Notes: No main character name for this… <Main Character>
The long, concrete walls seem to go on forever. Looming 20 feet upwards, flood lights used as normal lighting, making everything brighter than it should otherwise be. Steel doors appear about every 30 feet on both sides of this impossibly long hall.
“So, these are the halls to my new home, eh?” <Main Character> halfheartedly asks to no one.
“That they are, but please, remain silent until we get to your room,” one of the three escorting guards responds.
Two of the three guards look as if they are bodybuilders, large frame, oversized muscles, the kind that look like they could throw someone a dozen feet or more when angered, or trying to stop a fight. They have white dress shirts with black badges on them, stating that they’re part of some organization, large black belts with holsters for night-sticks, handcuffs, and a flashlight, black pressed dress pants, and large black boots that were almost shiny enough to see a reflection out of at standing height, boots you could tell where steel tipped.
The third guard looked like a desk manager, a blue dress shirt, and a checkered tie, thin brown belt with no holsters, black slacks, and dress shoes that show their age in wear.
The four of them walk down the hall for several more minutes, finally stopping at a door with the number 371 etched into the metal. One of the guards reaches forward, and opens the door, the other guard gives <Main Character> a decent push to indicate that this was his new room. The door slams shut after <Main Character> is in the room, and the guards walk away, with one of them yelling, “Have a nice stay at Concrete Chamber Land!”
<Main Character> stands near the door, letting his eyes adjust to the dim light in the room. As his eyes begin to focus, he sees that he’s in a 20 foot by 20 foot room. The room is rather bare. He sees a toilet in the corner, and as he gazes across the room, he sees steel bunk beds lining the walls. There’s 20 bunk beds across three of the walls. They stack up the wall in groups of two, three stacks on the wall to the left, four stacks on the wall across from the door, and three stacks on the wall to the right. The light above is roughly 15 up, and it is a dim lightbulb, that doesn’t provide much light compared to the blinding hallways that he just came from.
On each bottom bunk appears to be two people, except for the one closest bunk on the right. Each set of people don’t say anything aloud, as if scared. Finding that the top bunk to the right, closest to the front wall is empty, <Main Character> heads towards it. As he approaches, he reaches out for it, the woman sitting on the bottom bunk reading a book, reaches out and grabs his hand. He looks down to her shaking her head no. She gets up and climbs up onto the top bunk, and lays down.
She’s a very pale woman, with brown hair, green eyes, and is short, around 5’2″ tall. She favors books, the longer they are the better. She’s quiet and hasn’t said much since she arrived to this place.
<Main Character> sits on the bottom bunk. He’s not going to talk if he can help it, doesn’t want to really make friends or to get to know any one. He considers going to sleep or to find something that he can do quietly. He decides he’s going to knock on the door to get the attention of the guards posted outside.
Knock knock, he racks his knuckles on the door, with a response from one of the guards coming back.
“What do you want in there?” they say sternly.
“Wanted to know about food. When, where, how. That sort of thing.” <Main Character> responds.
“Fine, I’ll call it in. What do you want?”
Not knowing the process, or the rules or anything, thinking he’d be a smartass, <Main Character> orders “I’ll take a steak, mashed potatoes, and corn.”
“Go back to your bunk and wait.” Was the final response as the guard picks up a phone and talks to someone. He hangs out and goes back to standing at the door again.
About 45 minutes later, the guard takes their flashlight to the door, “Everyone back away from the door” the guard states.
The kitchen staff brings in a tray with food on it, and brings it to the center of the chamber. “Someone ordered steak, potatoes, corn?” asks the kitchen staff. He uncovers the food, takes the lids, and leaves the chamber. Door slamming behind as he exits.
<Main Character> looks around, and decides to get the food he had requested, surprised it was ordered the way he had requested. He takes the tray to his bunk and starts to eat.
Everyone is watching the new person. They’re not sure if they should great him, or to brand him an outsider, for now just joining them. After all, most of them have been there for a month or more now. There’s a man to every woman. A balance of men and women in the chamber. Except for <Main Character> and the woman on the bunk above him, they all seem to be coupled up.
<Main Character> finishes his meal in a nice silence. He places the tray next to the door, and knocks on it once, “I’m done eating in here” he yells, and walks back to his bunk.
“Welcome to hell, friend. I’m your overly loud cell mate, Richie.” One of the men stands and approaches <Main Character>. “You seem to understand the process here rather quickly.”
