Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Chapter 5

In his dream, Seamus found himself in a Liberator bomber over Switzerland, wearing a suit and tie under zip-up overalls and a parachute, and carrying a case of forged documents. He had had dreams like this before, and they bothered him slightly. Mostly this was because his mother had always told him it was a sign that he was reading too much, and he didn't like to think it was even possible to read too much. But he did wonder sometimes if it was entirely normal.

Flight Sgt. Chew opened the hatch, and Seamus looked out at the dark Swiss night. Then there was a slap on his back and he stepped out into the air. Wind whistled past him and his parachute snapped open. Descending steadily towards the ground, he looked below and found that he could see surprisingly clearly, in spite of the darkness.

He saw the deserted field where he was about to land. He saw the Hôtel Cosmopolitan, and the mysterious Ludwig who would betray him. He saw the villa where he would be imprisoned.

But as he noticed all this, he realized that he was no longer looking down on them. Instead of landing properly on the ground, he was passing everything and heading still further down. He looked down and saw that he was falling down a corridor that seemed bound for the center of the earth. It was dark, but with an intensity that seemed to glow. And as he continued farther down, he began to make out something at the center of it all. A simple wooden door, with a small glass window in the upper part.

An empty suit of clothes and a case of papers landed next to the door, and the parachute collapsed on top of them in a shapeless mound.


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