The door leaf closes behind me without my aid, and it frightens me. Is someone with me? Unseen in this darkness?
I release my breath when it occurs to me it is simply the pivot mechanism. This is utterly fantastic, this place, this duty, the past and present; no wonder my mind plays with me.
Where, though, is the light that accompanied me on the journey through the tunnels? I am not afraid of the dark, but here I need to see to go forward. Here, I am afraid of the dark.
My one hand is still glowing. It throws a tiny circle of light upon my breast as I hold it raised in preparation. Preparation for what? Staring at my fingers, I concentrate. Gradually the glow spreads and I see beyond my feet. A shiny floor greets my first step away from the doors. There is no dust. I expect dust in a space as old as this.
A lantern squats on a square table directly before me, becoming visible as I take another step. As I close in, an arc of yellow sparks hurtles from my hand to the lantern … and it bursts into brilliance.
Heaving, I jerk my hand in, closing it into a fist. My fingers are cold, as if I have immersed my hand into ice water. After the heat, it is beyond agony. There is no glow either. I pray this does not signify that my talents are now in abeyance.
Gripping the lantern, I lift it high. More sparks fly. Arcs of light fizzle into the darkness beyond, of many colours, and every arc targets another source of brilliance. Wall sconces explode into fireless flame. Chandeliers overhead sparkle, throwing prism manipulation into a faraway ceiling. Everywhere light dances. Yellow, scarlet, sapphire, emerald and amber. Silver motes play together upon the polished floor.
What is this place?
A cathedral of light?
I am in awe.