Time Out

Time Out
You cast the spell, and it sucks you out of the world and out of time. Everything goes black instantly, as though a big bag were put over your head. You lose consciousness.

You awake on a bed. It’s an Alaska king. Which is a mattress that is nine feet square. It’s an actual thing; you can buy them from multiple sources. But never mind the bed for now. You are in the House. The House is in an extradimensional space outside of the world. For you see, from your point of view, time has stopped in the world, and you are getting extra time in the House. You are most fortunate.

The House always has a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen/dinette, and a living room. There may be other rooms; each House is different. All rooms are fully furnished and fixtured. It’s like the coziest place you can imagine, and it’s clean. It’s difficult to offer a blanket description of the shit because it’s different for each person. Suffice to say, the House suits your tastes perfectly, and it is a place you can really enjoy staying in. So it may or may not be nice or luxurious or whatever, but you’re gonna like it. The magic makes it work. Nice, isn’t it?

Everything is stocked. The kitchen has the food and gear you need to feed yourself. The living room has everything you need in order to do the things you like to do in a living room. Same with the bedroom and the bathroom. All your rigmarole in all the areas of your life can be tended to seamlessly with the things you find in the House. It’s not really your stuff; it’s magical duplicates. But it is all the comforts of home. Using stuff in the House will not deplete your possessions in the real world.

There’s climate control. There are also nice windows that can be opened. You know, if that’s your thing.

You never have to clean the House. It just stays nice. I mean, if you spill something you’ll want to wipe it up or whatever. But for the most part, the House just doesn’t get gungy like regular places.

You can go outside the House. There are extensive grounds. You can wander around all you want, and you will never find a boundary edge. Outside the House, it is whatever season it was in the real world when and where you cast the spell. (More on this later.) The wilderness and geography matches that of the area you were in when you cast the spell. There are a variety of hiking opportunities, beginner to advanced. There is climate-appropriate outdoor gear in the House. You can’t control the weather, but it usually works out okay without you having to worry about it much. It is impossible to get lost in the grounds. You are able to maintain your sense of direction effortlessly. To the point you don’t even think about it.

There is a body of water in view of the House. Could be a pond, a lake, a sea, the ocean. It’s gonna depend on your tastes. Both the sunrise and the sunset are reflected in the body of water as seen from the House. What I mean is, the sun rises and sets at the same point on the horizon. It comes up in the morning, climbs to noon, tracks a circuit around the sky, and sets back down where it rose from. So you can see both the sunrise and the sunset over the water, if you are so inclined.

There are no pests and no biting insects. There are animals, but they won’t bother you. Even if you go up and try to engage them, they’ll just run away. Unless you wanna play Snow White, in which case the birds and friendly herbivores will hang out with you.

There’s a porch. It’s not screened in, but there aren’t many bugs so it mostly doesn’t matter. The body of water (and sunrise/sunset) is visible from the porch. There’s nice patio furniture that doesn’t stay wet if it rains.

There is a small barn behind the House, in which can be found anything you seek. So if for some reason you need something that isn’t in the House already, you can rummage around in the barn until you find it. Depending on what it is, it may take some digging. Simple things like, I don’t know, bubble wrap, you can find pretty quickly. If you need a DeLorean, you’re gonna be searching for a while. You might run out of time before you find it, honestly.

There can be computers, if you want, but there’s no internet. How would that even work? You’re in an extradimensional space outside of the world, and the world’s on pause. So yeah, no internet. But you can have your computer with you in the House, and you can do anything you can do with a computer without internet. Me personally, I’d be writing in my diary.

If you get lonely, you can reach out to people and pets you love and ask them to join you in the House. You think about the person or animal, reach out with your feelings, and there’s a nonverbal connection and the invitation is made. If they agree, they will show up somewhere, usually the bed, usually unconscious, and then you can wake them up and hang out or whatever. If they don’t agree, they will go on about their day and have no awareness that they have been queried. You can invite multiple people, too. You can almost certainly find air mattresses or stuff in the barn to accommodate additional visitors. I mean, if you run out of room on the Alaska king.

When you bring other people in, the House will not magically alter itself to suit them, but it will accommodate their living needs. Dietary stuff in the kitchen may get augmented, for example. More shelf space in the bathroom, possibly. Maybe more closet space. But overall, the House will change as little as possible from how it first appeared to the person who cast the spell. It is still very much that person’s space. That person is referred to as the “host”, and everyone else are the “guests”.

There is cell service in the House, but only amongst the current residents of the House. So you can call or text the people staying with you, but you can’t reach any other people or numbers. And again, no internet.

You can spend up to a year in the House. In that time, you won’t get any older. You won’t get sicker, but your health can improve. If you stay long enough, the seasons will change to match what they would be doing if you were spending time on Earth. Sunset and sunrise times also change to match those on Earth at the location where you cast the spell.

How do you leave the House? At some point, you will decide you’re ready to go back home. If for no other reason than your year is up. (If you weren’t keeping track, the House will make you aware of when your last day will be.) The next time you sleep after making this decision, you will have a dream that you are back in the situation you were in before you cast the spell. You are reminded of all the details of what you are doing, etc. Then you don’t wake up from that dream. It just becomes your life again, and your real life continues. All benefits you gained from your time off are retained as you go forward refreshed and ready for life.

Everyone doesn’t have to leave the House at the same time, but if the host leaves the House, so does everyone in it.

Once you’re back in the real world, you can’t cast the spell again until a number of days has passed. That number is equal to the number of days you just spent in the House. So if you were in the House for ten days, you can’t cast the spell until at least ten days have passed. If you stay the full year, it’ll be a year before you can get in the House again. Basically, each day spent in any House (no matter if you’re the host or a guest) must be paid for in time spent on Earth before you can go back to any House.

The spell is tied to Earth and Sol. If you are not on Earth, the spell has no effect. Other versions of the spell could theoretically be created for other planets around other stars, and those would have a time limit of one revolution around their star. Not an Earth year.

About the Magic