“Pay Here,” the sign insisted, and Gillian knew it to be an irresistible truth. Everyone who approached this brutalist monolith would pay, one way or another. For her, the call had come before sunrise. A hammering on the door, a blank faced man holding an envelope. She was called for an audience and refusal would bring its own price.
The former County Hotel was once the temporary lodging for tourists, visitors, the other dislocated. When it had all fallen apart, the Prime Minister resigning, the power grid failing, a few had seized the opportunity to take control. Petty lords of petty fiefdoms. This was their court. A concrete and glass testament to authority.
Gillian weaved between parked cars. Though they would never move again, someone had taken the time to keep them clean. The illusion was disconcerting, took her back to a time before. The nostalgia disintegrated as the mass of reality crashed back down. A leather-clad thug scowled at her from the entrance, a shabby set of double doors.
“Who are you?” he grunted.
“Gillian Dawes,” she whispered, “I received a summons.” He stepped aside, punched the button to open the door. She crossed the threshold into darkness.
Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction.
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