IN COLLABORATION WITH QUENTIN SHIH
She does not know where it is, but it seems to be a city in Asia, or perhaps in a city in Europe. Anyway, this story is about one of the modern megalopolis in contemporary society.
One night, she had a dream. In the dream, she opened the iron door of an old building covered in fog and ivy. The walls of the room were lit by a faint moonlight, and there was something like a symbol floating on the wall.
She was not sure what that meant.
Then a few days passed.
It was around midnight after work. She decided to take a little detour home.
She chose an alleyway that she didn't usually go through.
All the shops were closed, but she could see one shop with a faint light on.
The shop window was decorated with bags and looked like a boutique.
She looked into the store from the outside and saw a strange-looking clerk dressed in black. The clerk smiled at her. She could not tell the gender or age of the clerk, but she thought the black-dressed clerk looked very attractive. She walked into the store with some curiosity.
She picked up a bag emblazoned with a symbol she had seen before.
She was not sure if it was a symbol from her dream of a few days ago.
Thinking that this might be a déjà vu, she looked at herself in the mirror.
She decided to buy that bag.
The next night.
She walked down the alleyway to the boutique again.
When she walked to the location of the boutique where she had picked out her bag last night, she found an empty lot.
The boutique she had visited yesterday was nowhere to be found.
The store vanished.
A black cat was looking at her from the middle of the empty place.
A year later.
She had not seen the boutique in the alleyway since then.
But she always carried the bag, as if someone who likes books always carried them. The vacant lot where the boutique would have once existed had turned into a bar.
One day, as she walked past the bar, a lithe, cat-like person walked in.
Strangely enough, the bag the person was carrying was the one she had seen in that vanished boutique. Seeing the bag, she decided to go into the bar.
The room was dark, and she could not see well.
The bar was quiet, but there seemed to be seven or eight people sitting at the counter.
A whisper and a faint sound of the piano drifted quietly in the room.
She closed her eyes, then listened and focused her attention on the whisper of the people there.
Apparently, the guests did not know each other.
She felt as if she had been to this place a few times in her dreams.
The gold embossed print on her bag reflected the light of the room, which was faintly lit in the dark space.