The date was perfect until they walked through the revolving door.
It was their fourth official date, and she was fairly sure they were at the point where they considered themselves “together.”
When they pushed the revolving door Starla found herself in a silent place covered in a fine, white mist.
“Aeden?” she called, combing back through the branches. There was no sign of any restaurant or city, only trees growing into shadowed forms in the coming dusk.
“Keep calm, there has to be a reason for this… Maybe there is a park next to the restaurant… Or in the restaurant?” she mumbled, knowing well there wasn’t, but having no explanation for her sudden appearance in this strange place.
The silence strained her ears.
“Aeden!” she called. He had been in the door behind her, but was nowhere to be seen… or heard.
The details of the world around her were lost to the fog, almost as if her head was trapped in a dreamy cloud of second-hand smoke.
“If there was a way in… there must be a way out,” she said. Perhaps there was someplace nearby to ask for help. Taking note of the place she had come she wandered through the brush, calling and searching for signs of anyone.
“Hello?” she called. There were signs of some civilization, but they were broken and old… yet the forest didn’t feel wild enough to have been very old.
Walking as far as she dared she called for someone, but heard nothing. The more she observed the scraps of wood and artifacts they appeared more like remains than ruins.
All the while the mist thickened.
A sharp, bitter, winter-like wind swept down between the trees.
Somewhere on the wind she heard a cry like that of a shrill crow mixed with a deep-throated roar.
The wind rushed past, and she hurried back to the place she entered. The sky was as blank as before, but growing darker.
She had to find her way back.
The only idea that made any sense was to walk back the way she came, as if she were still walking through the revolving door.
Starla took a deep breath and ran.