The Way Out

“What is it?” she whispered.

“A riddle.”

He took the piece of paper and brought it nearer for them to examine it. The room was not lit enough. They took turns to try to decipher the blurred print on the paper.

The path is but an empty case.
The walk is but a ceaseless chase.
In one light you shall see the trace,
but lose remembrance of the face.

“Do we have to answer it?” Halley fixed her eyes on Nael.

Nael shrugged, his hand ran through his red curls. “If you want to… But you can also leave it alone. There’s no need to answer everything.”

He got up and turned his head, trying to see the back of his shirt. “I need to see what happened to my back. I’ll see you at the mirror room.”

In a blink, Halley was left alone. She was still holding the paper, coarse and old. Not old enough to be called an antique, though. She just felt the weight of its existence bigger than her own.

“If I answer you, will you help me get out of this place?” her voice almost sounded like a lullaby, filling the void of the room.

She sat there, breathing slowly, her eyes staring into the emptiness. Nael and her had been trapped for months, it seemed, and they were beginning to wither. Nael had begun to lose his will. Halley, her hope.

Halley shook her head, and realized that she must have been sitting one too long. She looked at the paper again, and let it slip back to the cold floor.

“How did I get in?” she thought aloud, for the thousandth time since Nael and her had been got into the place.

With that, she got up, dusted off her skirt, and went to look for Nael. Perhaps he knew how they had gotten in.

Taiwan, 26 October 2012, 2:36 a.m.

– cheers to all –

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