The Unknown

As the doorkeeper ran, he frantically dug into his breast pocket for his cigarettes.  He was anxious.  He was anxious because he had only two cigarettes left.  He always had only two cigarettes left so he was always anxious to begin with.  He was especially  anxious that despite the speed he ran, the wheel would stay two long paces in front of him. 

They were running through nothing.  There was darkness on either side of him, above him and beneath him.  As he and the wheel hurtled, they were  moving both forward and falling at the same time.

Why do I smoke?  Honestly.  I really should quit. The doorkeeper panted as he ran great loping strides, his arms making great flailing, falling movements as his behind bobbed up and down in unison. 

He had managed to get his cigarette in his mouth and was attempting to light a match while he ran.   As he struck the sulphur against the matchbook, the match would light and at the moment he brought stick to butt, the match would extinguish.  If I can only get it there a little bit quicker.  With every match he'd flick his wrist a little quicker and move his hand to his mouth a little bit faster.  And every time, the match would go out.  Luckily, he had two matches left.

After several failed attempts, each more frustrating than the last, the Doorkeeper made a momentous decision.

He stopped and lit his cigarette.  

The wheel stopped too.  They had both stopped falling.  It was proverbial cat and mouse.  The doorkeeper stepped forward and felt himself cascading down..  The wheel rolled in its own descent and then stopped.  He ran a few paces and felt himself flailing again as he dropped through ethereal zilch.  The wheel played along, playfully stepping just a stride ahead of him.

The doorkeeper pondered over his last two cigarettes.  And then pondered over his next last two cigarettes. 

If I keep running, the wheel keeps moving.  Suddenly my job's got a lot harder.   

The End

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