The cold December air had woken him quickly and made him colder than he could remember in a long long time. The streets were grey, the neon lights reflected from the pools of water and ice. He reached the junction and looked toward the main road and the remote possibility of a taxi on this Christmas Friday night. The road was full of revellers, shouting, singing and the drunken folk he had just decided to leave. He had no wish to join more of them and in the very moment he had that thought, he noticed the strange little street that led sideways. It had always been there but he had never really noticed it before. The sort of street that was functional and served the back of buildings, loading bays and back doors, wierd little nooks and crannies with pallets and boxes and bins. It had a central gutter and orange lighting that gave the night world a strange otherworldy halo with the sleet and ocassional snow flake drifting down. He paused a moment and then took the street, it would cut past the main road and he would avoid the drunks.

He trudged down the street eating the last of the chips and wondered whether or not his house mate was home and whether or not to call and as his mind drifted he fumbled and dropped the bag of chips. He walked on a few steps and then the thought hit him, “bad to litter”. He was cold and tired and wanted to get home but the thought would not leave him and he could not ignore it. Jack turned and picked up the bag and then paused, there was something odd here. It was as if the entire world had stopped for a moment. It seemed as if the rain and the sleet had hung in the air, almost suspended and a hush had taken over the world. His phone rang distantly in his pocket but he was distracted by the sign he saw on a pair of metal doors that were set into the wall behind a leaned pallet. He wandered over to the sign that had been plastered across the doors, faded and old. Everything was strange about this. The doors looked like the metal outer doors of an elevator but that could not possibly be? Not here in this side street and with the pallet leaned up against it like that and the old sign, it was clear that the doors had not been opened in a long time. Still it was curious and he wondered what lay behind these strange doors. He looked at the sign which looked like an old advert for the circus and read:

“A deeper and more meaningful existence awaits!
Take a journey through the senses and discover the magic!
Not for everybody.
Call me and wait.”

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016


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