ALLEYS IN THE I.D.By their very nature, alleyways are inherently creepy. Think back on literature and movies, with scenes of dark stretches tucked behind buildings, a lone stranger slowly walking along cobblestones toward some wayward lost soul. Death, most surely, is never far behind.

Here in Seattle, we have a number of such alleys, many of which can be found in the International District. But Maynard Alley between Jackson and King stands out, if for no other reason than the spectacularly odd, über-creepy pet store whose entrance is close to negligible, save for a dirtied sign hanging at a rather crooked tilt.

What waits inside this pet store? What exists just beyond its doors, just past its darkened windows? I dunno. I was too chickenshit to venture inside. Just standing there in the alley itself, the store looming before me, was frightening enough, thank you. BRADLEY STEINBACHER