What A Space

The front of the building had a small stoop with a large oak door that had two windows inlaid into it. The whole building was made out of dark red colored brick in the style you might see in upper Manhattan. Large bay windows protruded from the front of the house on the bottom floor and floor to ceiling windows stamped the second and third floor. An oak tree rested its limbs among the side of the building which was only a few feet from the broken down and rotting corpses of another building.

Emily looked up at the building from the side walk. The day was nice and crisp and her feet had taken her to the bottom of the steps of this building. the neighborhood wasn’t the greatest. Most of the buildings were rotting away, condemned and waiting to be demolished and rebuilt. Gentrified they said. This building stood pristine in a world of blame and suffering. She had walked by most days on her way to school, but never once stopped to take a look at it.

A sign was hanging from the ceiling just before the door.

“A place for you always, music school of music. Among other things”

Clutched at her side was a saxophone. She was in band and music gave her something to strive for. The saxophone had become her unfitted partner. Not by choice. Her teacher ran out of all the other instruments when she had moved in. The saxophone was all that was left in the band room. So she took it up and it delighted her. She thought she wanted to play the flute.

The town did not have any music shops, or so she thought. Now in front of her was a music school? One that she had walked by almost everyday for the last three months?

She moved up the steps with her trusty sax at hand. If worst came to worst, it would defend her. A sign on the door told her to come in. she did.

The air was warm and smelled of cinnamon. Their was a haze that seemed to float through the air. Inside was well lit, but not to bright. The ceilings were tall, Victorian accents on all corners and soft dark brown wood floor creaked under her feet. She stepped forward into the foray. To her right was the large room with the windows. It had a grand piano that sat in the out cove and a couch that sat peering at it. Past that was a bar with some seats sprawled around. large book cases cascaded up the walls all around the bar with some small plants hanging from hooks from the ceilings.

A man stepped out from the back of the long room and weaved though love seats and tables greeting her with a big smile and hearty laugh.
His face was old and jolly, covered in white hair, a large beard drooped down his front and white hair splayed out from his head. He was like a casual Santa Claus.

“Welcome, Welcome!” He Knelt down to be eye level with her “Have you come to practice? i see you have a friend with you”

“Yeah, I saw the sign, this is a music school? Among other things?” Emily asked furrowing her brow.

The man gave a laugh “Of course, what else could this place be? The name is Jell, like jelly, but with out the e, and you are?”

Emily was a bit apprehensive, but she was the one that came into the shop “Emily” she shook is hand.

“Pleasure to meet you Emily. We have lots of practice rooms upstairs, some pretty wicked good teachers here and all the beverages you could need, plus some delicious sweets. Come on, let me show you.”

Jell turned then walk to the left to a large stair that curved to the second floor. A red carpet runner ran up the stairs with the wood exposed at the ends. Emily hefted her saxophone up and after him. As they reached the upstairs she could see the high ceilings continued and the hallways stretch in both directions. Rows and rows of doors with frosted windows for each room lined the hallway. Each door was tall and large, made out of thick black wood. A number in brass hung in the middle and the door handle was a thick bronze ball with etchings in it. Jell led her to room three and opened the door.

The room was large in all directions. To the right as she entered, floor to ceiling windows showed the streets that she had entered from, which should be impossible. This room was flanked by two others. A large tree sat in the corner of the room, and everything one would need to compose music sat organized next to a large shelf. To the left was a large carpeted area with a couch and table. A fully stocked beverage bar sat next to it. Water, lemonade, hot chocolate and a few plates of biscuits sat on a black wooden counter. The room was a cream color, like a latte, the walls had music notes made out of metal hung and sheets of music made out of plaster waved around. It was the perfect temperature, it melted all her stress away as soon as she stepped inside. She turned to Jell, who like her, was admiring the room.

“Jell, this is really nice, but I don’t really have any money, I was just curious about this place”

“Ah money, the thing that always comes up first, the worry that stamps in the face of all dreams. I wouldn’t worry about money for this place. It’s on the house”

Emily looked at him with a skeptic face “I don’t think that’s how it works, eeeeverything costs something”

Jell scratched his heard “Well, I guess you might be right young lady. The cost is that of one smile. fake or real”

Emily smiled bright, but returned to a frown immediately “How am I able to see the outside from this window, are you a smile harvester”

“What is that?”

“A monster that captures children and harvests their smiles for power”

Jell stared at her wide eyed “Boy, is that what you kids are into nowadays, goodness, no”

“Well, I’m going to keep my eye on you” Emily closed one eye and moved in with the other.

Jell threw up his hands and moved towards the door “that would be fine, enjoy your time here Emily, stay as long as you would like.”

With that Jell exited the room and Emily was left alone. The whole space seemed to radiate warmth and positivity. She moved over to a small chair that sat near the windows. The outside sun shined in and the trees waved at her through the large glass. She set her saxophone on the ground and went over to the wall and grabbed a music stand and a small cup of water.

As she opened the case and grabbed her saxophone a surge of energy passed through her. Music seemed to be coming to her even before opening her music book. She assemble, and as if in a trance started playing.

The notes flowed endlessly.

Her breathe rose and fell like waves crashing into symphonies.

Her fingers danced,fluttered and skipped around the keys.

Her eyes closed and the notes appeared in all her other senses.

She was lost in a river of music. Floating down the bars, around majors and minors, rising with the crescendo and crashing with the Decrescendo.

Emily closed the door behind her and re-entered the hallway. It was quiet. Could there be people playing instruments behind each of these doors? She looked back to door one and two, which were past her room. How did they get the window to her room?

She shook off the questions and slunk down the stairs to the main foray. She crept towards the door trying not to alert anyone. Her head had been filled with music for the last couple of hours, her parents were probably worried and the warming silence was a welcome for the moment.

“Emily, how was your time here?” She heard Jell speak in a low voice. Like he was trying to match her stance.

She turned on her heels and looked back at him. He was standing behind the small bar, smiling and polishing a coffee mug.

She couldn’t help the smile which burst from her face “It was incredible. I have never felt anything like it before. The music just - “


“Yes” she nodded rapidly “How?”

Jell just shrugged his shoulders “Well come back anytime. You are always welcome”

Emily gave a confused look, but didn’t want to bother him anymore. She turned and left the house.

The sun was still shining and the breeze wisped across her face as she return to the street and turned to look at the front of the building. It looked the same as it was when she entered. She couldn’t see anyone in the window, but it sort of looked like the room she had been in. She pulled her phone out of her pocket anxious about the time.

The time read the same time as she had entered the building. Emily check a bunch of apps and the Internet time to confirm. No time had passed.

Her eyes stared wide eyes at the house. A mix of fear and curiosity ran through her. What was this place?

Was it a paradise? or was it a something else?

What ever it was, it welcomed her with open arms.

This story made a couple of turns here and there. I really wanted it to have a super positive tone to it. Like the building would be a safe place for anyone to be in when they needed it. But as I thought of it and the character moved through, I started to ask questions, and in turn they started asking questions.

Could there be some more sinister going on? Did Emily just narrowly escape? Or did she really fine a magic door into another world?

In the end, it is just happiness. A slice of the world that allows one to be with their own magic in what ever they are trying to create.

I still have an idea for a happier more positive spin of this, but for now. This is what we have.