Wednesday, April 04, 2007

SIX
Norman was awoken by the sound of birds singing. He opened his eyes. He expected to see the stone floor, the walls, the window, Andrea. But what he expected to see and what he saw were not the same. He saw many cuboids of various colours each taller than the last. He felt grass beneath him. he was back on the way to the nameless metropolis. It was a dream.
Yes, it was a dream. This is what he told himself, but he knew deep inside that this was not true.

Friday, November 10, 2006

FIVE
Norman and Andrea had been talking for quite a while. At least, they thought it had been quite a while. For all they knew it could have been 30 seconds. The only time they knew was by looking out of the small window at the sky. But now there was no sky. There was no light coming into the room. There was no time.
They decided they would have a good look around to try desperately to find an escape route while they could still barely see. They must have got in somehow. But how? And why? This was surely just a cruel criminal act. Surely? But it did seem very pointless. There must be a reason. Was there a much deeper reason than they could see?
It both hit them at the same time. They weren't getting out of that room that day. Suddenly it became real. Or unreal. Would they ever get out?
The ground was cold. It was stone, but where else were they going to sleep? It was a cold night too. They wished each other good night. Norman closed his eyes.
Andrea didn't.
---
John peered round the door. There was a room. There was a window, which was almost square, but any relatively intelligent person could see that it was still legally rectangle. The room was dark, and very dusty. It almost looked dead. The opening of the door brought precisely no life to the room.
Something about this room made John very, very anxious and uneasy. It wasn't the darkness, and it wasn't physical. John decided he needed to get out of there. Somthing was seriously upsetting him. He hurried away down the path, making sure, for some unknown reason, that the door was definitely shut.
He glanced at his watch: ten minutes past twelve. Ten minutes past twelve? That's ten minutes since he started his break, and about 5 since he came outside. That was not right. Something was wrong. John quickened his pace, and went back to work for the rest of the day.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

FOUR

"Good morning, John".

John arrived late for work. The traffic had been awful and those damn roadworks were not making anything better. He tried to keep as low a profile as he could as he trundled in late, but his bad luck continued as the enthusiastic co-worker of his that was Leslie greeted him with the same awful words that he had heard thousands of times, drawing undesired attention to himself. He replied with a somewhat embarrassed smile and a quiet "g'morning".

He sat down at his maple desk and switched on his computer. He did this 6 days a week, and did not enjoy it at all. Did people think that when he was 14 he wanted to become a finance and data-analysis worker? No, he didn't. He wanted to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or an architect. Something which when he said it, commanded respect from anyone he was in conversation with. As a matter of fact, he avoided telling anyone what his job actually was, and rarely made no attempt to change the subject as soon as employment was mentioned.

He worked up until lunch. It had been even more boring than usual. He ate his lunch at his desk as usual. A cheese sandwich and a packet of ready salted supermarket-brand crisps. He wasn't feeling to good and he decided to go outside for a moment.

He tripped as he was going down the staris and fell down the last couple of steps. He banged his knee off the edge of the bottom stair and hit his head on the floor. There was no-one around to see him. But there was no-one around to help him either. His knee was in pain, but was not bloody. he got up and cursed his clumsyness. He felt so bad that he really wanted to go home then and just go to bed for the rest of the day. But he couldn't. He couldn't afford to. He went to the door, but was horrified to find a paper sign with "DOOR OUT OF USE - PLEASE USE BACK DOOR" written in big bold marker pen letters.

John had worker at the Henry Stanley and Co. bank for almost 2 and a half years. But he hadn't a clue where the back door of the office building was. He looked around. He thought about going back up to the office. But he spotted a door. He did not give more than a mere thought that this was anything but the back door. He pushed down the handled and attempted to pull the door towards him. It didn't move. He realised what was wrong. He pushed the handle down fully and tried again. The door swung open with ease. He found himself outside, on a gravel path which led to a derelict outhouse. The outhouse must have been 50 or 60 metres away, but he was intrigued. He checked his watch to see how long in his break he had left. It was 12:51. 12:51? Was that right. It seemed as though time had slowed down since he came downstairs.

He dismissed this though and walked towards the outhouse. Suddenly a bad feeling rushed through him. He checked behind him. He thought someone must be following him. But nobody. Also, the building looked much smaller as he looked back. Much smaller. He could have been sure there were 3 or maybe more stories than he could see. But that couldn't be right, after all, seeing is believing, isn't it. He reached the outhouse. there was no windows on the side he was facing. There was a door. It did not seem a tall outhouse. In fact, he reckoned he would have to duck to get under the door frame. The door was wooden, and had a knob instead of a handle. Strange. It must not be very modern, he thought. Just as he reached for the door knob the feeling came over him again. It was more severe now than the morning or just a minute ago, or...20 seconds? That's what his watch read. Seeing is beliving though and there is no such things as ghosts or haunted places. The world is oh so predicatble. He dismissed all the signs to not go inside, all the many things that could have stopped him from coming to work or being in that situation which he had not noticed, and he put his hand round the knob.

