Jesse Jarnow

looper in the dark, no. 10

(Short fiction, shorter increments.)

Looper in the Dark: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

The factory was again unlocked. The lights were off, but the entry was no less inviting. Looper could not see the olive green walls in the dark, but he could feel them. A large black flashlight sat in the secretary’s window, like fresh linens for a houseguest.

The upper floors were like catacombs, Looper found. They did not conform to the blueprints Mr. Brown had shown him. On the fourth, Looper branched off from the main hallway. He passed through a series of telescoping rooms, one after another. The beam was strong. In some, there were cabinets. In others, there were shelves. Jars of screws and electrical parts filled them.

On another floor, Looper saw the machines Mr. Brown had described. They were under canvas, mostly. He imagined stuffed animals, dead fur matted, concealed beneath them. He let the light linger on one machine, tracing its shape. He could not get a sense of its whole. Looper sniffed at the air for dust.