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                                       The Doorway in a Warehouse

In the doorway of the cluttered warehouse I stood still for a moment to allow the wave of familiarity to settle before proceeding. It wasn’t a warehouse by design. It was as if someone had made a house with no walls and filled it with the stuff reminiscent of an antique shop, stacks of old dusty books on top of old dusty bookcases, tables and chairs [dull, the color was slowly being rubbed away from everything in the room and dust was left behind to disguise the work]. The room was fully carpeted and a multitude of windows would have let the sun in had it not been so dreary. The window across the doorway stared out upon a curve in the highway. Two black cars raced by while I, too, stared. I walked toward the usual corner and noticed nothing had been moved since the last visit. Two four-shelf storage racks contained ice cream pails and red Foldgers containers with an odd assortment of small things inside them. The search wouldn’t begin here however.

It was well known or suspected at least (how can something enshrouded in such mystery be considered known?), that the owner had hidden a doorway to a tunnel somewhere inside this warehouse. The room used to entertain many visitors searching for the doorway, that was many years ago. The highway is as close as anyone goes these days, except for me. I had found myself here once again, with no memory of the journey here. It had been years since I had been here last, but I couldn’t remember what had transpired between visits. Everything outside the doorway was so vague, as if being in this building was the only two times I had been awake in the entirety of existence.

I would not start the search in the same corner, instead I maneuvered between and over piles until reaching the other corner on the wall. In black permanent marker was written on the wall, “You You are are near near danger, danger, stop stop and and go go no no further further,” if read left to right, or twice “You are near danger, stop and go no further,” if read top to bottom. I knew I would not find the doorway here exactly, but it would be a start. I pried the carpet up in the corner, and dislodged the staples holding it to the wooden floor. Crouched and sitting on the balls of my feet like a catcher, the carpet was pulled up along the wall, past the doorway and down the wall with the many windows. Toward the center of the wall, a large galvanized vent protruded from the floor. When the carpet had almost pulled to the vent, rows of rolled up towels were being uncovered under the carpet. I knew I was getting close. Just then two women walked into the room, one larger and wearing sandals, the other medium height and skinny.

“I have uncovered the hidden doorway!”

They came running over as I pulled the carpet up to reveal a dark, narrow staircase with no railings. The larger woman and I looked at each other and she went down the stairs without a word between us. Shocked, the skinny lady and I followed behind [the ladies disappeared between here. Not literally, they were just no longer in front and I never looked back].

It didn’t stay dark for long as a red lit room was at the bottom. Shelves built into the wall held a dvd collection and the corner, a computer desk with powered down computer. Through that room led down a brief hallway and at the right end was a bedroom with a pair of running shoes arranged neatly in to the side of the made bed. To the left down the hall was another doorway covered with a maroon vinyl curtain, light illuminating the outer edges.

That is when I woke.

Fiction


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