Pathway and Corridor
rating: +1+x

by Rigen

"Are you sure this is the right way? We aren't going to get in trouble are we?"

"Wasn't getting in trouble the point? Anyway, no need to worry, nobody ever comes here."

The dusty and labyrinthine corridor stretched unto infinity, its silence and foliage-filtered sunlight invited interlocutors into calm slumber. The building had been abandoned for quite a while, but was otherwise fine—practically an invitation for intrepid teenagers to explore.

Indeed, two such teenagers were currently within the building. Well, one of them was intrepid: I was merely dragged along with her adventure.


Not that I minded. This was preferable to solitude.

The proportion of this building—

"This building is so massive, huh. Why do they even need doors that big?"

As I was saying. Each door was at least ten meters tall. None of this made sense even if the building had been constructed in the Netherlands, much less a middle-of-nowhere Indonesian village—well, the Dutch did leave some buildings with oversized doors and windows during the couple centuries they spent here, but this was beyond that.

What made even less sense (somehow) were the placements of door handles; some of them were proportioned like a normal door, just upscaled, and some had their handles at more or less waist height. Several of the door handles were barely a couple dozen centimeters of the ground; less than a foot.

The brave girl led her less-than-motivated friend through the maze of corridors, dipping between the shadows of the looming pillars as the morning sun illuminating each dust particle in the air.

"I wonder what's behind these doors. None of them open."

"Probably the same as these corridors: dust and silence." A pause. "…you tried them?"

"Only the ones I could reach. I might be taller than you, but I'm not five meters."

"You're obviously not taller than me."

"Sure. Anyway, most of them were locked, barring one secret gate. Woo~" She made some hand gestures for emphasis.

"You just contradicted yourself."

"Shush. I think we're here."

We stood before a decorative arch, detached from the building's support structure, indistinguishable from any other—

"What the…"

Instead of fine particles suspended in midair by continuous disturbance, an iridescent surface of impossibly vivid colors filled the space between the pillars of the arch.

"I must admit that I first discovered this while getting lost, but I figured out a pattern of twins and turns that I can use to reliably get here. Wasn't that cool?"


"It's twists and turns. But yes. It is quite interesting."

I approached the surface, and touched it. It was solid, yet fluidly everchanging. Friction dragged my finger to follow a smudge of vivid yellow across.

"Do you remember your first memory?" Her eyes were fixated to the surface—through the surface, as if looking at something far beyond it.

"That's kinda sudden. What of it?"

"I remember mine. It was a hallway of glass, brightly lit from all sides. Did you know that there are more to this world than meets the eye?"

"Well, you just showed me an irrefutable evidence. You still haven't answered my question, why are you asking me?"

"Yes. There are entire worlds out there. Infinite probabilities. Infinite improbabilities. Did you know why I brought you here?"

"Quit with the riddles and games. Why are we here?"

"It's a Knock. A little partridge flew from beyond. Told me that someone must answer my question with another question thrice. This place was the beanstalk, leading unto the giant's palace beyond the clouds."

She walked into the surface, pushing through the psychedelic swirl. I tried to follow her, but I couldn't—the surface stayed mockingly solid for me.


"I said wait!"

"Is that how you saw me? A tool, a mere door handle? A lockpick? To be discarded once you opened the door?"

"I thought we were friends!"

"We were."

As if on cue, the colors dissipated, becoming past tense—just like her last sentence. I was left alone among dust.


The building shrank, its ten-meter doors and windows became standard sizes—well, standard for colonial Dutch architecture, they were still pretty massive. Most people only ever saw the building from afar, so not many noticed the change in size. Those who notice chalked it up to the difference in perception as one gets older.

I would never meet her again, that much was certain. Unless I found another way to the "giant's palace." But there was just so many unknown things. Where was this palace? Were the gates all in abandoned colonial Dutch buildings? How did she even knew the Knock?

The dust didn't seem eager to answer me.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License