The walls of the corridor seemed to consist entirely of lacquered wooden filing cabinets, eight drawers high, with handwritten labels that could only have been less legible if they had been made under a microscope. Or, Robert mused, by his Cognitive Psychology professor. A thin layer of dust on the floor showed a single set of footprints. They were most certainly not his, because if he’d arrived here via the steps at the far end of the corridor, he was sure he’d remember having been there. Moreover, the footprints didn’t end at his feet: they continued in the other direction before disappearing around a corner.
It was quiet, and Robert wished he could have said ‘just like in the lecture hall a moment ago’, but that had been a silence filled with scribbling pencils, shuffling papers and suppressed coughs. This new silence crawled up his back and made him shiver. He cleared his throat, very carefully, to bring the stillness to a more bearable level without breaking the unwritten rule that governs both churches and freshly fallen blankets of snow.
When nobody seemed to object, he whispered: “Well, this is something,” although he wasn’t quite sure what exactly ‘something’ entailed.
But the truly strange thing wasn’t that he seemed to have been mysteriously transported from a moderately silent lecture hall to a world of filing cabinets, but that he knew exactly what he was doing here.