The Latecomers Reading

Chapter 1


Hello. You’ve reached Charlie Latecomer. I’m away now, probably spending time with my lovely wife, Maggie. Please leave your name and number so we soon can have a deep conversation about the meaning of life.

I hung up my phone and smiled. Soon after, I got down on my hands and knees and began digging. The dirt, rich and fertile, scooped out easier than expected. A few inches down, I exposed a circular metal door resembling a submarine hatch. I opened it.

Stale air rose out of the hole. A wooden ladder extended down into cobwebs thick enough to obscure what was below. I secured a nearby branch the size of a cane, and using the branch to clear the way, descended into the opening. At the bottom of the ladder, a long passageway, high enough to walk upright in, extended down at a steep angle. The walls of the passageway, solid red stone, were covered with logographs and lit by bare lights. I descended flight after flight of stairs, taking in the logographs on the wall, as beautiful in stone.