The air is failing. It now ends 18 feet above street level; only the first two floors of each building can be inhabited. When one of us needs something from a higher floor, some object forgotten in the throes of catastrophe, he holds his breath and dashes upstairs. He clutches his chest and searches hurriedly for the desired object, then comes running downstairs and lies gasping on the floor. Or perhaps he fails to return in time and becomes one of those objects we encounter on the upper floors, when we dare adventure there.
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