The Door to Nowhere
The blackness clung to me, sucking at me feet, at my hair and clothes. There was a sound, sucking like a spoon pulled out of pudding. I fell, and was lifted free into a light. The light place took a moment to adjust, to order itself to allow me to see it.
It was a road. I was on a dirt road. But there was still snow on the ground. I closed my eyes for a moment, and pulled myself onto my feet. There were eyes watching me, I could feel them. I looked around, and saw no one. More than that. The door was not there. How was I to get back?
The key was in my hand, however, and it was a blessing. I tied it back around my neck.
“What is your name?”
I jumped. “Where are you?”
“Answer my question, and I will answer yours.” The voice replied. A demented, masculine voice with the raw edge of manic laughter to color it.
“My name is Catherine.”
“No, no. Not that name. Your Name! With a capital N!”
“I don’t know what you mean.” And I still couldn’t pin point the voice.
“The thing they call you. The…inanimate. They have a Name for you. I want to know it.” I could hear him breathing. “The clock in your mother’s house. The spoon you favored most as a child. The swing in the park. They all had the same name for you. What was it?”
“If you know all of this about me, why don’t you know that?”
“It is not so much what I know, as making certain that you are who you appear to be. Tell me your name, and I will answer your question.”
The name the objects called me. The name David had teasingly called me. “Spellbinder.”
There was a pop, and an abnormally tall, skinny man appeared in the middle of the road. He wore a green top hat, purple vest, orange blazer and blue pants. He wore no shoes.
“I am the Locksmith,” he said. “You are the Spellbinder. You captivate the inanimate with your voice…and they in turn talk back.”
The road behind him was winding as we spoke, twisting back and forth. He noted my gaze and looked behind him. Turning his head all the way around. But his front was…still front-wards. I blinked. He stomped the ground. “Stop that!”
The road stopped winding.
“Where am I?”
He spun his head back around. “That is an easy question. You, are nowhere.”
“How can I be nowhere? I’m here.”
“And here is nowhere. Didn’t the Alchemist explain this to you?”
“The Alchemist. The one who’s key hangs about your neck. I know it is his key, because I made it. So he must have given it to you.”
David. “He’s gone. He explained nothing.”
The Locksmith frowned. “Dreadful…dreadful indeed.” He snapped his fingers. “You shall simply have to come with me. I can explain. But you will have dance with me.”
He wrapped an arm around one of mine. “Indeed. Dancing is the best way to learn.”
I was entirely confused and told him so.
“My dear Spellbinder, everything will become clear. I can’t guarantee you will like it, but it will be clear.”
“Please, can you call me Catherine?” Spellbinder sounded pretentiously out of place.
“Hush. Rule number one, never, never, say any of your names three times.”
“Because then, the Wizard will get to you.”