Tilly Archer thinks she is the odd one in her family. Where does she get it from?
The Remarkable Girl
There are three things everyone knows about Tilly Archer. She kept to herself, had no friends and was very strange. So peculiar in her ways in fact that her own mother, Mrs Audrey Archer, who was a rather primp and proper woman, would remark on more than one occasion to the neighbours “That’s just our Tilly, puzzling girl, but I’m sure she will grow out of it.” However Tilly most certainly would not grow out of it, as sometimes odd behaviour runs in the family. Her father, Mr Simon Archer, was also classed as bizarre. What with his strange dress sense, and glasses which had different lenses that helped to magnify his tinkering. He was always pottering away in his shed at the bottom of their garden at number 34 Stella avenue. Tilly would help him sometimes with potting petunias, putting his tools back in their rightful place and watching him organise constellations on a map. He never did tell her why he would look up at the sky each night, but she did know that everytime he found a fascinating cluster of stars he would shut himself away for days until he called her. “Tilly! I’ve found another world for you” he would exclaim, and sure enough there in the palm of his hand was a snow globe.
Fascinating things snow globes are, and Tilly had a whole room full of them. Each one was unique and had its own name. Mr Archer tilted the snow globe so Tilly could see. There on the plinth holding the globe was the name intricately written. “Everleis, Where is that Dad?” she asked taking the globe in her hands and shaking it. “Second star to the right of the big dipper. Bright thing it is, and so full of wondrous things. Take a look Tilly.” Holding the globe up to her face Tilly looked in. Mountains tall and covered in snow right to the base, forests of the deepest green, towns and villages full of people and shops to every edge and at every corner. She never did know how her father managed to fit so much detail into one globe but Everleis was definitely as her father described it, a wondrous thing.
It was at this point in Tilly’s life where things were to change. Mr Archer had set off to work one morning to his very bothersome job at Bannisters books. Tilly knew her father had an important role in the company, but he had not told her exactly what it was.
He was usually home late and as Tilly played and watched television, night drew in and there was no sign of him. She had decided while her mother busied herself with the housework that she would wait by the window; but something was different today as she looked out onto the garden. Her father's shed was open. Mr Archer was always very careful in locking it, however all three locks had been prised from the door. “Tilly! Run and hide!” Her mother screamed from the kitchen. In a panic, Tilly knew just where to go.
The shed was a wreck, the freshly potted petunias had tumbled over and her father's tools were scattered all around the sheds floor. “Dad?” she called hoping he would hear her and come to the rescue.
She noticed the globe of Everleis on the shelf and took it in her hands. It brought her much needed comfort and familiarity.
“Where is your father?” the rough deep voice of a man asked. He held her father's constellation maps.
“Those are my dad's, leave them alone.” Tilly told him defiantly.
“Listen to me child you will tell me where your father is!”
Tilly jumped from the dark figured man's booming voice and dropped the snow globe.
Time slowed as the globe fell, the man's hand stretched out towards her, and as the glass sphere smashed at her feet Tilly felt a rush of wind around her. The shed broke apart and she felt cold specks of snow hitting her skin.
It was not a normal thing to happen, to be in one place one moment and then suddenly be standing in a completely different surrounding, but that is what happened to Tilly. She turned one way, then another. It was day time and certainly not her garden, where she had expected to be. Lots of tall buildings stood before her, and people walked by looking at the peculiar child, dressed not quite like them.
Tilly did not feel well, she wondered where her parents were, and who that man was, and where she was. Until it all became too much, and she fell to the ground. As the world around her became fuzzy, a calming voice came from above. “You are safe now, Tilly Archer.” It was strange that someone knew her name here, but Tilly almost felt at home with the sentiment as she slowly passed out.