It starts with the opening of one door, leading too another door. And then another door. And it just keeps on going. Door after door after door. The doors are of different colours, shades and materials. As you advance through maze of doorways you see some of the walls have been scrawled on as if an adventure is being chronicled. Eventually the scrawlings stop, but that doesn’t mean a journey has ended. You swear you can hear the faint sound of doors slamming.
The door is a simple one, fashioned out of wood with cast iron strips layered in a checkered formation. A metal plate hangs on the door with in inscription that has been distorted over time, now impossible to read.
“Click, clack” – old hinges squeal, years of being dormant left them unprepared for the sudden motion.
The room is a spacious one. A shout produces an echo. Not a big echo but a passable echo. An echo you would not be embarrassed to call your friend. A carpet furnishes the floor. It is exquisite, finely crafted with many colours and patterns. Tables and chairs are arrayed about the room. They are fastidiously forged, delicately scribed with words and sentences from famous authors. A spiral staircase spun from fine gold disappears into the ceiling, presumably leading to another room.
The room has curtains all around its walls, covering something. You try to move them aside but they are thick and seemingly never-ending. You look for a way to open them up. Scanning the room, something stands out to you. A velvet rope hanging in the corner. You focus on it, getting tunnel vision. Soon it is the only thing within the room. You walk over to it, caressing it between your fingers. Gently tugging on it you realise it has some give. You tug on it again, but with more force. Still it holds out. A final concentrated effort produces the desired result. The drapes part ways, revealing their secret.
A glorious golden flash enlightens the room from all sides. The walls are adorned with gold bookcases inscribed with literary quotes and images from the finest books. All of the books are wrapped in the finest parchment, spines lettered with gold leaf. The smell of grand old books fills the room. It pleases you.
Picking out one of the books, you feel it in your hands, embrace it before opening it. It is full of empty pages. Placing it back on the shelf you finger through another book. And another one after that. All empty. The next book has words on its pages. But it also contains many blank pages. And turning back through the pages, the words have disappeared. It is like they have escaped the confines of the book. This puzzles you. Where to the words go? Where have they gone? It is not as if they have the capacity to wander around, to conquer the land. They are abstract concepts, how could they exist in actuality? Then you become aware you are in a library that appears to have no words. It’s a bizarre sensation.
You return to the staircase. Perhaps the answer lies upstairs. The golden spiral beckons you to climb it, your curiosity begs you to explore the upper room. The two sensations over come you and you trudge up the gold-plated stairs, clanking as your feet touch down.
The upper compartment is dark. Barely, you can make out some candles. You take some matches from your pocket and light the candles. They gradually bring the room out of its slumber, illuminating chairs and tables, covered with gossamer layers of dust. And in the simplicity, all of the words from the books scurry around, rest on table tops, coil around candles and hang down from the ceiling. They come together, forming new sentences and poems, different novels and novellas. Some prefer to be on their own, enjoying moments of solitude for the first time in their existence.
Perhaps rather than being left untouched in paradise, the words would rather be alive in rusticity. It seem a fair way to be.
Again, both rough with room for expansion. Feedback would be appreciated.