Animus Bellum, Part 3
There was a long hallway past the open door, lathered with the same thought-produced images that had surrounded Mike in the room. He picked himself up off the floor and made his way slowly and curiously towards the open door. As he walked through the door into the hall, Mike felt as if tremendous pressure had been placed on him, not only like a weight to be carried, but an intensity of purpose. On each side of the long hallway were small alcoves containing life-size statues and busts depicting people and events in Mike’s life, some of which he would rather not be reminded of. He tried not to look at them, thinking that he wouldn’t be distracted into remembering them, but they seemed to beckon to him, though their stoic and lifeless forms stood rigid and still. The hall continued to loom in front of him, but Mike soon came upon an intersection of hallways that forced him to choose a direction, left or right. He stood for a moment, pondering which way to turn. Both directions looked identical, and offered no clues as to the benefits of following either path and they both seemed equally intriguing. He chose to turn right, thinking that he could always turn around if he changed his mind. Mike realized that he had not looked to see how far he was from the room where he started, so he took a quick glance back down the first hall to see, only to realize that it now disappeared into the images surrounding him on the walls. He was unable to determine just how long the hallway was, or where it now terminated. He could still see the separation of the walls where each alcove was, and he halfway expected the statues to come to life and suddenly rush from their hiding places. A flutter of panic moved through his chest and he began to feel a bit uneasy about his choice to leave the room and it’s surreal comforts.