Friday, 14 October 2011

In which I go shopping, feel hunger, and find a note

God, I could kill for a cigarette. That's the only thing I've been unable to find.

I've started to explore this city and noticed something odd. Well, odder. The city seems to be providing me with everything I need to live here.

For example, as I walked out of my room (I'm getting use to thinking of it as "my" room - is that bad?), I wondered if I would have to stay in the same clothes for the entire time I was here. At that exact moment, I saw across the street a department store, it's windows filled with mannequins displaying all sorts of clothing. The sign above the department store declared in large block letters that it was called "LACUNARY'S".

Inside was aisle after aisle of every article of clothing I could possibly wear. I'm afraid I may have gone a bit overboard in my selection, as I had never been able to afford such outfits, so I ended up piling article after article of clothing into a basket and then whisking them away back to my room.

Perhaps I was lucky even to find my room again, though, since the city seems to change around me. At one point, after my third trip, I realized that I was quite famished and when I turned around, LACUNARY'S had changed. There were no more mannequins in the storefront, no more outfits -- instead, the sign declared that it was "FUGUE'S GENUINE ITALIAN RESTAURANT". The windows had enticing pictures of pasta and pizzas and, as I cautiously opened the front doors, my mouth began to water at the smell of fresh baked dough and tomato sauce.

The smell was a lie, however -- or perhaps a delusion of my own fevered imagination -- because within the restaurant I found no pizza, no pasta, nothing except empty tables and chairs. Besides, who was to make the food anyway? As for as I could tell, there was no one else in this city except for me.

At that thought, however, I heard a rattling sound. It was coming from the kitchen area of the restaurant. I didn't know whether I should run towards the sound or away from it. I eventually compromised and opened the kitchen doors slowly, trying to see if there was anyone there. I saw no one, so I stepped inside and took a look around. Still no one -- except there was a cabinet that was ajar.

Inside the cabinet, I found an array of dry and canned foods (along with the helpful addition of a can-opener) which can probably last me a few weeks or possibly even months if I ration them out. Tucked beneath one of the cans of food was this note:

You are not dreaming. You are wide awake.
This is a city of the lost, the fear of being lost and abandoned and forever wayward. It likes you now. It enjoys playing with you, like a cat enjoys playing with a mouse. But in the end, it will consume you like it has consumed so many others.
I can protect you. I can provide for you.
All you have to do is believe in me.

I have read this note a dozen times now. I packed all the food away in my room (I have no idea how I am still able to find it -- all the streets have changed, yet whenever I try to find it, I always see the door to my room). I do not know if this "A" person is telling the truth or whether I should trust them. I do not know if I shall continue to find food or if when this supply runs out, I'll just simply starve.

The only thing I know, right now, is that I want a cigarette badly.

Sam Norton

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