Another World

5. Something strange is found inside an abandoned bar

“I don’t want to just go in there like that. Shouldn’t you call the realtor to set up a showing?”

“It’s abandoned, Tash, there’s no realtor to call.” Ruck chuckles.

“That makes no sense. Even abandoned buildings can’t just be taken over. I’m sure you have to go through the city or something Ruck.”

“Just come on. There’s nothing to be scared of.” Ruck exists the driver’s side and walks around the car to the passenger’s side.

“I’m not scared Ruck. I just think things need to be done properly.”

“Get out the car Tash.” Ruck opens the passenger door. “You can’t see my vision from in there.”

Tash steps out of the car and follows Ruck towards the old graying building. “When we talked about investing, this is not what I meant.”

“Oh, come on, just look at it.” Ruck stands behind Tash and puts his hands on her shoulders. “Yes, the outside looks a little rough, but we’ll clean it up. Remove the metal siding, put up some planks.”

“Okay, but if the outside looks like this,” she waves her hand at the rusted siding and cracked pavement, “what on earth does the inside look like?”

Smiling, Ruck grabs Tash’s hand and pulls her towards the leaning front door. “Let me show you.” He pushes the door to the side and guides her into the building.

“Oh my. Ruck?”

“So what do you think?”


A stream of sunlight from a busted window reaches into the dark dusty bar, illuminating an open storage trunk in the middle of the floor. Inside the trunk, an entire world. Tash moves closer,  peering into the trunk. “How did you find this?” Water fills the trunk almost to the top. Miniature creatures fill the miniature sea, swimming around their little world as if it was the only one that exists.

“I really was coming in just to see if it was something we could invest in it and flip, then I saw this and knew you had to see it too. Watch this.” Ruck reaches forward and closes the lid of the trunk.

“Wait, what are you doing? I was—”

“Just watch.” Ruck lifts the lid back open. The water that was inside is gone, instead the trunk is filled with a jungle. Tiny little parrots fly over the tree tops and little monkeys swing between the branches. “It changes every time you close and open it.”

“This is incredible Ruck! I want to take it with us!”

“We can’t.” Ruck shuts the lid.

“Why not?” Tash whines.

“It doesn’t move. I’ve tried several ways. You think I wouldn’t have brought it to you rather than bringing you all the way out here? That’s why we’ve got to buy this place Tash.”

“But wouldn’t there have to be an inspection or something? As soon as somebody else sees this…” Tash turns back to the trunk and opens the lid, watching a Savannah come to life. She reaches in and picks up a tiny giraffe, lifting it to her face for a closer look. The trunk slams shut and the giraffe vanishes from the palm of her hand. “What the?”

“You can’t touch anything inside. We have to go now.” Ruck grabs her arm and pulls her towards the door.

“Wait. Why?” Tash resists as Ruck pulls her out of the old bar. “What are you doing? I don’t want to go yet!”

Ruck pulls her back to the car on the opposite side of the road. “Watch Tash.” The old bar fills with light. Bright streaks of yellow and blue stream from every cracked window and broken board. The bar disappears.

“Woah!” Tash turns to Ruck. “What just happened? How did you know that was going to happen?”

“Remember when I told you Brian left for a spiritual retreat?”

“He was in…there?” she points to the empty lot where the bar previously stood.

“When the room started to fill with light I left, but Brian kept trying to pick up the trunk. When the whole thing disappeared I thought it was gone. Like, gone-gone. Something made me want to come back here, though. I came back every day, and every day there was nothing here. Three weeks I kept coming back, and there was nothing. Until yesterday. Brian was nowhere to be found, but the bar was back.” Ruck kicks at a pebble in front of him. “The trunk was back. I had to show it to you.”

“I’m glad you did.” Tash takes Ruck’s hand and holds it to her chest. “I’m sorry about Brian.”


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