Sometimes, days are just plain sailing. Up early(ish), breakfasted, dressed, and out and on with the rest of the day, and in what seems like a flash the day is coming to an end once again.
Most days, it could be said, are generally like that.
Some days, however, are so far removed from the truth, they are, well, unbelievable.
I looked around the large, white, cool lobby in actual awe. I had no idea where I actually was, but knew that I was in actual awe.
Lydia pressed the button for the lift.
“You need Level C” she said, pointing to the elevator door, “and then Room L1. It’s opposite the elevator when you get out, so you can’t miss it. I have to wait as we are expecting a really special guest to arrive any minute now, and I must wait to meet him here. You can go alone.”
The door opened as a shrill bell tinged, and she bundled me into the confined space before I had chance to say anything. The door swiftly closed behind me before I could ask if I could take the stairs – I’m not too keen on lifts, you see. It was then that I wondered who the special guest could have been… and why was I sent to an official floor in an official building by myself?
I suddenly realised that the lift wasn’t moving, so I pressed the button for Floor C. The lift shuddered and began to move upwards.
Le-Vel Eh. Droned a robotic voice. Le-Vel Bay. It continued. I’m not very good with accents, but I’ve got the robotic one down to a tee! Le-Vel Say. With another ting, the door slid open, and across the corridor, in front of me, was Room CL1. Plays mend the gop. I looked down, and saw the tiniest of spaces between the floor of the lift and the floor of the corridor; there was absolutely no way I would fall down there. I stepped out of the lift, just as the door swiftly closed once again behind me, making an odd ‘gop’ sound. A shrill ting, and I then heard the car hum away to wherever.
I stepped across the corridor, and heard a familiar whirring noise. I noticed several CCTV cameras trained upon me. I instantly felt all… ‘official’.
I knocked on the door, and the familiar voice of Walpole E. Epstein followed a loud buzz and a click.
“Come on in, Tom!” He bellowed. “I bet you didn’t expect to see me again so soon, did you?”
As I walked into the room, he was stood just inside the door, arm already outstretched to shake my hand, which I did.
“Mr Epstein,” I started.
“Walpole, please!” He continued.
“Walpole, could you please tell me what’s going on? How have I ended up in the USA, when about an hour ago I was in Cheshire, in the UK?” He was about to speak when I thought of more questions. “How come everyone knows me? Why is my bathroom some kind of hub? Why was that man giving apples away on the corner… and does he have any more brothers? How did Somerset get a border with Cheshire? What accent was the robot using in the lift? When…”
“Whoa!” Walpole laughed hysterically, “So many questions and so little time!” He stopped laughing, and glared at me with one of the most sinister stares I have ever experienced. I shrunk. Suddenly, his face went back to normal.
“Yes, it’s true that there is an inter-dimensional portal within, beneath and around your bathroom. You helped me to get home from that strange dimension I was stuck in – thank you very much for that! – by allowing me to open it, but in doing so, we altered reality around everyone else. I needed your help to get home, which I told you about when we first met. It was this morning for you, but many months ago for me. We’ve been planning this second meeting for quite some time now.”
“Months?” I was starting to feel overdosed with confusion.
“Yup!” Walpole laughed again. “Here, catch!” he said as he threw something quickly at me. I didn’t react in time and completely missed the object, which turned out to be a tub of my hair gel. “Look familiar?”
Walpole had walked over to the other side of the office, pointing to a desk in front of a large window. On the desk was another familiar looking object. The shield from the wall in my landing, that I last saw hurtling passed me into the mysterious black hole in my bathroom this morning.
“How?” I had completely lost my power of speech.
“Well, I’m here, aren’t I? You just shook my hand!” Walpole had walked back over to me and patted me on my right arm. He handed me the shield. “This is yours, I believe. And this…” he said, bending to pick up the tub of hair gel.
Now then, how often do you find yourself standing in an office in a foreign country holding one of your own wall ornaments and a tub of hair product and you suddenly realise that you just haven’t got a clue what’s going on? Not very often? More often than not? Or somewhere in between? Me? I don’t know any more. I decided to go with the flow.
“So, Walpole, now that all of your planning has come together, and I’m here, what would you like me to do? And, how did you get me here, for that matter…? I came of my own free will this morning whilst going for a drive”
“Still more questions…” Walpole laughed once again. “Do you think the answers will make things any clearer?”
Walpole looked serious again as he said, “You followed the signs.”
I’m going to leave things here for now, as this post is extremely long once again.
I do hope you’ll return for the conclusion…