The Cedarville Review 2024

THE CEDARVILLE REVIEW 27 Your whole adult life lies just up ahead. Ahead. Your throat constricts. In St. Louis, Missouri, there’s an old rusty factory called the Lemp Brewery Co. Once, on a trip, you took a ghost tour through this establishment. The time spent in the actual brewery was minimal. The tour guide led you through the brewery’s front door, fl icked on a lantern, and opened up another door for you and your fellow tourists. Like a creaky jaw, this door opened into a basement. Shadows oozed out from the stairway and contaminated the upper room where you stood. The only light on the premises emanated from the humming fl uorescents above your head. They fl ickered as you crept down the steps. Each footfall brought you down, down, down… into the musty depths. Each step carried you further and further away from what little light you had left. With a heart tight up against your esophagus, you fi nally hit solid ground. The dampened staircase gave way to concrete. Or perhaps stone? You couldn’t quite tell. Your feet smacked the ground far too soon. Pop. Your mind drifts back to the present. You still need to fi nd a place to set down all these clothes you’re not going to purchase. You should go. You need to get out of here. Do you really want to have that awkward confrontation with the mall police? What if they lock the doors early? What if you can’t get out? Of course, that’s irrational. You know it’s irrational. Still though, you’ve always had this strange anxiety about sand trickling through the hourglass. You watch it slide until every single grain has mounded up into a rounded