The Anomaly: A time travel story

No. 38/100 flash fiction stories

Mei woke with a headache pounding at the back of her skull.

Well, good morning to you, too, she thought to her rebellious head. As she sat up in bed—greeted by a chorus of creaks from the old wooden bed frame—the pain worsened.

“Whatever could it be?” she muttered to herself. “The stale, muggy air? The questionable beef I ate last night? Or, I don’t know, maybe my rock pillow that pokes me in the head with feathers  that probably weren’t cleaned properly.”

Mei scowled at her small bedroom, which was really just that: a room with a bed in it. Okay, maybe a vanity, wardrobe, and basin, too, but that really was it. The air felt as cramped as the room itself. Jane had encouraged her to open her window while she slept, but Mei couldn’t even stand the thought of it. She doubted the crime rates in the 1800s English countryside were anywhere near those of massive 21st-century cities, but she wasn’t taking any chances. 

You could take the girl out of Chicago…

Mei got up and began the day even more disappointed than usual. It was always a bad day when she woke up to find she was still wearing a nightgown instead of a soft t-shirt and shorts,—so she’d been having a perpetual bad day for the past three months—but the headache made things even worse. They couldn’t have at least come up with a painkiller by now that wasn’t opium? She’d practically kill for Tylenol right about now. 

With a sigh, Mei resigned herself to her fate. She made her bed, which had never been a habit before but had quickly become one when she’d realized that the servants would do it if she didn’t. They all seemed happy enough, but she still hadn’t warmed to the idea of someone else doing everything for her. She didn’t think she’d ever get used to it, despite what Jane said. 

Her stomach growled and she winced. No bagel and cream cheese this morning—probably just overly greasy and smelly sausage and rubbery eggs. The bread was often the only edible thing on the table, but at least it was good. Really good. 

“Still,” Mei muttered to herself, “what I wouldn’t do for a good cup of coffee.” 

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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