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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

By Bryan Rudolph


Good and Bad


How much longer ?

Looking down the full length of a narrowly carved hallway, I could barely discern what seemed like two tiny dark figurines approaching. Faintly, but then not so faintly, a mumbling guttural meaninglessness echoed about my ears. The next thing I knew the monstrous stately door in front of me, trimmed with a gleaming brass plating, slowly, surely, started to open. Sending another furtive glance down what now appeared to be a shimmering tunnel, those figurines were gone and replaced by a man and woman embroiled in some odd exchange. The door smoothed open much wider. An ornate oval ivory-faced clock, just above the doorís mantel, disturbingly displayed glistening ebony hands twirling and whirling without cease. Under the door's magnificent arch, stood an imposing elderly gentleman, suited with a remarkable bow tie of unknown color.

" Reese Anders? "

I recognized my name, but was decidedly confused. Who was asking?

" Are you Reese Anders? "

Stiffened from long sitting on a short hard bench, I labored to stand up.

" Yes, who wants to know, " I whispered to myself and then demanded the same out loud.

" My name is Graham . . . and . . . I understand that you are here for the interview. "

" Yes, yes, of course, the interview, " I choked out nervously.

I spotted the clockís smaller hand now gripping the three and the longer exactly at the twelve. The man of the annoying couple had departed. The woman, somewhat halfway away, was hurriedly coming closer.

" I am here to tell you that no interview is necessary, " he smugly informed me, cool as iced juice.

" No? "

" No. "

I could see behind him, into the room. Something or someone was moving or had moved. Graham approached me with hand and smile extended. His eyes nearly smothered by deeply settled folds sealing some strange dark privacy. I had waited, oh so long, for this. Yet, the closer he walked toward me, I felt the need to be further away. Still, courtesy compelled me to embrace his hand. However, amazingly, just as I was about to do so . . . he vanished!

The clock now read 2:59. The woman, no longer in sight. The door, snugly shut.

Precisely one minute later, a young lady quietly opened what was now a banal and unassuming door.

" Reese Anders? "

My torpid brain was clearing rapidly, like a thick overnight mist at the mercy of an unforgiving dawn sun.

" Are you Reese Anders? "

" Yes. "

" My name is Graham . . . and . . . I understand that you are here for the interview. "

" Yes . . . I mean . . . no, no thank you . . . I've changed my mind . . . actually, I mean . . . by God . . . my mind has been changed and . . .I know the good that could result from this interview, but . . . Iím afraid . . . God knows . . . the bad that . . . would . . . result . . . so, at this time . . . if you donít mind . . . no interview is necessary. "


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This article has been read 455 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 05/14/09
Hmm, spec-fic? It kind of reads like it. lol. Interesting twists here and especially leaving it open-ended. I was curious as to why and where this was going and what really happened to Reese. Nice job.
diana kay05/16/09
this was quite atmospheric but quite confusing as well.
Laura Manley05/24/09
I sent my critique through a private message. I am still learning the ropes on this site. As a beginner, I see great potential in your writing. I am not a sci-fi person; however, that does not take away from the fact that your writing kept the reviewer interested. The only thing I found to be critical about was that you had a good story going, then all of a sudden, it's over. It's like you didn't quite know how to end the story. You may want to go back and address that one thing. This is merely a suggestion, Bryan. It is your option to take or leave. I look forward to reviewing other work. Laura