Time slows down. It's almost as if weeks not seconds have passed. My breath hitches, and I finally step over the threshold into Pagan Purple's Purple Chapel of Prayer.
Oh. My. Holy. Eggy-bread. My gaze swerves erratically round, like a silver ball-bearing in one of those machine things with buttons you press, but whose name eludes me because of the total panic I'm in. My inner thighs quiver.
No! I gasp in shock. What the heck IS all this stuff? Hanging from the watered silk violet walls there's all kinds of hard core relegious paraphernalia. Ciboria. Dalmatics. Chrismal sets. Don't tell me he's into the High Church scene? The air reeks of Prinknash incense. I can see stuff outlawed since Vatican II. Illegal Latin stuff.
Triple No! There's an icon of a woman bishop winking from behind a Monstrance! In blatant contravention of General Synod's latest ruling on the subject.
Oh get me out of here!
And then I see it. Worse, far worse than the Anglo-catholic tat, I spot a hand-tooled leather-bound boxed set of the Left Behind Series! Can this get any worse? I reel back. Then my horrified gaze takes in the gaping hole in the floor. It's a full-sized adult baptistry.
My brain is exploding. It simply cannot accept the evidence of my eyes. He's an ecumenical. The man I love is an ecumenical. What kind of sick inclusiveness is he planning for me?
'So, Miss Boron,' he growls, 'what do you think?'
'Mff... nggng-mmff...' I splutter, because I'm biting my lip which makes it difficult to speak clearly.
He fingers his riding crop meaningfully. 'You're biting your lip again,' he growls. 'You know what that does to me.' He reaches out a long finger and pokes me in the eye. 'Sorry,' he explains, 'I was trying to tuck a wayward curl behind your ear. You were saying?'
'PERVERT!' I scream. 'You... you took an OATH to use only the forms of service which are authorized or allowed by Canon!' I sweep my arm jerkily round the room. 'So what's all this... this STUFF?'
'These are my devotional aids, Miss Boron,' he murmurs, his steely grip encircling my waist. I smell his smell. He smells of Pagan Purple. My favourite smell in all the world. Yummy. 'I'm a complex man. I have complex requirements. Sometimes they... shall we say they transgress the boundaries of vanilla Anglicanism?'
'You sick ecumaniac!' I spit. I tear myself from his steely grip and blunder unseeingly out of his Purple Chapel of Prayer and run. My inner goddess is sprawled on the purple carpet, moaning. I kick her in the head and escape into the night.
NEVER TO BE CONTINUED, EVER. I'M DONE. MAKE UP YOUR OWN EPISCO-PORN FROM NOW ON.
(BOOKS APPOINTMENT AT CHIROPODIST TO GET TOES UNCURLED.)