Tiffany Hawkins: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

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Tiffany wanted to get closer to the sign, to feel it and make sure it was real. Her body wouldn't allow her to move. She tried to walk but even her legs wouldn't budge. Whenever she took a breath, it didn't feel like hers to take. In that moment, she realised that she was not in her body anymore, but in someone else's – someone from the past.

The feeling never got better the more she accidentally inhabited the bodies of those preceding her present. She could not believe that she had travelled a millennium, an era so far from her obtainable reach. Her knowledge on the power she had was very little anyway, but she assumed that she could only go back so far – perhaps a week or two, as was the case with her sister; one thousand years was taking things to an extreme.

Still, Tiffany could not see who she inhabited and her constant urge to move pained her when she could not lift a finger. The head of the person would look around every now and then, but still, there were no nearby reflections for her to see who she now was.

She managed to gaze upon the dress she wore, so she knew she was definitely a woman. The dress was made of fine quality, a much improved upgrade from the tunic that the woman before was wearing. It was red with gold embroidery, a design that flowed from the neckline, around her breasts, and down to her waist. A single jewel was embedded over the chest. Tiffany was relieved to wear something so beautiful, and it ruled her out as being in the body of a beggar.

Black hair fell around her neck and down her shoulders, a stark contrast to the golden blonde of Tiffany's usual style. She could feel that something was around her head and rested on her forehead, perhaps a thin tiara, as the cold metal reminded Tiffany that she could, in fact, feel whatever the woman was feeling.

The sun was beginning to set and it spilled its orange rays over the landscape. Without ugly buildings or noisy cars, the picture before her was breath-taking. Tiffany stared at it, grateful that the woman was not looking away, and felt her own soul awaken. It revived her spirits and provided her with a peaceful state of mind – her thoughts were frantic and terrified, but now, they were calm and collected. She knew that she could not get out of the body until she saw what she needed to see.

As she took in the sun setting beyond the hills, the sky turning darker, a noise drew her attention from behind. The woman turned, and Tiffany could see a man approaching.

Tiffany recognised him. 'Eric!' She shouted in her head, but the woman did not say what she wanted to say.

The man looked exactly like Eric, albeit with longer hair that reached his shoulders. He retained a smooth beard, whereas Eric was always clean-shaven. The same strong jaw and prominent cheekbones were distinguishable, and his crystal lake blue eyes greeted her as Eric would always do. The kindness was still there.

'Una, I come with news,' this version of Eric said. Tiffany understood that he must be the past life Eric, perhaps the first as she recalled the curse placed upon her and her friends had lasted a thousand years already.

She examined him closely, and this Una woman looked him up and down before lingering on his face. Feelings of unrequited love filled her breast and it was confirmed they were lovers when he leaned in and kissed her.

It felt wonderful, yet all Tiffany could see was Eric, not the medieval man in front of her. The kiss lasted longer than she wanted, and soon Una pulled away from him.

'Triamond, I feel just awful. What we are doing...'

Triamond put a finger to her lips. 'I know. I feel the same.'

'Then we must do something! We cannot just let this happen,' Una said. She spoke with a tremor in her voice, overcome with sensibility.

Triamond put his arms around her, wrapping her in a warm embrace. 'That is why I come to you, why I asked you to meet me here. I have spoken with the others.'

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