WILLIAM WAS not looking forward to walking through the door as he approached his home. The dark red brick of his house was reminiscent of blood in the damp foggy air, and the tall windows looked like menacing eyes staring at him. The double doors appeared before him as a mouth with a deep brown mustache archway above it. The house swallowed him as he entered.
Once inside he hung his red raincoat on a hook and leaned his closed black umbrella against the wall by the door. With his boots removed and his soft grey slippers on, he proceeded to the kitchen to prepare himself a sandwich. After setting the wanted ingredients on the counter, he peered at his watch. He had two hours to prepare; his guests were always on time.
He wiped the counter to a glistening white after eating his snack and returning every item to its proper place in the fridge. The kitchen floor was brushed vigorously with a broom before a mop made its black and white checkered tiles glisten. Next was the living room. He peered at his watch again; one hour to go.
The vacuum drained the dull grey rug of its unwanted particles; not one dust mite had a home in this house. With his furniture arranged and a bottle of Port on the coffee table, with glasses, he was ready for his guests. Just in time too, for he heard a knock at the door.
The house swallowed its second meal of the day and William closed its mouth behind him. The man that entered was much older than himself, not that his own age was below the 60s, but his skin looked as if it were about to fall off. He wore a white curly mustache on his pale withered face and held a black cane in his right hand that had a metal stud at the bottom that ‘clicked’ on solid ground. He wore a traditional tuxedo and a black top hat to finish the look.
Upon sitting in a high backed, cushioned, red chair he helped himself to a glass of Port from the coffee table in front of him. William heard another knock.
Two more guests entered the well-lit room and hung their coats on the many hooks available. One was a middle-aged man dressed in a grey stripped suit; the other was an artistically shaped blonde of no more then 20, dressed in a tight red full body dress, with an open back.
It became quickly apparent though that the man with her had a short invisible leash attached to him that she tugged at frequently. They took a seat on the couch opposite to the older man.
It wasn’t long before conversation filled the room, between the older man and the younger man, the woman and the younger man, and the older man and the woman. William stood on the soft rug, staring into the fireplace; he awaited the final guest.
A firm set of three knocks startled William out of a daydream; he quickly made his way to the door. Upon opening it he was greeted by a black hooded figure. His face and hands were well hidden in the shadows of the robe he wore.
“Hello again William,” he said in a thin whispery voice, as he made his way past him.
With the door closed and the guests all present William felt ready to make his announcement.
“I went to a doctor today,” he said suddenly; all heads turned sharply towards him.
“A doctor?” Spoke the woman in a sarcastic tone.
“You don’t believe in their modern sorcery, do you William?” Spoke the older man, clearly unimpressed with Williams’ decision.
“You are better without doctors,” were the words that floated from the still hooded man without a visible face.
“Why would you go to a doctor? What purpose does that serve?” added the younger man.
William continued as if no one had spoken. “The doctor suggested I start taking some medication.”
“That won’t help you William,” spoke the hooded man.
“You’re not considering it…are you?” Came from the mouth of the woman.
“He wouldn’t, he doesn’t believe in medication,” said the woman’s consort.
“It’s sorcery,” snapped the older man before taking another sip of Port.
William didn’t answer, he simply removed a small plastic container from his pocket that had a white lid; everyone’s face fell.
“I think it’s time for you all to leave now,” said William, almost to himself. He took the lid off and poured a single white pill into his palm.
Everyone’s face turned to horror; the younger man leapt at him. He was too slow; the pill was swallowed before he could get there. The room spun.
When he opened his eyes, it was morning. He was lying on the carpet by an extinguished fireplace. He was alone.
He stood, brushing lint off himself and smiling. There was no Port on the coffee table. The chairs and couch were un-creased. He opened the curtains and let the light in. His smile widened.
There would be no guests tonight.