I was used to travelling in the East. I had spent more of my life away from England than I had there. England held no sense of wonder for me. It was afternoon tea and Cricket, civilised and boring. I preferred to explore the far flung areas of the world.
On this particular trip, I was in Penang enjoying walking through the markets selling all manner of exotic spices. One stall selling small items carved from sandalwood was doing a roaring trade, an elderly man sat behind the display carving more objects rapidly trying to keep up with demand, such was the turnover.
That was when I first heard of the House of Wonder. I knew it for what it truly was, a trap for gullible tourists who would end up with their throats slit and their belongings sold on. I knew enough to keep away from it.
For reasons of my own, I had decided to remain in Penang for a while, I had found congenial company amongst a few of the natives and was in no hurry to move on.
I was not the only Englishman staying there. I had struck up a friendship with a fellow named Carstairs. We used to play cards, drink whisky and chat.
One day I saw Carstairs at the market talking to a fellow near the Wonder House.
I heard him ask ““Ah! The Wonder House! Can any enter?” and the man nodded.
I cried out “Wait!”.
Carstairs was never seen again.
This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, click on the link below.
It is not too late to take part in this challenge, it finishes Wednesday and a new one will be posted on Thursday.
This story also contains the following word prompts: