It had to be a mechanism to enter a secret place. It was impossible, given that his eye was drawn to it, that it would not let him pass through a secret door. He had these intuitive feelings. They were a problem, really. They were often so hard to check out. There he’d be, visiting Whitehorse, and he’d get this sense that he was passing over an installation, a facility. How to get in? Why get in? Except to prove that he wasn’t mad.
He took another look at the parking meter. The code that determined the cost of parking was a complex algorithm. Unlikely. Perhaps with the input of numbers from a codex, one could open the door, wherever the door was. There was a bench nearby: He decided to wait and watch and see if anything unusual happened.
Nothing seemed to. The people that passed occasionally used the meter then went on their way. No-one came with the sort of scanning look he expected. He didn’t want to be paranoid. He didn’t want to be delusional. But part of him… part of him deeply suspected that he was.
He’d have to pick another way to work. It was getting troublesome. There were only so many reasonable ways to travel through Vancouver. Every so often he’d uncover another unavoidable secret, and he knew that he couldn’t indulge his obsession. He’d spent the time gawping at strangers, wondering if it was CSIS or some other protective force; maybe it was a malevolent conspiracy, but it didn’t feel that way. Secret but not diabolical. Doorways, passageways, lurking out of sight.
A few years later, he visited Rome. He didn’t know about the legends, know about the murmured secrets that told of experiences just like is, that in a few key places, something deeply magical and deeply disturbing hid. Not good. Not evil. But powerful. And in Rome, there stood a door. The door would look different to anyone who could see it, and it would be the door that as a child they passed daily and never saw open, never entered. This door, in Rome, could not be opened either. But when he entered Rome, he saw the door, and his desperation, his many years of hoping against hope that he wasn’t losing everything, and he tried to open it. His head hurt more than he could imagine. He collapsed to his knees, and didn’t notice himself vomiting as, for him, the haemorrhage was not the key event. The key event was a glimpse of an open door. The door led to a corridor, that connected to all the secret places he had sensed. He had never been mad. It was all real.