This chapter and the others that follow won't really have much TG in them. They mostly will explore how Ian deals with his gender transformation, and why it happened. I hope to keep those that read them entertained, well at least I will try to. So I give you the next chapter. Thanks for all the kind words on the last chapter. I have to give a big thank you to djkauf for the editing.
“Oh, what a wicked web we weave….”
I looked up the road to my left and saw nothing particular, and to my right I guessed was the direction of Inverurie. I had no idea of how far Inverurie was or if it even existed. I was at a loss; the only thing I was certain of was that things were different than they were earlier. I decided to head up the hill, in the direction of where I had left my car, although I had a feeling the car wouldn’t be there. As I walked up hill, it dawned on me how much energy I had, which could only mean my new self was younger than my old self was.
I stopped for a moment and placed my hand where I remembered feeling the stickiness, earlier and didn’t feel anything moist just matted hair, I guess my head wound had stopped bleeding and it wasn’t tender, so I figured there wasn’t a fracture. I pulled my hand away, glanced at it, and verified there wasn’t fresh blood, just what appeared to be flakes of dried blood. I reached the point along the slope of the hill where I felt the car should have been. As I figured, there wasn’t any trace of it, or of it having been moved. I was really beginning to feel I had fallen down the rabbit hole. I had no clue as to where I was, or who I was supposed to be. My head was throbbing and I was getting nauseous again. I was sure I needed help soon. I waited for the nausea to recede, and continued with trudging up the hill, I was getting warm from the exertion, and I was sure the layers of wool weren’t helping either. I didn’t know how far I had walked, it was becoming a blur. The headaches and the bouts of dizziness caused it to be a struggle just to remain on my feet.
As I continued to walk, I came across what I would have called a driveway. I stopped and looked up it, I could see an L shaped house in the distance. Since I had nothing else to lose, I started up the cobblestone road toward the house. When I was about half way suddenly there was a clatter coming up from behind me. I quickly looked and saw a horse and carriage bearing down on me. I tried to move out of the way as quickly as possible, but tripped over my skirts and lost my balance falling along the side of the road. It was too much, I felt the dizziness come on and I let it take me into darkness.
I vaguely recall the first sensations I felt after that fall, but I remember hearing voices. They were followed by the sound of a closing door and then flashes of light as I tried to wake up. My eyes closed as the darkness slowly passed from my mind and I drifted back fully into consciousness. I was lying on a bed when I awoke. That I wasn’t wearing my clothes soon became apparent to me as I lay among the bedclothes. I looked under the covers, and saw I wasn’t naked but was wearing a cotton nightgown, but who put it on me, and where was I?
I sat up in the bed and looked about the room. It wasn’t a small room but then it wasn’t overly large either. The bed was what I would call a four poster with a small canopy which covered the head of the bed and draped down to either side. There were two windows on the wall beyond the foot of the bed; where I could see the bright light of the day, and what looked like a vanity and mirror with a padded stool between the windows. Along the wall to my left was an armoire flanking a fireplace and mantle. Above the mantle there was a painting of some pastoral scene and a chest of drawers against the wall beyond that. The other wall had a desk and chair. The rest of the room was furnished by two tall backed chairs flanking a small table in front of the fireplace. Lastly, there was a door to my right in the wall where the head of the bed rested.
As I took in the room I heard, the rattle of the doorknob turning and a young woman entered the room. She was dressed similarly to what I had been wearing earlier but much plainer and without the large cape. She entered the room as if not to disturb me. She looked quite startled to see me awake and sitting up, and quickly made an exit. I guessed she was off to find someone. Which made me think, what was I going to say? I couldn’t very well say “Hello, my name is Ian and I am from America.” I am sure I would be declared quite insane. I know I could say I don’t know or remember who I am that wouldn’t be far from truth. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I was going to have to lie about things. Who I was, where I am from and why I was in the middle of nowhere. I hoped that I wouldn’t get caught in the lie, but I was worried about my accent as well. I heard footsteps coming closer from somewhere outside the door. Soon a middle aged woman entered the room. She appeared to be of average height, brown hair showing signs of grey. It was tightly pulled up making it look like rather short curled hair with a long white kerchief pinned to her hair. Her clothes were similar to what I had been wearing but appeared be much finer. She had no jacket, but a white blouse with an open neck under her dress. She wore a scarf that was draped around her shoulders, pinned together at her chest over the open neck of the blouse.
