I can’t believe I forgot my umbrella. Rookie mistake. Damn Florida and its daily cloudbursts.
As the trickle turned into a downpour, I frantically searched for shelter. I ducked into the first storefront that I saw with an “open” sign. A bell jingled above me as I closed the door, shutting out the rain. I assessed the damage. I was pretty soaked, my clothes dripping on the scuffed, wooden floor. My hair was a matted mess.
As my eyes adjusted to the store’s dim lighting, I realized that I was surrounded by clutter. Very old and dusty clutter. I was assaulted by the smell of dirt and mildew. I had somehow wound up in a place that time forgot. I was in an antique shop.
“It won’t last long.” I turned toward the voice to see a tiny, fragile woman. She was ancient, as old as many of the items strewn about the shop. “The rain, I mean. It won’t last long. It does this every afternoon.”
“Right. Every afternoon.” I knew that because I was a local, I was not a tourist. Yet, there I was soaked without an umbrella.
“Take a look around, dear, while you’re waiting. We have many treasures here.” She shuffled back around behind the counter and went back to her duties.
The floor creaked as I moved toward the nearest stack of clutter. Furniture, mirrors, knick knacks, portraits, records. It was a motley collection of junk. I noticed a hand-carved music box perched precariously on a shelf. I reached out for it and felt a cold burst of air that sent a chill through my body. My arm covered in goosebumps and my hair stood on end. I was hit with a feeling of extreme sadness, it crashed through me like a wave. I froze, unable to think or move. The energy pulsated through me – despair, fear, loneliness, depression. It was so strong that it caused me physical pain. I drew my hand back and tried to make my legs move. Get away, get away, get away.
I turned back toward the door and then I felt it. The sadness faded and was replaced by adrenaline. My chest felt tight and my stomach churned. I felt sick. I could feel a presence and it was full of anger, hatred. Evil. Vile. I could feel it around me, moving. Every thread in my body was screaming to leave. Leave now.
I lunged for the door and threw myself back outside, slamming the door behind me. Relief washed over me as I smelled the fresh air. Still shaken, I pushed away from the storefront and walked on, eager to put distance between me and whatever was in that shop. I did not look back, too scared of what I might see.
I’ll take my chances with the rain.
Daily Post: Sudden Downpour
Author’s note: I had a similar experience with an antique shop many years ago (minus the rainstorm). There was an evil presence there, I’m sure of it. I have never felt anything like it. As a result, I find antique shops creepy and I generally avoid them.
Image by South Granville (flickr) – license