I entered the long hall again and began to walk toward the smaller numbered rooms. After ten minutes of walking, the muffled noises in the halls around me resumed again. The noise was so muffled and faint, but it was like there were several people or something else walking slowly through halls. The footfalls were not loud, but at the end of every footfall was a click that echoed in the halls. I turned around and strained to see anything in the distance. Then I saw a flash of two copper colored lights in the distance, like shining a flashlight at two new pennies. The lights remained for five seconds, and then disappeared. I started walking again, picking up the pace a little.
I don't know why, but I sprinted for about two hundred meters and then stopped, and listened. The noises sped up and I saw the same flashes of copper in the distance, but this time, there were six of them. I had to catch my breath, I'm a middle aged desk jockey and this was much more activity than I was used to. The noises stopped again, but the flashes of light remained at the same location, about 600 meters down the hall.
Whatever it is or they are, they aren't trying to overtake me now. They are staying back. It didn't make it any less frightening. I was being watched, even stalked and it was not necessarily by another human being. I had no other options but to keep walking. Maybe I could come to an exit where these keys I found would work. Maybe Brown would finally return and explain all of this to me.
I continued walking for another hour. The numbers were going down, but I was still in the 300's. What changed was that the lower the numbers got, the newer the building looked. The walls were now a little dingy, but there was no pealing plaster and less and less trash. As I passed number 325, I came to a double door in the middle of the hallway. I looked through the glass and could see carpet and fluorescent lights, but still no people. The doors were locked, but one of the keys from my ring opened them. I locked it behind me, hoping that might stop whatever was following me.
The carpet under my tired feet felt soft. I hoped I wasn't going to bump into some doctor or nurse or worse yet a security guard while I was outfitted like the Call-Center Worker of the Apocalypse with a hatchet and a crowbar, but I had nothing to fear. There was still no one around. The hallway turned to the left and I heard something: music. There was a speaker above me, playing a muzak version of a Neil Diamond's most horrible of songs, "Sweet Caroline". If I could find the controls for the muzak, I would use my hatchet for sure.
Up ahead was a small alcove, with a couch. I sat down and rested and closed my eyes. I was tired, spirit, soul and body. I actually missed the call center and wanted this whole experience to end. From around the corner and 300 meters down the hall to the double doors I had locked I heard a crash. Whatever was following me had gotten through the doors and was howling and screeching.
I jumped to my feet and began to run...
Thanks for reading,
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine