Hallway by Mati Saastamoinen

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His last memory was walking from a friend's home during the early hours of a mid-summers day morning... Now here, sprawled across the floor of a narrow unrecognized hallway. From the familiar structure of comforting design Adams mind automatically calculated he was in an apartment hallway. The values and manipulations required to compose an equation to determine his arrival here were however just outside his reach. Presently Adams recollection is unknown, actions taken will represent variables, and results borne of will become constants.

An attempt to stand revealed needling numbness throughout Adams left leg, and caused an awkward stumble towards the near wall. Embracing the wall eased the over sensate nerves while circulation returned. Adam felt warm blood wash downward soothing the uncomfortable sensation while a parallel calming cleared his mind. Testing his leg by shifting full weight overtop reassured circulation had reclaimed its entire track. A second step from the support of the wall was halted mid stride. The elevator shafts were located in the opposite direction. Reaching the lifts hollow, Adam touched the arrow pointing to the ground...then again. No glow appeared behind the button.

"Strange" Adam murmured.

Finger depressed on directional key for several seconds also failed to spark illumination. An ear pushed flush against the cool steel door brought no auditory assurance of elevator operations. No turning gears or stressed cables, no creaking mass. Equal results were found when variables were repeated in skyward direction.

"...Stairs." Unenthused Adam sighed.

Exit sign blushed red Adams outstretched arm. With handle in hand, and from wrist a counter clock wise twist produced a sound of mechanical "click" The door swung inward, into shadows. The stairwell spiraled in secret, turning unseen circles away from eyes in complete darkness, in haunting emptiness.

Hesitation held the moment hostage, time enough for curiosities to commence a meddling play. The impression of the unseen coiled flight of stairs awoke an unlooked for but immensely valued thought. The association that encouraged such a parallel leap from something casually viewed to significant long sought breakthrough was delicate. Though subtle, analogous to a narrow forlorn swaying bridge, a spanning existed none the less.

For several past tiring months Adam had been obsessively churning the seemingly unworkable into relevant fragments in hopes of creating a single self sustaining mathematical shape. Now a brilliantly captured epiphany shone with terrible clarity.

"Incredible!" Adam voiced with awe.