A Refreshing Rest

The two of you convince a serving boy to show you to your guest chambers, after assuring him more than once that you have them.

The room is dark, even after you light a candle. While your companion paces and tries out arguments, you go through your things, hoping that you’ll find some trace of an answer in your belongings.

You find a feather, an acorn, a little lead ball, a length of string. They suggest many things about the physical properties of the universe, but little about how you came to this particular location within it.

That night, you sleep fitfully, and you wake feeling as though you had almost—but not quite—dreamed an answer.

Neither you nor your companion can remember how you came to these guest chambers, and so you take a turning at random, and then another, until you have gone from optimistically misplaced to hopelessly lost.

At length, you find yourselves confronted with what is well and truly a dead end. “You would think there would at least be a branching path,” you say. “A left and a right passage, to give us the illusion of a choice.”

As the two of you turn around to try another way, you see to your surprise that you are not alone in the hall. Before you stands a man familiar-strange, dressed head to toe in black. “Do go on,” he says. “I was so very much enjoying your conversation.”

Greet Prince Hamlet.