I'm just a regular wannabe writer. If you recognize the character from my profile picture, I just might love you. I think it may be my goal in life to try to answer the question "why?"
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Written By: David M.
June 16, 2015
You know, at first, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Then I took a second look. I carefully scrutinized the scene that was unfolding in front of me as I stood in the middle of the abandoned warehouse, body slack and mouth agape.
Even then, I still couldn’t believe my eyes.
I had entered the warehouse with purpose. Finding a broken window above a long-forgotten dumpster, I had carefully climbed over the shards of broken glass shining under a midnight moon. It took me several minutes, as I took special care to make sure that my camera made it through the precarious clamber unscathed. I was — am, I suppose — a budding photographer, and had embarked upon this nocturnal breaking-and-entering expedition to see if I could catch a stunning scene as it emerged from its hiding place for a nighttime stroll, blinking dazedly in silver starlight. I thought that I might creep through the forgotten places and find that shot which would catapult me ahead of my classmates in our esteemed photography professor’s regard.
And so I had entered, wandered, snapped. The lighting was incredible — beams of moonlight entered through the cracked and shattered windows to stream gracefully down, to settle and pool around erratic heaps of garbage and general abandoned warehouse-type refuse. All in all, very picturesque, if you’re into that kind of thing.
I was just photographing a rusted trash can when the flash and shower of sparks came from one of the overhead lights. You know those warehouse lights? The kind of light that’s like a metal dome with a round open bottom, hanging by a rod from the ceiling? Well, as is to be expected in an abandoned warehouse, they were all off and in various states of disrepair. Hence my surprise or even say flabbergastion when one of them exploded.
I instinctively grabbed my camera and brought it up to my eye in a vain attempt to catch the waterfall of molten red sparks floating down to rest on the warehouse floor. But what I saw as the camera tried to focus on the now-dark overhead made me drop the camera, leaving it free to swing down on the neck strap. It hit me right in the stomach, as such things are obviously designed to do, but I was too distracted to even react. So I simply stood there, body slack and mouth agape, unable to believe my eyes.
As the sparks fell and the yellow faded from the room, a shadow emerged from the warehouse light. I had thought that it was simply my eyes adjusting to the darkness, but as they did adjust, I recognized a familiar form in an unfamiliar setting. The clear shape of a man, silhouetted against the glowing windows behind him, was climbing through the circle of the warehouse light, as if from some alternate world. Now, that in and of itself is bizarre. That is enough to justify my shock, my agape-ness. But he was climbing upside down.
He was clambering down out of the inky-black circle of the light as if from a manhole. Everything about the scene was wrong. From the intrusion of another living form into my supposed-to-be-solitary quest, to the man climbing out of the defunct warehouse light, to his flagrant and utter defiance of natural laws…
I nearly passed out. Thankfully I just stumbled back and fell onto a crumpled tarp instead, making a faint crumpled-tarp noise. I watched the silhouette jump, look around hastily, then shrug and finish climbing down out of the light. He stood above it, feet balanced on either side of the narrow metal rim, and looked up at the ceiling — down at the floor from his perspective, I suppose. Then he swung down to hang from his fingertips and dropped to the floor — the ceiling? He stayed there in a cautious crouch for a few heartbeats, then stood up and began walking toward the windows, which ran all the way up to the ceiling — his floor.
At this point I’d like to say that, in the manner typical of a hero like the one you’d expect to find in this story, I knew exactly what to do. That I leaped to my feet and immediately executed the exactly correct sequence of actions. Unfortunately, I am not that hero. I was not born destined for the lead role in a Tolkien novel. And so instead I simply sat there and watched the silhouette walk over to the windows and look down.
Well, his up. And we all know exactly what you see when you look up at night — a gorgeous black void, speckled with little white dots and a silver orb. The night sky. I’d taken note of the gorgeous view that the wide street outside the warehouse offered. I'd even snapped a few photos, just as a warm-up. But somehow I don’t think that the night sky was as appealing to my mysterious companion as it was to me, because he stepped back in obvious consternation. Even from a distance and though he was only a silhouette, I could read his body language: shock, confusion, and uncertainty.
For some reason it was the uncertainty that reassured me. Somehow I couldn’t imagine that a shadow creature of pure evil would be uncertain when confronted with the night sky. The uncertainty made me feel for the alien silhouette that was standing on the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse as if were the floor at roughly one A.M. I pitied him.
So, with greatly diminished trepidation, I arose from my oh-so-comfortable tarp and maneuvered my way across the cluttered floor to stand about ten paces behind the silhouette, who was now staring despondently out the window, looking alternately down at the sky and across to the other abandoned warehouse across the street. And from that position, I set my feet, gathered my courage, and called out.