Once there was a house. In that house there was a door, and in that door there was a allway, and in that allway was a room. Through that room there were some stairs, some stairs that lead nowheres. Why would there be stairs that led nowhere, because there is no real reason anything should lead anywhere.
This allway was dark, devoid of light and life and everything that comes and goes with it. These stairs went here, there, and everywhere, but nowhere all the same. This is a bad place, with bad stairs, bad doors, bad allways, all in the bad house.
I used to live in this ever-cursed house, living a normal life, wife, and kids. But then the door arrived, appeared, and that was when everything went wrong. She didn't want me to go in, the pets neither, but there was something about it, something that draws everything in, into nothing. The draw of exploration called for me to tame the beast, and so I tried. I needed something, an exploration, an explanation. This was all recorded, all this till the end. The first time terrifying, the second exhilarating, and the last ... end.
The dark allways were monstrous in their depth, they demanded meaning, providing none, providing nothing yet taking all. The blackness darker than the darkest night, but on the calling claimed, it would be safe. I went on, and on and on. I don't know how long, the time is different there, the hours, days, minutes, meaningless, doesn't matter anymore. Walls, ceiling, floor, it's all the same in the darkest dark. The rules of this everything no longer apply. The light was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was a glint of hope in the ocean of darkness, the light was nothing, yet everything to some, to me. Back, back from the pit, the other side, the allways.
That should have been the end to it. The thing was explored, done with, all over. But it never ends, the curiosity drives us, drives me, that need for discovery. Why? The cat, Schrodinger was his name, went in, never came back. That should have been the end, the real one. But again, the door lies open, some damn fool wandering inside it.
I thought I was prepared this time, but never, never really prepared. I had a rope, a means to get back, a trail of breadcrumbs, I wouldn't get eaten, I'd be safe. No one knew, none of them understand, this is for me and me alone. It was the darkest part of night and no one knew. The journey began with stairs, it ended with the end, as things are like to do.
These stairs, they were hundreds on thousands on millions of millions. Turning, twisting, whiling away, an eternal hourglass ever-dripping. Stairs are always a way to get up and down, but not these, these are no means to an end, they have no destination, they are the end.
But the end is not the end, not for me, not yet, as the rope strains taught it is time to return, there are those who need me, and return I must. The journey up is easier, the family at the end certainly help, and soon the journey ends, yet no one knew. No one knew how close it came, there at the end.
We went, we went away, away from that place, that house, the allways. But there, at the back, that place you can't quite see, can just barely feel it lie waiting. It came back, there was no stopping it, there never really is. I went back, I told them, they heard, they could not understand, but they heard. And away I went, the door still there, still closed, and now to open for a final time.
Down I go, no safety net, I descend till it ends. It will end, as all things do, even nothing has a limit to the amount it can take. The descent was haphazard, but in the end there it was, a door. Through that door lay everything, everything that no one knew about, just like the door and the rooms and the stairs and the allways and the house.
RIP Joseph Manford Barber III