NEW SHORT STORY!! I wish the blog would allow me to format it the way it SHOULD be formatted!
“Why would you want to go there?” I asked my brother when he declared we were going into the antique shop in the middle of the shopping center.
“Why not?” He answered.
He was always short when his mind was made up, so there was never any any use in trying to deter him. Reluctantly, I followed him across the parking lot into the small section stuck between a hand-me-down clothing store and a magic shop. I remembered rolling my eyes when I entered the store behind my lovely older brother.
“What are you looking for, anyway?” I asked when he stopped at a small table with a tanned globe resting on it.
“If I find it, I’ll let you know.”
“Fine,” I walked away slightly annoyed.
Despite my reservations, I couldn’t help but to stop at whatever caught my eyes. What I found wasn’t anything special, they just were one of three things: something silly like the end of a musket turned into a lamp; something stupid such as a wooden spork (“Carved by Lincoln, himself!”); or incredibly tacky (how many items made from animal “fur” can they fit inside this place?).
The more I explored however, the more this store revealed to me. I don’t mean the random knick-knacks, either. It was almost like this store had been deceptively expanding its borders.
I continued down this endless maze of crap, sometimes absentmindedly, I would touch something shiny or pointy when I saw a shelf full of hourglasses in the aisle just to my left.
I was never able to resist flipping these things.
“Oh, sorry, excuse me,” my brother explained not far from me.
I turned and found that this place did actually at least one other customer in here.
“No, no, my mistake,” she said.
After a few more seconds, I made my way to the hour glasses and instinctively flipped the first one I saw. I watched the sand fall then looked at the collection to find a medium-sized one with what looked lime water ripples carved into the three arms circling the sand-filled containers.
This was not what caught my eyes, though.
This instrument that had stolen my attention from the rest of the shelf possessed sand that stayed in the top capsule at rest, while standing on a completely empty glass fully attached to it.
I rubbed my eyes, did the usual double-take, but it changed nothing, the sand remained fixed in its home. I inspected the thin middle section, nothing was there to block the sand, so then I shook it once. Twice. A third time to no avail, the sand moved but refused to fall.
I stared at it for another few seconds then finally decided to turn it upside down. The sand fell to the very bottom of its glass – the part touching the shelf bed – lying flat as possible, but, the sand started to slowly move upward to its now-top half.
“What the hell?” I said as the sand ascended.
“,ekatsim ym ,on ,oN” a voice echoed behind me.
I scrunched my eyebrows at the strange sound and turned in the direction my brother was in. I watched him open his mouth as I walked closer.
“.em esucxe ,yrros ,hO”
My eyes bulged as the two back away from their location slowly, their surprised expressions reversing into a focus-on-the-task-at-hand expressions they had to have had before they ran into each other.
I shook my brother. “What are you doing? Is this a joke?”
He stopped in his tracks and stared at me, an eyebrow raised.
“?yas ouy bib lleh ehT”
“Uhh?” I stopped shaking him and he continued backwards on his predestined track.
After I inspected the other customer, I tried to retrace my own steps before my brother ended up unentering the store.
That was when I realized what was responsible and ran to the last shelf I touched.
I watched the strange item as it continued to defy gravity and decided to test fate and turned it back on its original end. The sand turned around and climbed up the other way, still towards the sky.
“The hell-? Uh, bro?” My brother asked from where I left him. I swung my body towards him, jogged down the aisle and nearly ran into that same customer.
I forgot about her…,I thought as I walked to my sibling. “You called?”
“Um…nothing, thought I saw…but it was a reflection,” he pointed at the mirrors near him.
I looked at the mirrors, then subconsciously, my eyes forced me to look back down the aisle and – as if completely under their control – my legs carried me back to that curious hour glass.
Not sure how long I stood there and watched it, but once my brother declared he was leaving, I made the decision to buy the peculiar item.