The desk was of fine, pale wood, worn and burnished by the hands of a hundred schoolchildren. It had been painted blue long ago, but the paint had chipped off from the years and the touch of childish hands. Now only a few traces of faded blue remained, edging the corners of the bottom of the desk, preserved beneath black medallions of petrified gum. The desk bore the badges of time and use. Children had come and children had gone: the desk had seen them all.
It is summer now, and the desk sits with its brethren in the empty classroom. Sunlight streams in through the grimy window, lighting the layers of dust on desks and floor, turning drifting motes to sparks or stars. In a way, the old classroom is its own universe. The air here is full of age and memories--ghostly traces of laughter, faces of children long past and buried. Sunlight paints a mottled fresco on the wall, lights gently on the dust of ages past. Nothing moves, nothing stirs, but the room is full of the swelling tide of time.