Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Silent Room: Part 5

Number 11

Eventually Number 11 had gotten up the ladder and into the second floor room.    By then it was... well, it should have been nearly dark, making it impossible to make out more than an empty room, but somehow the sun seemed to be giving one last blast of light to help him out.  The room was both more and less than he had hoped for back on the ground looking up.

The more was that it was scrupulously clean.  Not one dust mote dared to hang in the air or find a home on the smooth wood of the floor.  The less was that the there was literally nothing else in the room but him.  Not even a box that could be used as a chair. Nor a light switch.  Not even a book.  (The last made him depressed, though when he tried to think if he had ever seen a book, he couldn't pull up a mental image of what one even was or think why he would want one. )

Brushing the stray thoughts aside, he took a careful walk around the room, looking for any trap doors  or staircases that might let him down into the lower half of the building while there was still sunlight. (He didn't find any.)  Until at last, the sun decided it had had enough of a last hurrah and settled the world officially into near dark..  In that brief gloaming of near dark before the shades of night had fully fallen, he settled himself as comfortably as he could onto the floor near the doorway where he could lean against the wall but still look out and see the light of the stars as they began flickering into existence.

After darkness fell, so thick he could barely see more than the doorway opening out, he sat for a long time with his head rested back against the wall just listening to the silence of the country- all sighing winds and singing tree frogs and humming cicadas- and tried to puzzle out the how and where of this strange place. Eventually his overworked mind gave up, and as his eyes drifted closed and he slid into sleep,. one last unnoticed thought formed in that breath of space between waking and sleeping. The country's not so silent really.  Kind of like the Silent Room.  

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