Adventure Drama Thriller

I should have taken the hesitation Denise felt all along about this place before we went in and were hoodwinked. But it was so right up my alley in artsy, creative, shenanigans that I was not thinking bad thoughts. What could go wrong?

My good friend Denise and I finally got it together, and without further interruption from everyone and their brother, set up a day and time to meet for coffee. This was a thing we would do need to do from time to time as it gave us a moment to catch up on what was going on with family and whatever else we needed to unload in life behind the scenes that no one needed to know about, just us selling secrets. And it usually was a laugh a minute aka FUN!

And of course, the other thing that’s always in the back of our minds when we’re out and about, is we think of one place we’ve always said we wanted to go to, sooner than later. It might be near or far but it’s all in a day’s mystery ride. Well, today was the day. I asked Denise if she needed to get back any time soon and she looked at me with a ‘Please, no thank you. I need this time right now to get out of my hum drum life’. I could hear that tune as it was evident in her way with the words. I nodded with a smile, gave her a wink, and we finished the last dregs of our coffee.

“Okay!” I quizzed her on my thoughts to a local yet unusual destination and it was a go. We got there in no time and spied the weird sign out front. As we pulled in, it was the creepy stuff that was just outside the open doorway that made us think twice. We looked at each other and just laughed. All good. Walking towards the doorway caused us to hesitate for a second seeing two life-sized characters. Was this the welcome committee of sorts? Out in front of this place we referred to as La La Land aka DEJA VU EMPORIUM, there was Leopard Lady wrapped in a slinky replica of the animal. Her long hair was wrapped around one arm. Her arms, face and neck were smeared with a blend of black tattoos. A strange Pinocchio dude with a crooked smile on his face was nearby holding a boat paddle. What?!?

Right away I knew this was going to be a whole lot of fun. Denise couldn’t stop laughing as we stepped inside, then my friend’s eyes bugged out at the sight within the lower level of the warehouse. To the left were typical wooden crafted signs, and antique furniture that graced the hallway until we looked to the right. Several wooden life-sized marionettes were holding a ladder. Their features were life like and the clothing simulated props of the farmers in the play Oklahoma! The three were holding a ladder shoulder height where hooks were attached holding baskets of kitchen gadgets. Who was the clever stage creator of this emporium? DEJA VU was the place of rustic, casual, creative, unique used pieces of furniture, usable old things and a whole lot more. Your imagination was kicked into high gear walking into this place. It was an art show within a cleverly staged used furniture showroom.

Ty, the manager, greeted us as a gentleman of nonpareil. This was his livelihood and a unique place to bring out the creative stage act for every customer.  We went with the vibe as Ty showed us around, asking what brought us in today, and what he may help us find. We were only getting familiar with the layout and the twist and turns everywhere we went. He totally understood as his claim to fame was evident in his demeanor as the actor on stage. He was busy organizing and pricing the load of new imports always calling out with a personable appeal to everyone around.

I was enraptured with so much cool stuff, with the interesting layout of how it was all staged, and placed just so. Just when you thought you were looking at several stacked chairs, right above you was a clothesline of creepy face masks. A huge version of Batman around the corner was enough to knock you out had you not looked where you stepped. He almost said something, I’m sure of it.

I lost Denise for awhile when she took a left and I took a right. I came upon a collection of lovely armoires, however they each had a life sized mannequin but only half of a female body, yet with no head and no arms. They were each painted in a solid bright color. Each one of the six had a large letter painted which spelled in order, DÉJÀ VU.  Advertising at its best creepiness.

Ty reminded me to look up as well to not miss other things up in the air. I nearly knocked Denise over doing this but she stopped me just in time. Motioning me to follow she pointed to a tall open box which sort of resembled a telephone booth but she told me to look inside. Oh my! It was a confessional and one from a certain church. The hidden yet open window of the tall three-sided unit was evident. There were some written notes on a plate and a realistic plastic hand holding a pen. Denise said we have to go. The notes were from real people.

I told her it was all in fun. Let’s stay. I realized in reading another sign in the building that DÉJÀ VU dealt in and collected a lot of whatever items one needed to sell. They went to arcades, and theme parks that needed to part with many an item. Denise only knew, the more things we saw, that we couldn’t be here at night. It reminded us of the movie NIGHT at the MUSEUM where everything came to life at midnight. This was beginning to feel like that but at a whole different level.

Finally, I gave in and had her promise that we would come back. She just looked at me with no expression. I agreed to leave soon and tried not to make her feel guilty since it was becoming my fun house. But after a while, the theme park vibe was getting a little bit over the top with a dead tribal member yet ghostly alive lingering at every turn. It was a lot of fun for a time but suddenly, I felt whispering behind me, and listened as a voice said, "doom is in your new look, wear it well."

Then a shove came from behind, subtle, but none the less it was real. Ty had disappeared. The lights dimmed. Crackling was heard throughout as in the sound of old time air waves. We were lost in the way we had come in and started to run down one side and skipped to another hallway. Then we ducked under a railing and saw the door. “Come on! Let’s blast out of here!” We raced to the door where Ty had just casually stepped in front of, arms folded, a meat cleaver of Viking era proportion resting on his arm. Several characters throughout the store appeared, now quite alive, with a threatening demeanor to do the bidding of their master.

We looked at each other and screamed to be let out. It was no use. No one heard us. Ty added the reason for the delay with, “Ladies! I think the time has come for you to join the cast of our timeless production of award-winning talented individuals. It’s DÉJÀ VU all over again!”

A heavy mist of sleep inducing aroma filled the air. My eyes closed, my head dropped. And with that Denise said, “I told you we should have left.”

June 19, 2021 02:35

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