posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 09:52 PM
It had been five days now... he etched a crosswise mark across the four vertical tallies that adorned the oak paneling beside his bed.
"My bed", he thought. None of this is mine. I don't belong here. This doesn't belong here.
Somehow, he found the impetus to stand again. The room was the same as it had been yesterday: rich, varnished oaken walls, deep, wine-red carpet,
furnishings beyond the means of any man he had ever met. The bed, a spacious queen-size lain with satin coverings the same crimson hue as the carpet,
sat beside a mahogany armoire; across the room was a chest of drawers, and a vast mirror set in an ornate, gilded frame.
Not a speck of dust was to be found in the room. Nowhere. The armoire, the dresser, and the deep closet set in the wall opposite the door were empty,
all of them.
Every day since he had awoken here, abducted from his sleep and placed in this room in the depths of the night, he had ventured out into the house,
always seeking a way out. He never found one. And every day, when he returned to the bedroom, it was as though he had never set foot in it. The bed
would be made, all the drawers shut, and everything dusted.
It horrified him; he knew he was alone here.
Every night, though, unfailingly, he would return to the room; it was the only one he felt he could trust. It was the only place in the house, the
vast, infinitely hostile House, that was not filled in every crevice with lurking shadows, the only one in which the half-glimpsed movement of some
secret presence did not constantly elude his sight.
The House itself was not overtly malevolent; it was simply expansive, elaborate, and utterly devoid of any exit. No windows were to be found, and
every door led only onward to a new room, or a new hall that opened up a dozen new mysteries.
He hated it.
But, he steeled himself, he would defeat it.
Lifting the oil lamp he had torn from a wall in a far-off hallway and pocketing a paper-wrapped sandwich from one of the multitudinous banquets he had
found lain out in lavish halls, set for royalty and attended by none, he walked to the bolted door of his room.