Sandglass of Dreams

DISCLAIMER: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Any reference or quote from the work by another author, living or dead, shall be quoted in the footnote.
I don't own "Pride and Prejudice", although I own many copies of this book, in various languages.


Prologue

where Lizzie finds much more than she was looking for

"Lizzie Bear, are you ready to go?", I heard my dad scream from the bottom of the stairs to the attic.

"Just one minute!", I replied, just as loud as he did. No one would call our family quiet or reserved. Not with the six of us inheriting all the loud and expressive genes from both our Scottish and English ancestors. "It has to be somewhere, I'm sure I left it here!", I mumbled, getting more frustrated with every passing second.

It was the third time I searched through the attic, looking for my special chest where I put all the "very important things" since I was five years old. The space was clean, almost too clean, since it was an attic, where we'd place all the furniture, documents, clothes and things in general that we didn't usually need. My mum was responsible for that. Well, maybe not entirely, since every other month we'd all clean the space to be pristine. It was definitely not one of my favourite family traditions.

Now it looked that I'd have to pay for this tidiness, as I rummaged through all the things there and couldn't find the one I really needed. I would not move to London without this box, that was simply out of the question.

Did someone just throw it out last time we cleaned? I'm sure they knew how important it was to me…

I scanned the room for the last time and then, finally, by the south wall, under a huge pile of boxes with our old textbooks and notebooks, I spotted a light-blue spot that had to be it.

With difficulty, but I managed to move the top boxes so that I could take the one I really cared about. I never realized that knowledge actually had that much weight.

There it was - a beautifully fretted, medium-sized chest made of walnut wood, with a lock and my name engraved on the top. My grandparents gave it to me for my fifth birthday. I remember as if it was yesterday, when my grandma gave me a small key and told me: "Lizzie, darling, you are now a big girl, old enough to have your own treasure chest, where you could hide all your secrets and treasures…" Now I know they gave it to me because then my younger sister was a little over a one year old and I really hated when she'd take my things and play with them.

I unclasped a chain on my neck. There it was - a small, gold key that opened the chest. I always had it on me. With time, it became more of an amulet - a symbol of all the secrets, of everything that was dear to me, of everything, that made me "me".

Last time I opened the chest I guess it was just before my first day at the university - four years ago. Now I finally got my degree and I was moving from Edinburgh to London - the city I always dreamed of to live in. Every time I visited it, I just knew that I'd live there eventually.

I just couldn't leave this chest behind.

I had to check if everything was there, so I finally turned the key and the box opened with a squeak. There it was: my whole life in a nutshell.

The moment it opened I could smell the night blooming jasmine. I had my grandma's old perfume bottle there, there were some drops of the fragrance still inside. I always loved it and for a moment I closed my eyes to relish this scent. Then, I had to check if everything was in order. There were all the birthday cards I got, my acceptance letter from the uni, Teddy - my favourite teddy bear that I slept with till I graduated High School, diamond earrings my parents gave me on my sixteenth birthday, and many other things. Among them there was a small hourglass my grandparents gave me on my tenth birthday - depending on the temperature, it changed its colour from blue, through green, to gold. I always called it "Sandglass of Dreams", as I had some problems with sleeping that time. Then, I got this hourglass and I'd turn it over before going to bed and I'd always fall asleep before the sand would entirely run into its lower part. It worked like magic!

There were also my family's photos, my first designer pumps (now three sizes too small), my old diary…

Wait… WHAT? I no longer had any diary!

With two younger sisters and my little brother I'd never knew if some of them didn't read it, so I always stopped writing a diary before I actually started. One graphic description of my first sex dream read out loud by my baby brother when I was eighteen was definitely enough. Then, I burned every single diary I ever started to write. It couldn't be mine. Someone must have opened my chest and put it in here!

I had to check who did it. I took out the red leather-bound notebook and I was about to open it, when I heard my dad, hurrying me to go down as we all knew it would take at least 7 hours to get to London by my car and if we didn't hurry, we'd never get there early enough for my parents to catch their flight back to Edinburgh.

