Tommy felt his stomach churn and tighten. When he entered the transport he didn’t know what to expect. He felt movement but it wasn’t the usual one feels when in an elevator, this was something different. He opened his eyes and looked at the old man who was swaying a bit with a smile on his face and his eyes closed as if he were listening to a wonderful piece of music. He looked around and all he saw were metal walls, he was in a cylinder and he thought for a moment he was in an old delivery case that zig zagged around pipes. He would occasionally see flashes of light but there were no windows so he wasn’t sure if they were real or part of his disorientation.
“Where are we going” Tommy asked with a bit of trepidation. He was starting to regret going along for the ride.
The old man continued to smile with this eyes closed “When I was I boy my father took me on a car ride. He didn’t tell me where we were going or how long it would take us. He just said ‘let’s go for a ride’, well that ride lasted a while let me tell ya. I grew a bit board and I asked him the very same question you just asked me “ The old man open his eyes and looked right at Tommy, “and do you know what he said?” Tommy shook his head. The old man got a bit closer “He said, ‘To appreciate the destination, you have to appreciate the journey’, in other words shut up and enjoy the ride” The old man went back to smiling and swaying. Tommy looked confused but at the same time he realized that no matter what he had chosen this ride and it was better than being at Clancey’s bar that’s for sure.
He felt the tube slowing down, the hum grew quieter and quieter until there was dead silence. Tommy looked at the old man. For a second he thought he might be asleep at his feet. The old man took a deep breath and pushed the only button in the container and the door opened. The old man took a deep breath and walked out into another veil of darkness. Tommy stood inside not knowing if he should take a step out or just wait for any sort of light to appear. It seemed like forever but a large overhead light suddenly brightened the floor and then another and then another. The lights seems to go on forever. He stepped out he felt a cold chill sweep across his body. This wasn’t simply being cold like a January in New York, this was a cold that you felt in your soul and even deeper than that. The old man came back with a thick parka and put it over Tommy. “Now you put this on before you catch your death, no chicken soup where we are” The old man began walking and Tommy followed him.
As they walked Tommy looked around, “So are you going to fill me in? Is this like an airplane hangar?” The old man stopped and slowly turned around to face Tommy.
“This place”, the old man said with a hush, “houses a dream fullfilled, a dream not yet realized, a dream not yet dreamt. Don’t you feel it?” He grew a bit closer “We are standing in the middle of the sub-conscious. Are you feeling like you are being watched?” Tommy looked around at the vast emptiness and saw no one but the old man but he could give no other answer but a slow nod for even though he didn’t see anyone, he felt as if a thousand eyes were trained on him.
The old man placed his hand on Tommy’s shoulder. This simple gesture made tommy feel a bit more at ease. “My boy as we get closer to the center you will begin to realize that you are not being watched, you are the one watching”
Tommy stood for a moment as the old man continued to walk. He stared beyond him trying to see what lay ahead. But there was still blackness. There was still emptiness. He began following the old man hoping sooner rather than later he would learn what all of this meant.
He was so entrenched in his own thoughts he didn’t notice the figure standing behind him, watching them both he and the old man disappear in the dark. He didn’t notice the figure holding a key. A key covered in blood.