Lingering Thought

Walking around the town in early morning in after a desperate night, you find the strangest places. Their dwellers can show you things that you though impossible. You just have to have an open mind.

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4. Octave

Now this was something completely different. It even looked cozy, like I was in a hallway of a mansion. The repeating pattern of wallpaper went on in the distance where it disappeared into the darkness. The only source of light was a small lamp above the door. I just noticed that there was a plaque on the door. It just said: "2". This meant that there must be more rooms here. I turned back to the visible part of the hallway; it went on for at least 10 yards.

The eternal question popped into my mind, "Should I stay or should I go?"

"Go!" the decision had something to do with the smell from the room.

I chose a pace that was a bit quicker than my usual walk. I found the situation appropriate for this. I stopped running when I got to the edge of the light's influence. It kind of looked like I was stepping off the ledge. I tried it with my foot, and indeed the hallway continued even though it wasn't visible. I continued cautiously.

I quickly bumped into one of the walls. Lost my sense of direction a few degrees. I decided that this will not be very effective, and in that same moment an idea came to me.

I turned around to face the room I came from, and started walking backwards keeping the light as a bearing. I walked like that for a few minutes, turning around occasionally to see if I'm getting somewhere. A faint red light appeared. I turned around and continued on.

The light came from a big chandelier in the middle of an unusual room. The room itself had sixteen sides, eight with openings like the one I came from and eight with walls. The walls had an unusual bright red wallpaper whose influence was amplified by the light's color. On each wall was a slightly different painting frame. There were no paintings in them, though. Each passage looked identical. There were no markings of any kind.

"Hmm..." I thought to myself. I didn't have any idea what to do.

I didn't want to move an inch to lose my current bearing. But, I knew I had to move quickly, someone did open that door, and I don't remember I needed needing an operation today, especially one which included tying me down with a rope.

~

I decided to go to a passage left of me. I guessed that I'd reach a similar door with either number "1" or "3" on the plaque. After walking my patented style to the other side it turned out that I was correct. It was the number "3". The door was locked.

"Crap!" I didn't do much of an intellectual debate while there. I kept it simple.

I tried to use the scalpel I had in my pocket to pick the lock, and later on with the doorframe. It broke in the end, the scalpel that is. Well, that was pointless, I threw it on the ground.

There was one more thing to try. I walked a few steps back and started running towards the door, and threw myself. To my surprise it opened. I gave myself an imaginary pat on the back, and went in.

The room was different than mine. Like I entered the freezer. There were large cylinders of ice covered with snow on the sides, and in the middle there was a chair with straps. It didn't look inviting, I looked around and didn't find anything that I could use.

Before leaving the room I had to do something I knew I'd regret. I went to one of the cylinders and scraped some of the snow. Yeah, there were corpses inside. I stood looking at a face of a young woman, my hands filled with cold frozen water.

Suddenly, the door opened. I turned around slowly hoping that whoever is there will not notice me. He did. A crooked smile appeared on his face. By the looks of it he was an older man, a hunter. He probably bought his clothes in Hunters Default's. His cap was casting a shadow, preventing me from completely distinguishing his face.

"Hey! Who are you? What... is this place?" I asked, shaking, half from the cold and other half came from much deeper, from fear.

He didn't answer, but his smile started to become even more crooked while he started raising his weapon. Oh, did I mention that he had a weapon? He had a goddamn sniper rifle.

Things started to slow down. I felt the cold on my hands, realizing that I have the material for my escape. The snow in my hand was now being pressed very quickly to produce a snowball. In the next moment the same snowball flew right into his head.

This was a huge surprise for him. It stunned him for a moment. This was enough for me to sprint towards him. I just slammed into him and we went to floor. In one moment I lost balance and he was hitting me from atop, luckily I felt the rifle next to me. I took it in my hands and slammed hard across his face. Unfortunately, he managed to grab the riffle, while I was getting on my feet. After a bit more struggle I succeeded in introducing my fist to his face.

"Knock out!" I shouted victoriously.

I tried to take the riffle, but it was held tightly in his hands. I carefully looked at the bastard to see if he had anything useful. I noticed a hunting knife on his left ankle.

"Loot!" I had played too many games when I was young.

I really considered just to kill him right there.

"This will came back and hunt me... Literally! Christ, he even still has his gun" I thought.

But, I couldn't do it. That would probably have much worse mental implications for me later. However, I couldn't resist cutting his shoelaces, and filling the gun with snow. I felt him move just a little, I punched him one more time and decided to move.

~

I arrived back to the sixteen-sided junction. I did a quick mental visualization on how this place looks. I woke up in number "2" and on the left of me was the frozen number "3". That had to mean that the "1" was on the right. Which implied that the one next to it was a "8" or a "0", either seemed like it had a good chance to be different, and possibly a way out.

I started walking there. In the distance I head a sound of door opening.

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