What a delightful afternoon, warm and sunny with just the hint of a breeze. As you walk down the street you notice a small sign in the window of a little shop. The sign asks: Do you know who I am? Perhaps if you had been in a hurry. If there was shopping that just had to be done and dinner to prepare. Perhaps you would have walked on. Instead you open the door and walk into a small room. The bell over the door tinkles once, and then again as you close the door behind you. It reminds you of a place you have been before, but nothing looks familiar.
On a hook beside the door hangs a coat, but not just any coat. It looks regal. You glance around to see if anyone is coming. After all the bell did tinkle. Shouldn’t someone answer the call. There is nothing, no sound of footfalls approaching. You reach forward and touch the coat. You close your eyes and feel the softness of the material against your cheek. It’s velvety texture is somehow soothing. You breathe deeply, the smell reminds you of something, just out of reach. As you release the cloth it falls softly back against the wall.
You turn once again and look toward the door at the back of the room and wonder why no one approaches. To the left of the coat you see an old phonograph. Beside it, on a small table, is a box brimming with vinyl records. A smile touches your lips as you sit on a nearby chair and reach into the box. You look up when you hear someone laugh, then realize it was you. Inside the box you find memories. Rolling Stones, Eagles, Beatles, Chicago, Journey. All the music you yourself had once enjoyed. So many years ago.
This must be an antique shop, you tell yourself. You’re smiling again as you stand and move toward a bookshelf. Reading is an important part of your life. Perhaps you will find an old masterpiece hiding between the dozens of books on the shelves. Your brows knit as you look at the books and realize they’re not old. Best selling authors like Daven Anderson, Clay Gilbert, Tracee Ford, Greta King, Jennifer Brown, Karen and Kathy Sills are just a few of the authors you recognize. You sigh. There is nothing here you couldn’t find on your own bookshelves. Except. Your attention is drawn to the top shelf where a large book stands out from the others. The cover is black with blood red letters that tell you it’s a book on astrology. Your interest is piqued. Then you realize you couldn’t reach the volume even if you had the nerve to stand on an antique chair, to try. Disappointed, you turn away.
“Hello. Is anyone here?” You speak aloud for the first time since entering. The sound of your own voice seems odd somehow. When there is still no response you move toward the door. You have taken several steps when you see something that stops you in your tracks. Tears sting your eyes. It’s a pair of slippers. Not just any slippers, these slippers belonged to a child. A feeling of loneliness and despair grips your gut. As the tears slide down your cheeks you turn again and look at the room. Not one other thing reminds you of a child or children. There are no toys, no small clothing among the racks. Just one pair of slippers, ragged and torn. Charlie Brown and Snoopy slippers, No pajamas, no robe, just the tiny slippers.
All at once your only desire is to leave the shop and never look back. You back away from the door that looms just feet in front of you. A door that suddenly seems sinister and dangerous as though something evil waited there. If you put your ear to the door would you hear a low growl or raspy breathing? In your rush to leave you bump into an old telephone stand. Something falls to the floor. Despite the fact that you are frightened and are anxious to escape, you stop. You were taught to fix what you break, put away what you have taken out, and pick up what you have dropped. You reach down, your hand closes over the object, and you lift it toward you. Your eyes widen in disbelief. You find you are holding an iPhone and there is something on the screen. A text message that was never sent. You raise your eyes to see if anyone is in the room with you. Three words appear on the screen, over and over and over again. Who Am I?
This is in response to Victoria Adams’ daily prompt post.
Care to continue the story? Please feel free to add your own vision.