They had lost their place reading. They searched the page and came across the section of the passage where it read:
The yellow and black snake tried to get back into the hedge, but was being held by the elderly security officer. He had a pole with metal pincers at the end to hold the snake's head in place. People - the wheels guide block oil stains . . . - normal setting stereo the doors automatic doors doors - . . . - doors the doors
They lost their place again. Here.
. . . - wheels to convey the . . . - convey the . . .
That wasn't. Not it. Something about wheels.
. . . - wheels . . . wheels . . .
No. Not wheels. Slash the wheels. Slash the words. Slash the story. Slash. Metal. Blade. Blade. Metal.
. . . pincers. Metal pincers held the snake's the snake's the snake . . . the snake . . . choking . . . gasping for breath -
Hadn't lost the place. Had lost motion. Lost rhythm or something. On snake. The snake's head. Can't breathe. Can't breathe. The reading is suffocating. The words are choking the airway. Airway. Way. The way. Snake. Snake's head squeezed. Squeezed. Words squeezing. The space between the words grows. Was falling into the chasm the gulf between the words. Tunnel. Drawn into the tunnel. Into it. Not down or up or up or up. Just into. Tunnel everything. Tunnel. Light. Coming towards.
Light. There was a light outside the window next to the front door. Some light. It glowed dimly. Put the book down. Book fell off the side table. Book spilled onto the carpet. Lost the page. Lost place. Lost the pages. Lost the chapter. Lost place. Chapter. Pages. Lost. Where. Lost. Chapter. Can't find the bookmark. Forgot to get a bookmark. Light. Outside the window.
Walked up to the window. Breathing on the window. Gasping. Congested with words. Light. Glow behind the breath. Breath dims the light. Limited breath dims the light. Light can't get in. Can't get in. What is what is what who light can't get in. Cannot cannot get in. No stay. Stay no. Stay no. In the house. In this room. In this world. In this this world from the glow breath on the window limited breath on the window fading. Stay in in in stay no from in the room. Hand on the knob. Can't feel the fingers sliding on the turning rotating metal of the knob. Metal choking squeezing the snake the snake's head. Brought up brought out by exploration little child little little child moving moving back far far not enough back. Never far enough back inside the book where the place to read is lost so easily.
Door door the wheels the door opening and opening now and outside door closed shut. Shut. Way. Shut. Light a little not much brighter. Still still night still light still dim. Where? Back in. Lower case. Lower case. Below the line. Put head down. Light. Down the street. Towards towards the corner. House. Fence. Where's the fence? The fence of the house. Can't read the darkened street signs. Turned off the light. Turned off the light. What street was what's his name on? What's his name? What's the name of the street? Maybe the street was this way. This way is what way? Way after time to sleep. Sleep. Keep eyes open for sleep later late. Sleep. Keep. Keep. Street. What way? Who's what's name? His her when? What - . . . the wheels - turning the wheels snake can't breathe gasping in the grip of lost place spaces between words tunnel tunnel into choking tunnel no light no way. What name? What way?
- Max Stoltenberg