Susan Tabalucci’s friends called her Trixie. She worked at the Virgin Record store at 23rd and Park in Manhattan. The date she disappeared was June 1st, 2009. Thirteen days later the store would close officially, but really had been closed since the first when a convoy of black SUV’s driven by men in black suits descended on the place.
The store will remain closed forever.
The building is still there, but it’s boarded up and looks like it was never used for anything, ever.
A lab is set up in the basement, but they still have not found one clue what happened to Trixie on the day she vanished.
Trixie was hipster cool in her trademark retro white leather jacket with frill trim, tight black leather pants, tight, tight, tight enough to show off everything God gave her. She liked steel toed biker boots to finish off the ensemble, so she can kick ass if she needed to. This was what she was wearing on the last day anyone ever saw her. It was her unofficial uniform and that day was no different than any other day except she had her roommate help her dye her hair bright red the night before.
The next morning she teased it into an eighties style curl and fluff.
“Gotta mix things up,” She told Mark, the record store GM.
Mark was kind of bitch though, still in goth fashion and a bit on the emo side of masculinity, he liked her better with straight black hair, so as revenge sent her into the back to organize the old collection.
At least that’s what he told the cops when interviewed later about her disappearance.
He’s a person of interest, that’s for sure. Might even go to prison on trumped up charges related to this whole thing. Every conspiracy needs a patsy and nobody is going to miss Mark.
Those that knew Susan, explained she probably had no plans on organizing anything and going in the back meant a day of pay and no work.
Virgin took up five floors in an old building. The date on the corner stone reads 1876. The basement has a sub-layer that is closed off. Susan bragged about finding a way down into it the year before and she liked exploring the old stuff that seemed to be randomly kept there.
She even “borrowed,” some of it.
She raided a collection of old dresses that she thought had to be from the twenties and a chest of books so old they fell apart when she tried to leaf through them later at home. She grabbed a painting also that made her think of Dali a few weeks before her disappearance and hung it over the small black and white TV she kept as kitsch.
Some thought maybe she fell prey to a bad buy, because turns out the painting was legit. It was confiscated after her roommates interview and sent to St. Pete, Florida for safe keeping and restoration at the Dali museum. Who knows what else she had to sell.
The men in black never suspected this though.
The sub-basement was a museum of lost junk. Trixie considered it her own private flea market of dust covered crap. A free-for-all rummage sale with little concern for organization.
She sparked the joint she packed for lunch and explored. This is known because the roach was found smooshed into a black smear on the cement floor deep in the back.
And that was it. That’s was all the investigation turned up. She went down and never came back up again. The reason the building was taken over by the secret-government-organization-with-no-name was because the EMP charge that knocked out power for 20 miles in a perfect circle with the store at its epicenter.
It’s not a coincidence they are dedicated to finding out why.
But only Trixie knows for sure.
On June first, between puffs of the rolled up Harlem regs, Susan pulled the trigger on her barcode scanner to light the dark corners with the red laser.
She did her little treasure hunt while humming Duran Duran’s ‘Planet Earth.’
Just as she stepped on the roach she shined the laser in one of the farthest corners in the sub-basement and a sparkle of bright blue shimmered back at her.
Intrigued she investigated and discovered cobwebs and rat droppings. Shrugging with disappointment at there being no cool stuff to fish through she shot the corner with the scanner one more time not expecting the blue shimmer to hit back like a mac-truck.
Inside the blue light she felt herself pulled forward, sucked into a violent vortex that ended with a loud pop. She was pushed forward and landed hard flinching in response. When her eyes reopened she was kneeling on a rocky desert plain, lit with three huge pale-orange suns and staring in shock at a large black multi-tentacled humanoid screaming in terror at the sight of her.