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Belmont Club

The Shadow in the Hallway

December 15th, 2012 - 11:49 am

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.”

People used to be aware they shared their minds with other inhabitants who afforded but fleeting glimpses — at times beautiful but often frightening or strange.  They’d never sit still long enough for us to see them clearly. In former days the Elders taught us to call some of these cohabitants Good and Evil. We were to talk to the one and refuse the other. But for the ones in between they had no name, though they bade us not to speak to them or not to listen to what they said.

And then one day a new set of teachers took over and said that these glimpses were simply artifacts of bad lighting. The whisperings through the wall were just the wind and nothing more. Right after the Pledge, we all took the books of Elders out of our desks where they had been for ages and threw them into the Book Burner.

Then the teachers left us alone in our mansion in the company of video games, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. But then …

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

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