“So you are awake, you had us quite worried,” she said, looking at me. “Are you feeling well then?” Gathering my courage, I replied “Yes, I am feeling quite well, and I must thank you for taking care of me.” Now I know that I had really fallen down the rabbit hole, because as soon as the words left my mouth, I realized, it had come out in a soft lilting Highland accent! “Well then.” She said. “I suppose introductions are in order. I am Lady Jean Moir, sister of Lord Erskine, in whose house you are a guest.” “This is Moira,” gesturing to the young woman who had entered earlier. “She will be acting as your maid during your stay. She is quite capable, I assure you, and you are?” I thought quickly, before replying “I am Susan Gordon, my Ladyship.” I used my mother’s maiden name; it was the only that came to mind quickly. “Well then, Lady Gordon, it is a pleasure, now I will leave you with Moira. She will help you dress and show you to the main hall, where my brother Thomas and my husband are waiting.” She then turned and left the room, without me getting the chance to explain I wasn’t “Lady Gordon.” I had a funny feeling my lie just got bigger.
“Lady Gordon, will you need to attend to personal matters before dressing?” Moira asked. I wasn’t sure what she was asking, and then it dawned on me. I realized I did have an urgent need. I just nodded to her and she reached under the bed and pulled out a ceramic pot. “I will wait out in the hall my Lady” she quickly left and closed the door behind her. I looked at the pot. How was this going to work I wondered. I won’t give details, suffice it to say. I figured it out. Moira came back in a few moments later, stoked the fire and placed a few things into the coals. She pulled a dress out of the armoire, and a few things out of the chest of drawers. I just stood watching what she was doing. “Lady Moir had a couple of dresses altered for you, my Lady. The measurements were taken from what you had been wearing.” “She had dresses altered?” I asked. “How long was I in bed Moira?” She, brought over another cotton gown, though slightly fuller from the hips down, and lifted it over my head and helped me get it settled. “I think it was three. No, it has been four days my Lady.” I thought to myself then the date would be maybe April 21st. “Then the date is the 21st of April then?” I asked. She then fitted me with something like a vest but, it laced up the back. “That’s right Lady Gordon, How tight do you wish your stays my lady?” She asked. I was a bit perplexed on how to answer. “Whatever you think best, Moira.” was the best answer I could come up with. She started pulling at the laces near the bottom working upward, I could soon feel the stays of the garment pressing against my rib cage. She gave two strong tugs at the top I could feel her tie the laces together. “There, that should be fine, just loose enough for you to be comfortable.” I thought she had to be joking I could barely breathe. “Here is your petticoat, Lady Gordon." She stated. It was of white linen, I stepped into it and it was pulled up to my waist and tied off. “Now before we put your dress on you, let me fix your hair.” Then she asked. “Now then, how do you usually wear your hair Lady Gordon?”
Sitting me down on the vanity bench with my back towards the vanity, she awaited my answer. “I usually, just wear it loose around my shoulders.” I said. Which wasn’t far from the truth, with the exception I never let it get that long. “That will never do Lady Gordon.” She said firmly. She began to brush it out. As she was brushing my hair, I started to think of how to find out what year it was, I was certain it wasn’t the 21st century. I did learn one thing though; having your hair brushed is a wonderful feeling. She then she went over to the fireplace, and pulled out a small rod with a wooden handle from the coals, and returned with it, then proceeded to wrap strands of hair around it. Soon all I could smell was scorched hair. She returned the rod to the fireplace, waited a few moments and repeated the process. She stood in front of me looking at my head. Then she started arranging it on the top of my head, She started pinning it here and there. I looked up at her from my seated position and she seemed pleased. She then reached in to the vanity drawer, pulled something out and stated lacing something through my hair. “Now it is time for your dress, Lady Gordon.” She brought over this pale blue silk dress. No, it was a gown, or at least what I thought a gown was, and I had to step into it, put my arms into the sleeves, then Moira pulled it over my shoulders, and buttoned up the back. I looked down and all I could see was the tops my breasts; I felt naked. Moira turned me around to face the mirror on the vanity, and all I could do was gasp at what I saw.
