Something large and hairy. No, that’s not right. It was fuzzy. A large teddy bear, yes, that was it, I remember now. A teddy bear that hugged me tighter and tighter and then everything went black. It sounds crazy, I know, but I’m sure it happened. It must have, how could I have ended up here otherwise?
Before that, I was at the carnival. I had this white mask on with a long long nose which was red at the end. Like the mask was drunk or had a cold.
No, I was not drunk. I think. I had not drunk very much. Of course, I was in a good mood, everybody was. There was music and dancing. I had forgotten my earplugs so it was much too loud. When I drifted too close to a music wagon, I felt like my eardrums would explode. So I ran. Away from the noise. Into a deserted alley.
While I rested my hand against the wall, getting my breath back, I noticed a woman in a rabbit costume. She went right past me and at the end of the alley she opened a door and disappeared through it. She left it ajar.
I glanced down the way she had come. No one was following her. My legs went to the door of their own accord and I looked inside. There were steps. Leading down. A naked bulb lit them where they turned.
I gave the alley one last furtive glance before I stepped inside, leaving the door like she had. I took a few steps down and looked over the banister. She was gone. She must have gone down the stairs pretty quickly to be gone already. There was a small click behind me. I turned. The door had closed.
I rushed back up. No matter how hard I pushed or tugged, the door would not open. I dared not bang at the door, because I might be accused of breaking an entrance. The light blinked and the stairs were plunged into darkness. For what felt like an eternity I stood there in the dark with my back to the door.
In the end I made up my mind. I could not just stay there. I groped for the banisters and made my way down, step by careful step. At the first turn I felt the walls, but there were no doors and not even any light switches.
It became colder as I descended. Or maybe, I just imagined it. It was strange to think that only moments ago I was outside in bright sunshine. I am not sure how far I went down. I began counting the turns. After a while I gave it up.
It became very damp and I heard a dripping from somewhere beneath me. It became steadily louder. I took a step down and stumbled. My foot was stopped by cold stone and the banister ended. The dripping was now in front of me.
I squinted into the darkness and there far ahead was a dim light. I felt the floor in front of me with my foot. It seemed to be level. Reaching out to one side I found the wall, cold and slimy. I retracted my hand. The slime was still sticking to my fingers, gooey but odourless. I wrinkled my nose and dried it off in my trousers, hoping it would not leave a stain.
Then I went towards the light.