(today’s flash fiction is not a macabre translation of life in NYC, but rather a little world-building exercise I did for a concept I’m working on)
[she found the papers in a ruffled pile in a disused stall in the woods]
[there was no explanation for them: what they were about, how they got there, how long they’d been sitting in undated excrement and woodrot]
[she has to read them. The breadcrumbs led her this far, and she isn’t about to turn back, now.]
[she picks a sheet from the middle of the pile, like a child taking a card from a magician]
The empty hallways fold in on each other like nesting dolls as I walk them, always empty, footsteps calling back to me in echoes, stretching on infinitely, longer and longer dialogues with the tiles. One hallway becomes the next hallway becomes the next hallway. Walking in circles. Walking an ouroboros. The hallways eat themselves while I’m still inside.
They fed me pills in every color of the chemical-spill rainbow. I took them with water that shone like sunkissed oil. All that color spilled darkness in me.
There’s something under it all like music but it couldn’t be music because the whole complex (the long repeating hallway) is absolutely silent. Only my footsteps and the shadows pouring words into my ear.
I remember things, but I don’t know how I remember them. There are three kinds of memories I find in the endless hallways: memories of impossible things, memories of things that never happened to me, and memories of things that happened too long ago to be clear. I remember being followed by a woman in all white and a plague mask as her face, writing my life down on a clipboard. I remember shadows whispering to me in every voice I’ve ever heard. I remember a pale prince dying in my arms, the yellow sign blotted in the rorschach of his blood.
I remember you finding something hidden in your breath against the glass.
[wind rustles the autumn leaves and she glances over her shoulder.]
[but it was just the wind, wasn’t it?]
[she stuffs the papers in her backpack. She knows she shouldn’t be here.]Share This: