The God of Hallways

by R.T. Allenson

Something in the back of my mind told me to stand up and run.

But I could not. I simply stared, unmoving. Not flinching. Not even a bit.

Was it fear or fascination that paralyzed me? I stared at the thing that was coming towards me – it was a flayed and baleful thing that constantly writhed in excruciating agony, clawing awkwardly at the empty air as it shambled towards me from the corridor. It would pause sometimes to stare at me with empty eye sockets, and then roar at me viciously as it continued limping from what dark corners of the hallway it came from. On top of its head was a golden halo, glimmering faintly as if losing its effulgence.

Shadows played where the thing had walked and I felt a sudden overbearing force of anxiety overcome me. I stared unblinkingly as the thing came closer, stretching its bony arms and sharp-fingered hands to reach me. I ran before it could touch me but as I made my escape, my legs buckled and I fell down hard on the floor. My senses failed on me and I slipped into darkness.

..and my mind wandered and dreamed between fleeting moments and darker memories. I dreamt about limbo – between paradise and the inferno, between the hoary seat in the sky and the burning throne below. If there was God in heaven and the Devil in hell, what monstrous king reigned in the place between the two?

The next day I woke up in my bed with deep claw marks on my legs and body. The smell of smoke and fire hung heavy in the air and as the door of my room slowly opened, I began to scream and scream…