The Line by Nathan Wunner
Pressing tightly against me are putrid, stinking mounds of human flesh; bodies piled on top of each other so tightly that moving ones arms or taking a deep breath is an impossible strain. Pale light seeps in from yellowed windows caked in layers of grime. The air is oppressive; smelling of rust and sweat. Thousands of shuffling feet slowly march across concrete thick with layers of human filth and shallow pools of urine. We move with the speed of a grazing herd of cattle; funneled forward by cords of rope which form a winding maze throughout the length of the warehouse; the purpose of which is to deliver us all, neatly and orderly, to the end of the line.
feel uncomfortable and considered turning around and leaving, but when I looked back I saw that there was now such a crowd behind me that I couldn’t even see the door through which I’d entered. So I stood quietly, thinking to myself, “surely they won’t keep us waiting much longer.” I actually began to feel embarrassed at my nervousness; everyone else’s eyes were still trained forward towards the curtain. I seemed to be the only one entertaining thoughts of leaving.
Time wore on. The close proximity of such a large number of people coupled with the sun bearing down overhead made the room nauseatingly warm. I felt a terrible thirst, I remember being lost on my way to the city and the stench of filth was overwhelmwhen I saw the line forming around the out- ing. We crept forward so slowly I began to side of a warehouse. I didn’t know what the wonder if the line was actually moving at line was for, nor did the other individuals all, or if I’d merely been shuffling my feet. I whom I asked. Still, the sheer number of could wait here no longer. I tried to force people and the buzz of excitement in the air my way back through the crowd, but more was enough to pique my curiosity. and more people were filing in by the second; all of them pushing forward impatientOnce inside, however, all that awaited us ly. Leaving was impossible. Hard as I pushed, was a winding rope maze which terminated they pushed back harder, struggling to in an imposing black curtain at the far end reach that curtain, never mind that there of the building. As time passed I began to was no more space to accommodate them.
Dedicated to the late, great H.P. Lovecraft