Chapter 18:

A Joke is when Two People Laugh

A Place between There and Now

“Because I looked out of the classroom.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?! could you please cut out the horror stories and just talk normally?”

She looked at me slightly annoyed.

“Anyways, after I saw you yesterday-“



“Oh, sorry it doesn’t matter now.”

“Ehh, ok, after I stabbed you yester-“

I looked at her slightly annoyed.

“Today, I sat next to the door.”


“Could you please cut that shit, if you want to hear what I have to say than at least let me say it!”

Ok ok, I’m sorry, go on.”

“I was already half asleep when I thought I heard something from outside, it sounded like footsteps on linoleum floor. But that couldn't be, there was a wooden floor in the school, so I must have imagined it. I thought so, but I could still hear them, the footsteps as they got louder and louder, they came closer. I stood up and looked through the window in the door, but there was nothing. However The hallway I saw trough it was not on in our School, the walls were papered white and neon lights hung from the ceiling. I listened but could hear nothing. Then a black hand hit the window pane, it was full of blood. It left a red streak of blood as it slowly slid down the glass.”

“So, to sum it up, you have seen one of the most cliché horror movie scenes.”

“Oh shut up! But yes, that’s exactly what I saw.”

“But let me get this straight, you didn't know we were in a warehouse, you thought we were in a school, right?”

“Wait, you knew what we're not in school?”

“Do I look like a student?”

“Fair point.”

“But how did you get here then? You entered the classroom so you must have seen the hallway before, can’t you remember?”

“When you put it that way, no, I don't remember entering the classroom, I don't remember going to school either, I don't remember getting up, I don’t-“

“Ok that’s enough, I get it. Anyways, what do you want to do now, just sit here or will you go and look what waits outside.”

“My knowledge of horror movies tells me that a zombie will jump me as soon as I open the door”

“I can guarantee you, that will not happen”

“Why are you so sure about that?”

“Didn’t you say I was a Umbraus?”

“A what?”

“A Umbraus, that’s what you and your father called me, don’t try to deny that”

“I have no idea what you are talking about”

“Oh, never mind, you did say I was a Umbraus-“

“I did not say that”

“but you or your father never said anything about repeating days or anything like that”

“Firstly, I never said that you are a Umbras-“


“I never said that you are a Umbraus, what ever that means and did you just say you can do some Groundhog day type shit, like repeating the same day?”

“Yeah, that’s pretty much what I said and meant.”

She started laughing, I didn’t know why but I joined in. She stopped and looked at me.

“So, what ya gonna do now?”

“Well I will leave and go somewhere else, you can follow me if you want”

She didn’t say anything

“So what is it, stay or follow me”

“I- I will follow you”

I nodded and walked over to the door. As expected there was no blood on the pane

“The Blood, the blood is-“

“Yeah I know, I will explain it to you later”

I reached for the handle and pushed it down, the door swung open by itself. I was outside again, in the hallway that would lead directly to the door I woke up in front of last time, the door I would not open no matter what. I remembered that there was a turnoff, a second aisle next to the one I was standing on. Yui looked around frightened, probably looking for a corpse or a zombie. We walked down the aisle until we were in front of the turnoff, me in front and she close behind.

As I went around the bend into the second corridor, I saw that something large and metallic was lying at one of its ends. I was sure that this direction would lead back to the lobby, but I couldn't remember a door that would connect this corridor to it. I walked to the end of the hallway, I wanted to know what that was, it shone so metalic, it seemed familiar to me, where had I seen this before, I asked myself. I heard a soft scream behind me and a knock, I combined that Yui must have fallen and walked on without turning around.


I didn’t wait, why should I, how could she have seriously injured herself on this linoleum floor. As expected, not 20 seconds later, she walked directly behind me again. Though she seemed a little pissed that I didn’t stop for here.

“Look I’m not going to wait for you every time you do something stupid”

“What if I had broken my neck”

You wouldn't have broken your neck, and honestly, if you somehow had managed to do that, you would have deserved it. By the way, how would stopping have helped with a broken neck?”

Her silence said more than any stupid comment she could have made. I was surprised that we did not get along so badly, it was almost as if she had already completely forgotten her father. Finally, we arrived at the end of the aisle. In front of us was a smooth steel plate that looked all too familiar to me.

“So what now? Other direction?”

“Other direction.”

Ok then”

We turned around and walked back to the intersection and further until we arrived at a fire door. I pushed down the handle and opened the door. I felt the sun's rays on my skin, it was pleasantly cool and the air was damp from the mist and fog.

I stepped out of the door, I was standing on a lattice floor, there was a staircase going down to my right. It was all very familiar, I knelt down and looked through the iron bars below me, there was a second door below me, it was the door I opened I don't know how many days ago and which I used to enter the warehouse for the first and hopefully last time. I was confused, none of this made sense, first I left the building in the opposite direction I entered and I was higher than I was when I entered without ever climbing up a step I didn't climb down before

Yui walked behind me through the door, marveling the rainy sky, the fog, the sun, as if it was the first time she saw them

“This is the first time I am seeing something like this”


“Didn’t they call this “nature” or something like this? I have seen replications in museums and in articles but it was nothing like this. The replications our company showed as were at best grotesque distortions of this. This, this is beautiful. But why would Gazation lie to us”


“Our Mother Company, they own us.”


“They bought our bloodline, we are a part of them now. Speaking of Mother Companys, which one do you belong to? Gazation, Europe or Inditaid?”


“Ok, why am I even asking, you live in Japan which is owned by Gazation so its pretty clear”

“Wait wait wait! One Question!”


“please excuse me but, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

“You know what, just give me your ID”

“My what?”

“Dude, in what year do you live, this is common sense”


“Please stop joking”

“I have no clue what you are talking about”

“stop being so fucking stupid it totally pisses me off, it's the year 2083 and you know that, so stop joking, its not funny!”

“I’m not joking”