Catalogs. Shelves stretching into the darkness. Aisles both ways, under flickering glow-pads, extend for kilometers. The roof drips from its sagging sections. The floor stinks. The paper rots. The world dies.
Alan pointed his light down one aisle, then back the way he came, up the stairs into the burnt night above, the steel door open at an angle, revealing stars and a complete lack of light pollution.
He looks back at the shelf nearest him, selects a catalog at random, and opens it, reading the meaningless title twice: Pottery Barn. The cover crumbles away partially, and he drops it to finish its slow death in a puddle on the floor.
He sweeps the room with the light, walls beyond the reach of the beam’s atomic strength. Breathing deep the creeping death, he clicks the light off.
The ladder creaks as he climbs out, the steel door slams down like an explosion, returning the room to darkness for another millennia.
The stars scream silently, dead for lifetimes. Alan slips between their light, everywhere at once.