A man gets into trouble after stealing a peculiar piece of paper with an amazing secret.
Alex’s heart was racing, sweating beads of anxiousness and fear. He held the small square paper and walked carefully with his hood over his face. As Alex dashed down the sidewalk he stopped at a building corner and peered around it-it was safe. But how long could he evade their capture for what he knew. It was his fault that they were pursuing him. After all he had stolen the ticket that was made to look like an old worthless slip with old markings on them. Nevertheless, if what he heard about what the ticket was true, it would be worth the risk. His heart continued to race with fear and excitement. Then he saw one of them, an old member of the strange people chasing him. He recognized them by the strange tattoo on the side of their necks.
Alex turned around and walked on trying to get lost in the crowded sidewalk. He glanced behind him-a man bearing the tattoo was barging through groups of people, shoving them aside as he chased him. Alex bolted through the myriads of pedestrians. He came to a different street corner. Alex saw another member, a young woman facing him about fifteen feet away. She glared at him as she talked on a phone.
Oh, no! They’re communicating my location by phone! he thought. Alex dodged left around another building into an alley. He ran as his legs hurt tremendously with each one burning more and more. Suddenly he ran into a group of five bulky men with malicious smiles. A tall ruffian in torn jeans and a tank top pulled out a knife.
The hostile men circled around Alex. The one with the knife tossed it from hand to hand. “Do yourself a favor and fork over your wallet,” he said with a toothy grin.
Alex was scared, but what he was seeking was worth more than all his money and credit cards. He quickly took it out and gave to the tall, knife wielding assailant.
“You have my wallet, no please let me pass through.”
“Today is a good day,” said a plump man in a ripped leather jacket. “Now scram!” he spat.
Those hoodlums will slow them down! Alex thought. “I need to find a place to lay low for a while.” The desperate man fumbled through his thoughts, still knowing a member of the secret society could suddenly appear on any street corner. “My brother Vince-he would help me-and his place is close to here.”
Alex took a bus, two blocks down. He stepped off and wet up a small stairway to an apartment building and went up one flight of stairs, across a hallway and knocked on a door to his left. The whitewashed door opened revealing a slender, dark haired man in his mid-twenties. His tanned face frowned and Vince rolled his eyes. “What is it now Alex? What kind of trouble are you in now?”
“There are people after me.”
“What else is new? Listen Alex, I can’t keep bailing you out like this.”
Alex shook his head and motioned pleadingly with his hands. “Just hear me out.”
“Oaky, come in.”
Vince let his brother in and they both sat on a white leather couch. “Out with it now,” demanded Vince.
Alex smiled with his face aglow. He looked squarely into Vince’s eyes. “What I’m about to say may seem unreal but I saw something with my own eyes that means it’s real.” He settled into the couch, looking like he would burst with excitement. “A week ago, I was dropping on some shady looking men in suits. They came across like FBI or CIA agents.”
“And where was this?”
“It was at the Star Café. There were three of them and they kept looking around like what they said was very secretive. I hid in bush in the corner a few feet away.”
“What did they say?” asked Vince, now slightly curious.
“I did not catch much but what did hear was like sci-fi stuff. They said stuff about another dimension and a portal.” Alex was stumbling over his thoughts, to excited to start from a beginning.
“Slow down Alex. You’re generalizing. They were probably talking about a movie or something. You might have come in part way in their conversation.”
“No, they were speaking very seriously. There was no smiling or look of fascination. Plus they said something else,” Alex said with a coy grin.
Vince sighed impatiently as he folded his arms and sat back on the couch. “Okay, what was said?”
“They mentioned meeting somebody who had an important object. This person…”
Suddenly there was a knock on the door followed by an order. “This is the police, please open up.”
Alex turned pale with fear and he jumped.
Vince contorted distraughtly. He looked at the door than at Alex with a frown “What have you done Alex?!”
Next Alex ran to the door and looked through the see-hole and his fear was confirmed. “It’s them!”
“Who?! I swear Alex, this time I’m not bailing you out!”
“I think they want to kill me!”
Then a loud pound came from the door. “Open or we will break through!”
“Why why the police want you dead?”
“They’re not the police, they’re people I stole from! Please. I’ll explain everything just get me out of here!”
“I…Oh, what am I doing?” Vince said to himself. “Fine, we’ll go down the fire escape through the window.”
“Thank you so much brother!”
“Save it! Let’s go!”
The two heard the door being bashed at from the other side. It was beginning to crack. Alex and Vince crawled through the window and dashed down the metal stairs. They reached the ground and headed to Vince’s car.
“Hopefully none of the have seen me,” said Alex.
Both got into the car and Vive drove off, looking very shocked and disturbed. “Spill it Alex.”
