A Note Recovered from an Abandoned House

[she found the papers in a ruffled pile half water-rotten, moldering in something that had maybe once been a bedroom]

[there was no explanation for them: what they were about, how they got there, how long they'd been sitting in undated excrement and fungus and debris]

[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 out a darkness in me. I hear things all the time. The music and the whispers.

They almost become background noise. I go stretches not noticing, until I notice. Walking for hours, the mind wants a break from the silence. I hear the music first. Not real music, but under-music, the music that plays deep down beneath the silence. Then the voices, whispering. I can never hear what they’re saying. I wake up in silence, still walking. I turn the corner and it’s the same hallway again, bright white.

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. bird wings flap. broken glass glitters.]

[but it was just the wind, wasn't it?]

[she stuffs the papers in her backpack. She knows she shouldn't be here.]