You are in a room, or at least you think you are. It is pitch black on all sides, save for the light shining from the single, round skylight above you.
You spend your days standing, sitting, laying down under the skylight. You sometimes pace along the border of the circle of light, sometimes sleep, sometimes talk to your self, or imagine someone is there with you, listening to you, and talking to you.
Sometimes, you venture outside the spot of light. You walk some feet, even dozens perhaps, across the wooden floor. It creaks in some spots, which makes you shiver. You look ahead – there is nothing but thick blackness. Behind, the lighted area threatens to shrink and disappear altogether, and so you return in haste before you go much distance at all.
One day, you wake up, and what is before your eyes is darker than sleep. The skylight is gone. Or, at least, what gave it its light has gone out. There was no sense of direction in the first place, but now, not even the distance between the floor and ceiling is discernible. You can only hear your own heartbeat and breath increase in frequency as your stomach drops.
You wonder whether you should move, or wait for something to happen. You wait for a spell – the light does not come back. Colors start to swim in the darkness before your eyes. You cautiously stand up. You can’t see your body – not even your hands – you can only feel it. You take a deep breath, and begin to walk; the direction has no significance.
You walk for what seems like a whole day. Whether you turn, slow, or quicken, it is hard to sense. You only know that you haven’t stopped.
Then, in your peripheral vision, there is a glow which flickers warmly through the black fog. Your eyes fixed on it, you turn, and draw closer. The light issues from a candle in a holder, which sits on a round table. The flame dances merrily, its orange and yellow and green and blue all melded into one small, soft tongue of fire.
A few feet beyond the table, the light from the candle illuminates an end to the floor. A solid surface cuts into it, rising up, and goes side to side in a straight line – it is a wall. You press your hand against it, and an inexplicable excitement rises in your throat, escaping as a cry of joy.
Picking a direction, you eagerly follow the wall, bringing the candle with you. Not long, and the wall has already brought you to something else: another wall. It meets the first one at a perpendicular angle – a corner.
Built into the corner is a door, attached to the wall by metal hinges and which has a knob at waist-level.
Your observations are interrupted by the frantic flickering of the candle, which alerts you to the fact that it has burnt quite low. The light dims quickly, and in a few seconds will go out altogether.
You look at the door again. You reach out and, turning the knob, open it.