Strange as Fiction

So, there we were, Hoss and I, watching Doctor Who and lamenting the fact that yet another season has come and gone.  Really … this one was about 5 episodes, and it just wasn’t good enough.

So, we thought, we should rush out and buy another season on DVD – maybe some David Tennant and Rose, or the first season of Matt Smith.  Well, when you have an awesome idea like that it’s hard to be deterred by the mere fact that all the shops are closed.  Except, of course, for WalMart, which never closes because who knows when one might need to buy a bath mat or plastic food containers at 11 o’clock at night?

Unbelievably, the first WalMart we tried didn’t have a single Doctor Who DVD.  Neither did the second; or Superstore.  They clearly need to get their priorities straight.

So, empty of hand and heavy of heart, we headed for home.  “Stop”, shouted Hoss, “that little store has a big DVD sign and a Doctor Who poster in the window – and it’s open!”  And there it was, beckoning invitingly with its TARDIS bedecked window, and filling us with hope for the Who-Fest to come.

Strangely, neither of us remembered ever having seen the store before – right at the edge of a row of shops, and next to some undeveloped wasteland.  But, not one (or two) to look a gift horse in the mouth, we parked outside and rushed over.

What a strange little shop, with its crumbling brickwork and windows so grimy that it was hard to see in.  The ancient, peeling paintwork was a colour which, nowadays, would probably be described as frosty mint, but which, back in its day, was more likely just called blue/green.

The door stuck at first, but a shoulder-shove got it moving enough to creak it open, jangling a bell hanging overhead.  From the darkness behind the counter, a scratchy, disconnected voice said “Come on in.  What can I help you with?”  A head of dark, greasy hair popped up to join the voice, and we were confronted with a gray, partly toothed smile belonging to a stooped figure as ancient as his paintwork.

We had already found a display of Doctor Who DVDs, so, in our rush to escape the cobwebs and thick, musty air we grabbed a season each of David Tennant and Matt Smith, paid our money and left.

We giggled together as we burst back into the sunshine and felt a cleansing breeze ripple over our crawling skin.  “That was weird”, said Hoss, “I can’t even remember seeing anything else in there apart from that one rack of movies.  Did you notice what else they sold?”  “Now that you mention it, I’m not really sure either” I replied, but didn’t think any more of it.

But here’s where it gets really strange … passing the same row of shops the next day, Hoss and I noticed that the store was no longer there.  We were both certain that’s where it had been, but there was no sign of it ever having existed.  I’ve been looking as I drive around the city, but I can’t find that little store anywhere.

Okay, I made all that up, but it’s how we wished the expedition had ended, and it seems like a much more interesting story than “they didn’t have any, so we went home”.

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