In the paved hallway, traffic swelled. The wife, she had an apron, and its lace was from Hell. The son purchased dreams by the jarful and kept his prizes away from display. The two would intersect turns daily, en route from the soul of a machine to the ventricles of its tentacled heart: the abject staircase. It wound its way through the floors and bisected the Upper and the Lower, overpassing the necessary darknesses of both, and bringing forth as though it were a solar well, the elixir of day which flowed from above. The Lady Danver was neither a spouse nor a mother whose step was conducive to approach, and her thighs had the secrets of a thousand ascents and descents inscribed on one just as on the other. Her boy, the Master Danver, was a collector whose menagerie reeked of flames. Both craved the capture of February, which they pursued while it leapt. They could only ever catch twenty-nine. Lady glanced, while carrying her wickerwork basket; “sometime I will see you there,” Master’s words danced as his lashes played in time like an incorrigible abandoned band.