This weeks prompt at Writers Island is Envision.
‘And you, Keith, have won tonight’s star prize, an all expenses paid trip back to London in the year 1894’
I must admit, I looked quite dapper. I had on a frock coat (I believe that’s what they’re called) tapered trousers, a bow tie, and in my hand a rather fancy cane. Sadly those around me looked a bit scruffy in their tattered clothes, and as I passed by, many doffed their hats.I found that somewhat agreeable.
But the stench of unwashed bodies was horrendous. Smoke from coal fires choked the air, and stained the blonde Portland stone of the houses lining the street. Sewage ran down open gullies, and a herd of cows ambled past leaving steaming stinking pats on the cobbled road. I needed a libation, and I needed it urgently! However, finding a hostelry was not easy. The Temperance Society had been successful in shaming the working classes into a life of sobriety, and many had taken the pledge to abstain from imbibing intoxicating liquor. But I found an inn in Threadneedle Street and felt no guilt whatsoever in downing a frothing tankard of jet black stout.
I overheard a conversation. It seemed that Tower Bridge was to be officially opened that very afternoon, the bridge which I crossed daily in my present life. It had been an era of rapid change in London. In the space of a few years the underground railway had transformed travel. The Houses of Parliament became the seat of power, and Big Ben began to signal the changing hour. The Royal Family moved into Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square became the centre of the city. There I was, in the middle of the age which gave London the sights and images that folk from the world over flock to visit in increasing numbers every year.
I suddenly heard a familiar sound, but one I didn’t expect to hear in 1894! The Nokia ringing tone!
I blinked a couple of time, the ringing stopped and everything had changed back to 2010. ‘Hey, you nodded off!’ said my friend Rosey ‘and it’s your round! Mine’s a chardonnay’.