Inside Buckingham Palace
It was snowing. Sat on a short brick fence, I waited for the guards to walk the perimeter. I took a peek through the window. The queen was sleeping on a white sofa. A small fire burned inside. A young girl played on a green rug in the center of the room. She looked up at me and smiled. I motioned for her to come outside. A few minutes later she came and handed me a pair of mittens.
“I thought you might need these,” she said. She was wrapped in pink cotton, thick and comfortable with a white hat. “Have you ever been in a snowball fight?”
“Never. But I made a snowman once.”
The guards walked by as we made our snowman. I thought they were going to kick me out. But they just nodded and continued to walk along the gates. Later, after we wrote our names in the snow we ran throughout the palace gardens chasing one another, dodging snowballs and laughing. It seemed we were playing directly under the moon’s gentle light.
As she wiped the snow from her shoes she said, “Oh, it’s tea time. Let’s go.”
We went into the palace and waited for the Queen. The two of us sat quietly as she dropped a cube of sugar into her cup and stirred. I was so curious about all the doors I’d passed on my way in and the Queen must have sensed it. She said, “This place is quite large. Would you like to see?”
She guided me through long corridors and into rooms that led into more rooms and hallways. To my delight the palace was a wondrous maze. When I entered one of the rooms on my own and placed my palm against the window pane, the dream shifted.
I’m inking a large canvas. It seems to move for me. A tap on the shoulder interrupts the motion. A young woman with brown hair and golden eyes has placed a notebook in front of me.
“Hey, just wondering if you’d write down your details for me. I figured since we’re heading to the same school, we could bunk together?”
She placed the pencil in my hand and I scribbled the date, my name and phone number.
“Not ready for the New Year, I see,” she said. She had her finger on the 2010, I’d written. “It’s been 2011 for two months.”
I changed the date and stared at the numbers, perplexed. The class instructor came over to observe the canvas. Then I took a good look at it; a garden with snow-covered trees, children, and the moon.