Friday, October 31, 2014

First Word: Charmaine Pauls: Door


            The door beckoned her. Ever since she walked past the red metal entrance with the word ‘Thunder’ in dead neon letter above, she wanted to know what was inside. Because it wasn’t a door that became her. Decent girls who wore dresses and practical shoes to work didn’t get private member invitations to nightclubs with red doors. And neither should they. Who knows what lurked inside? But when she walked down that street filled with pantyhose vendors and mobile phone smugglers, the dark side of it called to her, of what she was missing out on, behind that door.             So, that night, she waited across the street until the neon sign came to life, and ‘Thunder’ flashed with a daglow haze over the concrete. A waft of smoke curled around the door as it opened to let in the night, and the clientele. And her. She slipped into the darkness where flickering lights lit and cut a scene like rapid eye blinks. She was surrounded by movement, voices and music, and utterly alone. Her disappointment was thick, for she didn’t belong. And the world behind the red door still didn’t make sense to her.             A hand on her arm startled her. She looked up, into a pair of dark eyes. The man wore a black suit and tie. He didn’t belong either. He started at her for a long time, keeping her in the vice of his fingers, and then he slowly smiled.            “I think you need a drink,” he said, flashing her two sharp canines.            “Yes … yes,” she stammered, “but maybe, so do you.”            His expression froze, his eyes fixed o the vein she could feel throbbing in her neck. “Yes, you’re right. And I think I will.”            With his hand securely on her arm, he let her through the red door, back into the night, into the world she knew. Or maybe not.

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