The In-between – Part 29 of 31

Okay so I’m doing M’s prompts going to try and do a full month as one long story with no planning. Today it is ‘Candy Curtsies’.

The instructions are to simply write for ten minutes or so each day and that’s about it. It’s certainly taking me longer than ten minutes and now looking like I will probably do all 31 as one long story. Who’d have thought eh…


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part15 Part16 Part 17 Part18 Part 19 Part 20 Part 21 Part 22 Part 23 Part 24  Part25 Part 26  Part27    Part 28

As I lay on the floor I think of her again, the face of a woman both kind and gentle and she reminds me that it is good to be brave, but it is also good to be careful and that if you are careful then you will not get into situations that require you to be brave.

I hear Plumduff giving orders as I slip in and out of consciousness, the pain in my shoulder burning like fire.  “Untie O’Rourke and then bring the ropes, we need to bind this one before he comes around.”

In my confused state I imagine it is me they are talking about and swing my good arm wildly through the air before collapsing back onto Thrumhall.

“Never going to take me” I insist as Plumduff hooks me underneath my arms and drags me free.  “Hey your shoulder is okay, we’re like twins Maggie.”

“Let’s not get too familiar eh boy, Its Margaret to you thank you very much” Plumduff replies without once moving her lips.

“Hey how did you do that?” I ask my face a study in confusion.

“Armitage, over here.”

I look towards the source of the voice to realise that there is now a second Plumduff and confused I then look back to the first, then back to the second and then back again to the first.

“Margaret, you look like you but…younger.”

“Yes, yes thanks for that” Plumduff two replied curtly.  “We really don’t have time for this.”

Plumduff the younger was busy untying O’Rourke and once his hands were free he quite quickly extricated himself from the binds and hurried over to where Thrumhall lay.

“Tie him up and put him with the others” Plumduff the elder instructed pointing to a corner of the room where a number of Thrumhall’s henchmen already lay.

“Are they dead?” I asked straining to get a better look.

O’Rourke grinned even more broadly than usual.  “All in a day’s work boy, that’s what happens when you…”

“James, Please” snapped Plumduff  “He could come round any minute.”

O’Rourke stopped smiling and started to look the rope around his arm.  “Oh relax Maggie, Armitage here gave him a right old blow to the noggin, he’ll be out some time for sure.”

My Plumduff, as I decided to call her, leaned in and took a look at the wound in my shoulder.  She lifted me forward to see an exit hole in the back of my jacket.

“Straight through boy you’ll live,” she said and turned to where she had been before I barged into the room.  I looked to see a young girl sat leaning against the wall on a bed at the far end of the room.  She must have been no older then 12 or 13 years old and was dressed in a pale white dress “Clarissa, throw me that bag from the bed would you.”

A moment passed and Clarissa didn’t move.  “Clarissa, the bag, we need to get this patched.”  When she never answered a second time Plumduff shot to her feet and ran across the room just in time to grab her by the shoulders as she slumped onto the bed.

“O’Rourke, here now” she screamed, her voice panicked.

“What the hell happened Maggie” he asked stepping over Thrumhall.  Plumduff the younger followed and all three stood over her.

As Plumduff the younger climbed onto the bed, she took the girl from her older self and held her close to her chest  O’Rourke placed a hand on her stomach and pulled it away, red with her blood.

“The bullet Maggie.”

“No, no, no this can’t be it” she shouted staggering back.  “This isn’t how its supposed to end James.  This isn’t how it ends.”

O’Rourke turned to face her, his face ashen.  “It’s too late Maggie were losing her there’s nothing we can do.  We did our best.”

She caught the eye of her younger self who shook her head and with a single motion of her hand closed Clarissa’s eyes for  a final time.

“Armitage” she said turning to me.  She look old and worn, her shoulder bandaged and her yellow cardigan stained with blood.  “You need to be strong because our best wasn’t good enough, I am so very sorry.”

“Maggie wait, there must be something we can do” said O’Rourke wiping his blood stained hands on his trousers.  The desperation in his voice terrified me.  “This isn’t what happened but we can fix it, there must be a way back.  Armitage made it here, he must have the device so we can change it back.  You can still save her, there has to be something we can do.”

But there wasn’t, because her timeline was forever altered and the very reason for her existence within the fracture was no more and with that Margaret Plumduff dissolved into a pool on the floor before me.

Part 30 is here