March 2022 SOLC–Day 1
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“Ugh, those bathrooms were disgusting,” I thought, pushing the door closed behind me. I wanted to mention it to someone in the nearby offices, but I was in a hurry to catch up with my family. While in the bathroom, I’d heard the announcement that closing time was approaching. I knew my group was already wending their way back through the enclosed exhibits toward the exit on a lower floor.
I looked around, crossed the vestibule and headed quickly to the exhibit doors. I couldn’t believe how quickly it had cleared out.
How far ahead were they anyway?
I reached for my purse before remembering, once again, that I’d lost my cell phone earlier. It was amazing how cut off I felt without it. Already I was dreading the hoops I’d have to jump through to replace it.
Ahead of me a uniformed man held the door open.
I smiled and thanked him, entered the main part of the building and then walked a few steps down the path.
I stopped in my tracks. The way ahead of me was half-lit, the plants and trees more suggested than visible, the exhibits dark and half covered.
I turned and stepped back toward the man.
He was firmly closing the door between us.
“Wait!” I said, “Can’t I go out the door by the offices instead?”
He shook his head, continuing to pull the door shut.
“But it’s dark, and I’m really not sure I remember how to get through,” I pleaded.
I couldn’t hear him through the thick pane of glass, but I could see his face. Grim, determined. Unrelenting. An exaggerated circle of “NO” on his lips.
Wow. This is ridiculous!
I turned back to look ahead of me, shaking my head. I couldn’t decide if I was more angry or nervous. The path lead down a steady slope. What earlier had been a clear walkway was now half covered with tarps. The light was dim and seemed to be fading. Shadows were multiplying.
Wait! What kind of animals had I seen on the way through? Were any of them roaming?
Nervous quickly won out over angry, and was fast ceding to scared. I pushed myself to reverse my earlier route in my mind. The route to come seemed darker and more sinister by the moment.
How was I going to find my way?
My memory of the journey up the path faded as I struggled to envision the twists and turns.
Where was that pond? Were the stairs before or after that? Why couldn’t I remember?!
I could feel my anxiety mounting, poking icy fingers along my spine.
Well, I don’t have a choice, I guess. I just need to start going. This is so strange! Oh, but look on the bright side, at least I’ll get a slice out of it.
I took a tentative step forward, reminding myself to pay close attention as I walked, to look for moments and details that might spark up a story.
I took another firmer step forward…
and then I woke up.
It was this morning, first morning of the March challenge, and I’d fallen asleep wondering what I would write about today.
It’s not quite what I imagined! But hey, at least I got a slice out of it.