Above the Shop

The face, at once familiar and mysterious, pale and bright, present and away, had been staring at Vic the whole time he sat on the restaurant’s patio eating his meal.  He stared back, but each time their eyes locked chills ran his spine and he turned his gaze to his sandwich.  Then his eyes went back to the dirty window above the street.

He rushed his meal, tossed a stack of bills on the table and crossed the street.  He didn’t know why, but he had to know why his meal was so closely watched.  Before he knew it, he was taking steps up a dusty, creaking stairway.

The shops outside were bustling with patrons; children laughed, restaurants played loud music, and the nearby roads rumbled with fast moving cars.  None of that could be heard in the stairwell.

He reached a landing and the stairs came to an unexpected end.  The building had three stories, he had only visited two.  He wanted to question the discrepancy, but his body kept moving.  The only door on the floor was open, the flicker of candle light bounced into the hallway.

Vic crossed the doorway and entered an empty room.  No furniture, no dust, no sign that anyone had ever visited this spot since its construction greeted him.

“You came,” a voice said.  Vic heard it from the walls, the floor, the ceiling; it filled a place in his mind that he had never felt before.  “Welcome.”

The door shut behind him, making the same creaking sound as the stairs.  Vic felt a scream well up within his core, but no sound emerged.  He could not make a sound if he wanted.

“I admired your lunch,” the voice said.  “I grew hungry myself.”

Once more the face appeared in the window. This time with teeth.


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