Friday, March 30, 2012

"Midnight in the Halls of Branch #23 (West Chester, Ohio)"

Mommy had said to follow the arrows on the floor if he got lost. Once the showroom’s lights dimmed, Tad did. He ignored the shifting in a bin the brimmed with stuffed animals and a clattering in the ventilation tubing. The scent of Swedish meatballs nauseated him, but he walked until he rounded into housewares -- and saw the arrows were gone.

Tad stopped. He thought. He said, loudly, “Fine then.”

They came, hunched and ragged, hope lighting their hollowed eyes. They wanted to play.

Tad hoped they’d like his games. And he hoped that, eventually, they’d let him leave.

Midnight in the Halls of Branch #23 (West Chester, Ohio) by I Saw Lightning Fall

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Chestertonian Rambler said...

Mmmm....Ikea horror.

It's like Mieville's "The Ball Room," only from the child's perspective.

Loren Eaton said...

You really could lose a child in one of the stores. When we were there, a guy in the self-shipping department told me that a child had crawled in amongst the stacks and fallen asleep. He said he was glad he found the kid before someone stuck a forklift in there.