White

Picture yourself inside a white room. A medium-sized room, with stark white walls, a stark white floor and a stark white ceiling. On the ceiling are a couple of fluorescent lamps brilliant enough to illuminate the entire room with stark white light. Apart from being stark white, the room itself is stark — no windows, no furniture, not even a door. (And you wonder how you got to the room in the first place. Let’s just say you suddenly found yourself inside that room. Perhaps you apparated or teleported yourself there. But it does not matter. What matters is that you are inside the room).

At first, you look around the room but there isn’t anything of interest to you. It is even difficult to delineate the floor from the walls, the walls from the ceiling. And so your eyes wander, like a tiny bird under a stark white sky searching for refuge. And for some reasons, you feel just like that bird — vulnerable.

So you walk around the room, locate a corner and sit there with your back against the wall. You feel drowsy and eventually, you doze off. When you awake, you check your watch but you realize you haven’t got any. You feel like you’ve slept for hours but then it could have been only a few minutes. It could have been days too, or months, or years! You suddenly recall a story about a man who slept for a long long time after drinking some draught. What was his name? Ah, Rip Van Winkle! You remember reading that story when you were ten. You lick your lips expecting some aftertaste of draught. You feel a little thirsty but you can manage without water for now.

You stand up and look around the room. Nothing’s changed. The floor, the walls, the ceiling and the light are as stark and as white as before. You hear a noise, a low incessant murmur like the whir of an air conditioning system or late night TV static. You cringe at the thought that even the noise in the background is white.

You search the room for an exit. You scour every stark inch of it but you could not find any hidden door. You call for help. No one answers. You call again. Still no answer, just the ominous white noise. You begin to panic. Your heart beats faster. Beads of perspiration trace your temples. You shout. You scream. But the dry, hollow sound that came from your mouth dissipates into the walls.

You try to hurl yourself against the wall hoping that it would give way but the wall stands firm. You fall. After a while, you stand and you ram and kick and claw and in a final fit of desperation, you succeed in punching a hole in the wall. Funny, you thought, it was rock-solid a while ago. You tear the wall down with your hands and emerge like a chick from an egg.

You look around and find yourself in a room. A medium-sized room, with stark white walls, a stark white floor and a stark white ceiling. On the ceiling are a couple of fluorescent lamps brilliant enough to illuminate the entire room with stark white light. Apart from being stark white, the room itself is stark — no windows, no furniture, not even a door.

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