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The in between place


Through a combination of rare events, the ground opened below your feet and propelled you backwards in time. With a thud you land on a wooden floor.

“Ah! En fin. I’ve been waiting for ages.” Towards you waddles an impressive woman, as broad as she is tall, and her face is wreathed in a huge smile. You know for a fact that you’ve never laid eyes on her before.
“Uh?” Okay, so you’re not your usual witty self. Put it down to the shock of falling through time.
Vite, vite!. We must hurry and get you ready.”
Ready? Hands the sice of saucepans are already tugging at your jeans and your Nike hoodie. When you protest, she slaps your hands away, muttering that it’s always the same, no one appreciates her efforts.

“I… Stop, I don’t …” You’ve regained your voice, but not all that much of your intellect. And now you’re almost naked, the woman tugging at your bra.
“Shush, mon enfant. We have to get you out of these unsightly clothes.”
Unsightly? You rather like your jeans. You look closely at the woman. She’s wearing a long, green dress in some sort of rough wool, there’s a belt at her waist with an enormous bunch of keys hanging off it, keys of all sizes that jangle like Swiss cowbells when she moves. Her hair is covered by a veil of sorts. No; that isn’t right, it isn’t a veil, it’s a… a… wimple. A wimple?!?

The woman inspects you, hurries over to a huge chest and starts rooting about. On the wall facing you is a long, narrow tapestry, and when you shuffle closer you see it’s an embroidered timeline, spanning from 4000 BC to well beyond 4000 AD. It’s a beautiful piece of work, but here and there the fabric has been torn, minute holes that have been hastily stitched together. There is a gaping, new hole just to the right of 2000 AD, and you stick your finger in it, nearly yelping at the resulting electrical shock. Shit!

You glance over at the woman, but she hasn’t noticed, her backside reminding you of two well-grown watermelons as she digs and digs through the chest. You stick your burnt finger in your mouth.

The woman returns with a linen garment that she tells you to pull over your head. A few seconds later you’re covered from neck to ankles in a shapeless thing with wide sleeves.
“What’s this?” you say.
“A chemise,” she says, tweaking the cloth into place. “Much more appropriate that what you were wearing before.”
“Where am I?”
“Where? Why, you’re in between, no?” She laces up the neckline.
“In between?” You don’t like the sound of this, but decide this is nothing but a vivid dream.
“Yes, you’re on your way there.”  She sets her finger on the tapestry, somewhere close to 1400 AD.
“No, I’m from there.” You point at the 2000 AD.
“Yes, yes, of course you are. But you’re going there.” Once again she taps at the 1400 AD.
“I don’t want to.” You pinch your arm, frantic when the twinge flies up your nerves, indicating you seem to be awake.
“So? It’s not you who decides these things, is it?”
The woman shakes her head and uses a pudgy digit to point upwards. “He decides.”

You start tearing at the laces. You want your clothes, you’re no way going anywhere but home. The woman laughs and pushes a lever on the wall. You fall.