Tequila was smiling ear to ear.
“My hope chest arrived.”
We were in our new manor home. Well, it would be our home once we were married. Right now we were supervising the decorating and moving in as much stuff as we could bring in before the big date. Actually most of the work was going on in the courtyard behind the manor where the wedding was actually going to take place. This was not going to be a large affair at all. Both Tequila and I pretty much agreed that we would just have a small family wedding here at the manor and then a large blowout reception at the pub afterwards. Our honeymoon was going to be secret to us and we weren’t telling anyone where we were going except Colonel Gin in case of emergency. The real problem now was coming up with my own vows.
Tequila took my hand and we went to the entry way of the manor where two men were putting her hope chest on the floor. It was pretty simple. It was probably four feet, by two feet by two feet. Not really all that big. It was white with silver trim and an ornate lock made of silver as well. There was a picture of a girl, probably Victorian era leaning against a tree and looking out over a meadow
“Hope Chest? I thought that was an outdated tradition?”
“Not in our family. My mother made up ours when we were all ten. Been filling it with stuff ever since.”
“Like what? Blankets and dishes? Or perhaps something more interesting?”
“Well come see. There is nothing secret about what is in it.”
We both knelt down beside it as Tequila retrieved a key from her pockets. She slid the key in the lock and turned it. She opened the lid and the world exploded in a flash of white light.
I woke up and realized very quickly that I was no longer in my manor home. I was inside a small room of some sort laying on the floor. More disturbing was the fact that every piece of clothing I had been wearing at the time was gone. I was naked laying a pile of straw. Over to the right of my also on the floor was a burning candle in holder. to my left was another chest but it was made of wood with iron fittings and no lock. It was about the same size as Tequila’s hope chest.
I struggled to my feet out of the bed of straw. The room I was in was maybe ten by eight. There was a door at the far end of it made of wood with an odd iron latch. The room itself was walled in stone. There were no windows and so the candle’s light was the only way to see. I picked up the candle, watching so no wax fell on the straw and put it down by the chest.
I had just had my life turned upside down by the opening of one chest so you will have to understand my trepidation when I open this one but nothing happened. Inside was a lump of things covered in some kind of white cloth that filled the bottom of the chest and an envelope laying on top of it all. I picked it up and inside was a short note addressed to me.
You have proven to be quite an annoyance. I have therefore decided to get you out of the way for a while. While you are gone you should note that you are no longer in the same world you were before. This world you will find to be a little more hostile. Just so you know though, there is one person who traveled with you who you hold very dear. She is somewhere else. No I am not going to tell you where but I am going to give you a sporting chance to find her. Thus the contents of this chest are designed to give you a leg up on your little adventure. Hope you find them useful. Don’t worry, the High Power of this world requires me not to curse or trap anything I give you.
P.S. This will probably postpone your wedding. Sorry about that.
The note fell from my hands. Dammit. Mr. Lies had gotten Tequila and me out of the game back in our world and was going to delay me in this world. This world? Where exactly am I?
I pulled back the white cloth concealing the bottom of the chest. I had one fearful moment because I was half expecting some creature to attack me but it turned out there was actually some stuff at the bottom of the chest. It wasn’t too much but it was significant. There was first off a loin cloth which I tied behind my waist. There was also a tunic made of what felt like wool but didn’t scratch like it which I pulled down over my head. It fell right below my knees and was sleeveless. There was a belt which was fitted with a scabbard and a short sword.
The sword itself was very much like a Roman gladiator short sword. I pulled it free after securing my belt around my waist. It gleamed of pure steel. There were two boots that covered my calves and we lined with fur so they felt very comfortable. A pair of leather bracers for my wrists. There was also a small backpack which when opened had a few things – flint and steel for lighting a fire, some hard biscuit bread wrapped in parchment, a few torches, a water skin filled with water. When I slung it over my shoulder I was sure I looked like some hero type from a swords and sorcery novel. I picked the note back up and put it in the backpack.
The chest was now empty and so I turned to the door. Some where on the other side of it was Tequila and I had to find her. I laughed to myself. Just a few moments ago I was opening a hope chest with my bride to be. That hope chest had turned into a Pandora’s Box. I reached for the door and lifted the latch.
Welcome to All Things Rabyd, your friendly neighborhood ‘clothing optional’ theology pub. I, the Rabyd Theologian and your bartender, thank you for stopping by. Please drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home. Please tip your waitress and they might give you a kiss on the cheek. Just remember life is short so enjoy it. Blessings and Cheers!