The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said, without even looking round.
Time lacks all meaning
The path, the bridge, went down into the darkness. It was an ornate sort of thing, covered in tiles of a peculiarly geometric cast. Each shimmered a golden color, and there were words there if one chose to read them. And if one did not value one's sanity particularly highly. But the words were there for the reading. The bridge was suspended from slender, silvery threads, stretching off too high for the ends to be seen, and the bridge itself stretched away into the darkness.
The only break in the darkness were the bookshelves next to you. They stretched along one side of the bridge, and they stretched above, and they stretched below, and to either side for as far as the eye could follow. They were paperbacks and pamphlets, hefty tomes and folders with dissertations, and one and all had titles printed in neat English. Underwood glanced at a few of the titles, and found them eerily familiar.
- An examination of the adolescent dreams of Martin Suggs, mechanic, West Woolwich.
- The movements of aphids in the garden of Theresa West, Brynmill, Swansea.
- Exegesis of a domestic contretemps between Mr. and Mrs. A. Scott, High Street, Durham.
- Reader-response criticism of the book Iris Page (Pennycross, Plymouth) never managed to write.
- The dreams of pop idoldom of Jade Wright, nine year old, Selly Oak, Birmingham.
It was easy to believe, in the darkness, that you were the only things in the world. That all of reality had limited itself to a few yards of bridge, and a length of bookshelves. Everything else was perfect darkness, and it was a heavy darkness, thick and cloying and close. It was a living darkness, and it was pregnant with meaning and with life. You didn't care to think of just what manner of creature dwelled in the darkness. You couldn't see them. You couldn't hear them. But you knew they were there all the same.
In the distance, there appeared a single light, and soon you saw a shapely, round-faced woman with two black antennae appear from the darkness on the bridge, holding a lantern.