December the Eighteenth

“I want to go there,” Song said. They almost whispered it, but the rest heard it as clear as a chirp morning inside that silent room.
“I want to get outside,” Song said again, tasting the sounds on their mouth. It was hard to get a sense of them; they felt foreign.
From scowled. “And do what? What’ll that get you? Look at it, doesn’t really look like a place you want to be.”
“Doesn’t it?” Glass said. “It looks massive. There’s bound to be something out there.”
“Yeah, like what?”
“I don’t know, something—something that isn’t roofs and grey walls and darkness. Something where the light actually comes from a sun.”
From shook his head. “It’s not safe. This room is not safe. We should all leave.”
“What’s wrong?” Cometh said. “You seem agitated.”
He hesitated, then gestured at the chair. “Whose do you think this was? Do you think they wanted us well? Do you think anyone else cares for us but ourselves?”
“But don’t you want to find that out? Exactly that?” Glass said. “Who else is here, why they left us, why the Silence disappeared, what else is out there? If there aren’t any answers in here, there might be out there!”
“Why would they be? Look, there might be a reason why we’re trapped here. There might be a reason why we can’t go outside.”
“Whoever was in here sure didn’t want us to leave,” Cometh said.
From tried to come up with a response, but couldn’t. She was right. He hated this room and everything in it. Whoever made it was not kind to them.
“But why leave us then? Why disappear?”
“That’s what we want to find out,” Glass said.
“And experience what else the world has to offer,” Song joined in.
“But…” Wayside hesitated, “how do we even get there?”
The silence was opulent—roaring at them in grandeur and terror. It haunted their dreams and kept them awake as they all stared at each other in fear and confusion.
They didn’t know. In all their searches, in all their mapping, they had found not a single exit, nor a single window. They were seeing all the rooms on the screens, yet none of them had a door. And as they thought upon it, they all lost what to say.

They split up in silence, some beginning to look for a way out, more fervently than before, other beginning to look for a way in, for a way to understand the room with the cameras, to find clues as to who had made it, and to discover its true purpose—it couldn’t possibly just be to spy on them, could it?
They found buttons and switches, they found schemas and dried out tables with signs they couldn’t understand, and they found databases of seemingly endless addresses, hundreds and hundreds of names and numbers, lined up, one by one, in huge, huge lists, while the others found more doors and the animals they had seen on the cameras and even more that they hadn’t, and every once in a while Glass went back and adjusted the doll and took a peek at the board to see if it had changed.
More names were ever added, but Mary the doll, both in name and in figure, was still there. Glass had named it. That changed nothing.