- March 27th, 2009
This is a small piece of fiction that I wrote last night. The story unfolded itself as I wrote; it is completely spontaneous unlike most of what I write, I usually meticulously plan all my writing, imagining every little detail before even touching pen and paper. There isn't much of a plot here, its just a description of a scene and its conclusion, but that's what you get when the title of this journal is Random Bits of Stuff.
John moved swiftly down the corridor. It seemed endless. There was row upon row of doors, all the same. He might have said he was trapped in a maze, but there was really no maze. It was simply one long corridor, there were no turns to get lost down. Still, he was completely and irrevocably lost. He had long since lost track of which door he had come out of. By now he could not even tell if it was in front of him or behind him. He was running only to stop himself from panicking. If he could move his legs fast enough then he might be able to stop himself from thinking of what he had come to realize not long after entering the corridor. All the doors were locked. At least all the ones he had tried to open. There was a time in the distant past when he was still calm, when he went down the corridor more carefully, checking each door in turn for the one that would take him outside. With all the doors in this place, at least one of them had to be an exit. He would only have to find it. He slowly came to conclude that this was only desperate optimism. All the doors were well and truly locked. He did not know what door he was at when his hope turned to annoyance, then anger. In his rage, he had lost all sense of himself and it was only when he finally woke on the floor some time later and realized from the blood on one of the doors and his clothes that he must have been throwing himself at it. His entire body was throbbing, and crusted blood was everywhere.
That was when he got up and started running. He realized he was in no fit state to move at all, much less run, but if he stopped, he would start thinking about his predicament and he couldn't allow himself to do that. Finally he stumbled and fell. As he watched the floor rushing up towards him, he only felt joy. He had tripped on something, some imperfection in the floor, and if the floor was not a featureless flat surface that meant he was getting out of here. One imperfection meant there was another, probably nearby. Yes! That bump on the floor must be the sign that the door above was an exit. He would be out of this hellish corridor and back in the sun again. The fall opened up his cuts and made a few more on his knees and elbows, but he didn't care. Slowly, and painfully, he turned around to look at the bump that had brought him down, that signified his getting out of there. But it wasn't there. The white floor was as flat as it had ever been, the only difference was the trail of blood he had left in his wake. He screamed his rage and cursed his legs for bringing him down and feeling a bump where there had been nothing, for bringing him hope in this wasteland. There was nothing he could do but lay there and wait for the blackness.
He awoke much later in the dark. It felt cooler and he knew he must be back in his bed. He made a note to tell Mary about the nightmare in the morning and turned over to go back to sleep. But he was on a hard surface. Had he fallen out of bed in his sleep. It was a long time since that had happened, so he felt around for the bed but only felt a wall. Funny. His room wasn't that small. As he hauled himself up, he became aware that it was pitch dark and he was in what felt like the corridor. Slowly he felt around for a door and tried the knob. He was still in the corridor. The doors were still locked. But what happened to the lights? No, what had happened to his eyes? Did it matter any way? He felt himself collapse and he knew this was probably the last time too.
Later, much much later, a door in the corridor swung ajar. It was the one he had thrown himself against and the person that entered saw the dried blood. Looking down the corridor, she saw John lying there. “Here's another one”, she called. One of her companions came to hold the door open as she entered the corridor to investigate.