… is over at Apex! Huzzah! And it totally got io9‘d! Double huzzah!!
Rat opens the double doors and the stairwell smells of baking, the air thick with dull warmth and the smell of yeasty dough. He wrinkles his long nose and wonders if it will be like this for the entire way down, or if the doughy stink will gradually transform itself into the aroma of fresh-baked. He hopes not. Rat worked in a bakery one summer, and he hasn’t enjoyed the smell of bread since. It reminds him of the finger burns and the thick coats of lard painted into hot bread trays to keep the dough from sticking as it cooked.
He flexes his fingers. The big backpack is so heavy it’s cutting off the circulation to his arms, so he has to remember to keep his fingers moving.
Someone has bolted a sign to the mahogany balustrade, warning people not to throw coins or pebbles down the centre of the stairwell. The guidebook says this is for the safety of fellow climbers. Every year someone is struck on the head when they’re 130 flights below, and there’s no chance of getting help in time when you’re that far down.
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