The Time Axis
I followed her out into the hall, down a flight of steps and then into a big room, comfortably furnished. A study, I thought. But the bookshelves were empty now and everything was lightly filmed with dust.
"The fireplace, Mr. Cortland," Dr. Essen said, pointing.
It was an ordinary fireplace, gray stone in the pine-paneled wall, with a gray stone hearth. But there seemed to be a stain at one spot on the hearth, close to the wall. I stepped closer. Then I knelt to look.
The speed of a chain of thoughts comes as close as anything I know to annihilating time itself. The images that flashed through my mind seemed to come all at once.
I saw the stain. I thought --