Sarah Jacobson felt a chill surging down her spine as she walked down the long hallway of The Green Hills Hospital. She looked at her watch and saw that it was six o’clock. She would have been home by now if the copy machine on her floor hadn’t shut down. Making trips to a working copy machine all day long ate up a lot of her time; the closet working copy machine was on the floor below the administration offices.
The evening sun caused the objects in the hospital to cast unnatural dancing shadows against the walls. Being out of the administration offices always made her feel uneasy and out of place. Matters weren’t helped much when the entire floor had been closed down due to renovations. And here she was on the abandoned patient floor of the hospital, but she was also alone here with only the sound of her clicking heels and the eerie evening shadows to provide Sarah with no sense of comfort. She felt a double chill run down her spine and resisted the urge to run down the hall to the elevator that would return her to the brightly lit, warm confines of the administrative offices where there would be people and noise to comfort her from the disturbing silence all around her now.
Instead, Sarah tried her best to remain calm and walked briskly down the hall passing the deserted nurses’ station. Sarah turned the corner only to realize that the slowly setting sun had suddenly been replaced with a cold and dark night.
“What?” she said with her heart pounding in her throat. “What happened?”
She looked out the window in amazement. The sun was clearly setting and she rationalized that it would have been impossible for the sun to have set in the same amount of time it took her to turn the corner. Sarah’s concentration was broken; a clamoring of people could be heard at the nurses’ station that she’d just passed a few seconds ago. Sarah took in a deep breath and made her way back to the nurses’ station. Upon her arrival she smiled to mask the fear she felt. The clamoring she heard were the sounds of the administrative staff; they appeared suddenly at the previously abandoned nurses’ station.
“Did you see how it got night all of a sudden?” one woman asked.
“I don’t know why we’re all standing around here or how we got here, but I’m leaving!” Mr. Dumont, the Marketing Director, said with authority as he loosened his light blue tie. Dumont was always saying things with authority, but no one ever paid him any mind. Given the unusual circumstances the staff looked to him for answers.
Mr. Dumont pulled his heavy frame onto the stairs leading to the East Wing of the thirteenth floor while everyone stood about with confused expressions, hoping Dumont’s solution may be the key to their predicament. Everyone knew something was wrong, they couldn’t explain why they were there and how they’d gotten there. No one other than Dumont appeared brave enough to leave the safety of the crowd. His footsteps, as he descended the small stairwell, echoed through the over-head speakers just as Sarah heard a noise behind her. A noise that made her turn where she stood, at the opposite end of the corridor, only to see a confused Mr. Dumont emerge from the west stair well.
Monday Excerpt: The 13th FloorBooktown Mayor
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