Friday Flash Fiction: When

I really thought I wasn’t going to post today and then I had five minutes to kill and this popped out. It’s first drafty because it is a first draft.

When

By Neil Beynon

They say you always remember where you were when it happened.

I remember where I was but probably not for the reasons you’d think. When the doors appeared I didn’t really notice; I was too busy wrapped in my own world to notice others colliding into the real one. You see, it wasn’t news to me: the real world had been doing it to my world for years.

It was cold and crisp that day and I simply couldn’t concentrate and so I went out to Soho square to get some air. The square was empty of people as it wasn’t lunchtime, there weren’t many people on the street either, not that I noticed, I think by that point the doors must have started to appear.

Anyway, I wandered around for a bit before sitting down on a bench. The trees, big ancient gnarled sentinels that were as old as the square itself, were shedding their leaves and spread their scent over me. I remember wondering what the doors were supposed to represent – at that point I just thought it was just another art show.

Then she stepped through one of them.

It was a wooden door with four panels and it had been painted purple with silver stars stencilled on it. I didn’t see what was behind her because once her head was through the small gap her eyes widened and she stepped the rest of the way through, the door making a faint slapping sound as it shut behind her, swinging shut on some unseen hinge.

She had white blond hair, her skin was the colour of expensive vanilla ice cream and, later when I was standing rather closer, she smelt of a strange musty spice that made my eyes droop and my neck shiver like fingers ghosting along my skin. She looked confused before she saw me on the bench and smiled, her green eyes glinting in the sunlight. I remember something, perhaps an errant leaf, fell away from me as I stood to say hello and in the background people were yelling.

And that’s how I met your mother.

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