It was getting late. Usually, I'd be able to get my laundry washed and dried before nightfall.
Not that day
I got there far later than usual, thanks to being asked to work overtime in order to finish some dull and unimportant paperwork.
I complied, reluctantly, and then my whole schedule got thrown way off.
So that's why I found myself sitting there, waiting for the washing cycle to end, and wishing I could be enjoying a nice, hot dinner already.
That's when I saw it. At first, I was sure it was merely exhaustion getting the best of me, but there was no mistaking what my eyes were witnessing.
A guy had just crawled out one of the empty washing machines.
"What the hell?!" I screamed and jumped to my feet just as the guy cleaned off the dust off his jacket.
"You must be new here" The man stated, matter-of-factly, as if what had just happened was the most normal occurrence in the world.
"I happen to come here all the time!"
I protested, and couldn't really understand why I was taking offense at that detail instead of focusing on the fact that a grown man had just crawled out of an industrial-sized washing machine.
"After dark?" He inquired, his quizzical smirk making me hesitate at once.
"Well... no. Not really"
"Right. As I said, you're new here"
"I suppose I am..." I mumbled and peeked with curiosity into the washing machine's drum.
Much to my surprise, what I saw inside was anything but a damned drum!
A dark, ominous forest spread before my eyes. I turned to face the man, who chuckled amicably at my wide-eyed expression.
"At night, all these become doors. Perhaps there is someone quite irritated waiting for you to finish your washing cycle"
I began rushing all over the place, kneeling before every machine in the place and staring, much to my surprise, at different landscapes:
Deserts, jungles, mountains.
"Can... anyone use these?" I asked, still unable to fully comprehend any of this could be real.
He shrugged and looked around. There was no one there but the two of us.
"I don't see anyone here who'll stop you"
I blinked. Could it be that easy? I had spent the last few hours hating my monotonous job and my boring life, and here I had, a few inches away, the literal doors to adventure.
"Are you sure...?" Before I could finish my sentence, I noticed the man was no longer standing there. I was alone. Alone with the washing machines.
So I picked one. A valley sprinkled with small, white lilies, illuminated only by the dim light of a full moon. I took a deep breath and stepped into it, or rather, out onto it.
The breeze was warm and pleasant. The grass brushed against my ankles.
I closed the door behind me. I wondered what would happen if someone chose to do their laundry on that very washing machine.
I realized, though, I wasn't in much of a hurry to go back.