the glass factory.           
 several  centuries  after  it  had  last 
 belonged  to us, we went on an outing to 
 the glass factory  that  bore our family 
 name. it had changed  owners  many times 
 since  our  ancestors  death,  and  then 
 stood   abandoned   for  a  long  while. 
 finally,  the  natural  end station  for 
 the  buildings  that  survive: a museum, 
 and a gift shop.                         
 there's  a  long  time since  my  family 
 made anything.  by  many,  we  would  be 
 considered poor.                         
 there are two  main  factory  buildings, 
 domed  things of several floors, made in 
 yellow brick. large but narrow  windows, 
 reminescent     of    some    cathedral. 
 custom-made glass, of  course, large and 
 leaded, and ashen. a  bit too dark to be 
 practical.  on   the  eastern  building, 
 some are shattered.                      
 the other one is publicly  open. there's 
 a museum,  with wax  figures of my great 
 great  great  grandfather, or something. 
 various tools (or  replicas) laid out on 
 tables, with explaining texts. a lot  of 
 glass     of     varying      thickness. 
 i quickly sneak out, and climb  into the 
 other   building.   the   contrast    is 
 overwhelming.   it   must   have   stood 
 derelict  for   a   long  time,  windows 
 broken,  metallic  trash  and  pools  of 
 dark  glass  all   over  the  floor.  no 
 electric lights,  but i  can see  by the 
 light that shines in  wherever the  dark 
 windows    are    missing    a     pane. 
 however, the greatest difference is  the 
 higher floors:  this  building has none. 
 it  is one massive hall, stretching away 
 infinitely above me. somewhere up  there 
 is  some  great  iron latticework,  from 
 where chains are  suspended,  and  parts 
 of  machinery  has  been  falling  down. 
 there  is,  in the  middle  of the great 
 hall,  a  thin  spiral   staircase  that 
 leads up there. i sneak  over there, and 
 take  a few reluctant  steps. after just 
 a  revolution,  i  notice that for  each 
 step the  building  starts  to glow, the 
 bricks  turning  a  dark  red, and  then 
 orange,  all the  piled up debree  being 
 lit from behind.                         
 i stop ready to run  down  and out,  but 
 there's  someone else  on  the staircase 
 with   me  now,   pressed   close.  he's 
 looking  like me, short  hair  and  thin 
 arms, but with  ears  from some  animal, 
 and more  disturbingly, completely  made 
 of dark liquid glass.                    
 my  fear  holds  me  in place  while  he 
 starts  operating levers  and  dials set 
 in the center of the  staircase. slowly, 
 it  starts  spinning,  circling upwards. 
 it's  an   elevator!  i   start  to  run 
 downwards,  but  now   the  liquid   boy 
 creature  grabs hold  of me.  i  try  to 
 shake him off, but he's too  strong, and 
 pulls    me   back   up    beside   him. 
 this time,  i  turn  angry instead. what 
 the  hell? who is this guy, acting  like 
 this? i  reach  out my free arm and slam 
 a  random  lever.   some  metal  bar  is 
 suddenly released  between  us,  hitting 
 him on the arm, forcing  my  release.  i 
 shove him off of  me, and he falls  into 
 the    levers,    messing    them    up. 
 immediately,  a  thin  rusty   chainmail 
 curtain  is dropped around  me. but  the 
 elevator also speeds  up  significantly. 
 the  walls  are  flaring  now,   yellow, 
 white,  almost blue. i close my eyes and 
 curl  into a ball.  but  then, the glass 
 boy  screams,  a  piercing  sound   that 
 forces my  eyes back open. i watch as he 
 becomes  too liquid,  his  body  pooling 
 down in  his  now massive tail, and  the 
 tip  of it suddenly breaks of in a glass 
 drop  that  falls   toward  the  factory 
 he's  crawling on the stairs,  unable to 
 keep his  body upright. can't  reach the 
 levers,  claws  at  my  chainmail  cage, 
 while  his  body  is  turning into  dark 
 pearls. finally, he's  lost  too much of 
 himself and  the  scream  is cut  short. 
 the    last   of    him    rains   down. 
 i still  can't  reach  the  levers  from 
 within  my cage.  looking up, i  try  to 
 make  out the ceiling,  but  it's all  a 
 whirling sea of  colours. below me glows 
 the hellfire of the  factory  walls, but 
 very faint.  i  sit  down, curl back up, 
 become still.                            
 a  large  clunk shakes  my entire  body, 
 and snaps  me  back  into  reality.  i'm 
 back  at  the  factory  floor,  but  the 
 stairs   are   still  moving   slightly, 
 clicking in place,  carrying me the last 
 few  centimeters.  i  came  from  below, 
 somehow.  the  chainmail  is  retracted, 
 and  i  slowly  dismount   the   stairs. 
 shaking and crying,  i make my  way over 
 the  factory floor,  wading through dark 
 glass marbles. a quick  glance down, and 
 i  see  there's something  faint  inside 
 them.    embryos?   are    these   eggs? 
 i   shudder,   and   climb   back   out.