Lingering Thought

Walking around the town in early morning in after a desperate night, you find the strangest places. Their dwellers can show you things that you though impossible. You just have to have an open mind.

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5. Trail

At the end of this hallway wasn't a door. There was a set of stairs leading down. The light coming from there was warm and natural. The air was a bit less stale as well. I went down. It felt like coming down from the attic.

After going down a few sets of stairs I came to a hallway which looked like it was in an of official building with offices, supply rooms and pleasant posters. The walls were colored in a single non-mind stimulating shade of beige. On the other hand, the ceiling was stunning. It was almost completely made from glass. You could see the sky, but color was just a bit and I couldn't see the sun. But it was incredible. I enjoyed the light on my skin. I knew I couldn't wait here.

I scanned the hallway for the best place to go. While doing that I found something in common with the posters, they weren't as plain as I thought. They represented the Madam MacGregor and The Great MacGregor's magic shows. Each one had a different date and similar titles. 

I heard footsteps.

"Here we go again..." I quickly ran to the first door, it had the number "89" on it. The number plate looked a bit odd, but I didn't have time to check it properly.

It was dark inside. I went in anyways. Hearing the footsteps made me go even faster. And I ended up... in a bathroom stall? Ok, I got the get my shit together here, something is seriously wrong. This must be a dream, or perhaps I am going insane. Last thing I remember is touching hands and exchanging looks with the fortuneteller. Could this possibly be some kind of trans?

"What did she do to me?" I asked out loud.

In that moment the music started, oriental.

"What she did to all of us. Took our souls." The voice came from the outside of the stall.

I opened it and saw a big man in a tuxedo. His hair was laid back and he looked like something I would classify as a mobster.

"What?!" I asked, a bit stunned.

"Beautiful women, they take your soul. You can get a part of if back in time. Not without pain," said man while washing his hands.

He looked himself in the mirror and went outside. While he held the door open I could see this was a proper bar, people chatting and live music. We were definitely in the more eastern flavored part of the woods.

I looked myself in the mirror. I was actually kind of prepared for this. I wore a tie and a suit. We went drinking after work, when I think about it. I looked at myself, a sleepless night definitely showing. I did age a bit more last few years than the couple before. Some white hairs showing in my still unmanageable hair. I took some water and washed up.

"Why stop partying now?" I asked the room, almost expecting someone would answer me again. No on did.

I stepped into the room. It looked captivating. The bright orange, red and yellow colors in all shapes of Asian culture were present on the walls, tables, and ceiling. Together with the music, this place felt dreamy.

One table was empty so I decided to go for it. I sat down, and a waitress came to me. I think she asked me what will I have, I couldn't understand her. 

"Whiskey." I said, and showed my hand with three fingers up.

I did get my three whiskeys, one I gobbled straight away. And then started on the second slowly, while looking at the room. There were mostly foreigners there, in the sense that they were foreign to the bar.

I almost dropped the glass when I noticed a certain pair of people. One of them was immediately familiar to me. It was the young Madam MacGregor. It took me a little bit more to get the other, but it was the Magician. He was wearing common clothes; actually he almost looked like an adventurer, or an explorer, with his brown hat he held and his messenger bag.

This felt odd beyond belief. This is not what's really going on. Was the woman somehow projecting stuff into my brain? No, it has to be a dream.

What I noticed was a strange moment. The lady took the young magicians hand and looked at his eyes. This was familiar. The moment took a while, until it was interrupted.

The sound of a gunshot filled the room.

I noticed a new figure enter. "Why didn't I kill him exactly?" I thought to myself feeling a bit stupid. I quickly flipped a table and ducked behind it. People started screaming and running around. Sounds of breaking glass filled the room.

The magician was behind the bar and was calling me to run over to cover. Once I heard the Hunter starting to reloading I ran like hell. I went over a woman's dead body and jumped over the bar. The Magician was the only one behind it. Quickly it hit me who the woman was.

He was lifting a wooden trap door. He must have known this place pretty well. He jumped without using the ladders; I followed. I started going through the narrow dark corridor. I couldn't see where he went. After a minute I bumped into a door. I opened it and bright light made close my eyes for a second. I stepped out.

~

It was a similar kind of hallway to one before. It didn't have a glass ceiling though, light was coming from small wall lamps , which were placed uniformly across the area. The door that I just closed had a glowing number. That's why it seemed a bit odd to me before. Every plaque had a light on it. Suddenly it turned off. I knew that couldn't be a good sign.

I quickly ran a few rooms to the right. The posters on the wall had drastically changed. There were advertisements for beer, whiskey, movie posters about a drug dealer, and one about world war. Others had expensive well-dressed people on them. But it all seemed a bit dark. Then I noticed a door number light up. I came closer, it said "116". I tried the handle, and it was unlocked. A familiar look of darkness. Good as any.

I went through it and walked until I saw lights from above. There was a ladder besides me, and you didn't need to tell me twice. I went up. I removed the thing covering the entrance; it was a metal sewer cover. I emerged on the street. It was nighttime, and the place looked calm and deserted. Then I heard screams coming from a near by building and I went to see what was going on.

The trouble was on the first floor. I saw the lights and there was a man talking, his voice in agony.

"Get away from me. I said I don't want to ever see you again!" Said the man.

"You know I can't do that. I care about you. Here take some money, clean your self up." The reply came in softer woman's voice.

"I don't want to get clean. You know what you did was evil!"

"It was what it was, it's not like you tried to stop me. You took the money as well." I was now looking behind the cover of the stairs. She, clearly the Madam, threw money to the guy, which had to be the Magician. She started going.

"I don't want your money, or anything of yours! None of this was right…", he exclaimed and threw something at her. She left, I stayed hidden until it was all clear and then went to see things up close.

The man was half naked in the room, which looked like it was turned upside down.

"Not much I can do there." I thought. And then noticed what the man had thrown away.

It was a gold heart shaped necklace. It landed on a closet door handle. Nice throw! I picked it up and felt the knob was a bit hotter than other things in the room. I opened the door, darkness again.

Familiar sound of footsteps could be heard coming from outside.

"Oh, not again...", I quickly threw myself into the small room. One thing I didn't notice before was that it didn't have a floor.

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