The Documents of Hector Maze: 5.4

Next thing I knew I was being ushered into an oddly-shaped room with mirrors on every wall. The mirrors made the room look infinitely large and made the 30 or so people in the room look like thousands. All of us stood around awkwardly for a minute waiting for something to happen.

Then it did. The lights went out and some strange, Middle Eastern-sounding music was piped in. A moment later the floor started sinking. If I wanted to have my mind blown, I’d certainly come to the right place; this was much better than the Pink Floyd laser show.

When the floor stopped moving, a door popped open on one side, revealing a distant circle of light that appeared to be at the other end of a long tunnel. The music stopped and suddenly it was disconcertingly quiet. The only thing I could hear was what sounded like water dripping somewhere far away, amplified by an echo effect.

The crowd was quiet too, until someone finally said, “Well, what do we do now?”

There was no answer, so after a minute I was moved to share my opinion. “Obviously, we head for the light.”

A woman’s voice piped up. “But it’s, like, totally dark in there.”

She was right—it was, like, totally dark. Or at least it had been; my eyes had adjusted to the darkness now, and as I squinted into the tunnel, I saw a very faint glow emanating from the walls at regular intervals. I stepped through the door for a better look. It wasn’t enough light to make you feel comfortable, but it was enough to work with. “No point just hanging around,” I said, and started walking. Everybody else fell in behind me, which I guess made me de facto leader of this little expedition. I’m not much of a natural leader, but when there’s a vacuum I’ll step into it; I’m not totally useless.

For a while we marched along in silence, except for our footsteps crunching on the ground.

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