The Penrose Stairs

2 min read ~ Feb 5, 2018 ~ flash fiction

The Penrose Stairs

I was in a Sisyphean hell. I only had two options: go upstairs or downstairs. The worst part is that the amount of effort to go up or down was the same. How was that even possible?

This morning I chose to go downstairs. Or maybe it was afternoon. It was hard to tell, my surroundings never seemed to change.

Even though the results were the same, somehow it felt better to descend. Like I was leaving this trap.

I would start at one corner of this rectangular staircase and walk down to another corner, take a left and walk down further, take another left, more steps, left, steps. Then I was right back where I started.

I could go upstairs, but it was the same only I took rights instead of lefts and–Wound up right back here.

The staircase was held aloft, high the air. When I looked over the edge, I could only see a dark, faint mist far below.

I was trapped. And that made me restless. I had to move! So, once again around the staircase for the hundredth? Thousandth? Millionth time?

It was maddening. Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this? I wish I knew. I’ve been at this, well, honestly I don’t know how long. It feels like an eternity.

Perhaps in my next life—Should I have one—Whenever I leave elevators, I won’t punch all the buttons on the way out.