Alex slouched so none could see him. “Okay. Those three men I told you about, well one was instructed by the other two to meet a person-” he paused and shook his head. “-that had an object that would take you to other dimension.”
“So this thing is like a remote that beams you into some alternate universe?”
“No, it’s a key that unlocks a doorway into another dimension. I’ll show you?” Alex showed his brother antique-like, worn, ticket with Journey Through The Genres. written on it.
“This, is the key?! It’s garbage!”
“Let me explain. One of three men in suites was told there was a password that he was supposed to tell somebody. This “somebody” was to be told the words “to which all realms are joined.”
“Alright, and where do you come in?”
“They said the one who had the key would be in a book a bookstore called Intriguing Books. It was relatively close so I took the bus to this store- the only man there was at a counter. “I told him the password and he said to go to the back room. When I went there I found another man. I repeated the password and he held up his palm and a beam of blue light flashed and in his hand was the ticket. It was like real magic! Finally the man told to go to 3051 Block Way.”
As Alex spoke, a police car blared on its electric megaphone. “Pull over! We are authorized to use deadly force!”
Alex’s pulse raced and he was in a flurry of panic. He grabbed his head and trembled. “How do they keep finding me and how are they using the police to aid them?!”
Vince had a look of shock on his face but it appeared to be mixed with concern. “I believe you Alex. The police would never use deadly force against a thief.” Looked forward, he gripped the steering wheel tightly. Vince veered his eyes and looked forward. “I know that address
you mentioned. Hold on!” Vince floored it, weaving in and out of traffic as cars honked at them. “This is it Alex, there is no going back. It appears another dimension is the only way out.”
Then the pursuers turned on their lights and sirens. People turned right to allow the emergency vehicle room to maneuver. Three more police cars come from ahead.
“Speed up! If we each the intersection first we can turn right!” Alex suggested sweating and breathing heavily.
“No! That will divert us from our destination. I suggest you strap in!”
There, on the upper-left side of the intersection was a large Walgreens with glass enclosures. Vince veered to the left on a course with the convenience store as cars fled to avoid them. Then he honked his horn. Alex’s brother slowed some to let people vacate the store.
A deafening braking of glass filled their ears. The continuous shattering tortured the brothers’ minds. It was like a rake scraping across their brains. At last they broke out of the store passing the police cars on the right. Vince’s windshield was cracked but fortunately not broken.
“I can’t believe you did that! And I’m supposed to be the reckless one.”
“We’re getting closer.” Vince pulled into a dreary, small warehouse through an open garage door. They car parked near the wall and got out.
“So now what?” asked Vince.
“Let’s look around,” answered Alex.
The two found two rows of crates stacked on top of each other and walked between them. They followed it to the end where the two rows of crates turned to the left.
Vince looked down the turn that led to a completely shadowy space. “Well isn’t this just…”
Behind them was a loud, hostile voice. “Stop!”
The two turned and four men in suits were holding guns.
“Give us the slip and you’ll be free,” said one of the men.
“Give it to them!” ordered Vince with his glance fixed on the weapons held against them.
“You believe that?!” Alex grabbed his brother by the arm, dashed where the rows of crates turned left and came to a dead end made by a stack of more crates. A faded inscription was on one. Journey Through The Genres.
Alex’s mouth dropped. “That’s what is on the card!”
“So, do we just say the words “Journey Through The Genres” and something magical is supposed happen?!”
In moments, the same writing that was on the card and the crate glowed. Then the four men appeared from around the corner. “They have discovered the first half of the process!” one yelled. “Hand it over!”
“Tell me what to do next or I’ll rip it!”
The man snuffed at Alex. “Hmmf! No you wouldn’t”
Alex made a small tear and the man reacted. “Okay! But only if you leave the card behind.”
“Fine,” said Alex.
“Speak a genre as in a book or a movie and a portal to a dimension of that kind will appear.”
Alex took a deep breath and thought. “Fantasy!” he exclaimed. Instantly a spiraling vortex of green opened in front of them. There was little time to think so Alex dropped the card and looked at his brother then they stepped through. On the other side they were in a castle overlooking a large castle with guards in chain mails. Below them was a drawbridge with people on horses coming in and out. Houses of stone were surrounding the castle with plumes of smoke. Both were speechless.
“It really happened,” said Vince mused. “We’re in another dimension.”
“What if they follow us?” asked Alex.
“They would have been here by now. There is no reason to chase us.”
There they stood looking at their new home that was sure to be full of magic, mythical beasts and adventure. Alex knew this new world would be hard but being in a fantasy realm with magic and dragons excelled his former mundane existence and he never regretted his actions.