The Wanderer

photo by Adam Whipple

The wanderer draped a thinning cloak over his shoulders. He ran thin, strong fingers over the frayed brim of a felt hat before settling it onto his head. Thus arrayed he seemed no more than a shade. With boots wrapped in soiled rags, he was as silent as one. He left to wander the stygian maze that was his adopted home.

His breath misted as he stepped into the tunnel. The overwhelming reek of mud and mold and rot assaulted him. The wanderer pulled the door tight, smothering the light. He set off down the familiar corridors, through oddly shaped rooms, sliding around the unseen obstacles. Six steps, and a turn to the left. Three more steps and he crouched before moving forward, trailing a hand along the wall. The ceiling dipped low for seven steps before he could stand upright again. The smell of water grew. The floor dipped and he stepped over a metal grate. Loud splashes reached up from the sewer as it flowed from the lake to the Seine.

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