Go Beyond

Written by Teran McKinney
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Cellar Door

On my way to work, I pass by a forest filled with antique cars and furniture. It's hard to see from the outside, but its most notable feature is an old metal windmill. I've always been curious about the place.

I happened to pass it on my way back from dinner just recently. I had nothing else to do, and my need to be curious was heightened after a night of drab conversation. The place was far too interesting to pass up, so I parked my car, brought my camera, and hunted my way towards the lot of many trees filled with objects of another time.

The walk was fairly uneventful, simply avoiding awkward rocks and bits of mud off the side. It managed to rain the night before, in a rare fashion for San Antonio. Though a bit nervous of the unknown, I took a relatively confident stride forward. About forty feet out, I could really scope out what I had found. There were cars that my Grandfather could have built, old pianos, and even a few motorcycles laying to rust. It was an amazing sight that deserved capture in pictures, and subsequently on a decent blog... perhaps Jalopnik or something of the like.

It was fenced off for quite some way around, so I traversed the landscape towards an opening. Each step taking more note of the curved lines of the vintage cars, and wondering what they were. They looked American, likely from the late 30s or 40s. My vintage car identification skills were a bit off, but it didn't take much to appreciate their unique look. The opening I planned for had turned out to be a gate. Large enough for cars, with a dirt road precluding it. But rather, there were no tracks in the dirt. Maybe wiped away by the rain, but the area looked untouched in years and about as pristine as nature will allow.

The gate had a rusted chain lock on one side, with the other hinged. There were no signs regarding private property or trespassing, but I still felt nervous letting my curious urges take lead. The best way in looked to be over the gate, so I set out to hoist myself over it. My first attempt resulted in almost falling backwards, so I resorted to standing on an old pail to grant my arms an easier lifting position. This worked quite well, and I hopped over.

I'd seen glances of most everything by now, but on the inside the view was astounding. It looked like an outdoor museum; untouched by people for quite some time. I couldn't fathom how so many antiques were scattered about. They weren't junked when they were put here, so they certainly had some value. Perhaps stolen and waiting to be sold? I wasn't sure what the past intentions held. Nonetheless, I wanted to immerse myself in their awe and character for a while.

Notably, I could make out a few of the cars. I was shocked to find a BMW Isetta in the mix. A petite, supermicro car... I believe from the 50s or 60s. Very cute, but certainly awkward looking. It was more like a caged moped than a real car, though somehow the notion of driving it away felt more classy than the Starlet I drove in with. I saw a few paintings laid to rest in the dirt, with the images wiped clean from the harsh heat and occasional rain; I assumed some were once quite nice given their exotic brass frames.

A barn stood fairly square in the center of the compound. Or rather, it was like a barn; just a wooden, minimally reinforced structure at best. I walked over to its doors and gently creaked them open. The open doors revealed dirty wooden walls laden with a musty scent, various mallets on the wall, and evidence of what looked to be a pressurized painting system. I stepped inside, and a combination of gravity and misalignment pulled the door closed behind me. A cover lay spread over a slim-bodied car, and old paint buckets were stacked up against the far wall. I was amazed that it may actually have been kept preserved and wondered what the true nature of the machine might be. I fumbled at my camera bag and laid sights on the car through the camera. I popped open the flash, pressed the trigger button lightly for it to focus, and then down fully, taking the picture. I backed out from the viewfinder to review the picture on the more comfortable LCD. I noted that the picture was well-colored and in focus, so I directed the camera towards the opposite wall. Taking the picture, I could tell that the white light of the camera flash had washed itself onto something quite reflective, but I wasn't sure what. I pulled my face back from the camera to find two blueish dots on a horizontal plane beaming back at me. Without thinking twice, I screamed and dropped the camera, knowing what those dots must be. I heard creaks and groans coming from that side of the barn, and proceeded to dart out the barn door. But, it wouldn't budge.

I didn't have time to consider why something rickety as this old barn could somehow trap me inside. I sidestepped to the next door and shoved. It creaked, but did not budge in return. An old window off to the side looked to be my only escape. Fear left me and I darted for the cross-sectioned window. It looked just large enough to get through. I heard steps behind me, but did not want to look back. I took a running jump at the window, hoping to emulate what I'd seen in many action movies. I aimed towards the middle cross-section of the window, desiring the best. There was a thud and a creak, followed by rebounding backwards onto the floor. I felt embarrassed, and most of all afraid. The pain of the sharp landing was muffled by my adrenaline, so I quickly got back up to my feet, still facing the window. My eyes flittered across the wall, looking for a way out. My breathing was heavy and overbearing. I tried to think, but couldn't. My only options were innately understood when I looked at options for escape along the wall. But, I didn't have long. Any second and the mysterious figure behind me would probably shoot, stab, or pummel me to death. I had to get out, no matter what.

This situation could have been avoided if I had someone nice and cute to date, keeping me from exploring dangerous places in Texas. Surely, if I could see you on occasion, I'd have better things to do than tempt fate. Not that I do anything like this all that often, but a good measure of safety is a good thing, right?

If you like, write me back with a subject of 'Cellar door is a beautiful word'."




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