The following day was glum and cloudy. Sleet fell for hours, so
Fiona had to lock up Achilles until she could walk him. He sat
patiently by her bedroom door as she lay on her bed reading
Gulliver's Travels. She was halfway through the book when there was
a small thump outside her window. She cautiously got up and tiptoed
over to The glass. A huge crash of thunder and lightning roared
through the room. Fiona jumped back with a screech. Don't be silly!
She chided herself. There was another thump - right against the
glass panels. She went up to it and threw open the window. She
poked her head out and looked down below. There was Robin, on the
ground throwing pebbles, looking up at her. She glanced back inside
at Achilles. He had his ears pricked up attentively. Looking below
again, he beckoned for her to come down. She shook her head
vigorously. He nodded in return, pointing down. He got on one knee
and made a gesture of begging. This was her chance to get some
answers, but with this weather... Fiona sighed and shut the window.
She pulled on her waterproof red cape and rain boots, then
commanded Achilles to heel as she tip-toed down the stairs. "Where
are you going in this blasted weather?" Glover asked from his chair
in the sitting area. His back was facing her and he was reading.
Fiona quickly created an excuse. "Achilles really can't wait any
longer to go out. He needs to take care of some business. I'll be
back in about 20 minutes." He waved a hand in reply, obviously
engrossed in his book. She slipped out the front door. A massive
blast of icy wind took her breath away. She stood in the door
frame, pondering whether this had been a good idea. Fiona put up
her hood and follow Achilles into the muck. They went behind the
house and into the garden full of puddles. Robin was there, looking
up at the window still, throwing pebbles. He jumped when Fiona
walked towards him. "I didn't think you'd come." He shouted over
another rumble of thunder. "I need some answers from you." He wiped
his wet black hair from his face and spat out rain water. "Yah?
Well i need some answers out of YOU..." "Such as?" "Have you
noticed anything... Odd since you came here?" She squinted at him.
"A few things. Why do you ask?" Robin smiled and cocked his head.
"Do you believe in magic?" "Magic is silliness. Only found in books
and children's bedtime stories. Who are you and what do you want?
Why do you stalk my family?" He shook the water from his face like
a dog. "As official greetings," he held out a clammy hand, "my name
Is Robin Gibson." Fiona took it cautiously. He planted a kiss on
her knuckles, grinning broadly. "Fiona Conners." She replied
simply. "Fiona, I need your help." She shook her head. "How can I
possibly-" "Please, you have to listen to me. I understand that I'm
a complete stranger and you have no reason to trust me, but I NEED
your help. You are my only chance of getting out of here." Fiona
thought for a moment. "Where do you live?" "In the woods over
there, along with my pa and-" "Precisely why I shouldn't trust you.
You're a ruffian. A thug. I shall inform my Uncle immediately-" He
facepalmed exasperated. " GAAHH! I'm none of the sort!" He spat
again. Fiona took a step back. "This is going to sound insane: I'm
from the year 1903. There's this-this-this portal thing. I don't
know what the hell it is! It sent me, my pa, and my brother here.
I'm from London, in the future. There's others in the same
predicament - some have been here for centuries! A band of Arab
slave traders, two medieval knights, a Roman - I swear I'm not
lying! There's some key that you have, I heard your uncle talking
about it, it unlocks a door. I don't know all about it, but Fiona
please! I want to go home. I've been here for 110 years." This took
Fiona back in a wave of doubt. "How can I believe that ridiculous
story?! You are deranged! And let's not forget how that other boy
tried to take me hostage." "Oh, Rory. He didn't mean to startle
you, honest miss. All he wants is to get home." Robin took a step
forward, pulling her closer by the arms. "So do I." They stared at
each other for a long time. Fiona finally shook her head. "Meet me
back here tomorrow, at midnight. We'll talk then. I have to go."
Fiona left him alone in the garden. So she thought. Little did she
know that they weren't the only two present.
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