Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Sandiegomomma has today's PROMPTuesday, an exercise designed to spur creative writing. Today’s prompts are: “Hallway,” and “Will-of-a-wisp.” My entry is inspired by travel, and by memories of many past business trips, and many hallways.

The gentle muted bell of the elevator rang as the doors opened onto the sixth floor. The sign indicated his room was to the right. The plane had been delayed, and he had arrived at the hotel late, checking in with a tired, bored clerk in the deserted lobby. The dining room had been darkened, and a vacuum cleaner growled and fussed somewhere beyond sight.

The walls were covered with lime green grasscloth, and botanical prints of orchids and flamingos hung at intervals. The carpet was thick, green, printed with a trellis pattern and a border of tropical flowers. He headed toward the room, first passing an open door which spilled chill fluorescent light onto the lurid carpet, a humming ice machine within. Cubes clunked into an echoing reservoir deep within its guts.

The hallway stretched on for miles, punctuated by small alcoves where the doors to each suite were inset. He trudged onward, toward the darkened square of window at the end, marking the numbers as they ascended. The wheels of his luggage whizzed and clicked behind him.

The little paillette of light glimmered green as the keycard dipped into the lock, a tiny electronic murmur, and then the handle gave, opening into the darkened room.

It was quiet, and smelled a little stale. He furled the handle on his carryon, and went to the window. He pulled the plastic rods that drew the white gauzy curtains, and looked out. Beyond the glass, dotted lines of streetlights curved away, marking the cloverleafs of the expressway and access roads. Across the six-lane highway, a different hotel loomed, windows glittering and a colored plastic sign, just like the one here.

As he looked out, a blinking light slowly passed through his view, like a will o' the wisp. A traffic helicopter, reporting on the slow flowing current marked by the rhythmic pulses of red taillights.

He sighed and sank down onto the bed. It wasn't home, yet it was strangely comforting. It was his space, all his; safe and his alone.


San Diego Momma said...

Ahhh...My space...safe and alone. THAT sounds wonderful.

Love the description here...esp. the "paillette of light glimmered green." That was really delicious prose.

AND! I've been trying to email you! From two different accounts! But my emails get returned! Maybe that is the issue with Wordpress? It's not able to validate your email address?

Let me know if you have an alt. email and I will resend.


blognut said...

Wow - I didn't even need the picture!

Briget said...

Got one for you - I hope it's OK to post it here:

She raked her nails through her hair, ensuring that Breck Girl look as best she could in an elevator without recourse to comb or brush. She checked the results in the mirrored walls. It was 1971, and no girl worth her Cool carried a purse. Purse was so…Mom. So…old. Instead, she had her money in the front pocket of her jeans, safe from pickpockets, her cigarettes in the back right pocket, her I.D. (so she could prove she was old enough to drink) in the back left, along with her driver’s license.

The elevator doors, enscrolled with chrome swirls and flowers, sighed open and she stepped into the hallway. Shut doors encrusted with layers of cream paint lined the sides, and the strip of carpet, sporting the same swirled patterns as the elevator doors, stretched ahead. She could hear the thump of music, the shouts and screams of a hilarious party down at the end of the hall.

An older couple got on the elevator she had vacated. She caught snatches of their disgruntled talk; “No consideration…morals of alley cats…need to have their bottoms smacked…”

Ignoring the sound of her parents generation, she went down the anonymous hallway toward the sound of revelry. She knew who was there - the band that had played at the club where she worked as a bartender, the hangers-on, the roadies and the hopeful girls who had swayed and eyed the band from the dance floor tonight. From her post at the back of the club, behind the bar, she had dispatched the lead singer’s favorite, CC and soda.

Stepping into the clouds of cigarette and pot smoke that filled the hotel suite, she caught his eye across the room.

Nihal said...

I thought if Glennis came to home and took this photo;) There's an frustrating hallway like train corridor in my apartment very similar this one. Nicely said, that's so.
Many hallways and each hallway of every man's life is covered w/ photos, some oppressive, some cheerful and we can learn from them a richer and braver way to live. Of course it depends us, if we can be wise:)

Unrelated, it's bluest of blue skies in town. 17 C, ~62 F. I'm sooo happy NOT, happiest as the Sun and Blue racing each other to shine fully:) In reality, this is a gift from God. We used to welcome spring later feb. This year is unusual but not hurts Istanbulities since the mid-Jan:)

Sending Sunny wishes & bright thoughts to sister beautiful CA~

Trannyhead said...

This reminds me of living in high rises. I always used to walk down the hall and I remember the carpet and lighting vividly in each place. The best part was always smelling what your neighbors were cooking! Yum!

Woman in a Window said...

D'oh! You do this to me. I start reading your vignettes and then I want to know what the hell is going to happen next. I'm thinking this isn't very fair.