Floors, walls, ceilings, doors…

In one room a mirror stands against the left hand wall. A wicker basket full of eggs sits on the floor by the door.

In another room, there is a single plain wooden table of unvarnished oak standing on a single central leg, the base of which splits into three. The countertop is an undecorated circle approximately two inches thick and twelve inches across. A slender glass bottle stands in the centre. The bottle contains a still clear liquid.

The door to the third room hosts a window covered by metal grating and cannot be opened. The bulky lock juts out from the doorframe. It has an unusually large keyhole. The walls inside are featureless. In the far right corner, a narrow staircase marches into the floor and around a corner.

One room features a chalkboard mounted on the far wall. Chalk dust hangs in the air, it coats everything. The remnants of a stick of chalk rest on the rim of the board. The entire board has been entirely coated in chalk, no sight of the slate remains. There is no eraser.

There is a heavy steel door with a sliding window. Inside there is a narrow rust-speckled iron bed, a simple chair, and a desk. A small window high on the far wall is barred. On the table is a single sheet of yellowing A4 paper, curled at the corners. The paper concerns the release of ‘#21753’. Someone has signed their name at the bottom, but the signature is illegible.

In a further room, an aged pot-bellied man sits unmoving with his eyes closed and his legs crossed. Before him there is a hefty leather-bound tome. Light filters in through a grimy stained-glass window behind him. The entire room, including the man himself, is covered in a pale stringy fungal mould. The mould shifts without cease.

A battered wooden door leads to a room covered in dust and cobwebs. A cot gazes up through the low light and dust-clogged air, at a high ceiling. The bedding is moth-eaten. The cot contains a mass of brownish-red flakes. On closer inspection these are revealed to be a concentrated mass of scabs.

The door is simple, the wood is scratched and scuffed. A small metal plate is embossed with the number ‘8’. Inside, a functional circular chandelier hangs from the ceiling. A chest of drawers leans on the near wall to the left of the narrow doorway. A small glass bottle containing a single white hydrangea sits atop the chest of drawers. The topmost drawer lies open, revealing the splintered half of a heavy wooden rudder.

The room after has no door. The walls are upholstered in cedar panelling coated in a translucent pale-yellow veneer. It is empty. There is a square hole in the floor, wide enough for a large man to fit through. In the cramped room below, also upholstered in the same pale-yellow panelling, a woman in an ornate dress stands on a shredded mattress performing an unknown opera. She has no audience. Her song has no words. She will never stop singing.

The tenth room is shadowed. In the far left corner, a naked emaciated man stands facing the wall, sobbing into his hands, pausing periodically to mutter to himself. The room is otherwise stark and bare. His muttering travels almost entirely unintelligible loops of experience, returning at random to variations of ‘long ago’, ‘another place’, or ‘not my concern’. Occasionally he will thrash his head from side to side as if denying or rejecting something, before lapsing back into heaving sobs.

Through a polished door frame, the walls are layered in an oppressive grey-blue. A square iron table sits in the far left corner. On it are three heavy tumblers arranged in a triangle around a large opaque green glass bottle. The first tumbler contains a lime. The second tumbler contains a bulb of garlic. The third tumbler contains a yew seed.

A red carpet ascends a narrow, cracked concrete staircase into a wide room of solid veined marble. The high roof is domed, held aloft by a circle of elegant pillars. At the centre of the pillars, an opulent dagger, blade flecked with old blood, lies in a small pool of seminal fluid. A circle of salt has been drawn around it.

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