m a d i s o n    g l a s s

The Corridors

 

"No, no. The cloud rose."

"It did not descend."

"No."


"Earlier you said: 'Maybe the streets weren't narrower, it only seemed that way […] because of a thick fog.'"

"Yes."

"But the clouds rose."

"So […] there were no clouds."

"Yes. There was. […] It rose from the ground and hovered there. It came […] it came out of the ground and formed a thick fog, which stayed there, in the city, causing the streets—not the streets—the corridors, between the buildings, to appear narrower."

"You mean the alleyways."

"The corridors. Between the buildings."

"Alleyways."

"Yes. Alleyways. Fine."


"But how does this happen?"

"Yes. I don't think it's possible."

"What are you talking about."

"Clouds. They don't rise from the ground."

"Of course they do."

"No. No they don't."

"He's right. They really don't."

"[…] Yes they […] I know they do. I saw it. The cloud rose from the ground. It was there. That part's true."


"Which part's not true."


"What?"

"You said: 'It was there. That part's true.'"

"We're wondering,

"which part of what you told us, through its exclusion, was not true."


"[…] I wasn't trying, through exclusion, to hint at any untruthfulness in what I've said thus far."

[laughter]

"No Mr. Gibbons."

[more laughter]

"No of course not."


"Well. I suppose […] Earlier I had said that the corridors—"

"Alleyways."


"—that the alleyways narrowed. But they only appeared to narrow in the fog."

"The fog."

"Yes."

"From the cloud."

"Yes."


"What do you mean? What kind of other explanation?"

"For instance, say you'd been drinking."

"No."

"Hallucinogens."

"No."


"Then what you're describing is madness."

"Mmm. Madness."


"…Madness wouldn't look good for a person in my position."

"No. It wouldn't."

"Nor for us."

[laughter]

"No. It wouldn't look good for us either."

[more laughter]

"So what we're asking, is for you to downplay this whole cloud thing."

"Yes. It's not much."

"Just the cloud thing. Keep the city."

"Yes."

"The alleyways."

"The alleyways are good!"

"Just no clouds."

"The clouds aren't really the point anyway."


"The point."


"Sure."

"Not the clouds."

"No."


[…]


"Okay. Okay, yes."

"Good."

"Good."


"Glad we got this out of the way."

"It's really for the better."

"It really is."


He stepped out, onto the grounds. The grounds were wooded. The building, behind him, loomed. Trees reached at the sky and drowned it. Light came from somewhere and died somewhere else. As he walked, the ponds, dotting the soil, spread and the soil thinned to a network of small city streets both cold and cluttered.

And then the cloud.

It rose. It rose from the ground. It rose from the ground and hovered there. It came out of the ground and formed a thick fog, which stayed there, in the city, causing the corridors, between the buildings, to appear narrower.

 

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MADISON GLASS grew up just east of East Missoula where she poisoned three au pairs over a matter of years; two of them French. She's parked her car at the edge of the estate, speaks only in Portuguese, and sleeps with the dogs. GO HERE.