<Main Character> looks up, and nods. “I don’t especially have a name to share, sorry.”
“We’ll get to that when we need to call you for something then. How about right now you learn everyone else’s names instead?” Richie asks.
<Main Character> shrugs, “Sure. Can’t hurt.” <Main Character> has no real interest in learning any of their names, or getting along with them. He already has a plan of what he wants, and how to get it, but for simplicity, he knows he’ll have to deal with a bit of chatter.
“The quiet one above you, her name is Chloe …” Richie stops mid-sentence due to being kicked in the head by Chloe.
“It’s ‘Chloe’ without the ‘E’” she states.
“Bitch” Richie spits out, as he rubs his head where he got kicked.
“So, if I make it rhyme with ‘flow’, I won’t get a foot to the head?” <Main Character> asks.
“Correct,” she answers, and goes back to her book.
“As you can see, everyone has a bunk mate. We got thrown in here as couples, because we were picked up as couples. Except for her.” He points at Cloe. “We got picked up, and brought here against our will.”
“Anyways, over there you have Brook and Tim.” Brook and Tim are straight across from the area from <Main Character>.
“Next is Jean and Michael” as he points to the second set of bunks.
“That is Avril and Tristen” moving his hand to point to the last bunk on the far side.
“The lovely lady sitting by herself, is my girlfriend, and if we get out of here, we’re going to get married. Oh, and her name is Jill” as he motions towards the first bed on the next wall. She’s pretty, tall and stylish. She appears to be something of a model, and if she isn’t she could pass as one.
“Next is Elizabeth and Jack.”
“Followed by Ryan and Melony”
“Shannon and Kyle are after them”
“Kenny and Jessica there.” He points to the far bunk on the same wall as <Main Character>’s bunk.
“Last but not least, you have Ben and Tess” as he points to the final bunk.
“Nice to meet all of you.” <Main Character> says, “If, you don’t mind, I’d like to get some sleep if possible, it’s been a long day for me.”
“Of course, of course!” in a louder than should be voice, Richie says as he walks back to his bunk, “To a good night sleep!”
<Main Character> lays down on his bunk and pulls the paper-thin blanket over his head.
Everything is quiet except for the sound of Chloe’s rocking knees on her bunk above. A mild sound that has a rhythmic cycle to it, almost as if it could keep time. <Main Character> falls asleep to the sound.
<Main Character> wakes to a foot being planted firmly on his face. He looks up to see Chloe coming down from her bunk and struggling a bit with footing to keep from slipping from the top bunk straight to the floor in a massive flop. <Main Character> grabs Chloe’s foot and guides it to where she can place it without falling to the ground.
“Thank you” she whispers as she heads for the door, that is currently open.
<Main Character> sits up in his bunk and looks around, only to see that he’s the last one in the room. He decides this would be a great time to start working out.
Several hours have passed, and everyone is back in the room, back at their respective bunk slots. <Main Character> gets up and goes to the door, knocks and states he wants food, and goes back to his bunk, back to working out.
45 minutes later, food shows up that he ordered. He takes a break from working out, and eats, orders water by the case load, and goes back to working out.
The next morning, <Main Character> wakes to a foot on his face again. He helps her down again, and before she can scurry off, <Main Character> grabs her hand.
“Do you think we could talk a minute?” he asks her.
“About what?” she responds.
“I’ll help you up and down from the bunk that you want, at any time, if you’re willing to help me out with my work outs. I’d like to do hanging curls from your bunk, but I need something, or someone to hold my legs while I work out.” He explains, and offers.
“Any time, even if its dead of your sleeping time, or minutes after helping me go one way?” she asks, skeptical.
“Even if all you want to do is go up and down, and back again, for hours on end.”
“Hmm…” she thinks about it for a moment. “Okay, deal. Do I have to hold your legs in any special way?”
“Not really, just need some weight to keep them from sliding. You could sit on them for that matter. Or hold them down with your hands.” He clarifies.
And so, a pattern formed, Chloe would want down in the morning, and <Main Character> would be ready to help her down. Lunch time would come around and she’d like back up. <Main Character> would then set up and do his hanging curls while she sat on his legs reading her book. He’d tap her on the back when done, and she’d be up there until dinner time when she came down for recreational time, where she just read in the commons area. She’d come back two hours later, and want back up again until morning.
This would be the pattern that <Main Character> and Chloe lived on for several months.