AN: I am so tempted to write out a detailed account of all the ways I am the personification of writer's block but I'll just keep it short and sweet. Reviews are appreciated and, who knows, might just help me get off my ass (figuratively) and put something out there for once. Let me know what you think.


It was as if she was meant to see it. There was no other explanation for why so little a thing caught her eye so insistently. It wasn't even a thing really, there was no actual object that was moving, there was just... movement in the alley behind Tino's (authentic Italian!) Bar and Grille. It wasn't even the kind of movement you think you see out of the corner of your eye but when you look there's nothing there, she was staring directly into the space in front of the restaurant's dumpster now and she still couldn't deny that the air was moving. It was like nothing she'd ever seen, every attempt at explaining what it might be seemed so completely wrong she couldn't even pretend to entertain it. It wasn't steam, it wasn't a gas leak, it wasn't a mirage, and she wasn't crazy.

Glancing around her once, everything and everyone passing by looked exceedingly ordinary, nothing even remotely indicated that she might be seeing things, and when she looked back it was still there. As she watched, a filthy piece of newspaper fluttered upward until it came unstuck from the grimy cement under the gap in the dumpster's wheels and floated toward the shifting spot, which seemed to catch it and make it ripple and dance to the same wavy rhythm as the air.

She truly couldn't have stopped herself if she'd tried. Her body felt almost like a foreign entity as it walked her slowly, casually into the alley. She wasn't really dumbstruck per se, her wits were about her and she hesitated for a moment as she felt the air shift on the edge of the anomaly. She waited, testing to see if she began to feel ill. The idea of a gas leak, while still unbelievable, seemed like the most reasonable possibility. But she felt nothing, no dizziness or headache came on and her curiosity only increased. By the time she had reached the dumpster the movement had shifted further back, now floating in front of the bricks of the far wall. The thought crossed some far away part of her mind that something electromagnetic or otherwise damaging to electronics could be involved somehow and she let her purse with her phone in it slide off her shoulder, falling into her elbow and then to her hand before she swung it away to land on the side of the dumpster hidden from the street.

As she finally approached the wall and breached what she could only think of as the 'surface' of whatever it was, the air around her grew sweet and warm, the stink of the garbage she hadn't even noticed before was suddenly notably absent and she felt the muscles of her shoulders and face relax as she took in a breath deeper than she felt she had taken in years. Her eyes drifted closed as she exhaled, and she reached out a hand to brace herself against the bricks of the wall as she let herself tip gently forward. But there was no wall to catch her and she stumbled instead, her shoes making a distinctly different noise than they had a moment ago as they scuffed against a new surface.

Her eyes opened almost reluctantly and she realized she was still drifting in whatever gentle peace had overtaken her. This was possibly the reason for her complete lack of panic as she saw that she was surrounded now by quaint wooden structures lining a deserted cobblestone road that turned away to the left and right of her, instead of dingy, once-red bricks lining garbage carpeted cement and opening onto a noisy city street. Her continued peace of mind when she glanced behind her to see more simple wooden walls and the same odd ripple swirling in the air just before it disappeared, seeming to simply disperse and re-assimilate into the surrounding atmosphere. She still didn't feel dizzy, she noted, nor like she had been drugged or was having trouble thinking. She simply didn't care that she now had no idea where she was or the logistics of how she had actually arrived here. As she picked a direction and began to wander curiously down the cobblestone road, she wondered vaguely to herself if her apathy was an effect of the anomaly itself or because, thinking about it, she was truly leaving nothing of any worth behind.