Kennedy stood in front of the full-length mirror, assessing her image.
Shoulder-length hair – check. She’d never be a fashion icon, but her finger-curls were soft and bouncy and she’d be damned if she ever went for the rigid look some hanging-on flappers adhered to.
White, open-collared man’s shirt, covered with a tight-fitting leather aviator’s jacket. Tan jodhpurs tucked into knee-high riding boots completed the ensemble that the public had come to expect from Kennedy Torr, one of Ajax Stewart’s famous Troubleshooters.
She sat down on the edge of her bed with a sigh, running her palm over her hair, careful not to muss it up. This was ridiculous…and nothing she didn’t think every single time she went out into the open. She just wanted to go home, at times more than she wanted to save home.
Since winding up here, in the past, if you could call it that, she’d chafed at her life and that of what society expected. She was Greta before Greta, Amelia before, well, you got the idea. She’d flat-out refused to wear the fashions of the day, opting for men’s wear, slacks and shirts or blouses, much to the shock of those they found themselves around. Flapper dresses and cloche hats were not her thing and she’d never felt the urge to cut her hair like other women. Add to that her career choice and her abilities and she was considered outré.
Ten years. Ten long years of being incredibly lonely, missing her life and what made her, her. Kirt seemed to have given up, given in, marrying this world’s version of his wife and showed no signs of looking back or even trying hard to leave this world. The one person who she could perhaps talk to about their life back home had seemingly shut himself off from that option. The other person who knew her, Vance, had been stuck in the body of a child, and that had thrown her as well. It was one thing to talk to an adult but it was uncomfortable for her. She’d never be able to talk to Bryce that way – why would Vance be any different?
She missed her family. HER family. The one here didn’t, couldn’t, understand where she was coming from. The future? Preposterous! She hadn’t even tried, depending on diversion to be on her side for any family gatherings she found herself at. Instead she withdrew, with a silent apology to the woman whose body she was in, interrupting her life, and concentrated on finding a way home. But the years passed, sometimes slowly, some very quickly at times, and there was no end in sight.
Eric and Vance grew up and Kirt had children. Alex was the leader, following every lead, every nugget of information, with fervor that she couldn’t match, which made her feel as if she wasn’t trying hard enough. It wasn’t as if the spirit wasn’t willing but she’d learned the hard way that though she might be radical in some ways, the door was fully shut in her face in others, no matter how easily she could knock it down with her fists.
Here, she was strong and tough, but couldn’t fly or even jump long distances as she’d done way back in the beginning. She glanced over at her dressing table where a wig-head sat with a aviator’s cap draped over it. Next to it was her white silk scarf that was at least a yard long. Add that to the gun belt and pair of revolvers and she was the cliché pulp heroine that she’d seen online once, in that other, first, life. She snorted. Laura Croft, eat your heart out.
No, she’d had to learn how to wield and fire pistols with both speed and accuracy first, then she’d had to get her aviation license so that she could get around, jaunting to far points of the world in either the biplane Stewart owned or her own autogiro for those shorter distances. That was how she flew these days and only in her dreams and memories could she fly under her own power.
She glanced up again at her reflection. She was starting to forget her favorite songs, books, TV shows. Here she was stuck with vaudeville, silent movies that slowly gave way to talkies. King Kong, the original, had premiered recently and she kept wanting the explosions to be bigger, to be in color.
Here, the last war had been the Big One, the one to end all wars, and Adolf Hitler was busy over in Germany, building his power. But they couldn’t do anything without proof and just because it happened that way in their world, didn’t mean it would here. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.
Looking down at her hands, she idly rubbed her left thumb against her bare ring finger. The press saw it as her worrying at her left ring finger and wanting an engagement ring on it, when in fact she kept trying to find proof that there was a ring there in truth. Or was this reality and her other life the dream? Did she dream up Magni, the Norse God of Strength, or was that a reflection of the Magnee she’d met? The one who was fascinated with her and offered to make her his queen?
Kennedy stood again, shaking her head. It didn’t help to dwell on things she couldn’t control. Ajax was getting married soon and she had a job to do. Taking up the cap off of the wig head, she placed it on her head and headed out the door.