One minute she was standing on the Tower Green preparing to die, and the next she was standing in a dazzling white room facing a man who was also dressed in dazzling white. He was very nice looking, with dark brown hair and eyes and a moustache. In fact, he reminded her quite a bit of...but that had been so long ago. Ever so long ago.
"Greetings, Anne Boleyn, and welcome." He smiled warmly at her.
"Is it done, then?" she asked softly. He said nothing, just continued to smile. "I suppose it is, then." She answered her own question.
"So you learned the hard way that there's frequently a heavy price to be paid for getting 'ahead' in life, did you?"
She just stared at him, flabbergasted.
"In the end it doesn't always pay to be a 'cut' above the others, does it?"
She frowned at him darkly. "Why, you..."
He raised his hands in concession. "Very well. I'll give up the gallows humor, as I can see that it doesn't amuse you at all, and I don't blame you one bit. It wouldn't amuse me either if I were you."
"But where am I now? Is this heaven?"
"Departed souls don't always go directly to heaven, my dear. Sometimes they return to earth in a new body to complete unfinished business from a previous life."
"So am I now to be reborn as a different person, then?"
"But as whom?"
"Does the name Thomas Wyatt sound familiar?"
"He was such a sweetheart!" She smiled and clapped her hands together. "Is he to be my husband in my new life, then?"
"Not your husband. Your father."
Lottie and Thomas played together in a park with some of the other children whose parents were at court. A mother called to her young daughter.
Lottie and another little girl both looked up simultaneously.
"Is your name Maggie too?" the woman asked Lottie.
"No! It's Lottie!" But it used to be Maggie. How did she know that?
"My name used to be Maggie a long time ago," Lottie told Thomas later.
"I used to have another name, too," Thomas replied. "Manuel the first of the House of Aviz-Beja," he said grandly.
"Wow." Lottie was impressed. "You used to know another language, too."
"I guess I used to, but since I've learned English I've forgotten most of it."
It was a stormy night with a lot of thunder and lightening. Thomas, who was terrified of thunderstorms, begged Lottie to spend the night with him in his bedroom. Lottie lay in bed with her arms around her friend until they were both sound asleep.
Something awakened Lottie a couple of hours later and caused her to sit up in alarm. On the floor lay Thomas' pillow. He had an intense fear of suffocation and couldn't stand to sleep in bed with a pillow. Lottie looked at her friend sleeping soundly beside her and gasped in horror. A large, hairy spider crept across the mattress toward Thomas. It was only inches from his face. Without thinking, Lottie snatched the pillow from the floor, flung it on top of the spider, and pressed down as hard as she could. Thomas awoke and began to scream. Lottie, fixated on killing the spider, turned and sat on the pillow. When she lifted the pillow a few seconds later, she saw the spider lying motionless underneath it.
"It's all right, Thomas," she said. "It's dead now. I killed it."
Thomas' frightened eyes grew wider as he saw the dead spider for the first time. Lottie picked it up and carried it to the waste basket, then returned to sit on the bed beside Thomas.
"I had a bad dream, Lottie," Thomas said. "I dreamed that you had a pillow and were holding it over my face so I couldn't breathe. Then I woke up and saw you holding the pillow and got really scared. I didn't know you were using it to kill a spider."
"Of course I was, silly. You know I'd never do anything like that to you."
Both children lay back down and were soon fast asleep once more.