CHAPTER VIII

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When I first walked into that room, I felt relief- because I couldn't see anything too strange.

The room was round, instead of squared. The walls, ceiling, and floor were wood instead of metal. Except for the rectangles of yellowish light above me, everything seemed normal. There was furniture in the room, but it wasn't enough to make a bedroom. It was just a few bookcases and a couple wardrobes. The center of the room had nothing but a circular rug, and, just like the one in the hall outside, it had no patterns beyond the meshing violet and cream.

I looked at the walls and found that the only decoration they had was a mirror. It was large and had a wavy frame that shone golden like the sun. It was bigger than me, and it hung from a chain connected to the ceiling. It took me a second to realize that the mirror was slightly tilted forward. It was as though the person standing before it would be able to look to the ground at their feet, and also at whoever stood behind them.

It was strange... but in a way that I found familiar. I found refuge in that. The room was a little off but normal nonetheless.

By that time, I was ready for more 'normal.' Unfortunately, it was not going to get any more than that.

The sensation of relief disappeared the further I walked into that room. There was a sensation right in the center of my forehead; it pulsed and twisted like something trying to escape. It was a voice that screamed from the very depths of my mind. It shouted: "No, there has to be more."

I tried to keep that voice down. I tried to burn it away with the flames of fact and reason.

There's nothing in this room. It's normal. There's nothing to worry about. I told myself, trying to appease my growing fear, but I was lying to myself. There had to be more. Of course it had- otherwise, why would Gam take me there?

The voice in my head quieted down. In a moment of foolishness, I thought it had listened to reason. But no, It was just waiting for someone else to speak.

"I know what you must be thinking," Gam said, "and I thought the same. This room is mundane, useless even. But you need to understand something," Gam looked down at its hands and then back at me. Its red eye seemed to lose some of its glow. "The master restructured this mansion to have a few unbreakable rules. Every room needs to serve a purpose. As you can tell this room has bookcases, but no chairs or sofas to sit on. It also has dressers, but no screen to dress behind. This room doesn't appear to be serving a true purpose." Gam shook its head. "When I first entered this room, I spent several hours here, thinking. You see," Gam took a few steps back towards the book cases. "Everything should have a purpose, even if it's not obvious."

"What do you mean?" I asked, walking closer.

Gam stretched a hand towards the first of the three bookcases that were placed side-to-side.

"This room was not here before I went to sleep," Gam shook its head as one hand continued to move over the spines of dusty books. It looked like it was looking for something. "The door leading here could only have been opened by your key... and only I could have done this."

Gam pulled on a book. It appeared to be bound in vibrant red leather, and the words on the spine were written in golden ink.

There was a grinding sound, like rock rubbing against rock, and then, without as much as a whistle to warn us, the bookcase in the middle descended down into the floor.

What stood then, in place of the bookcase, was something truly strange.

It was a door... but I could almost see through it, as though it was muddy glass. The door didn't reflect the light coming from the ceiling above; instead, it shimmered and swirled, like the reflection of water.

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