I went into the supermarket today just like normal. But when I got inside the doorway, it didn't feel like normal. I looked around, puzzled. Everything looked normal, it just didn't feel the same. There were some people at the checkout, others gathered round the latest bargains, deciding whether two for £5 for better quality cheese than usual is really worth having, others collecting a basket. Nothing was out of order... but I still didn't feel right.
On an impulse, I left. I put back the trolley back in the park and headed down the road. But where I should have gone straight, I took the road on the left, where the delivery lorries went, squeezing through the entrance like a fat man holding in his stomach as he pushes towards the only empty seat in the cinema. The road sloped down, leading to a secret world underground. Suddenly, the road opened out into a bay, filled with bins, some for card, some for glass, rows and rows of them. There was a smell of oil over everything, that blended with the acrid smell of the food bins to attack the back of your throat like it was being rubbed with the blade of a blunt, rusty knife. The bay was murky like the windows of a London bus. Looking back on it now, I must have been in a trance or something, because I don't know what made me go further.
I got to the far end, where there were big metal doors going from floor to the roof ten, twelve, fifteen feet up. I turned to see where I had come, and could dimly see the light at the entrance. Suddenly, a bang made me jump out of my skin. I spun round, expecting the doors to fly open and a lorry to come out. Or something worse. Instead, the echoes just died to nothingness, and then it was silent again. Then again: this time a rumble, like a train going past your ear. I looked around nervously, trying to locate where it had come from, but it was so loud that the echoes were disorientating. There were some chutes at the side, but nothing came in or out of them. There was something around me, in the gloom, a monster of JCB proportions, possibly alive, possibly another machine. Behind the doors? Behind one of the rows of bins? Maybe it was at the entrance, trapping me inside? Or even in the chutes. The next sound was a squeak, or it could have been a scream. It was certainly closer. It was accompanied by the loudest bang yet. Finally then I saw it...
That evening I found myself on my bed, still shaking, shuddering as the memory replayed again and again. I had a cup of tea, then a whole pot, and finally I could sleep. It was three forty-five in the morning. Maybe tomorrow will be better, and I can get my shopping.