The Unknown Emporium
There are quite a few places that you can’t see when you walk past. Or maybe you just don’t notice them. The Unknown Emporium was like that.
Although, the unforgettable scent of exotic foods lingered in your nose. Although, the glittering lights turned on every evening at 18:00. Although, the sounds of jack-in-the boxes, lively birds chirping and the creepy music. Although, the dolls in the window beckon you inside whispering something sharply directly in your ear.
Still, no one ever heard, saw or even noticed the shop itself. No one would ever enter unless they believed. And the only person who did was a curious boy named William.
Chapter 1- Noticing the Emporium
Unlike anyone else in the town, William was a very mischievous boy who loved learning new things. One early morning, he decided to sneak out for fun. He was walking past the butchers when he noticed a splintering wooden door leading to a dark shop. “An emporium,” he whispered as he slowly opened the large, heavy door.
He stepped inside and gaped at the sight of nothing he’d ever seen in his life. The vast space around him seemed to hold various amounts of shelves with pretty much everything you could imagine. There were silver clocks that ticked and tocked repetitiously, tremendous toys that winded up and danced across the shelves, animals that howled and roared, household pets that barked, scampered and raced across the room and even a mysterious leather book that was covered in dust. After gazing around the shop in awe, feeling surprised and fascinated, William’s grin seemed to turn into an eager, interested face. The book’s title was The Unknown Emporium. The musty, yellow-brown pages were completely blank and on the front cover there was a miniature clock built into it. There were different dates leading all around the circle. It started with the year 1111 and travelled randomly through the years until it reached the word present. In the centre of the clock was an arrow pointing to the word present. William’s hand was already touching the arrow, ready to turn it, until an eerie murmur came from a creepy, dark corridor in the corner.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” breathed the voice. William’s head immediately spun around to see a tall man in a torn suit and tie with a top hat and a jet-black cat by his side. Both of their emerald eyes never left his. The cat snarled at him disapprovingly, but the man began to speak some more. “Nobody ever comes in here, I guess you did notice our Emporium then,” he admitted “you do know that you’ll enjoy it, there’s no doubt, go in and never come out…” He cocked his head towards the book where it said the exact same thing on the front cover. William gasped and he felt himself walking backwards. The man’s black cat started creeping towards him and the shop owner’s smirk grew bigger and bigger and bigger.