In which 16 year old Tabby wears a skirt, gets arrested and talks her way out of trouble.
Tabby thought that visiting other dimensions would be easy. None of the other Travelers, however, had mentioned the possibility of a clothing taboo. Of course, this meant that she was being held in chains, being led to face the all-woman council of Kaurenda. They were a group of older women, all with gray hair, stern faces, and clad in pants and vests. “Traveler,” one woman said, her hair was silver with black streaks and her eyes a cold and uncompromising blue. “What are you wearing?”
Tabby looked down at her outfit and back up, “My clothes,” she offered. “I don’t know what’s so offensive about them; I covered the holes up when I bought them.”
“You are wearing a skirt.” The woman said.
“You have rules about skirts? Nobody told me that.”
“Skirts are a forbidden,” the woman said, “they are a reminder of the shackles once place upon our hearts and minds by men.” She lifted her chin, “Women do not wear skirts, we are free to be ourselves.”
“But if being myself is to chose to wear my skirt,” Tabby said, “then what’s wrong with that?”
“You have been brain washed,” The woman began.
“Yes,” Tabby replied, sarcastically, “someone sat me down and convinced me that I had to wear a skirt. They put a gun to my head to make me buy this one and redesign it. They threatened my family if I didn’t wear it today.”
“Young woman, this is a serious crime.”
“Yes it is,” Tabby replied, “first off, my name is Tabitha, or Tabby. Second of all, I’m going to string Kyp up by his toes the next time I see him. I told him I was coming here, because I wanted to see a society ran by women and he never mentioned that skirts were taboo.”
“You chose to come here?” One of the other women asked.
“Yup,” Tabby said, giving them one of her cheery smiles. “I’m a free spirit, but a hundred years ago, when hoops and corsets were fashionable and socially acceptable I would have been arrested for wearing men’s clothes, and handing out flyers for women’s rights and probably even socialism.” She tossed her head and adjusted her smile to winsome, “When I heard about Kaurenda from some of the other Travelers, I was fascinated. A society where women ran everything, I thought, would be a good one to study. I want to go into politics when I grow up, and even run for president one day. I’d hope that learning about your political system would be an inspiration for my future platform. I didn’t know that there were laws about skirts.” She had dialed down her smile from winsome to passionate and then to remorseful.
The woman in charge smiled at her, “I think, Traveler, we can make this a misdemeanor. Your punishment will be to spend time with our council, studying our laws and learning why our planet works the way it does.”
“Thank you,” Tabby said. “If you don’t mind, maybe someone could loan me some pants?”