the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one was running at dusk, without a flashlight. It became very dark, and the inquisitive one was falling . . . falling . . . thud.

The thud was the inquisitive one’s hat, which had fallen off during the fall, slamming into dirt. The inquisitive one landed quite nimbly, considering the depth and darkness of the pit.

“Help!” cried the inquisitive one.

No one was within earshot of the pit. And would not be—though the i.o. did not know this—for days.

The i.o. did not know this either: There was to be a protracted eclipse of the sun the next day, which would last from dawn until dusk, so there was no chance of any light for dozens of hours.

The inquisitive one felt around the pit. The walls were an evenly spaced cylinder. Except for one shelf of dirt.

The i.o. stepped up onto the one shelf of dirt. Feeling all around, the i.o. could not find the original ground anymore. The walls were again an evenly spaced cylinder.

“Shucks, I lost my hat,” said the inquisitive one.

“Help!” cried the inquisitive one, to no avail.

About an hour later, the i.o. discovered another shelf of dirt, and stepped up onto it. As before, the i.o. could no longer find the lower ground.

The same thing kept happening.

It just kept on happening, seemingly without end.