Circle of Time
By Debra Shively Welch
Genre: Time Travel, Historical
After seeing a face in the ocean waves, her next memory is of spinning water and blackness. She awakens in the town of Bristol England in the year 1532.
Rumors of her beauty reach the court, and soon Bridget, known as Bridge, finds herself in the court of Henry VIII and Lady in Waiting to none other than Anne Boleyn.
Will she get out alive? Will she accidentally change the course of history, or is she indeed a part of the history she has studied since she was a little girl?
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She’d brought an opened bottle of red wine to the aft deck of the yacht. There comfortable chairs and couches were placed for the ease of her father’s friends and clients. She still wasn’t sure as to how she was able to convince her father to let her use his yacht, but she was grateful. The Bridget, so named by her late mother, was a large, well-appointed vessel, its primary use being for the entertainment of her father’s business associates. Somehow she persuaded him to lend it.
She preferred this part of the large, luxurious yacht, preferred to see where she had been rather than where she was going. She’d always felt that way, felt the pull of a past she couldn’t quite bring into focus.
Lifting a crystal goblet to her lips, she drank of the Bordeaux she preferred, savoring the taste of black cherry on her tongue. She held the wine there for a few seconds,
savoring the taste, then let it slip down her throat, enjoying the chocolate finish of the wine.
The evening was a little cool, pleasantly so, and there was a slight wind carrying the scent of salt, a briny perfume she found enticing, seducing. She loved the smell of the sea. To her, it was a fragrance that called up phantoms of memories she could not quite grasp.
The wind began to pick up, and as her hair lifted in response to its urging, she shook her head, reveling in the feel of soft hair moving against her neck and shoulders. She delighted in the wind in her hair – enjoyed the pull of it, the slight tug as hair and wind became playmates, dancing around her neck and cheeks, then billowing upward creating a silky parachute of silver and gold. Leaning her head back, she again looked up into the vast dome of sky above her. She loved to be at sea. She felt as if someone were calling to her; the pull of the sea was as strong and as insistent as a lover.
Footsteps caused her to turn from the rail. “Ah, Liam, good evening.” She smiled in greeting as one of her guests approached her – a second bottle of wine in one hand and a shawl in the other.
“I was afraid that you may catch a chill, Bridget. The wind is picking up.”
“Please, call me Bridge. Thank you, Liam. That was kind.” Both turned to the rail and observed the wake of the boat as it made its progress.
“Aren’t we in the Bermuda Triangle?” Liam asked.
“Yes, we are. Not afraid are you?” Bridge teased.
“Nah – not really.” Liam chuckled but finally admitted, “Well, not too nervous anyway.
“Say, this is some yacht your dad has here. Who named it The Bridget?”
“My mother did when I was born.”
“I see. Not bad to have a whole luxury yacht named after you.” They fell silent as both gave in to the beauty of the night and the softness of the breeze. Bridge lifted her glass for another sip and Liam noticed a ring on the middle finger of her left hand as she raised it to her lips. The kiss of the moon’s ethereal rays made the stones dance with light as if it were enchanted.
“Wow, Bridge, beautiful ring.”
“Thank you. It was my mother’s. By tradition, it is given to the eldest daughter of the eldest son. There is some kind of mystery to it. My ancestress through my mother, Bridget Lyttleton, supposedly owned it. That is why I’m named Bridget, by the way. My father’s name is John, and he is also a Littleton, but my parents are something like seventh cousins. Anyway Bridget’s father-in-law was named John, as was her husband, Sir John, actually, and my mother thought it would be nice to honor her, especially since the ring originated with her. So Bridget I am, but of course it got shortened to Bridge.”
“Well, it certainly is a beautiful ring. The gold is exquisite and, those are rubies, right?”
“Yes. Actually, it’s a Tudor Rose.”
For the second time that evening she held up her hand. The moonlight again caressed the stones and they seemed to come alive. Set in heavy gold, the center gem was a perfect four grain (equivalent to a karat) pearl surrounded by five slightly smaller rubies which shimmered in the moonlight. It was stunning, but Bridget measured its value by the previous owner, her mother, who wore it on the same finger until she died of cancer when Bridge was three.
“Yes, it’s a rather long story, but basically, a rose bush bloomed with both red and white petals signifying the union of two royal houses. Don’t get me started or I’ll talk for hours about it. My hobby is Tudor history,” she laughed.
“Oh, this may interest you,” Bridge said. Lifting the shawl she now wore and showing him an unusual brooch which was pinned to her gown.
“Hey, that’s an interesting piece of jewelry you have there.”
Bridget glanced down at the pin and smiled.
“Yes. Actually, it has an amusing story behind it.
“Upon hearing that I was intending a cruise which necessitated my basically staying within the Bermuda Triangle, my friend Cynthia became frightened. It is superstitious nonsense, of course, but what can you do?
“So, she went to Tiffany’s and had it made for me as a good luck talisman.”
“What is it? I can’t quite see.”
“It’s a sixteenth-century ship. She knows of my love of Tudor history and this is a replica of one of Henry VIII ships named the Mary Rose, after his favorite sister. Here, dangling from the figurehead is a diamond. Supposedly representing the North Star. Here on the back of the ship, on the quarter-deck, is a woman. I guess that’s supposed to be me.
“These scrolls along the water line are waves and represent that the ship is in a storm, but the woman will be safe because she has the North Star to guide her. She calls it the ‘Storm Tossed Ship’.
“Oh!” Bridge exclaimed as the yacht lurched. The wind, heretofore a gentle breeze, was picking up, and the sea was becoming choppy. The shawl which Liam brought to Bridge rose into the air. She made an attempt to catch it, slipped and almost fell into the sea, the goblet of wine crashing to the deck with a splintering sound of shattering glass as red wine coursed down the planks in blood red streams.
The wind increased and began to howl.
“Bridge!” Liam yelled. Grabbing her arm, he attempted to keep her from sliding over the rail as the yacht tossed and pitched as if it were deliberately trying to throw her overboard. Below her, Liam watched in horror as a whirlpool appeared starboard, and like a tornado, began to draw Bridge into its depths. He held on frantically, his eyes stretched wide as he looked into Bridge’s fear-filled face. Slowly her arm began to slip from his hands until .............
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Author of seven books and a bevy of short stories and poems, Debra is the winner of Books and Authors best Native American Fiction, AllBooks Review Editor's Choice, Faithwriters Gold Seal of Approval - Outstanding Read, Books and Authors Best Non-Fiction Book and Excellence in Literature awards and is a medalist in the New Apple Award for Excellence.
Debra is now working on "Brave Heart Woman," third in the "Cedar Woman" series, "Memories of an Old Farm House," a micro memoir about her memories of her family's ancestral farmhouse situated on a hill across from Serpent Mound in Southern, Ohio and "Christopher's Family Table," a cookbook featuring recipes from Chopped Champion Christopher Thames and Chopped Champion Junior, Daniel Kligmann.
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