Dust

Kerry paced the room, her muscles taut and ready to go.  She circled past each window, glowering at the sunlight, green grass and gently swaying tree branches.  The sound of casual conversation between people outside ground against her nerves like burrs against her skin.  Sheep, she thought.  They are all sheep, standing there, drinking their soda’s and eating their chips, talking about whatever topic is at the top of the Hot List.  Every so often she would see one of them turn their head just a smidgen and glance at her as she stalked past the window closest to them.  Those moments filled her with rage.

The room itself was so amazingly unremarkable that it was laughable.  A simple, square space with windows on each wall, the kind that had to be pushed up and braced with a stick or a book.  The wood trim was a sickly color of green, just enough blue in it to make it look like corpse vomit.  Kerry wanted to brush the paint with her hand, make the old chips and splinters powder the floor beneath it.  They only thing stopping her was the lack of a broom and dustpan to sweep it up.  The windows would stay closed.

Aside from the windows with their gross paint, the only other thing the room owned was a chair.  Conveniently located in the very center of the space, Kerry knew she would be able to see out every window if she sat in it.  As she paced the peripheral, not quite touching the windows, Kerry contemplated her seating options.  Each corner was visible by at least two windows.  There was no single spot that would completely remove her from the glances of the sheep outside.  She knew that her anger would fade, it always did, and when that happened she would be tired and need to sit down.  The only question was where.

“My room was circular.”

Kerry’s foot paused in the air, the heel of her black, cowboy boot hovering just above the wood floor.  Slowly she lowered it, noting the slight click of wood against wood then continued along her path.

“Mine was octagonal.”

This time Kerry didn’t slow her steps.  Her ears were practically swiveling on her head to catch more bits of conversation.  The words sounded so close, like whoever was talking was right inside the room with her.  Obviously she was alone so it had to be some weird sound echo.

“Not even enough corner to give me even the illusion that I could hide.”

The corners of the room came into sharp awareness for Kerry, each one feeling darker and more secluded as she passed.  The faded blue of her jeans seemed to flash as she clomped through sunbeams.  How was there a beam for each window?

Thigh muscles sent grouchy complaints out through her skin.  They were getting tired of working without a destination in sight.  Kerry sniffed and huffed, pausing to breathe and relax her legs for a minute.  Dust motes, captive and exposed, danced in the light, taunting her with the thought of how many she was inhaling.  Millions.  Flaring her nostrils outward she stared at the chair, her eyes widening just a bit.

She heard the door close behind her as she walked away.  Too bad it wouldn’t lock.

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