Apr 6, 2019: Grand

There’s a doorbell to ring if you want to get into the building that houses the escape rooms. We can’t leave the door open because people try to meander in, even when we’re standing in the doorway waiting for a team. Having the door unlocked would be a recipe for disaster.

This afternoon the doorbell rang. It was at a time that was a little early for a team but not unheard of. I was in no way ready of the next team, as I was in the middle of resetting after a group of Fortnite-loving boys had attempted escape. But that’s no reason not to let the team in to sit in comfort rather than loiter on the street.

I went downstairs to open the door.

I opened the door to find an old lady. She’d been ringing the bell quite a bit because, as we all know, repeatedly ringing a bell makes a door open quicker – in much the same way as repeatedly pressing a button at a crossing makes it change. It doesn’t, but humans can’t resist trying it.

The little old lady steps in. She’s on her own. I say, “You’re a bit early…” which is about as far as I get. I’m about to ask her if she’s part of the group that’s due in the next twenty minutes or so when she begins a word dump.

“Oh? Am I? Well I normally do this in Milnsbridge you see. I’ve come from Milnsbridge and…”

She continues for a minute or so, at a pace.

Basically, once you get to the bottom of her story and allow the brain time to catch up with the words, she’s come out to put a bet on for the Grand National and has decided that our place is the place to do it.

Our door says “Stuck In The Riddle” on it. Our window, next to the door, says “Stuck In The Riddle” on it. It also says “Can you escape in time?” and has the silhouettes of numerous trapped souls on it.

My t-shirt says Stuck In The Riddle on it.

The only similarity to us and Corals, next door, is that our door has a blue frame.

We’ve had a few people stagger in drunk in the days when we used to stand downstairs with the door open, thinking they were in the bookies. We’ve never had anyone deliberately ringing the bell frantically because they want to place a bet on the Grand National.

Even when I explained to this little dear that she needed to be next door she couldn’t quite grasp the concept. “Next door where?” she kept saying.

Maybe everything in Milnsbridge is detached and miles from each other, I don’t know.

I pointed her in the right direction. She had forty five minutes before the race.

I’m sure she managed to get her bet on in time!