June 13, 2010, 11:36
I came up through a square hole in a sidewalk.
“Everything is surrounded by the prairie night!”
The ecstatic voice came from the starry sky over a night street, flat and straight disappearing into utter blackness. I could feel the endlessness all around. Andre and I stood outside a seedy pool hall. The square hole was gone. Suddenly the sound of popping engines roared up from behind us. Vintage cars with customized engines and flames painted on the sides. They did U turns circling the street like mad hornets around a hive then came to a stop outside a dance club bar with a huge red neon sign “Furies” above the door. Pale Women’s faces appeared in the dark window of the club peering out into the night street.
We crossed the street to get a closer look and caught the smell of hamburgers and cigarettes as the door opened to admit the jostling, boisterous young men clamoring for some experience, something they could not name.
“We can’t go in there,” Andre said sadly, “they wouldn’t know us anyway.”
“Let’s go back and try another door,” I said turning to cross the street. Again I looked out into the depth of the night with the endless road running straight into it like an iron shaft through its heart.
Andre came up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder.
“Have you forgotten the shrouded one we left in the room?”
I shuddered, remembering his dusty odor of spice and decay.
“How could I forget?”
“There is another option!” Andre said brightly pointing to a bright green glowing sign down the street.
Chutes and Ladders
“That was one of the doors in the room!” I began to feel a little better, even though I had no idea what was going on.