It’s some time before her nose catches on and Aniridia realizes where she is: backstage. Not any backstage she recognizes, but the smell is universal, velvet and rope and dust on the lights.
The path is narrow, like a game trail, or the routes preserved through the hoards of the mentally ill. The tiny keychain LED leads her with a cold bubble of light, catching on jars of catseye marbles and stacks of wire birdcages. The cages are too small for more than one occupant. If you like birds that much, Aniridia wonders, why not keep them in pairs?