As a patrolman, Sally Street tops the list of my favorites, there’s something ‘chill’ about the air there; it feels less like patrolling and more like I’m taking a stroll.
After walking through streets like Perry Don and Day, infamous for theft and burglary, Sally Street is quite an ideal place for whistling and humming Bob Dylan’s hits; anyways “Nobody sings Dylan like Dylan”.
Late one night while I was still patrolling on the Sally Street, I heard faint noises coming from a shop at the corner of the street. I went to check and found out it was one tailoring shop by the name ‘Ken and Tyler’. The shop was small and dimly lit, and though I was standing at its entrance, the noises foxed me, still.
I’d almost got into the shop when a lanky man having a hippie beard stepped out and stood before me. I looked at him suspiciously then began in a stern voice-
“What’s goin’ on in there sonny? It’s time… you chaps should shut down.”
“Oh nothin’ serious officer,” said the lanky man in a ‘thin’ voice, “It’s just me and my brother Tyler, we’re wrapping. You wanna’ come in and take a look? We’ll be more than pleased to assist.”
I nodded and he stood aside leaving the entrance door, I looked at him, there was a hint of smile on his face; I stepped in, anyways. Soon I found myself walking on a long-dusty carpet spread out on a narrow passageway.
“The light’s weak, I couldn’t see. I could use my torch, I think,” I said to the lanky man.
“Sure, sir. But it’s fairly bright inside,” he replied.
I took out my torch and pushed the power button, to my surprise, it didn’t light the thing. I pushed it several times with no success then turned back, the lanky man had disappeared.
Now, a sensible man would’ve run away in such a situation but I was a cop and I’d a reputation to live up to, so I continued to walk slowly towards a, now visible, wooden door. I reached the door and quite reluctantly, knocked; the door opened, almost mechanically, and there stood the lanky man.
I asked him where he disappeared but he didn’t say a word, he just kept scratching his beard. It was then that I noticed his hair had grey streaks, they weren’t there before. He gestured me to get in.
I was sure there was something mysterious going on in the tailor shop, so I entered the room.
“You must be Tyler… so you folks are twins, huh?” I said.
The lanky man nodded as he took me through the small room into a bigger room inside, it was brightly lit. “You see these fabrics officer… They’re imported, from India…from Spain…from the Oceania…you name it,” he said as I goggled at the many-colored fabrics lined in shelves of large wooden cabinets.
He walked to one of these cabinets and brought back a livid fabric from one of the shelves. “Ken, my brother whom you met outside, wanted me to hand you over this fabric…” Before I could’ve asked questions like ‘What for?’ and ‘Where the hell did Ken disappear?’ Tyler went out of the room.
The very next moment Ken appeared from behind a desk, standing at the farthest corner of the room.
He stared at me and said, “hey, officer hand me over that fabric Tyler gave you, will you…I think that’ll make a good shroud for you, what say?” I held my pistol at him and began ambling towards him, keeping a keen eye on his movements.
I didn’t turn around. I kept moving towards Ken with short steps. I’d almost approached the desk behind which Ken was standing, when something touched my shoulder, making a faint grunt. I turned, startled, to find a room full of flying fabrics, roaming in the air as if they were lifeless cadavers brought back to life; it was one of those fabrics that’d touched me.
I tried to hop away from the fabric but it coiled itself around my wrist and brought me down. Ken walked towards me, coming out from behind the desk as I struggled with the fabric that was tightening its grip. “Get this thing away from me, you freak!” I growled at Ken.
“Oh, of course I will, officer,” said Ken as he held the fabric gently from its free end. Its grip began to loosen around my wrist and soon it went flying up to the ceiling away from my hand, to join its fellow fabrics.
I got on my foot and saw something lying by my side; it was shimmering. It was the fabric that Tyler had given me; it’d something written on it. I tried to reach for it but Ken stood before me, he said, “That fabric belongs to us brothers officer, you better don’t touch it…”
I pointed my pistol at Ken, who looked at the thing and laughed hysterically. He then snapped his fingers and my pistol turned into a ball of threads.
I stepped back in fright when my eyes fell upon the shimmering fabric.
“LIGHT YOUR TORCH”, read the words on it. “You see officer,” Ken began “These fabrics that you see floating around were actually shrouds of people from around the world…we wove souls into them. Once the soul is woven into these shrouds…they no longer remain white… they change colors…they become alive…”
“So that’s what you need me for, huh…” I said.
I slowly slipped my hand under my jacket to get the torch. “Ken, though it’s quite bright here…I think you could still use a lil’ light.”
No sooner did the wicked tailor realize than I held my torch at him and pushed the power button. It lit, this time.
The moment I lit the torch, the entire room around me began to subsume into its light.
“Officer, you alright!?”
I turned to see it was a lanky man with a hippie beard; he had grey streaks on his hair. It was Tyler, and we were at the same passageway through which I’d come in. The room was no longer there.
“Ken died two years ago, in an accident; his ghost keeps torturing random people who pass by the shop,” Tyler told me.