The room is dark, dust has settled not only on every surface, but on itself, for nothing in this room has moved, not in years.
The door was shut, but never locked, just never begging to be opened. Until today.
I reach out and grab the knob, it's cold, it's unfamiliar and it is above all else unnerving.
It turns slowly, creaking at me, as if rejecting my touch. My mind creaks, as if it agrees with the door. Is this what I want? Am I ready to be here again?
I push the door, there's a loud pop as the door escapes the frame, my heart stops briefly as if it wanted to savour the sound of the rusty hinges protesting the work that has been asked of them. Then silence, followed by the dull thud of my heart.
I breathe in, the air is stale, like a small town library might smell, or like the room of a lost loved one that you couldn't stand to enter, but without the memories, or sentiment.
I reach for the light switch, fumbling for something I once knew so well, as the light switch clicks over, the dull hum of the fluorescent lights greets me, like a small and unenthusiastic congratulatory cheer. I instinctively shut my eyes, before the flickering begins, waiting for the black and red flashes as the lights come to life, but they do not, they just hum, now less kindly, it now sounds insulting, as if I were to blame for them being abandoned for so long.
With only the hall light to guide me, I make my way to the desk, grab the office chair and roll it out. One wheel turns, screeching at me as had everything else I'd touched, the other five simply ignore their duties and drag themselves along the floor. I give the cushion a swift wipe with my hand, a cloud of dust erupts and circles in the air. I briefly witness a saddened, elderly face, before it morphs to a skull and then dissipates.
I take a seat, the first sign of familiarity introduces itself to me as I sink into the chair, positioned perfectly for me. I stare at the computer in front of me for several minutes before reaching out and running my hand along the CRT screen, leaving a large streak in the dust. My hand runs down the face of the tower, searching for the power button. When I meet it, it refuses to move, the whole tower shifts backwards on the desk and bumps the wall, something runs across the room behind me. Now with the tower cornered, I push hard against the button and it forfeits the fight and clicks in.
The computer whirs to life, a small green light blinks, not rhythmically, but also not randomly, it speaks to me of years of neglect, the whirring increases as the dinosaur awakes. Then the green light stops flickering, it just longingly stares at me, begging of me not to betray it.
I fumble for the switch on the side of the monitor, it clicks,then the whole world screams into my ears as the screen begins to glow. I briefly catch my own haggard face in the glass of the monitor before the text hazily appears.
PLEASE UPDATE TO SYSTEM VERSION 2.0
IN ORDER TO CONTINUE
I sigh, hit the enter key, stand up, push my chair against the desk and walk out of the room, flicking off the light switch as I go. I pray that I'm ready for this.