Tunnel Vision

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epimetheus 03/13/2018 (Tue) 15:02:51 #55572301

My father was a gambling addict. I never met him in any way that mattered, since he disappeared when I was about 2. The only thing I know about him is that he was a gambling addict. I don't even know what he looked like; my mom got rid of all of her photos of him before I was 5 since by that time she had found someone else (I'm not sure she and dad were too happy together in the first place).

I'm telling you this because something happened. Something I can't explain.

The other day, I was on the subway. I was exhausted, heading back to my apartment after a lecture. About halfway through the ride, I looked out the window. I don't know why I did - I normally don't, since there's nothing to see, but one moment I was on my phone, and the next I was staring through the glass.

As I looked, I realized something felt off. It's not like it was wrong, but like things were just a step left of normal. And then I saw it.

You know in JoJo's, the moment in Part 4 when Rohan is looking out the window of the bus while it's headed through the tunnel, and he sees the room that Highway Star (sorry, Highway Go Go) uses to lure its victims in? It was like that.

I saw a light, and very distinctly illuminated by the light was a door. I don't think anyone else saw it, and if they did they didn't react to it at all.

I tried to forget it, but for a week after the fact, I couldn't get it out of my head. So I planned an expedition. The next week, that route wasn't going to be running so maintenance could be done. I decided that on that Saturday I was going to gather some supplies and venture onto the tracks to see if I could find the door.

Needless to say, I did. After a couple hours of walking the tunnels, I found it. It had no label or plaque or anything, and there were two gas lanterns on other side. I grabbed the doorknob, but it wouldn't turn. I heard noise behind it, so there had to be people inside. I knocked, and suddenly I heard a click, so I tried the doorknob again. It worked this time.

It opened inwards, and inside was a cluster of sofas and tables, where people were drinking, playing cards, and rolling dice. It looked like a casino - of course, casinos aren't legal where I live. But there's got to be easier ways than building one in the subway tunnels, right?

I was willing to bet there were about 50 people there. More men than women, but there were still some women there. It was mostly folks a decade or two older than me, and they all seemed to be good friends. Someone's hand landed on my shoulder. "This your first time here, kid?" It startled me, but I looked back at the person who asked and nodded. I don't know how to describe his face - it wasn't anything special. Just a face.

"Well, let's get you introduced, then. What's your name, kid?" I told him my name, and he gave a slight nod. "Good name. You here lookin' for somethin'? Or just lookin' around?" I don't know what he meant by 'looking around', or by 'looking for something,' but I guess I was kind of looking for answers. "Looking for something." The man sighed and nodded again. "Aren't we all. Aren't we all."

"Well, if you wanna play, just ask around and see if there's a table with a free seat." I wasn't interested in playing or gambling, and I knew what was behind the door now, so I left. On the way back, it really didn't seem like the walk was as long as it had been on the way there.

So I had my answers. But I still couldn't get it out of my head - I had to go back, there was some itch I had to scratch. So I went back, and I played. And I went back. Again and again. I think I went about 10 times before I realized something was up.

One day, while I was playing poker with some of the others, I realized something. I had never seen anyone other than these 50-odd people in the casino. I had never seen anyone enter or leave. I had never not seen anyone.

I dropped my cards as I got a sudden rush of a headache. One of the guys I was playing with noticed and asked me if I was alright, so I looked up to say I was fine.

And then I saw his face. And I ran.

I sprinted out of the casino, and ran home as quickly as I could. And while I was running, a thousand questions burned a hole in my brain. Why were the trains never running when I wanted to go back? How had nobody seen me going to the casino? Why was there even a casino in the subway tunnels?

Why was he there? How did I recognize him? Why was I drawn to the casino?

Whoever it was, that man wasn't my father. At least not anymore. He was, but something had changed. And I don't know if I want to know what it was.

EDIT: I'm going back. I'll update you guys as soon as possible.

last edited: 03/15/2018 (795 days ago)

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