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He woke up and squinted, bleary-eyed, around the room. The walls were whitewashed, but dirty. There were no windows and only one door.

“Where the hell am I,” he muttered, staggering to his feet. “What the…”

He didn’t know where he was. Who he was, even. His head seemed fuzzy, as if it was stuffed with cotton wool. He pinched the bridge of his nose, shook his head and looked around. The floor was littered with scraps of paper. He picked one up at random.

Remember,” he read out loud.

He crumpled it up and threw it back on the ground. “Remember what?”

He opened the door and staggered aimlessly through identical whitewashed corridors. There were scraps of paper everywhere. He picked one up every few steps.

Must remember.

He rolled his eyes as he threw it away and reached for another. “Not helpful.”

“There’s something in the w”

He shook his head. The rest of the paper was torn away.

There were no windows anywhere. The doors led only into empty, abandoned offices. Torn paper strewn across the floors.

He wandered. There seemed to be no way out. No way to tell the time, either. All he knew was that he was getting hungry. Thirsty.

He started searching. Had to find something to eat. Something to drink. There had to be something in this endless complex other than torn up scraps of paper and empty desks.

He found a bathroom. He laughed, almost hysterical, as he pushed through the door and reached out to twist the taps. There was a distant clunking sound which grew louder and louder.

Then water spilled from the taps.

He thrust his head down, almost wrapping his lips around the tap, letting the water run down his chin and into his throat, cooling and soothing. He gulped, swallowed, drank as if he had never tasted water before.

He felt it as soon as he stood up.

His vision swam. His hands and feet felt distant, unconnected. He swayed. His fingers tingled.

The piece of paper. ‘There’s something in the w’- In the water. There’s something in the water.

He staggered out of the bathroom, and fell to his knees, groping for a piece of paper. For something to write with. He found a stubby pencil that had rolled up against the wall and scribbled until he passed out.


You must remember

There’s something in the water.

© Kari Fay