Book II Chapter 21: Delicacies of the Mind
Doctor Dreamscar slipped into the restaurant from the front door, carefully avoiding trodding upon a nearby surveillance varanius as he made his way into the grand hall, offering a wam smile and courteous wave of the hand to his patrons.
He paused to examine the Adephagius fountain, carefully rubbing off a tiny spot of dirt with his thumb before continuing across the floor, around the fancy tables and diners, past the front desk and kitchens to stand before the door.
Someone always glanced up when he arrived at this particular portal; some curious mind aching for even the barest glimpse at what lay beyond it, unknown to all eyes but his own, and those who served him with some measure of loyalty.
Adjusting his monocle upon his eye, he slipped a hand into his fine white suit and withdrew a box of cigars, lighting one and taking a leisurely pull as he closed his eyes and watched a room that believed him lost in thought.
His patrons gazed up at his back, up at the great metal door with eager, hungry eyes; some leaned closer to companions to direct their attention there, to whisper theories of what someone could possibly want guarded so well within the basement of a top-rate restaurant.
With no hints of what could be down there beyond the apparent value or danger involved in it, one's mind was free to wander uninhibited, dreaming up the most complex and delicious conspiracies one could concoct.
Was it a simple food preparation facility, a series of meeting rooms, perhaps?
Or something more sinister, something full of massive gears and pulleys and big red buttons that aught not to be pushed Or Else, something full of rows and rows of cages where victims, some aware of their impending fates, others more lucky, awaited their turn to adorn someone's plate?
Nefirian wet his lips and grinned, expelling a swirling cloud of cherry-scented smoke before unlocking the door and swinging it slowly open, taunting, teasing, holding it steady with the toe of his shoe.
Imagine, he thought, reveling for one final moment in the energy building within their eager, curious minds.
Imagine...what business might a fellow conduct beneath a restaurant?
A faint, fleeting scent, coppery and wet, with a hint of something that smelt unmistakably arcane, mixed with the heady fragrance of his cigar as he slid, slow and deliberate, into the door with a logo of four intertwined roses beneath an eye etched into the back side--
The side that few ever saw.
Next Chapter: Book II Chapter XXII
Category: Book II | Story