Time Passages . . .
In today's blog entry, you find yet another timely passage from the story I'm writing. Here, the mysterious Agashka offers to lead our protagonist to her Boss's Smoking Room:
"Lead the way," I said.Shall they enter? Wait and see. And while you're waiting, go look at the talented Mr. Martin Gauthier's gallery of images, which are not all quite so dark as the one above . . .
She did, and I followed, passing an arrow indicating a hallway that led to the smoking room, though not so directly as one might expect or hope, and as we passed from luxury to drabness and dim lighting, I felt a twinge of unease . . . and also surprise. At least the hallway was clean, so far as I could judge, though maintaining its cleanliness must have posed a chore for someone, the way was so long. I vaguely wondered if the energetic Aziz were the one on whom that duty fell. The tunnel, or so it seemed to be, even had several twists and turns in its length, but there were no other hallways branching off, so I surely wouldn't become lost, I believed, not even if abandoned by Agashka, and I wondered why I thought that about her. As I was wondering about these things, I found my thoughts also wandering about the dark corridors of my mind, and I remembered something from my childhood. My older brother had sworn that our basement had a secret doorway in one of its concrete walls, and he promised that if I would let him blindfold me, he'd lead me to it and let me enter. I agreed because I didn't believe him. He had closed the door that led outside, switched off the one naked bulb that illuminated our austere basement, wrapped a dark bandanna around my head, tightly covering my eyes and blocking the feeble light from the small, south-oriented windows, and bade me crawl in utter darkness, following him as we padded on hands and knees upon blankets he'd stretched out along the floor in such a complex zig-zag pattern that I eventually lost all sense of direction other than up and down, whereupon we reached a wall, against which he had me stretch my hand, guided by his own, and made me press hard against the rough concrete with his assistance, harder still, and even harder, till I felt a slight shift, or hint of one, then an undeniable movement and sound of concrete scraping against concrete as a block in the seamless wall gave way, opening to a dank earthy odor toward which I reached further out to grasp whatever might be within, but that exceeded my reach, for my brother stopped me, seemed to close the way we’d opened, and returned me the way we'd come, apparently taking up the blankets, for they were gone from the floor when he removed my blindfold. I was too shaken to ask any questions then, but I did ask a few years later, and he said the whole thing had been a trick, but he wouldn't say how. After we had grown up, I happened to mention the incident, admitting that I'd never managed to figure out how he'd done it, but he'd forgotten the entire experience altogether, which I found strange.
My thoughts were redirected by Agashka, who had stopped and was indicating a door upon which were written the plain-letter words: "Smoking Room."