Henry looked at Charlotte. “I’m not your father, Charlotte. Please have a seat and I’ll explain.”
Charlotte became nervous as she watched him walk around the living area and took a seat.
“Please, Charlotte, sit.” His voice was as forceful and forthright as her own father.
Slowly, without taking her eyes off of him, she lowered herself back to the sofa. She stared at him intently. How is this man not my father? He looks so much like him.
“Your mind is probably reeling. My family used to own all the land around Cygnet Lake several generations ago. As with everything, time changes all. We held on to this small plot as well as full access around Cygnet Lake.”
Henry continued to explain to Charlotte the details he could provide. He then moved into the topic of her appearance. “I’m not sure why, but you are not the first, nor do I suspect, the last of our family to move through time. It is why they insisted Cygnet Lake stay within the family as the surrounding properties were sold off.
Charlotte’s eyes widened. “I never heard of this time travel phenomenon. Do any of them ever return to their time?”
Henry folded his hands and looked down, then back at Charlotte. “I am not sure. See, we’re still putting the pieces together here. We have met two others before you, but have never found any record of them in the family records. It was almost as if they never existed. Both tried to go back, but we don’t know if they made it.
Charlotte stared off into the flickering light from the fake fireplace. “I miss home.”
Sarah took a seat next to Charlotte and gently took her hand. “You are the youngest who have visited us. Don’t give up hope. We will do everything we can to get you back home.”
Charlotte took a ragged breath. “Has anyone decided to stay in the time they travel to? Do you know?”
Sarah glanced over to Henry. Henry shook his head No swiftly. Charlotte noted that it was almost too quick of a response, but dismissed her concern as quickly as she thought it.
“So, is there any mention of me in the family history you’ve gathered?”
Henry looked at her a moment. “I’ll have to look. I tend to focus on the people we meet that travel here. Since we just found you, and now that we know your name, I’m hoping you can help us as much as I hope we will help you.”
Charlotte shook her head. “Anything we can do to put the pieces together. I love puzzles!”
Sarah smiled, then looked up at the clock. “I need to go to town for some things. Charlotte, I will get you some clothes that are more appropriate for our time, and your age.” Sarah stood up, gathered her purse and keys, and headed for the door. “Henry, do you want anything?”
Henry stood up and walked over to the door, kissing Sarah on the cheek. “No, my love. We’ll be here when you get back.”
As Sarah drove away, Charlotte watched out of the window. Her eyes grew big as a white vehicle pulled away. “What is that?” She glanced over at Henry.
He just smiled. “Oh, that’s a truck. There are a lot of mechanized things now in this time. Like this fireplace, even the stove.”
Charlotte was lost in wonder. “I could see why someone might want to stay. These automatic things are great!” She sunk back in the sofa. “How is this cottage staying cool? Shouldn’t it be warmer.”
Henry opened the refrigerator and pour them both some cold tea to drink. “It’s called air conditioning. It keeps the air cool or hot, depending on how you need it to keep the place.” He handed her a glass and she took a sip.
“I like it. I could get used to all of this.” She smiled. She thought she was progressive for her time, maybe she just needed to find her time instead.
I’m going back and picking up a few neglected stories from the past few months. I hope you enjoy the continuation of the Swans in the Mist.