The Long Hall

By Sally

There I was, standing in a long hallway. A hallway I’ve dreamed about many times, but the dream never ended. And here I am actually here, not seeing any doors or windows or stairs or lights – but it was lit somehow, so that I could see the length and end which seemed to be a blank wall.

I slowly started to walk the narrow path looking for some way out. I saw nothing.

I went a little further, watching my steps as I moved along, wondering what was at the end. Sliding myself along the walls, I felt nothing but the texture of the paint. It was smooth as silk, with no indication of any alteration perhaps covering a door. A few steps farther and the light seemed to dim and flicker. I looked back and the door I had come through seemed to disappear. I had no way out.

Once again starting slowly along the wall, I heard the sound of water dripping. “Where is that coming from?” I thought. I saw no evidence of water, but kept hearing the drip, drip, enough to make me shout out, “Is anyone here?” As I listened for a response, I slowed my breathing so I could hear a reply. But there was none. Waiting longer, I decided to go a little further, still seeing no escape.

Sliding my feet along the floor cautiously, making sure there was nothing to trip me, I kept on going. I felt like I wasn’t getting any closer to the end. It was so long, I wanted to run as fast as I could, but my legs didn’t want to move any faster. “Drip, drip,” I heard it again, only this time it was behind me. Turning around, I looked to see where it was coming from, but saw nothing.

Then suddenly the light lowered more and changed color. At first it was a faint white, now it was a foggy yellow, like light on a boat dock. I couldn’t move any further for my heart because beating so loud and I couldn’t stop it. I wanted to scream to break the rhythm of my heart, but was so focused on the light I found myself going further down the hallway – still more slowly, more cautious.

I was about a third of the way down when all of a sudden I heard a sliding sound. Looking around, I saw nothing. I froze in my steps and just waited – for what I didn’t know. I heard the sliding sound again and looked up. There was an opening in the ceiling – but to where? It was dark. I couldn’t see anything. There was no way I could climb up to look. I tried jumping, but it was too high. Then I started shouting, “Hey! Help! Help me!” But there was no reply.

I squatted down on the floor, exhausted from jumping and shouting. After a few moments – or more like an hour – a rope came dangling down, not long enough to reach the floor. But if I jumped, I might be able to grab it and climb up. So I started jumping and trying to reach the rope. It was to no avail. But I wasn’t going to give up.

“There’s got to be some way to get out of here,” I thought. Taking my shoe off, I started banging on the wall, trying to make a hole, or several holes like a ladder. After hitting the wall with all my strength several times, the plaster began to crack, but not enough.

I remembered my school gym class where we did jumps and leaps, like flying circus men. So moving back a bit, I started to jump and leap, hoping to leap high enough to catch the rope. A couple of trips reminded me I wasn’t in school anymore, so I rested a few minutes and tried again, this time with my mindset that I was in school gym again and leaping and flying. Hey! I touched the rope, but not enough. I tried again and again, doing better. By the time I finally grabbed it, I didn’t have the strength to hold on and fell to the floor.

After a few minutes, I heard a noise come from the opened ceiling. “Finally!” I thought. I shouted once again as loud as I could. A head popped over the opening.

“Hey, what are you doing down there? You’re not supposed to be there! Get out of there!” was the command.

“How do I do that?” was my reply.

“First go to the light, and turn the switch.”

I ran as fast as I could and reached the light. Turning the switch, the light started blinking and a hidden door opened. Running as fast as I could, I raced out the door, making sure it didn’t close on me. The voice met me at the door. We had a long talk about how I got there, and I promised I would never enter the hallway again.

October 2015