It's very dark here. So dark I often
feel as though there were no daylight to break up the monotony of
the night, no sunrise and no sunset, no warmth against the wall
outside paid back in the gloom of my building.
Old timbers, half-burned, line the
walls. Burned lath and rotting mortar from the chinks of ancient
stones sits poised to fall, but there is no movement. Only I move
through the dimness, only my boots clank on the metal staircase or
whoosh across the dusty floors. The dust rolls right back again
after my passage, denying my disturbance.
"Believe in me," say the
walls. "Let go," says the darkness. Not afraid, I crawl
across timbers of silence, over ceilings clutching their substance
against the ravages of gravity and time, sighing gently with each
My building and I die at the same
speed, and we look the same on the inside. Substantial, quiet, dark,
here and there the remnants of a fire or an earthquake whose damage
is now almost obscured by age and forgotten. And we have the same
inhabitant, but who is that? Who is Tar-Man?