So there we were, the three of us goons, standing in the middle of the hallway, waiting for the mops to be brought up. The crepuscular light had made it such that everything looked like a dream; the empty corridor, the row of dark rooms, the unsettling silence of the compound. Then one of us told a joke, and we all started to laugh. Eventually, I would stop laughing, while the two others continued. And they began to laugh more loudly and more maniacally. One of them tried to repeat the joke, but the latter half of it was consumed by laughter. Soon, it all became quite unsettling, and I told them to stop. They wouldn’t; they just kept on laughing, and laughing, and laughing. Then, there grew something sinister about it, the tone, the way it rang. It hardly sounded like jovial laughter anymore. It was as if something had taken a hold of them from inside. All of a sudden, the two of them looked at me, with a swirling in their eyes which I will never forget. It was as if the thing inside them were asking me: why aren’t you laughing?


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