Staring back at me was a young woman with an oval face with flawless features. Her hair was a very dark brown, almost black. It was pulled back and a mass of curls where beads had been woven through could be seen at the back of the head and reached downward towards the nape of an elegant neck. Her blue-grey eyes were, looking out from under soft arched eyebrows. The pale red lips were full, but not plump. Her skin was fair, but had been touched enough by the sun not to be pale. The pale blue silk gown was low necked, that showed off the tops of creamy breasts that hinted at the fullness that was hidden. Then tapered into a narrow waist, and then flared out over her hips and down to the floor. I was pretty, I don’t know if I would be called beautiful, but the young woman I saw was attractive. Then Moira said. “You are very beautiful, Lady Gordon.” All I could see was the young woman in the mirror blushing deeply. Then for some reason I turned and hugged her and said. “Thank you.” She was quite shocked at the hug, and returned it hesitantly. She quickly broke the embrace, and quickly went to the armoire. “Now here are your slippers. She got down on her knees and helped me into these silk slippers, which reminded me more of very short thick socks.
“Lord Erskine and Lord and Lady Moir will be waiting; allow me to show you to the main hall, my Lady.” She said it so curtly; I wondered what I had done wrong. We wound our way through a narrow corridor, then down a very old stone staircase which was actually part of the wall. This ended in a room that had two sets of massive doors set opposite of each other. She opened the one set of doors curtsied and announced “Lady Gordon, your Lordship.” Then she stepped aside for me to enter, and closed the doors behind me.
“Welcome to Pittodrie House, Lady Gordon” said an older gentleman, dressed completely in tartan, from his coat and vest to his knee length pants. They were all were done in a red and green tartan. He was approaching me from the middle of the room. When he finally reached me, he put out his hand as if he wanted to shake hands. I put out my hand and he took it gently and surprised me by kissing the back of it. He then gently steered me, placing my arm around his as he guided me into the room. “I am Lord Thomas Erskine, and my sister you have met. Standing behind her is her husband, Lord John Moir.” As we approached the middle of the room and then I noticed there were two other men. They were sitting in high backed chairs, facing the fireplace at the far end of it, and engaged deeply in conversation. Lord Erskine said a bit loudly “I must make apologies, Lady Gordon. These two unmannered men are my son William and his guest.” As soon as they heard the loud voice, both men stood up. One man, who was dressed very similar to Lord Erskine and looked like him, but younger, I guessed was William. The other man was younger than William but dressed in a tartan jacket and vest, but instead of knee length pants he was wearing, what I knew was called a Féileadh Mòr (Great Kilt). It was also red and green but the pattern of the tartan was different than that of the Erskine’s. “Allow me to apologize for our rudeness” said the one who I thought was William. “I am William Erskine, and this is my dear friend, Sir Andrew Stewart.” Sir Stewart approached he too offered his hand which I took. He then kissed mine, and William did the same. “It is a pleasure to meet you, gentlemen.” I said.
“Would you like a sherry before we dine?” asked Lord Erskine. “I would indeed.” I replied. Lord Erskine rang a bell and a manservant entered. “A sherry for Lady Gordon, Angus.” “Yes, my Lord.” Angus said with a bow and then left. “While we wait for that, how is it that my carriage almost ran you down, Lady Gordon?” How was I going to get around this question? I wondered. I am not sure if anything will be believable “Well, here goes nothing.” I said to myself. “It is rather embarrassing, Lord Erskine. You have been so gracious, with your hospitality. I suppose an explanation is in order.” “I really hope I don’t sound that formal all the time.” I thought to myself. Just then, Angus the manservant walked in and came over to me with a tray holding a small delicate glass filled with an amber colored liquid. I took the offered glass. “Thank you, Angus” “He bowed and left. I took a small sip, giving me time to think.
