This vivid piece was presented at our most recent forum by Owen Connell, a senior here at Clark. To experience an intriguing story with an interesting take on an everyday perspective, read on.
There seemed to be nothing, just a fuzzy red glow and a sensation that was not quite cold yet also not quite hot. Hands felt wet and heavy and blindly fumbled through the air, desperately clawing for some sort of distinguishable item or landmark in the inky void. After an unknowable amount of time, a hand touched something cold and metallic. Feet cautiously walked forward and quickly found themselves falling forward and hitting the ground hard. It was a staircase, formed from short yet long steps. Hands pulled back up on the railing as the feet solely began to descend, the only thing that seemed physically possible in the black.
Each step produced a soft thump as if the stairs were softly padded. Feet kept walking, the metal bar their only guide and constant companion. The steps never seemed to end, with each step the feet felt heavier and wetter, as if someone were squeezing a damp sponge.
For how long had these feet been walking and these hands been touching? Seconds? Hours? Years?! Maybe this had been the entire purpose of the hands and feet? Had they ever been connected to anything? Had they ever been alive? Was a life even worth experiencing if all it amounted to was an endless toil down a flight of stairs? Was this He-?
There was a door before the hands and feet. It was black and metallic, red runes glowed above it; their cryptic meaning undistinguishable in the black. The hands pushed the door open and the feet strode forward.
There seemed to be nothing, just a fuzzy red glow and a sensation that was not quite cold yet also not quite hot. Hands felt wet and heavy and blindly fumbled through the air, desperately clawing for some sort of distinguishable item or landmark in the inky void. After an unknowable amount of time a hand touched something cold and metallic. Feet cautiously walked forward.
Scritch. Scritch. Scritch.
Jimmy stood up and rested the broom against the projector wheel. Sweat covered their forehead and their hands felt as if they’d been given a manicure with sandpaper. Even deep within the soundproof walls of the movie theaters projection booth Jimmy could hear the boom of the thunder outside.
“That rain had better fucking get out of here before my smoke break,” Jimmy thought to himself, anxiously fingering at the pack of camels he kept in his back pocket.
It had been another lazy Wednesday morning at the movie theater, the only customers being the regular crowd of under sexed helicopter parents, kids playing hooky, and unemployed nerds. The storm outside guaranteed that the night would be pretty busy though, Jim was debating whether the or not the need for extra pay outweighed his need for a drink.
“Eh, screw it.” Jimmy thought, pulling out his lighter and a cigarette. “No one’s here anyway.”
Just as Jim flicked on the lighter, a tremendous boom sounded outside and all but the red emergency lights cut out in the theater.
“Aw crap, I hope I don’t need to fix that.”
After a few minutes, the lights hadn’t come back on but there was a knock at the door.
“Yo, anyone in here?” spoke a gruff yet familiar voice.
“Ey Satya, I’m in here,” replied Jimmy.
Satya, Jimmy’s shift manager and girlfriend walked in. She was heavyset and dressed like a Halloween City on clearance, not that that was a problem for either of them, but was one of the few people who didn’t let the monotony of the job interfere with her customer interactions that much.
“What’s poppin,’ Jimbo?”
“Eh, not much, power’s out I take it?”
“Yup, was there anyone in the theater when it went out?”
“Not that I saw, though honestly I didn’t look that hard.”
Satya leaned forward on the desk and looked out the room’s large window. She tapped the glass.
“Nope, there’s one guy right over there.”
Someone stood at the top of the stairs that led down the aisle holding a large soda in their hands. They were flailing their hands around and grunting like an anxious seal.
“Er… they can see the emergency lights on the side right? It should lead them to the fire exit,” said Jimmy.
The person eventually found the stair’s railing but fell ass first onto the first step, spilling their drink all over their shoes.
“Er…should we help them?” Jimmy asked, not quite sure if he felt like exerting the energy it would take to walk down into the theater.
Satya thought for a moment before she pulled out two chairs and kicked her legs up onto the table.
“Nah, let’s see how they fare. Mind tossing me a cig?”