“Bleedin’ ‘eck!” yelled Matthew as he wandered into the centre of the road, “these buildings are all bloody tall, aren’t they?”
“Huge. ‘ere, do you think we’ve died and gone to ‘eaven?” asked Paul.
“Nah. There’s no angels. Gotta ‘ave angels in ‘eaven, ‘aven’t you? Otherwise it’s not ‘eaven, is it?”
“Now, whatya think those lights are?”
“Look like lanterns.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Strange colours though.”
“And those things by the side of the road?”
“Carts, I reckon. They’ve got wheels, see?”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Carts,” Matthew looked up and down the road, “no horses to draw them though.”
“None, no. This road is funny too. It’s got stuff painted on it and it’s all covered in this black stone.”
“Looks like lots of little stones melted together.”
“Yeah. How’d you melt stone though?”
“Dunno. But how would you make buildings so big either? Or those weird carts?”
“There’s a lot of strange stuff here.”
“Lots of strange stuff, yes.”
Paul and Matthew walked down the roads, looking for somebody that would be able to answer their questions, but the streets were deserted. Even the strange carts that covered the roads were completely free of people. Nobody was in any of the huge buildings either, so Paul and Matthew got bored of wandering around outside and began searching inside the buildings themselves.
“What if the people come back and find us in here? They’d think we were robbing them!” said Paul.
“We’d just tell them we didn’t know where we are. Or say that we were trying to find somebody to ask for directions.”
“We are, aren’t we?”
“Well, yes, but there’s no harm in having a look either, is there?”
“I s’pose not. I just don’t think that they would like us being here.”
“No, but we’d hear them coming anyway. Remember the noise those doors made? We could run.”
“Where would we go?”
“Out one of the other doors! There’s lots of them!”
“I s’pose you’re right, but what if they come in all the doors at once?”
“How many people do you possibly think could be here, Paul?”
“It’s quite big.”
“But have you seen anywhere to sleep or eat? It’s just full of these strange windows and all these bottles and jewellery and things. The beds must be in another room and there might not be very many of them.”
“They must be very rich, though, the people who live here.”
“Yeah. They probably wouldn’t miss a few things, right?”
“That’s not what I meant, Matthew.”
“No, I think you’re right. We should take some of these things. We’ll never have a chance like this again, Paul!”
Before Paul could object again, Matthew picked up a chair from in front of one of the glass boxes and smashed it through. Instantly, a loud, blaring noise started wailing up and down.
“What’s that?” screamed Paul, covering his ears.
“I don’t know, but it sounds angry! Run!” Matthew grabbed a few necklaces from within the glass box and then took off after Paul. They ran straight back to the entrance. Once they were back on the road, they jumped behind one of the metal carts and peeked over the top, staring towards the door from which the sound was still blaring.
“Do you think it’s a guard dog?” asked Paul.
“It’s not like any dog I’ve ever heard.”
They stayed still and the noise kept on wailing. Eventually, Matthew stood up.
“What are you doing?” hissed Paul.
“Well, nobody’s coming. We can’t just stay down there all day.”
“We could wait until the noise stops at least.”
“What if it doesn’t stop?”
“It has to stop sometime.”
“It could be ages though!”
“Better safe than sorry.”
Matthew walked off down the road whilst Paul continued hissing to him. He didn’t bother looking back and, after he’d got a reasonable distance from the wailing sound and nothing had happened, he could hear the sound of Paul’s footfalls as he ran to catch up with him.
“I don’t think that this is a good idea. It could just be calling others for all you know. Like wolves howling.”
“I don’t think it’s an animal.”
“What else would make a noise like that?”
“I don’t know, but it’s not an animal. I think it might be something somebody made to scare people away and it sounds like a strange animal being angry so they think something has been let out after them.”
“If you’re so sure of that, why don’t we go back and you can stuff some more of those necklaces in your pockets?”
Matthew scowled at Paul. They carried on walking down the road.
“What are we doing now?” asked Paul.
“Finding something to eat and drink. I’m hungry and thirsty and that’s what we’ll need if we’re going to stay here. We might even find other people when we do and maybe they can tell us what’s going on.”
“And how to get back?”
“Maybe. I’d like to get back. I don’t think I like it here very much.”
They carried on walking until they found a shop full of bread and cakes and much, much more. Paul didn’t object to leaping over the table that cut the room in half here, and they even found some bottles made of a bendable glass that were full of water. They stayed in that building for a while and talked about how they had got there and where everybody else was, then went back out onto the street and started looking around again, hoping to find something that would let them know where they were. They had filled some bags, made of incredibly thin parchment, with some of the bottles and bread and took it with them, occasionally breaking into another building.
When the sun began to set, there was still nobody there.
Meanwhile, the entire population of New York City found themselves stood in the marshy wilderness of a 15th century village.