After the screams died down, Angela knelt to check on Luther. She didn’t know anything about what to do with a feinting victim, so she felt for breath and a heart beat. They both seemed to be there, so she turned her attention to the girl at the top of the stairs. The girl watched Angela check on her friend and must have thought that these strangers weren’t all bad. The girl walked down the stairs towards Angela.
“You should put his head on a pillow and fan him. That’s what my daddy does when mommy passes out,” The girl said.
“Thanks,” Angela said as she used his messenger bag for a pillow. “But I don’t seem to have either at the moment.”
“I can go ask my daddy for one.”
“That’s ok,” Angela said. It was probably best if the girl didn’t run and find her parents just yet. A kid could handle the existence of strange people in her basement, but an adult would be less forgiving. If Angela’s theory about what happened was true, alerting the girl’s parents right away would only put herself on the wrong end of a shot gun.
From the newness of the basement items like the furnace and all the equipment, the girl’s period dress, and the witch marks carved into a beam by her brother before he was born, she knew that she had time traveled. Angela had seen way too many Dr. Who episodes to not easily put it together. The tunnel opened by the witch marks took her and Luther to the past when the Wellington House was new.
“So what’s your name?” Angela asked the girl.
“My daddy says that I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”
“I’m Angela, and this is Luther. There, we aren’t strangers anymore.”
The kid seemed to accept this as an answer and said, “I’m Gretchen.”
“Nice to meet you Gretchen. Say Gretchen, have you seen a man pass through here? He looks kind of like me, maybe a little taller, and with brown hair?”
“Come through my basement?” The girl said, confused.
“I’m afraid so. It looks like where I come from is somehow connected to your basement.”
“You’re the first people I’ve ever seen come through the basement. We have a front door. Most visitors use the front door.”
“Who are you talking too honey?” A male voice said at the top of the stairs.
Startled, Angela jumped up. There was a man coming down the stairs. He too had clothes from the early 1900’s. He was also dirty and sunburned, like he had been working the fields all day. She was about to apologize to the man when she noticed something odd. He didn’t seem to notice her at all. He passed her and Luther and scooped up his daughter.
“I’m talking to my new friends, Luther and Angela,” the girl said.
“Oh?” The father said. “Well you better tell them that its time to wash up for supper. You’re mother will be home with the shopping any minute now.”
The father took the girl up the stairs while she proceeded to tell him all about Angela and Luther. He listened like a father would when his daughter told him about an imaginary friend. Angela became light headed, and sunk to her knees. She sat down next to Luther least she pass out herself. The father flicked the light when he left leaving them in the darkness.
Luther stirred and opened his eyes. He leaned up and looked around. “What happened? I remember a quake, and then I had this strange dream about a tunnel and a girl.”
“It wasn’t a dream.” Angela said.
“I think we might be ghosts.”