He turned it and the door began to open with a small creak...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

THREE

Norman looked at the unfamiliar face and wondered if he was dreaming. He had an eerie sense that this was not the real world. Yet, at the same time, all of it looked like the real world. All the details were the same, from the sharp corners of the city to the colour of the sky. The girl in front of him was a sight for sore eyes. What was her name, he wondered. So he asked her: "What's your name?"

For a moment, the figure in front of him froze, not knowing whether to tell the truth or to lie. She decided to tell the truth. Her name was Andrea. They shook hands and looked at each other. They talked about schools and found out that they both liked badgers. It was a start. There was no door and no way out of that room. They might as well take the time to know each other, their likes and dislikes, their preferences, their lives. All that could be known.

There was nothing in that room apart from themselves. Andrea and Norman knew that they were powerless, they felt just how strong fate could be. But they could not bring themselves to give up, so they chatted on, hoping against hope that someone would arrive, that some unknown hero would drop by and save them, and they would be able to be free again. The city was a distant memory, time seemed to stop in its tracks in that room.

+++

It was raining. But it wasn't water that was falling from the sky. It was a red substance of unknown qualities. The sky had been hurt, and it had been hurt badly. The moon was a shadow of its former self, the stars were gone. There was no Sun. A white figure woke up, had a shower, had some breakfast, went to work. He had a bad feeling about this day. He didn't like it.
TWO

She came around. She thought he must have just blanked. Must have been out of it for a few seconds. But...where was she?

Andrea was inside a house. She could have been sure he had been outside before her momentary lapse. But she dusted herself off and made sure she was all there. Something was bothering her about the room. It seemed…wrong. Like the room was not in line with its surroundings. Its surroundings were… a city. She gasped. Surely, in the time she had been away, which though she by now accepted was more than two seconds, as she’d previously thought, she could not have been taken far.

Suddenly, she realised what was wrong. The city was full of sharp corners, perfect regular shapes. But this room: It seemed like there were no corners, like everything was just one big round space. And not a regular shape, one she had never cared to imagine in relatively short lifetime. And she was alone. All alone. There was perfect silence.

She examined the room more closely now he was thinking straighter. There was one, small, high up window. Of course, her being her 5ft 2" self, which was in fact, taller than average for her age, she could not see out of this window. However, she could gage that it was day. There was light coming from the window. She could see the grey-white sky. Overcast, she thought. And she realised that there was a door, but she was too frightened to go near it. She hadn't even moved since he came round. In fact, she was still sitting on the red, scratchy chair.

The walls of the room were white, and she liked that. Andrea was of course, not a normal child. She was incredibly intelligent, come genius. She liked maths, but she also had a passion for the arts, and drama was her specialty.

See was confused, but she had no time to dwell on this thought. She felt a hand on her shoulder...

Friday, September 15, 2006

ONE

He was all alone. He had no one. The birds were singing. The cats were running after mice, and the sun made all the sky-scrapers shine brightly. But Norman was sad, so all he saw was black and gray.

He was an average kid. 5ft 1, brown hair, brown eyes. He liked strawberry ice-cream and a good apple pie. He was alone because he had run away from home and not come back. Now, he was lost in a jungle of a city that he didn't know or understand, trying to figure out what to do of his life. He was too young to have run away, but the decision had been made, there was no turning back on it now. He'd just have to accept it and move on.

That room had been an unexpected blessing. He did not understand where it came from or what it was doing there, but it had been good to rest. He had been tired. Two or three more steps without even sitting on a comfortable chair would have meant unconsciousness, he was sure. But that room had saved the day, and all was pretty well now. Norman just had to find something to eat and he'd be fine. He knew he would. All he had to do was find a super-market, buy an apple or two, eat them, and his stomach would become less grouchy and stop growling menacingly.

Norman walked, calmly, through the streets of the city. The green pastures he had gone through to reach the city were far away now, and the room was soon becoming a small dot in his past. Norman had no map. His journey, which had started two days before the present day, had been an erratic search for a road to Eden, but Eden seemingly did not want to be found. So, after two days, he had reached this city, a nameless titanic mass of concrete cubes and concrete paralelograms. There were no round shapes in city, only sharp corners. The room Norman had sat in had been an empty room right next to a bus stop.

Norman's hands were sweaty, and so was his hair. He was beginning to worry he would not be able to find food in that wretched city. And then it hit him, he understood why he had felt so strange throughout his stay in that place.

That is exactly when Norman's eyes suddenly closed and he knew no more.