Endless, the hall

©2022 Michael Raven

He walked down the halls, finger dragging the dust from divider panels and three-quarter height trim, the lawnscaped green flowing out to infinity before and behind and cheap brass plated rails leading the leftside way, oak veneer solidcore doors with window slit wire mesh peepholes accessorizing, except where privacy was desired. Those did not let in or out the secrets behind closed door and were clouded or absent to hold secrets bursting at bay.

He hummed, occasionally tip tapping out some poly-rhythm, the time of which only known to him, but the count quite accurate and on as his fingers gathered the dust greyscale on the friction ridges making up his identity, should anyone care to match it up to another mark left on the plated rail.

No one did.

No forensic teams looked to put him away, put him behind bars, as he strode without apparent purpose. At that, however, a witness would have been wrong.

He had purpose behind walking these endless halls with endless walls and countless doors, each and every locked against trespass, but oh! how they tempted him with lurid promises as he passed. Inured, he felt no succubus temptation in the vague shadows and play of light any more. He remained… disinterested.

Trip tapping, humming tuneless, he succumbed to his mission instead. And — lost in his reverie that had gone on for so very long and he stepped one foot, then another ahead — he didn’t notice an end to his hallway journey and nearly walked into the bare, unadorned wall in his path.

Puzzling, he pondered, unhummed and of bestilled tappity tap. His eyes awoke with a start and a smile and he rummaged his rumpled frock pockets made of velveteen crushed until he plundered from them a stick of char, black as ebon night and drew upon the blank before him.

With fingers darkened soot, this he carved:

Shaky-handed door on the empty blockage, devoid of anything but white. Then, he pushed at the crooked center, gave a shove, a push, a thrust and, with great groaning at injustices untold, his drawing gave way to more nearly endless paths, this time carpeted red, with doors rightwise and rail left.

Click-clucking his tongue, he stepped through and sullied his other hand with dust of grey from the other rail, humming a humming kind of jaunty tune.

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