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“The Hall”


The Hall

By V.H. Isaac

The still, brown carpet stood in almost absolute silence; its only interruption being the deep whisper of a well ventilated building. Despite its ventilation, the air remained stale and dry as it drifted slowly down the long hall. From the far distance a shortly frail woman, perhaps 5 feet, 2 inches in height, appeared. She walked quickly, but with a surprisingly heavy gait for such a small person. Her excessively long jacket brushed her stout feet as her eyes lazily searched her ever changing surroundings. As she passed, the sweet fragrance of mango passed with her. Just before she turned the corner she glanced behind her shoulder, eyes wide in puzzled curiosity at another individual, a tall gruff looking man who just entered the hall at the opposite end.

He began to walk quickly and with purpose, his brilliant red jacket flashing in the soft, pale glow of the incandescent lights. His harsh face was set in stone as he quickened his gait. The forgotten paintings hung in unnoticed majesty as the man walked in a half walk, half run. His thick black cap did nothing to cover the roughness of his face, nor the coldness in his eyes. As he reached the end of the hall, he went around the same corner as the woman previously did, and disappeared.

The hall still remained in the lingering embrace of the woman’s pleasantly warm perfume, undaunted by the swiftly churning air. A thickly heavy brown door swung open wildly and the richly low sounds of a lecturing professor mixed into the chaotic air. From that door burst a tall, ponytail wielding woman in filthy running shoes, whose eyes flashed quickly around her before she bolted in an almost-run down the hall. Her mahogany hair bounced joyously from her left to right shoulder, and then back, with each of her rushed steps. She clutched onto her massive brown purse with her long, spidery fingers. The light empiricism of her pale blue eyes pierced her surroundings as she glanced at the pictures. Soon, she too passed into obscurity beyond the veil of the brown, carpeted walls.

Just as the door began to close from her energetic exist, another individual ploughed through the poor door. His eyes flashed as he tilted his neck left to right. After several seconds of apparently deep thought, he began walking quickly down the hall in the same direction that the woman had. As he walked, the stiffness of his black suit became apparent. The black and silver stethoscope hung loosely around his neck and swung wildly as he too began to walk hurriedly away.

The silence of the hall pervaded again, all but a quiet puttering sound which floated gently through the air. A soft cry was heard in the distance, and then there was silence—the offensive silence of a palely lit hall.

From → Short Stories

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