I saw this alleyway the other day and a little tale sprang to mind.
Thanks so much for reading….
Frieda bought the warehouses for the alleyway. When she saw the ad online for two self-contained warehouses linked by an alleyway, suitable for commercial/industrial use, she couldn’t believe her luck. She had to hock everything she owned to buy them – even selling her grandmother’s treasured diamond ring – but she had to do what she could to secure them. She needed the alleyway.
The real estate agent, a tall, greasy-haired man with a fake tan and an iPhone with a ringtone that sounded like a roar, elucidated the benefits of the warehouses, but Frieda was only interested in the alleyway. Pacing up and down it several times. Checking that the walls were impenetrable, the gates unshakeable.
‘I’ll take it,’ Frieda said, standing in the alleyway, staring up at the sky. The moon was appearing early in a late afternoon bloom, already waxing crescent.
‘Excellent,’ said the real estate agent, handing her the paperwork as his iPhone roared again like a sedated lion. ‘That’s not what you call a roar,’ Frieda thought.
Wain liked the warehouse. It was open plan, full of wood and industrial strength metal, allowing him to scheme and dream with his arms wide. As they moved their belongings in, Frieda noticed how big the windows were, letting in the moon from floor to ceiling, waxing gibbous.
‘I really like it here,’ Wain said, whistling as he hung pictures.
As the moon grew fuller, Wain grew quieter, introspective as a poet. Frieda saw the shadows of tufts of silver fur on the back of his neck. She fed him steak tartare by the kilo for dinner.
On the morning of the first night of the full moon, Frieda checked the alleyway. She had installed two stronger gates, iron-clad, bulletproof. She had electrified the walls behind the gates so that if anyone tried to climb them they would be quickly thrown to the ground.
As dusk fell on the first night of the full moon Frieda opened the alleyway door. Wain, in the moments before the change, docile and vague as an old dog, was pushed into the alleyway. He staggered, disoriented, falling to his knees.
Frieda locked and triple bolted the door as the moon rose. The silver light plunged through the windows settling on the photos of Wain and Frieda on the mantel. They looked happy together in the moonlight, lustrous, almost normal.
Soon the moon was high in the sky as if pushed upward from the ground by levers. The wooden warehouse floors were lit up. Frieda heard the gates being pounded, soft and deep as a bass drum, but continuous. There was a howl and a shuffling along the walls. A charge. The lights flashed off then on again. There was a moan and a thud.
It went on all night, the pounding, the howling, the electric surging, the moaning. The moon directed it all, pulling the shadows right out of the room. As dawn drew near the electricity surged along the walls for the last time. There was a thud like a pillar falling and a roar, blaring, thunderous, sick of it all.
Frieda laughed, wry, weary, thinking of real estate agents who had no idea.
‘Now that’s what you call a roar,’ she said.