The final door was right at the back of the room and was shadowed by the corner. As she moved toward it, the pulse beat got louder, but the rhythm was changing, it was becoming more erratic. She stood in front of door and the shock she felt as she read what was written on it almost shook her to her core. One word, beautifully written in fine gothic lettering ‘Alice’ . The door started to pulse in time with the heartbeat, stuttering and faltering at times, fading and rising and she felt her own heartbeat echoing its song. She reached forward, grasped the handle and opened the door.
Her first impression was of a bright warm light that pulsed in the same way as the sound, she blinked and noticed that this room was longer than the others and that there was something almost hidden within the light right at the back of the room. Her breathing felt tired and tight but she needed to see what was there before she took a rest. She walked forward.
As she approached the back of the room, the image revealed itself to her. It was not a drawing or a photograph but was an actual physical presence in the room. A white tombstone, surrounded by red and white marble chips and vases of white flowers. She dropped to her knees in front of it. The beat and her heart shuddered and stuttered as one as she tried to catch her breath, it drew in, rattling in her chest. Everything she had felt and seen while lost in the maze of corridors and rooms started to flash in front of her eyes. Every physical sensation repeated itself, but they all felt stronger, as if they were battering against her body. She could feel the remaining strength leeching out of her. What could this mean? She was too young, only 63, she had years yet. The beat faltered again, getting weaker and weaker. Her heart fluttered in her chest, it made her think of a butterfly trapped within a spider’s web. It was getting harder to breath, to think, to live. She felt herself start to slump, her vision seemed to blur, on her last breath she struggled to read the inscription on the stone again ‘ Alice Carroll - died October 31st 2012, aged 63 . She got lost in rabbit holes’.
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)