The Old House and the Hallway

by Bobby Woods

Itís a rough part of town. Itís not safe to walk around here at night.

Itís an old house. It must have been nice in its day. But that day has passed. Now, it sits back from the street surrounded by a chain link fence. The windows are boarded, little of the paint remains. The lawn has overgrown into a sad jungle of tall, unfriendly plants and weeds, mostly brown and dry.

No one has lived here for a long time.

Iíve been to this place before, years and years ago. But I canít remember exactly when. Or why. Maybe it was a party, maybe a girl I was seeing. Iím not sure.

But the place had a secret. That much I do remember.

And so I went back one night, and hopped the fence.

I wanted to see if the secret was still true.

The front door opened easily, the lock and the knob were gone. Vague fragments of memories came back heavy as I walked into what at one time must have been the living room. These memories were incomplete: there was once a red sofa here, I remember a womanís legs, there were four votive candles flickering on the shiny wooden floor, the buttons on a green velvet dress... I tried hard to remember these things more clearly, but I couldnít. They were gone now.

But they were once there for sure. Iím almost positive.

Something must have happened to me long ago in this room - something sexy as hell. I canít tell you why I know this. I just do.

There is a bedroom at the back of the old house and I knew where to find it. That room has a closet. And in that closet you can find the secret.

The back wall of the closet has a trick panel that can be removed. Youíd never notice it unless you were looking for it.

I removed the panel. Behind it was a deep, black hallway. I stepped inside and started walking.

The hallway went on and on. It seemed an impossible length for a house of this size. I walked a great while.

Up ahead in the distance I could see a window. It was overhead, perhaps ten or fifteen feet from the ground, like the window of an attic might be.

Moonlight came in through the window. I walked towards it.

Finally, I arrived at the window, discovering the secret of the old house and the hallway.

You see, when I got to the window, I found that it was not over my head. It was directly in front of me. I could reach out and touch it.

Looking down I realized I was now floating more than ten feet in the air.

The long hallway had been a sort of ramp, with the floor lowering imperceptibly beneath me as I walked. The floor had been dropping down, slowly, subtly, and I hadnít noticed.

And as the floor dropped, I didnít.

Without realizing it, I was now flying.

I opened the window, and a quick, cool breeze rushed in.

Looking down I could see the moonlight shining onto trees and the rooftop of the house.

And so, climbing out the window I began my flight over the town, wishing I had dressed a little warmer, and keeping a close eye out for telephone wires.


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