Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Nocturne (excerpt)

Aaron had stumbled across The Nocturne by accident. It was tucked away at the center of a vast labyrinth of dark alleys and dead end streets, the kinds of places people don’t notice during the day and avoid after dark. If anyone were to ask Aaron for directions to The Nocturne, or to provide a general description of it’s location, he would be of little help. And although Aaron wasn’t exactly sure where The Nocturne was - in relation to the University, in relation to his apartment, in relation to anything, really  -  he knew how to find it. Now he trudged through unlit alleys, one after another, scaling white dunes of snow-coated refuse and skating across lakes of black ice, his eyes scouring the landscape for a hint of The Glimmer.

The Glimmer, that's what Aaron called it, was a trail of barely visible iridescent markings that would lead an observant traveler to the great steel doors of The Nocturne. At first, The Glimmer appeared to be a random assortment of symbols - if it appeared at all - but if one payed close attention, as Aaron had, a pattern would emerge. Clockwise spirals indicated a right turn ahead. Inverted arrows meant taking a flight of stairs. Ringed hexagons meant you’d taken a wrong turn and needed to backtrack. There were a fair number of distractors as well. Counterclockwise spirals meant nothing, and were to be ignored.

After nearly an hour of hunting, Aaron was no closer to his destination than when he’d started. He pressed his forehead against a cement wall and cursed. On previous trips, he’d picked up The Glimmer almost immediately.

You’re trying too hard. Look again

The voice originated inside his head, but it was not his own. Aaron opened his eyes and stepped back. There on the wall, feathered between chips and cracks, was The Glimmer.

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