In a moment of simple clarity, Singer left behind the recently deceased bodies of his wife and newborn son and set out across the fields toward the walls of the world. A primeval desire to move, to escape the despair, drove him mechanically forward. And “out” seemed the best place to go, despite the inevitable horror crouching there. The sleeping community of Seven failed to notice his run, each person caught as they were in a personal clash of dreams, nightmares, and the oblivion of slumber.
Within minutes, the mangled barricade obstructing the hatchworks emerged from the opaque gloom of nighttime. Singer hesitated briefly, scanning the arc of the stony wall for a patrol. No movement stirred the edges of the world.
“Yoshida.” Singer mumbled the name of his old friend, because tonight was his turn in the rotation. More than likely, the man was on the other side of the great circle of Seven, studying his letters under the dim lamp that continuously illuminated the stairwell entrance. Or stealing a forbidden moment with someone else’s wife. Regardless, the barricade stood unwatched.
A final glance across the fields, and Singer slipped into the twisted metal of the barricade. Clambering over, under, and through often-jagged obstructions, the man traced the path he and Yoshida had discovered as boys still young enough to slip away without notice or consequences. His labored breathing marked time – perhaps a few minutes – before he slipped beneath a rusting beam to emerge into a clearing. The hatchworks stood before him, still untouched for many lifetimes. Even he had never dared reach out his hand. Until now.