In which a premise is introduced, but not resolved.
I knocked on the large, wooden door and waited. Eventually, it creaked inward and there stood a tall, gaunt figure in a faded blue robe.
"Yes?" He intoned, and I of course thought of Lurch. I was pretty sure I had a reservation, or at least an appointment, so I told the door man I'd come to see the Abbot. He nodded (gravely, of course) and turned with out indication for me to follow, but I naturally did anyway. He led me through a narrow corridor to a flight of stairs leading down to the basement. He opened a door at the foot of the stairs and shoved me in the room, slamming the door as he left. I found myself in a cramped room with a low ceiling, cluttered with books and a few pieces of furniture. all in all, it looked surprisingly like the office of any college professor. In front of me, seated behind a cluttered desk, was an enormously fat man, also robed in faded and tattered gray. He beamed at me, though,and gestured for me to sit on the couch along the wall. I did so, and he clapped his hands and leaned forward on his elbows.
"Well! What d'ya need?" He asked me, grinning like a child and taking out a pen that had clearly been lifted from a hotel. He clicked it a few times, the tip hovering over the legal pad in front of him.
"Well, I simply wanted to have a room for a few nights, I was told I could sort of vacation here." I said, rummaging through my bag for the postcard. It seemed as though I'd lost it."
"Sure sure," he said, brushing a stray hair out of his face. "But after that, when you go?" He asked, again clicking his pen and grinning at me. He seemed oddly eager for this interview, and I just wanted to a rest. It was a long, long walk up the mountain.
"I'm not sure I follow. I guess after relaxing for a bit, I guess I'll just go home." I stared him uncomprehendingly, hoping to get this over with. He threw the pen over his shoulder, slapped his palms on his desk, and shook his head. I was becoming alarmed.
"Another skeptic!" he bellowed. He grabbed an object from the shelf behind him and tossed it to me. It was a snow globe depicting the Abbey, just as I'd seen it on my climb up the mountain. Labeled across its base was, oddly, "Second Shance Abbey". The Abbot scowled when he saw me reading it.
"Screw up with the manufacturer in Hong Kong. Can't sell 'em, so they just sit around. Ironic we didn't just have a second batch made, though. Believe you me, the joke's not lost, on, erm....me." He said, awkwardly finishing his sentence as he got up and rounded his desk, leaning against the front of it.
"y'see, kid, this place is called the Second Chance Abbey for a reason. You stay here, you rest, you write us up a plan. After we're done, you get out of here and dive head first into your brand new life. The life you design by looking back and telling us which choices you should have made. We make it so you did."
I was trying not to just gape at him, but was completely baffled.
"How exactly does this work?" I asked, trying to sound calm, but convinced the man was probably dangerously insane. He brushed my question off with a simple doesn't matter. He then grabbed my arm and gently, but unceremoniously, yanked me to my feet. He clapped me on the shoulder and laughed again.
"I know what you're thinking, and you just oughten't worry about it. One of the brothers will show to your room. The bell will sound for supper, and after that, we'll get you started with an outline for what happens when you leave here. Then maybe we'll have a cigar on the roof, me an' you, Hm?" He had by the this time led me to and opened the door leading to the stairs back up. Brother Lurch, the big guy, was standing there, of course, like a sentry, or valet. "I managed to stammer,
"But I don't know that I need any kind of do-over!" before the abbot shoved me out of his little room.
"Sure you do," he said laughing, "At the very least god knows you want one. Now hush. Go upstairs, get settled, and be ready to talk after we eat. Yours'll be a lot of fun, I imagine!" and with that, he slammed the door in my face.