Below is my offering for week 83′s challenge word, which is ‘Rusty’. As you will see from the relevant blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘rusty’ is:
3a : of the color rust
b : dulled in color or appearance by age and use <rusty old boots>
Here’s my offering below – I hope you like it! Please check here for the other entries!
– Twenty Six –
You could tell the difference between this institution and the others in the sector because of the paint on the walls. Our other discoveries had been painted a dull green – even the staff private quarters followed this uniform pattern. Here and there, we found abandoned traces of individuality. In one employee’s room, we had found the desiccated remnants of letters from friends and relatives, in another cellophane sweet wrappers had been taped to the windows creating rainbows on the grimy walls within. I remember touching the shimmering patterns, chasing the shadows.
Here, it was different. I shivered, despite the relentless heat of the sun, magnified by the vast wall of windows at the far end of the room. The people who ran this place clearly felt no urge to hide what they were doing – there were no buildings for miles, the terrain was desolate, no roads led here. It was as if we were standing in a figment of a twisted imagination, soon to disappear on the opening of its owner’s sleeping eyes.
I touched the rusty red walls. Even the floor had been given the same treatment. I sensed rather than noticed the neat holes in the floor, the walls, the ceiling. All equipment had been removed slowly, methodically, without hurry. Withdrawal from this place had not been urgent. They had not feared discovery.
I opened my notebook, clicked my pen into action, feeling the vibration as the spring released from its housing inside. I paused, glancing around the room, forcing my emotions to a small, dark place. It was time to record, not react.
‘Statements of the surviving inmates noted a wall of windows, intense heat, walls painted the colour of old blood. I believe we have located Establishment 26.’
I scraped a flake of wall paint into an envelope, sealed it. I hoped I was wrong.