Yes, one of these again, but at least I’m keeping them relatively bite-sized. Expect more appearances over the next few weeks, I’m on a nonsense-roll 🙂

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The girl wanders from courtyard to courtyard without discovering anything of note. The repetitive nature of these empty spaces and their interlinking corridors makes it difficult for her to navigate, and some nights are much like this one, a succession of empty chambers indistinguishable from each other and totally unremarkable.

Just as she is preparing to leave, something catches the girl’s eye. In the centre of the courtyard she has now entered, there is a small red circle on the floor, exactly in the middle of one of the perfectly square tiles. It appears to have been painted onto the tile, and kneeling before it, the girl scratches at the red disc with her fingernail, but to no effect. She looks round at the rest of the space to see if there are any more red dots she had not noticed, but there are none. Then she sees the ball.

In one corner of the courtyard sits a red ball. The girl hadn’t spotted it earlier as it lay in the shadows. Walking over to it now, she picks it up and weighs it in her hand. About the same size as a squash ball, but smooth and solid, like a billiard ball, and cold. It doesn’t smell of anything, or taste of anything, she checks these things too. She shakes it and can feel something small rattling inside. The girl holds the ball up close to her eye to inspect it, but it is opaque and flawless, crimson and without pattern. She holds the ball up close to her ear, and, shaking it again, hears a tiny chiming sound. It is so faint it sounds as if it is coming from far away.

Closing her hand round the ball, the girl walks back to the circle at the centre of the chamber and crouches down before it. Carefully, she places the ball onto the red disc, trying to ensure that it is precisely in the middle, and stands back. The chiming sound comes again, indistinct and distant, then the ball slowly begins to roll away from the centre spot in a straight line toward one of the corridors. Her bare feet moving silently on the tiled floor, the girl patiently follows the ball as it leads her out of the courtyard.

As the corridor takes ninety degree turns, first to the left then to the right, so the ball follows, its pace unchanging as it charts a course directly along the centre of the floor. So the girl follows, placing one foot before the other like a high-wire walker, her arms held out to the sides for balance. After the second turn, another courtyard comes into view, but this one is darker than any she has previously encountered, with only the occasional tile radiating any light.

Entering into the chamber, the girl sees a large rectangular opening in the floor ahead of her. The ball continues to roll steadily forward until it reaches the lip of the opening then disappears over the edge, before bouncing soundlessly down a flight of stairs into darkness.

Stairs? The girl doesn’t understand this.

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Not sure what  the next post will be, but there will be one soon (klopf auf holz) then more than likely a further appearance.

Until then… ses x