Dusky old books
With a heavy sigh, you push against the rusty handle of the door. This place is your only lead on getting home. Besides, if it seems too sketchy, you can always duck right back out.
Even before getting a look inside, a dusky smell almost pushes you away from the door. It’s an odd mix between old books and nose burning stench. Resisting the urge to plug your overly sensitive reptilian nostrils, you tentatively take a step inside the building.
The look of the place is better than the smell. The black curtains actually had swirling blue and yellow patterns on the inside, giving them some life. The place was definitely messy with books and papers stacked on various shelves and desks around the room, but it looked like it could be an organized mess to someone who was used to it. Surprisingly enough, this place felt more like someone’s basement than a store.
A bell had rung when you walked in, yet no one could be seen at first. After perhaps a minute or so, you start nervously walking toward a big desk toward the back of the room. This was the only one with chairs by it, so you figured it must be the one where most business was conducted.
As you walk closer to the desk, you notice a little note on it. It reads "Please take a seat". Seeing no harm, you plop down in the red chair facing the desk. Another minute or so goes by before you hear a faint voice and a shuffling of some kind of feet. Finally, a door near the back corner of the room opens up, making you jump a bit. A large and beautiful creature emerges, but it’s one you’re not quite familiar with. It has the head of a human, but its body is replaced with that of a lion. Whatever it is, it definitely looks like some sort of mythical beast.
"Greetings!" The creature trills, stretching out its front paw to give you a little bow. "Lost look in your eyes, confused aura, tail dragging in the dirt, I've seen it all before. You got switched, didn't you boy?"
Whatever this thing was, it definitely knew what the problem was. "I… Yes. Yes I did. And I really have to get home" You say, words almost falling over each other as you try to speak.
With a wave of its tail, the lion man chuckles. "Slow down and take a deep breath. I'm sure you've been through a lot today." Pouring a strange liquid into a glass, he continues "I can help you most certainly, but there is only one creature that can switch back to its original body in this place. And that would be a sphinx like me."
A sphinx, huh… So that’s what he is. "How do I turn into one?" You ask almost a bit too eagerly.
"Well I can do it easily, but only in reward for something you can do for me." The creature smirks, giving you a sly look from across the table. "I need something of mine… reacquired… from certain people around this part of town. You interested?"
Written by Zorpix on 23 December 2014
The end (for now)