Some of them claim that it’s a mental asylum but Hung isn’t sure. He never sees an orderly, for one thing, or a doctor, or anyone who might be someone in authority. There are rumors that Green is one of the doctors, is in fact the doctor, and that he’s running the whole ugly mess as some form of radical therapy. There are rumors that the water is drugged, that the food is drugged, that they are pumping drugs in along with the recirculated air.
Hung shuffles down a corridor that seems to go on forever. He drags his shoulder against the wall, counting doorjambs.
Others claim they’re all in a castle. They point to the bars, the high-narrow windows set deep in the walls of stone, the rings embedded in the walls. Torch rings, they say, and point to the broad smudges of soot fanning out above them. There’s supposed to be an ogre, or a lord or king or something, in one of the locked tower rooms. Morgan le Fay, maybe.
Hung falls down the stairs and tries to curl his spine and head away from the sharp teeth of the steps. He lies at the bottom, dizzy and sick and hurting.
Sometimes he hears voices, always around the next corner or whispering from the next room. Laughing, crying, arguing; he thinks they might be speaking German, but he doesn’t know. He just doesn’t know.