Worldbuilding Sketchpad (Terminaburg)

Alvin looked down at the sheet of paper in his hands. The previously immaculate, unfolded, pure white slip was now smudged, stained, folded, and limp from handling. Hands shaking, he unfolded it, looking at the address and appointed time for this meeting, along with a reminder to come alone and the name “Switcher”.
Now he was here, and he felt like he was going to die. His heart was pounding out of his chest, and his clothes felt heavy and stifling—a feat, considering that it was the dead middle of the mildest spring on record, and wearing a loose t-shirt, thin linen shorts, and the lightest pair of flip-flops he owned. Alvin’s forehead was beaded with sweat, his normally loose and poofy hair hanging lank in wet strands pushed behind his ears. He had showered moments before leaving, cleaning himself more thoroughly than he had in years, heaped on mountains of deodorant, shaved off every bit of facial hair, and sprayed on that very expensive cologne he had never before used—a bad idea, considering its notes of tobacco leaf, bourbon, and leather clashed with the surprisingly fresh scents of this current spring—but still managed to have stained armpits. He could not hide them, which only added to his anxiety.
His roots were showing, the bold red he used to color his hair faded—to orange, to pink, to strawberry blonde, to rose gold, it all depended on how the light hit it—which just added to his unkempt appearance.
“Did I really need two cups of coffee?” he asked to no one. The three cigarettes he smoked on the way didn’t help matters either.
His phone chimed—the time had arrived. The wooden door, now more nails and boards than wood, opened inward. Before him was darkness. A green light flicked on in the distance.
“Enter.” The voice was staticky and stiff.
No going back now, Alvin thought. He took a shaky step inside, and the door closed behind him.
And to think this all started with a letter to the Terminaburg Daily from 1949.

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