Suddenly the door creaked. A top hat became visible with it’s straightened bottom connected to short, orange hair. Soon a tall, curvy woman was inside the building and glanced at Erik with electric blue eyes outlined by long, thick lashes. She was a head taller than Erik and had to bend at the waist to fit through the door. She slide through the other door to stand in front of Erik on the outside of the building. The old man silently came behind her with a slight smirk on his face as he stopped by the front of the building with a hand in his pocket waiting for the woman to talk.
She smoothed her outfit as Erik continued to stare at her. Her top hat held a ribbon of forest green vines kept together only by a red rose. Tiny thorns played between the weaved rose stems.
The woman stood tall with straight, sharp shoulders as a bright red coat hung around her that reached down to her calves. Her coat looked military professional and it had a black lapel that thickened by her shoulders and had a classic tuxedo cut where it formed like an uneven M outwards. The tail of her coat met her skirt but they were only distant friends as the coattail lifted at every move she made, falling gently back.
Following the lines of her neck, a simple, black bowtie rested in a white collar. A corsetlike waistcoat wrapped around the dressy white shirt. The vest cut a deep V down her chest, showing half of the red buttons on her shirt. The bottom of the vest attached at her middle stomach to a pencil skirt that slipped down her thigh, an inch before her knee. Without a wrinkle present, the skirt had a slice down the side of her leg that was held together by straight, red lace in an x shaped, criss-cross pattern. Pinstriped leggings marched down the rest of her leg without waving a line of it and hid inside of high boots that looked like sassy combat boots.
The only skin shown was her face; the black cuffs of the jacket she wore lead to white silk gloves that laced between her fingers. The gloves would glide across the air like the wings of a dove whenever she waved her hand.
Seconds later, the woman was looking at Erik as he stared at her boots. With a silent and quick grace no one could explain, she twisted to the side and with a bow, words hit Erik like maple syrup.
“Welcome to Verona’s house of horrors.” It was the second time Erik had heard this phrase, once in his mind from reading and once out loud, but it wasn’t the words that put him in shock– it was the voice. The words rolled off her tongue in rich, sweet thickness. The letters of her words slurred perfectly together while at every word came a stern pause. If she had not been wearing the military-styled jacket, you would be able to sense her authority and strength in her words. Caused by her accent, she sometimes stretches out the endings of her words. The dynamics of her words are soothing and her voice is like a melody to a slow, rock song.
Erik caught himself and looked up at the face that spoke– a white complexion, red lipstick, white teeth, a tiny nose, and light, rosy cheeks and those blue eyes. Her orange hair formed a circle around her face and was cut like crescent moons, along with tiny bangs that hid her forehead.
The woman waved her arm upwards to herself and says, “I’m Tour Guide and this is Ticket Master.” She says Ticket Master’s name as she slides her heels to face him and lets her hand drop to point at him like she was showing off a prize. Bending her arm back up and staring at Ticket Master, she says “I don’t recognize you like this, Ticket Master.”
Looking down at himself at her words, he rubs his hand across his white shirt, and with a howl of a ‘ha!’ Ticket Master says, “Me neither!” Erik remembered the old man when Tour Guide brought him up, and brought his eyes to him. He hadn’t gotten their joke so he just looked at them smiling.
Erik began feeling like an outsider; he was alone this whole trip and at the end, no one was there to greet him except two old friends. Tour Guide soon turned back to Erik who was looking down and shuffling his foot.
“So, what is your name?”
“Why would it matter?” Erik continued looking down, “I don’t have a ticket anyways.”
“Well we’ve got to call you something.” Ticket Master said when he saw the sympathetic look on Tour Guide’s face.
“My name is Erik, with a K.” Ticket Master and Tour Guide both gawk at him, look at each other and then go into fits of laughter. Erik gives them a questioning glace and forgets about his feet.
“That’s worse than sissy!” Ticket Master wheezes.
Tour Guide giggles, “Bah! But you’re more like cuddle bear!”
“How could your mother call you that?!” Ticket Master and Tour Guide collect their breath back and calm down as they look contently at Erik like he had said the best joke in the world.
“Fine, we’ll call you Erik, if you like,” Tour Guide sighs; she felt terrible as she saw Erik’s mortified face. Unable to speak, Erik just stares and wishes he could just get away.