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Aldous steps from a room empty and innocent into one that is not.

The walls are covered in gouges–no, she sees after a moment, hash marks in groups of five. A prison calendar (though the door has no lock). The corners are grimy, the smell strong. Rust runs in dark blobs down to the basin of the old water pump near the wall.

Aldous summons her times tables and tries to count the days: ten thousand? Tens of thousands. What happened here? She picks up a wadded paper from the corner and smooths out a child’s drawing of a cat.