The Lurch

When he came to, he was in the dark.  Calling out and receiving no response, he figured he was there alone, wherever there was.

He’d never been able to imagine a place quite so dark that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.  That was the line, right?  It was so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

The first time he’d heard someone say it, he’d held up his hand and looked at it.  He couldn’t remember if it was nighttime, but he could see it, took comfort in that, thought about not being able to do that, and shivered.

He’d been in some dark places before, but, well, lo and behold, it was so dark here that he in fact could not see his hand in front of his face.  Not even the outline.  He wiggled his fingers.  They felt like there were still there, but he rubbed the back of his hand against his cheek, just to make sure.

Sitting up, he felt the floor around him.  Smooth.  He rapped it with his knuckles.  Wood, probably.  Very thick.

He stood up, slowly, just in case it was a low ceiling.  Stepping very carefully, sliding his feet ahead of him, one at a time, he reached out searching for a wall of some kind.  Finally he touched what seemed like a wall, ran both his hands over its smooth surface, rapped this too with his knuckles.  Solid and silent as well.

Then he began to slide carefully forward, his right hand against the wall, feeling for a door, something that provided egress, his left arm out in front as a cushion against whatever might be up ahead.  He raised and lowered his arm slowly, hoping not to miss anything like a shelf that might be jutting toward him ahead.

This went on for a while.  It wasn’t that he knew it for certain, but it seemed as if he were in a room that had no corners.  A round room.  Lifting his right foot, he removed his shoe, then knelt and placed it against the wall.

He proceeded to walk forward again, sliding along the wall, counting the number of steps.  At footstep 911, he stepped on something.  Reaching down, he touched the object.  Sure enough, it was his shoe..

So he was in a round room.  How high might the ceiling be? he wondered.  It didn’t appear as though there were any kind of furniture, not against the wall certainly.  He reached up, sliding his hand against the wall.  Nothing.

He tried again, this time with his shoe in his hand to reach higher. Nothing.

Putting his shoe down, he undid his belt.  Holding the buckle, he swung the belt end upwards.  Nothing.

He slid down the smooth wall and sat on the floor.  For the life of him he couldn’t figure out where he was or why he was there.

He laughed.  Maybe this was what a lurch was.

(500 words)

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