The Room | By: Zach Fechter | | Category: Short Story - Surreal Bookmark and Share

The Room

An empty white room, bright overhead lights. The dull humming of the neon lights can be heard. There is no other sound in the room. A long, white bed sits in the middle of the room, and there is an old man laying in it. He is the only living thing in the room. There are no doors in or out of the room. There are no windows, no mirrors; nothing but the old man and his bed.

The old man is bald, save a white crown of hair around his head. He is wearing a white apron, nothing else. There are no sheets on the bed, only the man and the white mattress. Suddenly, the man stirs, he is awake. His eyes open slowly. He struggles to raise his head up, but he finds that he canít. He tries to move the rest of his body, but again, he finds that he canít. He ends his struggle to move, finding that it is impossible. He reserves himself to staring at the white ceiling.

All of a sudden the humming of the lights ceases. The quiet is ominous, frightening the old man. He doesnít know where he is, and he is afraid. Then, the all the lights flicker once, and a humming starts again. But this is a different humming. The old man is confused, he tries to understand what the new humming is, but he canít.

He is staring at the wall again, and quickly, he goes from lazy dozer, to acute observer. Something is wrong with the ceiling, he can see it, he just canít see what it is. It seems, no it canít beÖbut it is. The ceiling is moving. It is coming straight down on the old man!

Immediately his fear is multiplied. His eyes widen, he tries to scream, to yell, to wave his arms about frantically, but canít move any part of his body. Only his eyes, wild now with fear, move. And do they ever move. Back and forth, too and fro, shaking wildly with fear. The pupils, extremely small due to the immense light in the room, are like long black tunnels showing the innermost horror and fear within the old man.

If one could only see into them, they would understand the fear of a large, white ceiling, slowly, ever so slowly, descending upon them. There is that fear of helplessness, nothing can be done, and that in itself would drive most men over the edge. Then the thought of, no, this canít be happening, it canít be. But then you close your eyes tightly, and open them, and upon seeing the white ceiling ever closer to you, you realize that, this is real.

The white ceiling is just above the old man now, its rough, recently painted complexion brushing against the old manís nose. His breathing has quickened now, realizing that something dreadful will happen soon, and he can do nothing to stop it. The white ceiling is now pushing against his face, his nose crushed back into his face. The unceasing force of the cement ceiling shoves his chin back into the mattress. His whole body is compressed. There is not much more he can take. The breathing quickens! And then, as the world is getting darker around himÖ

He springs up in his bed, sweat streaming down his face. His hands race up to his chest. He feels his chest, on down to his legs. The old man breaths a deep sigh of relief. It was but a bad dream. He takes a deep breath, and lies down and goes back to bed.

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