Today’s Friday Flash Fic is a picture I took last week in San Francisco. There’s this door on a street that’s just freaking awesome (there’s another right beside it that’s totally done in the same design of the snake-locked-door from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, too). Anyway, it’s a pretty awesome door, and doors make me think of one character now: Cole, from Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks. So, spoilers for that, since this takes place a few weeks after the events of the book.
Cole Tozer rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand, pushed his bedroom door open, and stepped onto a sidewalk.
He stared down at his bare feet, felt his ears pop, and allowed himself a count of three and a deep breath before looking back up again.
The sidewalk—and the entire street—was sloped at a pretty steep angle. Also, it was still light out, though the sun was low on the horizon when he finally spotted it at the bottom of the slope, out over the water.
He peered. It sure seemed to go on forever. Ocean, then. Which, given where the sun was…
“I am not in Ottawa,” Cole said.
The thing about accidental teleportation that no one told you about was how it was really, really annoying. Also, how had he even done it? He’d been practicing walking through doors with a blank mind for weeks now, and Lexa had been drilling him every weekend. It was practically an unconscious habit now.
Cole slid his hands into his pockets. That was another whole life adjustment since the whole teleportation thing had begun. He slept in sweatpants and t-shirts now. And, given the sidewalk under his bare feet, he was starting to consider socks, if not shoes.
Add it to the list.
He grinned, imaging his mother seeing him with shoes on in his bed. Not likely to fly.
Also, I am totally not freaking out, Cole thought. This is major progress.
Then he remembered he’d just teleported somewhere without thinking about anywhere, and the whole freaking out thing decided to give Cher a run for her money on the whole comeback thing.
What had happened?
He’d been asleep, and, okay, totally embarrassing to admit, but he’d been having a super-childish nightmare about a monster chasing him through endless doorways no matter how far he teleported—one did not need to page his therapist to understand the root of this particular dream, what with basically having lived through figuratively that a few weeks ago—but he hadn’t been concentrating on a place when he’d tried to go get some water, he’d been thinking about the dream.
Dreams weren’t a real place.
Cole sighed. Maybe this was a prodigy thing? Lexa kept calling him that: a prodigy. He was, apparently, a class-A teleporter. Only Lexa called them muses. He was a grade-A muse.
He was not, however, currently a-mused.
Cole grinned. He’d have to remember that one for later, for Malik. Malik liked puns. Or, he liked to make him stop making puns by kissing him. So, y’know, double-win.
Okay, either way, he should go home. Yes, it was weird he’d gone somewhere without really thinking about it, but he should go home. Maybe the door he’d come through was unlocked. He turned around.
“Ah,” Cole said. Now it all made sense.
It wasn’t a door exactly, more like a gate, but it had something in common with what Cole had been thinking about when he’d left his bedroom. His nightmare. Made from pieces of shiny and polished bronze or brass or tin or whatever, hundreds of pieces of metal welded together covered the front of the gated door and formed a giant dragon.
It was actually pretty kickass, if you stopped to admire it. The long neck actually had scales. There were super long braided horns of varying sizes on its head, and the dragon had a mane of darker, wickedly spiked twists of metal down its back.
It really did look like the dragon-worm-thing that had been chasing him in his nightmare.
It was also something he’d never seen before, he was sure of it. Stuff like giant dragon doors was the sort of thing that would stick, right?
Cole tried the gate. Locked. Of course.
He eyed he street up and down, shrugged, and chose down because he was tired and grumpy and surely somewhere along this street there would be a door that wasn’t locked and he could teleport his tired un-a-mused butt back home.
It wasn’t until he got to the bottom of the street that he found a café, and that was when he found out where he was.
Okay. That was pretty cool, nightmare or not.
He eyed the sign in the door. No shirt, no shoes, no service.
“No problem,” Cole said, and opened the door.