The room was nothing special. Your standard cinder block church style where the whitewash walls make an elongated room feel dingy. They could have been going for a snow scene, but ended up with the dirty prison look.

In the eye squinting dark corner- old prison movie lighting- sat a squat little man. The kind of person that looks like Stephen King- the middle-aged creepy one- like a novelist would. Well, if I knew a novelist that’s what they’d look like; hunched over a small table with a writing pad full of million dollar stories.

The prison movie lighting continued the length and width of the room only lighting small spats just beneath them allowing the cockroaches to skirt along the room without ever getting touched by light.

A whisper best describes the sound of the room with a smell of old piss lingering in the air weighted down only by the aroma of stale coffee. A woman entered through the even darker doorway. Her heels clicked as she made long strides across the linoleum floor. She stopped just short of the circle of men waiting for something.

Not loosing sight of the gathering she grabbed a chair from the side of the room and pulled it into the circle sitting down and crossing her legs. She sat in such a manner as to communicate she was waiting for someone else to start the conversation.

The squatty novelist sprout from his chair like a sped up time-lapsed mushroom in a documentary. His chair banged into a water fountain behind him leaving a metal on metal clanging ringing in the air. The man limped to the gathering carrying not a book, but a carved slab of wood that was pastorally ornate on one side and flat on the other.

His path led him behind the woman’s chair and he lay a hand on her shoulder. She reciprocated the move putting her hand on his. With his other hand he tossed the craved wood tablet to the center of the group before limping to the door and exiting without so much as a word.

Categories: Short Stories

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