Blake is having a bad day. He not only lost his job as a deli-worker an hour ago but when he went back to his apartment, he gets evicted due to black mould growing in the walls. He’s got no one to go to and no prospects. Now he is sitting in a used bookstore called “The Next Page” having a cup of coffee with the last $2.00 to his name. He shakes his head, puts his hand to his forehead and sighs. Desperate, alone, and depressed, he doesn’t know what he is going to do.
As he is about to stand and leave, Blake sees this little black book in front of him on the coffee table. “What the hell?” He whispers to himself. It wasn’t there before so why is it here now? Blake picks it up and starts flipping through the book to see who it belongs to. What he gets is even more confusing.
Inside this book is a bunch of symbols, letters, and numbers in gibberish. It’s in a language that he or anyone could never understand. Still, he continues to search for anything he could possibly use. Luckily, on one page, Blake finds in the bottom right-hand corner what could be an address. “813 17 AVE.” Knowing that he has nothing better to do, Blake decides to jump on the bus. At least, no one can take away his monthly bus pass.
Once he reaches the address, Blake finds himself outside of a bar called “Fire/Ice.” He guesses that someone who works for or at least frequents there is the owner of this mysterious book. When he walks inside, he is greeted with the most unusual atmosphere. The smells of sweet smouldering flavors fill the air but there is no smoke to be seen. By the look of the hookahs in the corner, its obvious that the smoking doesn’t start until later in the day. The rest of the place reminds him of a spaceship. There are bubble-like blue lights all along the walls with red lights shining on the floor, tables, and the paisley designed ceiling. It blows his mind.
A big man walks out from the back room while looking at some sheets of paper. He turns his head up and looks at Blake. “Are you here for the interview?”
“Um, no. I found this black book and I wondered if you knew who it belongs to.” Blake answers.
“Why would I know that?” The man says in a snarky manner.
“Because your address is in it.”
The man sighs and gestures Blake to come forward. He does so and hands him the book. The man shakes his head as he flips through it. Clearly, he can’t understand it either. The man rolls his eyes, slams the tiny tome on the bar, and walks back into the room he came out of. Blake hears the man mutter to himself about this being a big joke. Blake groans, takes the black book back, and leaves the bar only to see the advertisement for a new chef is needed.
Blake shrugs his shoulders and walks away from the establishment. So now what? He turns and looks around the area. There is nothing special about this neighborhood. It seems so ordinary. Until he sees it. There is a plaque that says “813” on a building. He jogs over to the doorway under the plaque and tries to open the door. Sadly, it is locked. He looks around and finds a copper mailbox with the letters LBB on it.
“Like little black book.” He thinks to himself.
Curious, Blake opens the mailbox and finds an envelope with an odd diamond-like symbol that he has seen in this little book. He opens the letter and finds to his surprise that it is actually in English and concise. It reads;
“Hello wary traveler. To find the owner of that miniature dark book your carrying, go where the big head sculpture resides. Wait inside for further instructions.”
Well, that’s unmistakeable. The only big giant head sculpture is downtown close to the Centre Street Bridge. Ready to move on, he waits for the bus that goes in the direction he needs to go. Hopefully, he will find out what is going on.
Downtown, inside the big giant head, Blake paces inside there for at least 20 minutes. He is starting to get bored waiting for whomever it is to give him additional directions. He gets annoyed because he knows he should be doing something better than this but then he reminds himself. He’s got nothing to do and nowhere to go. So, he calms himself down and makes a decision to sit on the ground inside of the head.
Maybe he should take up mediation. At his job they told him he isn’t mindful enough. It might help to try that now. So, he takes a deep breath in, slowly closes his eyes, and releases the breath. He only does this for a few seconds before he opens his eyes again.
Something changes. He looks up at the face and sees it moving slightly as if it is studying him. The eyelids, look like they open up and the mouth quirks into a slight smile. Blake closes his eyes and takes a long blink. He opens his eyes again and sees this face smiling at him with its teeth showing. He finds himself shaking in fear.
“Look down.” It says in a booming voice. “Look down.”
He looks around and no one can hear what is happening to him. The people are just walking along and going on with their lives. The face’s eyelids look down and the smile closes. Blake looks down on his lap where the little black book sits only to find it replaced by a cheque for $20,000. He picks up the cheque and studies it. It looks like the real deal but there is no way that it could be. Could it?
Blake looks back up at the face and sees how it was when he first saw it. Nothing unusual or different, just static. He stands up and walks out of the giant head’s archway entrance. He looks at the cheque to see who made it out and he doesn’t recognize the name. The name is “Star Clan Serendipitous.” In English but still another thing that is complete nonsense. It doesn’t sound like a corporation or charity. “Star Clan.” Could that be aliens? After what he just experienced, that’s the only thing that would make sense despite his disbelief. And “Serendipitous.” Does that mean they did it for no reason? Perhaps he will never know. Never-the-less, Blake heads in the direction of his bank to see what happens.
Blake leaves the bank more mystified than ever. The cheque is not only legitimate but he now has gone from flat broke to financially comfortable in one afternoon. Putting a hand through his hair, he realizes that now he has some decisions to make. Like, what he is going to do now.
He can certainly apply for that job at the Fire/Ice bar. Find a new place close by, nothing fancy but functional for him and can put down a payment on it. From that he can go from there. A small smile spreads on his face because it has finally hit him. For the first time all day, he believes that everything is going to be okay.
Special Thanks to:
The Next Page : For great books and a cool atmosphere - 1217A 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S9, https://www.nextpageyyc.ca/
Fire N' Ice Bar and Sheesha Lounge : For being a fun and interesting place to be - 854 16 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B7 https://www.facebook.com/fireniceyyc/
The Wonderland Sculpture (Big Head) : For it's interactive art display. So awesome to explore. 110 6 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0G2