Joey returned the man’s gaze; it wasn’t that he was afraid, but something about the unwavering stare and the uncompromising stance of the cigar-smoking man made him slightly wary, framed as he was by the double-leaf doorway in an otherwise blank-faced building, like the gate-keeper to a secret world.
Glancing back into the alleyway, Joey saw that the five strange little men were now huddled together; although he couldn’t make out what they were muttering, by the way they were wildly gesticulating it was apparent that they were arguing amongst themselves. He wondered if he could somehow slip past them, it was either that or face the strangely intimidating man on the other side of the wall; Joey made his decision and eased himself down into the yard below.
Whilst Joey had been concentrating on his descent, the doors to the blank-faced building had closed; Joey jogged across the empty yard, the only sign that someone had been standing in the doorway was the still-smouldering cigar butt on the ground. Beyond the peeling wood, the strum of a rhythm guitar and the boom of a steady blues beat echoed inside the building.
Drawn to the music, Joey gripped the door-handle.
Written in response to two challenges:
Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