With each passing day, it gets harder to distinguish the walls from the floor. Being enclosed in a dark building for an ungodly amount of time will do that to someone. This building: a thin, faded violet tower that had nothing but a spiral of stairs, would drive a claustrophobe mad with its tight base. Standing 438 meters high, 19 meters wide, the tower from afar could be mistaken for a flying saucer. The reason? Because on top was a ginormous disk-shaped observation deck. Although… can it even be called such if there’s no windows to observe through?

Trapped in the vast deck, everyone had become accustomed to the routine. Get up, find your floor marking, and follow orders. You’d think after months on end, one would remember where to go. But as I said before, it’s impossible to see. Human eyes don’t adjust to this kind of dark; rather, they become slowly engulfed in it. Those who went out of line—which occurred often due to either natural human error or the result of full dark blindness— weren’t allowed to see the light of day again. They were subjected to the director, a figure not only far from human, but undistinguishable in form. It appeared that soon– I may face the same fate.

I jolted up. The sharp sound of people trotting to their spots awoke me.

“No, No! Not yet…” I thought, “…I’m not ready.”

The first task was always the hardest. We had to practice our willingness to stay attentive by keeping our eyes on the director while standing in perfect unison. For me, the other end of the room was a blur. All people were practically invisible to me. I’d already spent too much time thinking, it was time to act. I squinted. Barely being able to make out the shadows, I tightened my entire body and inched towards what I thought was my spot. If I even brushed another man’s shoulder, I would be dead. The heavy breathes of the others drew closer, and closer, and closer. I stopped. I turned with a crick in neck to see if I was beside my usual peers. That close, I recognized who was standing there by hair strands. I wanted to sigh with relief, but I could only puff my chest.

With the first task in progress, I could now get a general sense of where I was. I could even make out the bridge of a few people’s noses from the other side of the room. My focus quickly shifted over to the director as I remembered it would be watching us. As I did so, I realized… the director was staring right at me.