lost her memory. How wrong he was! Well, she would set him straight on that.

"Look, I know what you think but I can assure you that I am not Beatrice and I do not know her. It was a spell that I unknowingly casted that transported me here. My name is Matilda as I told you earlier and I work in a bookstore in Oxford. You said that this is the year 1431 which means that we are presently in the fifteenth century but I live in twenty first century Oxford."

Alexander took a long look at Beatrice after her speech and all he saw was a woman who had lost her memory and was slowly going mental as well. How could she say that she lived in the twenty first century. How many thousand of years away was that? She had lost her memory and her mind as well.

"Well, you are Beatrice and not Matilda as you call your self. I have told you that you lost your memory. I have also told you some things so that they may prod your memory. With all these things you have said, I can only conclude that you are beginning to lose your mind as well."

He guided her to the bed and tried to lay her down on it.

"You have to lay down for a while so that you may relax your head I will go and send for the healer to come so that you he may look you up and also give you some medication that will reduce the chances of your going mental."

Matilda shrugged his hands off her shoulders and looked him squarely in the face.

"I will not accept this! What I told you is nothing but the truth and you have to believe me. I am not your wife, Beatrice. The spell I casted unknowingly just made us to cross paths and molded the body of your wife and mine together. You have to find a way to get me home, please."

Alexander was livid. How could she think that she was telling the truth? Couldn't she remember even a little bit of her life before she hit her head on the stone table and lost her memory? He was frustrated by her utterances.

"Beatrice, I will not repeat myself again! Lay down on this bed at once or I will order the healer to give you medicine that will make you to be out of it for days. Do as I tell you or I will have my threat carried out."

Matilda thought it wise to obey him. She didn't know the rules of this place and she didn't know what this man could do to her. After all, he was the Marquess and his word was the law in this place. Besides, she didn't want to stay asleep for days under the effect of medicine while she could be brainstorming on how to go back to her life in Oxford. She walked to the bed and laid down on it.

Alexander was satisfied at Beatrice's actions. She seemed to understand the graveness of his order.

"Rest for a while, milady. I shall go and send for the healer to come."

With that, he turned and left the chamber.

CHAPTER TWO - UNDERSTANDING THE SITUATION

Inside the room, Matilda wondered how she could get herself out of this situation but she came up blank. Finally, she just decided to try to convince Alexander of the truth in her words and persuade him to help her find her way back to the twenty first century.

Alexander arrived back at the chamber after sending for the healer. He looked at Matilda and spoke.

"When the healer arrives, comply with him and allow him to examine you or I will have my threat carried out," Alexander said.

They both sat in silence for a long time until there came a knock on the door.

"You may come in," Alexander called out.

The man who stepped into the room was very old. His hair had gone totally gray and his posture was stooped. He was carrying a black bag in his left hand. When he spoke, the strength of his voice belied his old age.

"Good day, my Lord," he said while bowing.

" Richard, take a look at her and let me know of your

Heroes

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