If my room offered a covering of darkness, the corridor was a block of it. As had become the norm, there were no comforting snores or reassuring farts, no mumbled half-remembered lines from the subconscious of sleeping minds. There was just the certainty of the silence which had probably always been there, plus the drumming which had now intensified. Amidst this, I attempted to make myself invisible and soundless. Logic should have told me that there was nobody in the school to worry about any of the sounds that I was afraid of making. Logic, eh, what does it know? A floorboard, the one that always cried out, cried out. It never let me down. The drums kept on in the shadows of the Great Hall and I steadied myself for the rest of the journey. I thought about trees falling in the deepest part of a forest, where nobody was around to hear them, and wondered at my random mentality. The squeak of a door opening further down the corridor urged me to increase my pace. I was on the great wooden staircase, that led to the Great Hall, before any of my feet managed to announce my arrival. I placed each adventurous stride carefully upon the descent. The drums played on.
Each time I entered the hall, I was faced with a different appreciation. It was like trying to take a photograph of the same tree at different moments. A tree was a tree. It grew straight. It was always rooted in the solidity of the Earth. And it ought to have remained the same regardless of light, the dark, the wind or the rain. But there’s that thing that’s known as growth. Even as it stands, mortified in life, it is still growing, changing to become something other. The Great Hall was growing. Beneath the cover of sleep, it was stretching, reaching new possibilities and fulfilling them. All that wood, all that wainscoting, all those books were not in stasis but where breathing and their breaths came with each new beat of the drum.