I sighed heavily, shoved the notebook to my handbag, closed the chest and took it downstairs with me. Now I was ready to go.

It was many, many hours later when I came back from the airport and I was preparing to sleep, when I accidently knocked my handbag from the worktop and I found the red, leather-bound diary again. I totally forgot about it till this very moment.

I decided to take it to bed with me. Although I was bone tired, I knew I wouldn't get a wink of sleep if I didn't solve its mystery. I've always hated mysteries. They needed to be solved.

Just in case, I also took my "Sandglass of Dreams" with me. Who knew, maybe I'd need it later, too tired, but at the same time too restless to sleep. And sleep was what I really needed, since I had just two days before my work started.

In my pajamas, I nestled in my huge, comfy bed in my mezzanine bedroom, turned on the bedside lamp, hugged Teddy, who - just as the old days - occupied the other side of the bed, then I took the diary, opened it and started to read.

With every word I felt as if it was some bad joke.


"London, 5th of April, 1815

I finally decided to write about what happened to me, in case what they said actually happened and I'd really forget everything that transpired here and now, in 1815.
For starters, what I'm sure of:
My real name is Elizabeth Beatrice Stuart, named after my mother and my own favourite heroines of all time - Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice" and Beatrice from "Much Ado About Nothing".
I was born on 14th of December, 1992.
They told me I was transported here, to London of 1815, because while reading "P&P" for the hundredth time, I mindlessly turned my "Sandglass of Dreams" and wished I could live in Regency era and see what the people of this time could see. Oh, and let's not forget about that: I wanted, so badly, to experience the love described in Jane Austen books.
I should've wish for a car. A car wouldn't make me wear this ridiculous corset!
Ok, now I think I should note some of the important facts of my life here:
Here I go under the name of Miss Elizabeth Rogers, as it seems - my great-great-great-great-grandmother. Did I miss one "great"?
I am the eldest daughter of Mr Frederick Rogers and his wife, Mrs Harriet Rogers.
I have to stick to my grandmother's English accent, since, when I started to talk normally, everyone in the room (meaning my "parents" and two younger sisters, Sarah and Grace) started to look at me funny. No, not funny - with horror!
Here I'm also eighteen years old, just as in my own time.
Anything else?
Not much, just one thing maybe.

Since yesterday, as I was informed by my "Mother" this morning before breaking my fast, I am betrothed against my will to the most obnoxious, arrogant, self-centered, haughty and infuriating man I've ever met - Lord Alexander Thorpe…"

WHAT WAS THAT?

I looked on the calendar and it definitely was not April Fool's Day.

Clearly, I could not write this whole thing, as I didn't remember doing so.

Yet, some things were correct.

I couldn't just live it like that. I had to read on and understand what the hell was happening.

I already knew I wouldn't sleep a wink that night...


A/N: I was really, really anxious to publish this story since it's my first "ORIGINAL" one, only inspired by other work of fiction.
Originally, it was written in POLISH, my NATIVE LANGUAGE, and it differs a lot from what I presented here (as I started to write it... eight years ago and I still haven't finished it) - but I decided to rewrite the whole first part and (probably) somehow mix Regency era chapters with MODERN ones:)
If you notice ANY spelling, grammar, punctuation mistakes, and especially related to STYLE - please PM me, as it is the first time I try to write about something that happens not only in our, modern world. But please, bear in mind, what happens in 1800s, is described by a person who lives in XXI century :)

I cannot promise to update frecuently, as it's my last year at the uni and the amount of work I have is just... indescribable.

As you can see, it didn't stop me from writing this prologue ;)

My plan is to write the first part, mainly in Regency period, and then finish the story in the second - in our times.

As this story IS inspired by "Pride and Prejudice" AND "Much Ado About Nothing", we can expect a bumpy road ahead of Lizzie and Alex (but just so You know, there WILL BE HEA! :)

Please give me some feedback! :)

Till the next time!

VeraDeDiamant