Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Lair of Madness

Edwin approached the office, two friends close behind; and in his heart was trepidation.

He was an hour late, now, for the appointment; a meeting with a man from the Internet, unknown, Anonymous. The industrial-park was sparsely lit with orange-glowing sodium lights; offices and warehouses stood closed all about. And in Edwin's mind, too, was a darkness; cloaking his thoughts, letting him see naught about him but the ill. Through this lens he percieved events, and was much troubled by it.

Two men stood on the balcony, their faces hidden by cap-bills. The doors were locked; one of the men went down, letting Edwin in through a narrow stairway. And what they saw -

ah -

- graffiti, paintings, the scrawlings of a condemned mind! -

All about him was evidence of the sickness Edwin knew to lie in this place. He felt faint, reeled; nearly turned back and ran. But with him were his friends (a label the darkness in him would repeal), and so he continued on, into the innermost sanctum, where another man waited - his visage most horrible of all. And he spoke -

"Here's the turntable, $250, as we agreed."

"$250, for one of those?" one of Edwin's friends asked incredulously, bending to look more closely at the turntable. "That model - it's $550! You must be crazy to be selling it that cheap!"

"Crazy?" the man asked. "Must I be? Then perhaps I am... mad!" And with a cackle he roared his pleasure to the sky, as lightning flashed -

Or Edwin handed him the money, took the turntable, and left - through an office which seemed, if not ordinary, then certainly not malign, as he had percieved it -

And about him the world, though still night-dim, seemed a little brighter than it had when he entered.