When looked at closely the floor resembles a calm pool, its surface polished to an apple-skin shine by many socked feet. The florescent lights are off, their shells punctuating the ceiling in neat rows, like tracks. The only sound is the machine – the vibration of it off the close walls. No one wakes up. The sound lulls them instead into deeper sleep and dreams of beehives, or the ripples of summer heat above paddocks. Molly sweeps the machine across the corridor and back, leaving horn-shaped spaces where the machine has not touched. She continues to the end of the corridor and starts back, her elbows leant on the handle bars, her eyes staring at the horizon of closed double doors. The touch pad next to them flashes with first a red, then a green light. She watches as the lights alternate, and when they stop alternating the doors open, and a man, Gerard, comes through.
She has never been through those doors. She does not know what is on the other side, but she never imagined that Gerard would be there. Hello Gerard. Gerard looks up from his pocket where he is stowing his swipe card. He looks like he has been asleep. Like his eyes have not focussed. No, he looks like he has just been born, and looking at Molly, that he might cry or fall back asleep at any moment. Hello. He has not worked out who she is. The lights are off, she thinks. My hair is up, she thinks. He puts his hand to the light switch beside him and the lights buzz for a moment, the tiny diodes inside glowing a hot white. They flicker on, row by row, starting down near the doors and eventually illuminating her, standing still and straight, her eyes half closed, as if awaiting the sunrise.
300 word prose. read it. it’s short.