Friday, 27 January 2012
Thirty Ninth Friday Flash: The Travel Agent
He was itching to go somewhere, anywhere away from his humdrum life, somewhere with colour and life. Most of all he wanted to get away from his boss and family, who never seemed to give him a break. They always had some demand or other, that was when he spotted an “Anytime, Any Place” travel agent sign. The sign looked old and peeling, but it was still more appealing than the razzle-dazzle travel agent next door. He went up the stairs to the small offices. An old woman in a tie dye t-shirt and flowery dress greeted him from behind her desk. The walls were plastered with travel memorabilia from around the world.
She smiled and rubbed her hands together. “Tea?”
“Oh, yes please!”
The lady prepared the tea.
“That's a Sylvanian tea strainer isn't it?”
“Yes, very good eye, I collect them.”
“I collect a few myself.”
“Just a spot.”
She expertly tipped the pint of milk to deliver the desired amount.
With tea in hand she got down to business. “So I understand you need a break?”
“I would love one.”
“Anything in mind?”
“Somewhere where I can do my my own thing,” Joe replied sipping his tea.
“Somewhere where you can feel like somebody?”
“Then I have the perfect place for you.”
“Tell me more.”
“I will do better, I will show you.”
He put down his half finished tea and followed her to a door behind her desk, a very plain door that had a pentagram carved into it.
"What's that symbol for?"
"Oh the previous tenants, they were a bit kooky."
"It must have been a long time ago."
“A very long time ago, but we don't have time to dilly-dally, now close your eyes.”
“It won't work If you don't.”
He shrugged and closed his eyes. She took his hand and they took a step forward through the door, there was a lot of rushing wind sounds.
“Do not open your eyes!”
He scrunched his eyes up tighter. A few moments later he could smell and hear horses.
“Go on, open them.”
He was in a carriage, a grand and ornate carriage. “Where are we?”
“Godollo, Hungary, you're on your way to your palace.”
“Yes, indeed. There are some drawbacks though.”
His stomach dropped. “Yes? It's all a dream isn't it? You drugged my tea?”
“No, no, very much real,” she replied with a laugh. A very deep laugh that made Joe drawback a little.
“You're now the eighteen year old Empress Elizabeth, and will suffer a tragic death.”
He looked down, his arms were milky and delicate and he was wearing a golden dress. “When?”
“Many years from now.”
Elizabeth smiled. “It doesn't seem bad to me.”
“It doesn't, but once you're done you will be my servant forever.”
“Not burn in hell?”
“Nah, that's just a myth, but believe me it's no vacation.”
She shrugged, “I can live with that, but say what happened to the previous Elizabeth? Not hurt or anything I hope?”
“Oh, not at all, she will be back any second now to take back control of her body.”
“No! You can't!”
Joe felt helpless and horrified as he lost control, he could feel every sense, but not control any of them.”
The old woman smiled wickedly. “Enjoy the ride!”