Tales from the London Below
A tall and willowy 12 year old girl who is great with puzzles and any sort of game.
Jill is a youngster from a wealthy London family. Like many well to do families the rules are strict and emotions tempered. Jill wished her parents remember this more often, but when they drink they get mad. Aside from depending on her parents for the basics Jill tries to avoid them as best she can with her 4 year old sister. Jill is 2 years her senior. They’ve made, with much work from Jill, a utopia of games and make believe in the nursery room.
Jill lay awake many nights imagining being stolen by gypsies or simply a beautiful couple ringing the doorbell coming to exclaim she and her sister had BOTH somehow been switched at birth and they were to come away with the new beautiful and loving couple. If only.
One of those nights Jill was brought out of one of these imaginary scenerios by a scratching tap at the window. Once it had gotten to annoying to put up with any longer she got up in a huff and opened the window to bat away whatever tree branch had leaned against the house. But there was no branch just a girl. Upside down. She had long hair moving in the light breeze and bright eyes.
“Hello.” she said with a toothy smile.
“Hi? What are you doing?”
“Hello. I want to come in. Do you want to play?”
Though she may not be the new set of parents she had been wishing for, a friend of her own that wasn’t her 4 year old sister would be really great too.
Jill invited her in and showed her all of her toys and she showed the girl the creme de la creme of her possesions- her perfect doll house witht he perfect family. The girl pushed past Jill a little to get a closer look and astonishly the room started getting BIGGER. No Wait- they were getting smaller. They were small enough to play in the perfect home! They played for hours and it had already been late when the visitor came. Jill was getting very tired.
“I’m think I’d like to stay this size and sleep in the doll bed,” Jill somehow smiled and yawned.
“But I still want to play,” pouted the new friend. “Why do you need to go to sleep? We’re still having so much fun!”
“We can play in the morning. I’m going to bed.” With that Jill froze.
No, Jill didn’t freeze, she HAD BEEN frozen. With a not so child-like cackle verging on wicked witch, the girl exclaimed, “We will play forever. Playing is fun! Why would we ever stop?!”
For weeks? months? Eons? Jill played as a part in a vastly complex game. They must have been playing a very long time, because even though Jill was stellar with any sort of game she had an extremely difficult time even figuring out what the point of it was, but she still won out in the end. The last move, kicking the swtich at the 3rd Well of Morose Will, had defeated the wretched girl that stuck her in this wicked game. The world faded away and Jill became aware she was in an empty house. Everything was dark and all the doors and windows were locked. Feeling horribly sad for herself Jill started to cry and that crying turned to a full blown tanrum. There was screaming, feet stomping and throwing of anything she could get her hands on. She grabbed a hefty book and through it directly at a window and CRACK. A beam of light glimmered through the break. This brought her up short. Grabbing a baseball bat Jill starting desparately swinging at the window. She isn’t strong, but she made a small hole and shoved a chair up to the window to help her climb out. The brightness blinded her for a moment but she soon realized she was straing directly into the thickest ticket of thorns she has ever seen. There was no way she was going to stay trapped in the dark house, though and she started clawing her way out. Then giggling started bubbling from behind her. The girl! Jill scrambled as hard as she could in any direction that was away from the laughter. Bloodied by the thorns and worn completely out by exhaustion and terror Jill passed out.
Honking horns woke Jill. She pushed herself into a sitting position and leaned against a garbage can tucked partway into an alley. Her brain felt fuzzy and she ached deep into her bones. Looking around she recognized that she was in London, but where? She had never paid attention to roadways or landmarks when out with her family or on school trips so was completely lost. She had learned from her school teachers to never talk to stangers, only policemen when you’re lost. Down at the end of the street Jill saw a man in a black uniform and a hat with a black and white checkered band. A policeman!
“Sir! Sir!” Jill exclaimed and she ran up to him. “I’m lost. I don’t know where I am. Can you help me, please? I want to go home!” she began sobbing.
The officer brought her in to the station, and after a few phone calls found the home of Jill Bean. But Jill bean was already home. The officer got very upset and asked her what wretched orphanage she had snuck out of. At about the time he was picking up the phone to call child services a woman in a heavy peacoat, bright green scarf and a long skirt comes whisking into the main lobby.
“Child! I have been looking everywhere for you! I was coming in to report you missing!”
What? Jill had never seen this woman before in her life, though she was very pretty and had a beautiful smile. The woman held Jill by the wrist and started explaining to the policeman that she was just a devil and she was sorry I bothered him.
“Quiet girl, we’ve got to be home quickly!” and with the they left the Police Department to go off to who knows where. She sure seems nice, though…