“The fact is I tired of life in Aberdeen, and left my father’s house, because I wanted to see something other than our gardens. My parents were talking marriage; I didn’t want to move from one house to another just to stare out different windows. So, I took a horse, and stole away in the middle of the night. I don’t know how long I had been riding, and I am not much of a horsewoman, so I was getting rather sore and tired, when something startled the horse and it starting bolting across the moor. I couldn’t get it to stop.” I took another sip of the sherry.” “I fell off the horse and my head struck a stone. The next thing I remember was waking on the moor not knowing where I was. I couldn’t see the horse, and started walking. I eventually found your house.” “Well it was partially true, even if it was a bit anachronistic.” I said to myself, hoping it would work. There was only silence, the old joke about only hearing crickets seemed appropriate. However, the crackling of the flames in the fireplace acted as a substitute.
Then all of a sudden, I heard. “Well, that is some tale Lady Gordon, but truthfully, I am shocked at that kind of behavior, from a proper young woman. After all, you are to obey your parents until you are married. I am not sure what to make of your rashness.” Said Lady Moir, rather haughtily. “Your parents will be looking for you, so we must send word to them, so you can be returned home.” Trying to look chastised, I nodded. “Yes, Lady Moir, I understand completely.” Well, out of the frying pan and into the fire, luck was never a strong suit. I happened to glanced over at Sir Stewart, and saw to my amazement, he looked intrigued. Lord Erskine looked at me sternly and said. “It is getting too late in the day to send a message now, but one will be sent first thing in the morning, I will leave it to you to write a letter, Lady Gordon, but I do expect to see one on the morrow.” “Yes, Lord Erskine.” I said, while silently cursing to myself, not coming up with something better. I walked over to a window and stared out it, and saw this beautiful formal garden. “Might I be excused for a while, and walk through your garden? I need time to ponder what to write to my parents” Well actually I needed time to figure out what to do as “my parents” wouldn’t be found. “Yes, yes, that’s fine.” Said Lord Erskine, grumpily.
I left the room, not quite as gracefully as I entered. Angus the manservant was outside the door. “Angus, which way is it to the garden?” I asked. “This way, my Lady.” Opening the set of doors opposite of me he led the way into a short corridor, then through, a smaller door on the right then through an arch that lead to the outside and the garden. “Shall I let you know when the meal is being served my Lady?” “Yes, please, Angus. Thank you.” He gave me a strange look, then turned and headed off into the house. I noticed the day was bright and cool, I needed something to cover myself with but I wasn’t going back inside, I would have to bear it. I started walking the gravel path, which wove through the many varieties of flowers, and bushes. I knew I was going to have to disappear in the middle of the night; I wasn’t sure where to go. I felt lost, I wanted to be myself again, not this young woman whose story I didn’t know. This emotional turmoil was just too much. I soon found myself gently sobbing in a quiet corner of the garden. How long I let my emotions flow from me I don’t know, but I knew I felt better for it. There was a rustle in the bushes ahead of me “Hello?” I said. Suddenly this old haggard looking woman came out of the bushes. She stared at me as if seeing something or someone behind me. In a harsh raspy voice, she said. “You’re the one the Old Ones sent. I sensed it. I see their mark on you. You have far to go before their task will be done.” “Who are the Old Ones?” I asked. “To know the Old Ones is to find the stones of the ancients on the night when the moon is full, only then will they tell you what you need to know.” I thought I heard footsteps on the gravel path. I turned and didn’t see anyone. When I turned back to talk to the old woman, she was gone. The footsteps on the gravel path got closer. I turned, and it was Sir Stewart, with this sly smile on his face. “I have one question, Lady Gordon. Do you wish to go back to Aberdeen?” “Why do you ask, Sir Stewart?” “Because, if you don’t I will take you away from here tonight."
*A couple of things about this chapter. Lord Thomas Erskine of Pittodrie and his son William did exist. Lord and Lady Moir did as well and she actually was Thomas’ sister. Andrew Stewart is fictional and my creation. Pittodrie House still exists, but now it is a hotel. However, the Erskines of Pittodrie lived there for nearly 300 years.
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