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The Hallway

The Hallway

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Published by PureAbstraction
He was in the hallway. It was a dark hallway with no natural light. The walls were an indistinguishable color, and they were wrapped in a mantel of wood.
He was in the hallway. It was a dark hallway with no natural light. The walls were an indistinguishable color, and they were wrapped in a mantel of wood.

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Published by: PureAbstraction on Jan 09, 2011
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01/09/2011

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The Hallway
 
The Hallway
He was in the hallway. It was a dark hallway with no natural light. The walls were anindistinguishable color, and they were wrapped in a mantel of wood. This hallway was circular,and there were doors, closed doors, locked doors, plastered against the inner wall. There were nodoors on the outer wall. The doors varied in type, size, and color, but they were all locked shut.The man in the hallway did not know why he was there or how he got there, but he was there,and he was scared.He walked through the dark chamber and tried a door. It was a large wooden door,heavily locked; it looked as if an entrance had been attempted on it. Scratch marks were etchedinto the bottom of the door and steel supports were riveted to the door in response. The manknocked at the door. A hollow sound vibrated inside, like some huge drum. Then, silence.Out of nowhere, a bloodcurdling scream echoed from some chamber higher up. The mancovered his ears and thew himself on the floor. The scream persisted. It seemed to be comingfrom someone in indescribable torture. The man was stirred with pity amidst his horrible fear. Hegot up with difficulty and headed down the sloped hallway, towards the sound. It was a shriek now, high-pitched and stung.The man ran through the dark hallway, hands over ears, when suddenly, he encounteredstairs. The stairs fallowed the same curve and went up, towards the wretched sound. The man’schest heaved, and he felt like weeping. Death was in that scream. Death and pain. He ran up thehundreds and hundreds of stairs, his legs aching and his heart pounding. It worked ever upwards,and ever on the same circular path. When he reached the top, he hesitated and panted. There before him was another hallway, on the same circle, that was tainted with red light. When thescream fluctuated, the light flicked or dimmed. He could not tell the source. Doors upon doorsstretched before him on the inner wall.The man tried the first door franticly. He tried the second. Each one was tightly bolted.He approached the horrid, inhuman sound. It slipped from a voice to a nightmarish
noise
. Theman was crying and sweating. The noise seemed close, very close, and yet far off. The manidentified one door in which he was sure it was behind. It was wooden, and weak. The latch wasof cold, icy metal, but it was locked. He cried out in despair and slammed his weight against it.He was thrust back and fell on the floor. The noise screamed in a new bout of pain.A metallic clank sounded behind the man. He looked around. It was an axe. Then,suddenly, a door flew open three doors down. He looked hesitantly at the door that just openedand approached it. There was utter darkness in the chamber that was revealed. Darkness and aterrible sense of fear. The man stood in shocked silence.
What should I do?
he ponderedhesitantly. He took a step back. He could see the ax that had mysteriously appeared lying on thefloor: the weak wooden door would easily yield to it.But why had this door opened? A bead of cold sweat trickled down the man’s forehead.His foot entered the threshold of the open door, and he fell. He could not see, but he could feelthe sense of space. The shrieks of the voice mingled with the scream of the man falling. All
 
seemed to be void in this dark land of nothingness. But then, heat. Heat radiated fromeverywhere and a steady red light grew below the man.A great fire was below him, it seemed, and he was headed right for it. He could see itnow. It was a large bubbling pit of fire, right below him; hungry for flesh. He tumbled down atthirty-two feet per second per second, with no hope. The man closed his eyes and tensed. Theheat grew unbearable. It scorched, seared, and then — stopped. A crashing, and tumbling of rubble echoed as if in a large space. The man was unconscious and knew no more.When the man awoke, he was in a large heap of stones and rubble. Everything wascovered in dust. He was not dead, and this startled him, for death was certain last time he wasconscious. It was deathly silent, but he remembered the screaming. He hurried off in search of the voice, although hope was little. The space he was in seemed to be devoid of all recognizablefeatures. All was dark. All except for one door. One wooden door that was white and yellow. Hestrode up to it and tried the handle. It opened.He walked in to a dimly lighted room. It was a bedroom by the looks of it. It had a bedand a dresser and a lamp that gave the only light. There were things strewn all over the floor.Clothes, furniture, and bottles. The man walked through these things in shock. Just then, thescreaming voice was heard. It fluctuated in anguish. The man looked around in dismay. Therewas another door on the opposite side of the room. He ran over to it and opened it.A gust of wind and rain hit him immediately, and the door was blown shut behind him.He was standing on a large stone bridge that connected two large, looming, stone edifices. Belowhim was black, immeasurable distance. The man looked about him in perplexity, with dark rainand wind battering him; ever with the scream in his head. He struggled along the bridge, his facedown to avoid the rain. After ten feet of slow progress, he looked up, and halted in amazement.There before him was a fit, well-dressed man with his right hand extended. The figure wassoaked and was furiously yelling something that was drowned out by the wind.The man was holding on to the cold, wet steel that rose up from the side of the bridge.The well-dressed person had hard, penetrating eyes that gazed at some object faraway. The manapproached in a hesitating, halting step. When he was feet from the person, those dark, hard eyessuddenly turned on him. The man cowered in pain as the person yelled. A rumbling
boom
rangfrom the depths below. The man started to yell, and the person approached. Cold hands grippedhim. At this distance, the yelling was just above the roaring of the rain. The words were meantfor someone else. They were words rejection. Words of pain. Words of anguish. Words of disappointment.
 Boom.
Another rattling quiver echoed, and then a grinding, crushing sound. Thehuge tower in back started crumbling. The man struggled with his captor, gripping him aroundthe throat.
 Boom.
They were both knocked apart. The man, finding himself free, ran for the other edifice. As he approached, a sturdy wooden door appeared amidst the gloom. He entered just asanother tremor shook the bridge.All went silent. The door revealed a room that was lighted decently with artificiallighting. The man dripped water on the well-worn wooden floor. In the middle of the room, therewas an empty table that was slightly damaged. There were smashed and broken metallic thingsscattered all around. The man strode up to the table and discovered name plates etched into it.
“For excellence of ...” “To the most honored ...” “In recognition of outstanding performance ...”
Each one was accompanied by the name
Frank Burnstang.
The man staggered back, as if 

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