Filing in

The filing system was large, dense and complex. They always are, in your head, but ask modern archivists and they will tell you about well-lit rooms with motorised carousel storage that shrinks the world to a two-digit number on a keypad. But in your head, the filing system was filled with shadow and indexed by a demon.

Worlds were stored here, and words right next to them, cosying up in the higher reaches of the alphabet. Coffee, ghosts, the halo you lost, recipes for bread, fights, the patterns you watch when you close your eyes. You could run a finger along the index cards tucked into the rack-ends and see the past slip beneath your touch. Lights hung from the ceiling, if there was a ceiling.

You only had a short time here, racing through the aisles barefoot. Toes barely touching the floor, you don’t remember making any sound as you ran. For once, nothing was in pursuit, there was nothing to be sought. This was a dance through memory, a flight into the life you had. The lightness of it made you want to scream, a tearing howl of joy that, as you surfaced from sleep, emerged as a wounded croak.

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