Riley had been on her way home from school when she first saw it. It didn't really stick out all that much; in fact she wasn't sure what it was about it that made her notice it. But notice it she did, and even though it couldn't possibly be anything special she couldn't help shake the feeling that something was wrong with it. Well, maybe not wrong per say, but off. Yes, that's it, the thing felt off somehow; like it's not supposed to be there or it's supposed to be there but look different. Like a vague sense of déjà vu, except it wasn't vague at all, she could feel it deep in her heart that something was just off.
But what could be so off about it? It was just a telephone box standing in a corner. It wasn't even the first she'd seen. But something was so clearly different about this one. Perhaps it was the color that threw her off, it was blue like the other phone boxes she'd seen but it was such a deep color full blue and not at all matted down like the others. Or perhaps it was the lamp on top, it looked nearly new and not at all broken, like it was viable to start shining any minute now.
Whatever it was, the box was off and Riley felt displaced. She opted to ignore it and keep walking like nothing had happened (which really, nothing had) and hurried home suddenly feeling a bit scared. When she walked the same path the morning after the box was gone and she thought that maybe, just maybe, she had imagined it.
A year later she saw it again.
She knew it was the same one, because that feeling of misplacement had not changed. Even after a year she could still remember that feeling; that wrongness.
It was just standing there, looking all innocent, and it had moved from where it was standing before. It was now standing just outside her door, parked in the square right in the middle of the Powel Estate. Riley had been living in the Powel Estate since she was a kid, just her and her aunt. It had never felt like a special place or anything but suddenly she was afraid. Why was it there?
It gave of the same feeling it had before. It just wasn't natural! Blue telephone boxes were not supposed to feel wrong! They weren't supposed to feel anything. They were boxes, nothing more, so how can this one feel so off.
Riley knew she was running late, school started ten minutes ago, but she couldn't help it. Even though every fiber in her body screamed at her to turn around, away from the box, she walked closer. It was like one of those wet paint signs, it says to not touch and suddenly she couldn't help but wanting nothing else.
She was sneaking forward, feeling a bit silly (who sneaks up on an immovable object?) but determined. She had to know, she just had to!
She was standing right in front of it now, the door handle just inches away from her, and she felt excited. Terrified but excited. In her short life of twelve years never had she felt this much excitement.
She reached out her hand and grazed the wood. It might just have been her imagination but it felt tingly, warm. Wood is not supposed to feel warm, not unless it's on fire. Her hand came at a stop at the handle, grasping it loosely but not pulling at it. Standing there, just about to open the strange blue box, Riley suddenly felt a bit out of bounds. Was it rude, just opening it without warning? Was she supposed to knock? It felt like she was supposed to knock, but it was a box! Not a house. It's not like anyone lived in there. Did they?
Deciding to bring out her courage, however small an amount (she was twelve and lived in London, she knew the scary stories about strangers and all that and they scared her when the sun went down), she yanked on the door. It was slow, like it didn't want to open for her (maybe it was locked) but in the end the door swung open.
If she had known any swearwords she'd have used them. As it was, all she could do was stand there and gape.
"A rabbit hole." She whispered in awe and slowly walked inside; disregarding any ill feelings she might have had before.