My heart was pounding so fast I thought I would pass out. Sweaty palms. Dry mouth. Panting breath. Butterflies churning in my belly. I swear to God if there was cream in there it would turn to butter!
Just what was it that had got me into this state of highly emotional turmoil? Backtrack to two weeks earlier. I had come across an ad in the local paper. It was one of those OMG moments that hit you in the gut like a Mohammad Ali knockout blow. I can still see that ad in my mind’s eye :
Hey you! That’s right – you! The one reading this ad right now. This is for you. Something so stupendously awesome and life changing you gotta grab it with both hands. You will be so damn sorry if you don’t. To find out more come to 1313 Hedgehog Lane, Nutsville in exactly two weeks from right now. Yep – you got it! Two weeks from the very minute that you are reading this ad. See you in two weeks…
Now you got to admit that that is one super weird ad. But I couldn’t help myself. I looked at the time – 1030am Wednesday 31st March. In two weeks it will be the 13th April.
That’s just too weird for words, I told myself. And tried to dismiss the whole thing from my mind. Do you think I could ? Damn right I couldn’t! It popped into my head every chance it had. It invaded my dreams. It came for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It even joined the dog and me on our morning walks.
After a whole week of desperately trying to purge it out of existence, I gave up and actually Googled the address. That was weird too. I mean who the hell lives in Hedgehog Lane in Nutsville?! Sounded like something out of Harry Potter. But there it was on Google maps. Close too. Why had I never heard of it then , I wondered.
So here I am, two weeks later to the second, walking up the path to the front door of this really spooky looking house. Scared shitless… My mind is chattering a million miles an hour: What am I doing here ?! Just get the hell out while you can. You’ve lost the plot for goodness sake! Turn around and LEAVE NOW !!
But do you think my feet were listening? No! It was mutiny of the grandest order. They were dancing to their own rhythm and it led them straight up the garden path. Climbed the old, worn stone steps. Danced (yes, danced!) across the broken tiled veranda. To THE DOOR. Somehow, in my hand, I held a big bronze key. Now where the hell had that come from ?
Shaking, I fitted the key into the lock. It slid in like a match made in heaven. Shoot! I was hoping it wouldn’t. Would give me an excuse to hightail it out of here. It seems my hands had joined the footed mutineers. The one holding the key turned it while the other grabbed a hold of the door knob.
Soundlessly the door swung open. My feet led the way in. Stepping more sedately now, I noticed. It was dark inside. Some light seemed to be seeping in from a side window somewhere. I could see the specks of dust dancing in the rays. My eyes having adjusted to the dimmed interior I looked around at the wide hallway I found myself in. It seemed to be empty – of life of any sort that is.
My feet seemed to know where to go so I just followed. As if I could do anything else anyway! They led me to another closed door. This one didn’t need a key. When it opened I gasped in amazement.
I had entered a room that was light, airy, spacious, tastefully appointed with furnishings and décor in soft pastel shades. Dozens of lit candles graced the room with an ethereal ambience. Whispers of music brushed against my ears and floated gently within. Facing a beautifully landscaped garden full of exquisite flowers, the open French windows invited entry to a sweetly scented breeze. A comfortable armchair had been discretely placed by the open window, facing out into the garden. I sat down.
I became aware of drifting. My eyes closed despite my best efforts to keep them open. More mutineers I thought, smiling…
I woke with a start. Disoriented and confused, I looked around me. It was dark. I could hear my little dog snoring at the foot of the bed. I seemed to remember being somewhere exquisitely peaceful and beautiful. Closing my eyes, I decided to return there.
© Raili Tanska
Steps for Peace
and the results
will be big’