The Windowless Room

The Windowless Room

A Story by Stanley R. Teater

Two unpleasant men make a very unpleasant discovery.


Two young men, Seth and Call, were in a tiny windowless room. They faced each other across a cheap particle board table. They sat, uncomfortably, on straight-backed armless wooden chairs. Seth’s chair had a loose leg and when he moved it wobbled, making a soft clicking sound. He tried to move as little as possible because every time the chair clicked Call glared at him. Seth sighed. “How long has it been?” he asked. Call just shrugged.

“Maybe we should leave,” Seth said.

Call crossed his arms, leaned back and said, “Maybe you should leave.”

Seth stood up, walked to the door and placed his ear against it. “I don’t hear a thing,” he said. “Maybe no one knows we’re in here.”

“Of course they know. So we wait. As long as it takes.” Call’s voice had that familiar edge to it, an edge Seth hated because it made him feel small and weak and stupid. “You worry too much,” Call added. “So just sit down and shut up. Now!”

Seth sat back down. One day, he thought, I’m gonna punch you. Not just a little tap, but a real smack-you-to-the-ground slug. One day. 

After a few moments of silence Call looked around the room and said, “It’s odd that they don’t have a clock on the wall in here.”

“Maybe it’s like a doctor’s office. They don’t want you to know how long you’ve been waiting. If you want the time why don’t you just look at your cell phone?”

“My cell phone is dead. Anyway, I don’t give a damn about what time it is. It’s just odd.” He gestured around him with both hands. “No window. No clock. No nothing. Except these damn chairs and this piece-of-s**t table. It’s weird.”

Suddenly the door opened and a very tiny man entered the room. The top of his head was the same height as the door knob. He had wispy white hair and pinkish skin. He wore short-sleeved blue coveralls. He looked around the room. “Oops,” he said. “They forgot to leave me a chair. I’ll be right back.” He then turned and left.

Call laughed loudly. “Did you get a load of that midget? I was bigger than him when I was two years old.”

“More waiting,” moaned Seth. “I wonder how long it takes to get a chair in this place.” Then the door opened again.

“Not long,” laughed Call.

The man backed into the room, dragging a chair. He put it up aganst the wall and, with no small amount of effort, climbed up into it. “All right, gentlemen,” he said. “Let’s get started. First of all, what do you remember about getting here?”

There was silence as Call and Seth glanced at one another. “Go ahead,” said Call. “You answer him.”

“Okay.“ Seth searched his memory. What day was it? Where were they when they decided to come here? Why had they come here? “You know, it’s funny but I don’t remember getting here. Did somebody drug us and dump us in here? Is that it?”

“Yeah,” said Call. “That must be it. I’ll kill ‘em when I find out who did it.”

The little man smiled sympathetically. “No, I’m afraid that’s not what happened. As you waited what did you think you were you waiting for?”

“Well,” Seth ventured, “It felt just like we were waiting for a job interview. Isn’t that right, Call?”

“Yeah. It felt like that. Kinda. Is this is a job interiew? I’m a real good worker, man. When I’m paid what I’m worth of course.”

“A job interview?” The little man thought for a moment. “Yes, it is a bit like that I suppose. This is a placement room, or portal if you will. I’m here to decide your, uh, well, your next step.”

“Next step?” asked Call. “I don’t get it.”

“Just be patient. I’ll explain. But first I need to ask each of you a question.” He crossed his arms, leaned back in his chair, and studied their faces. “Let’s start with you,” he said to Call. “First, what is the best thing you’ve ever done?”

“Man, that’s one oddball question,” Call said. “You mean like what was the most fun?”

“No. I’m not talking about fun. I’m talking about doing something good for your fellow man. Can you think of anything?”

Call looked at Seth, pointed at the side of his head with his index finger and made a circular motion with it. “Oh, you think I’m nuts?” asked the man. “I’m not surprised.” He turned to Seth. “What about you? Have you done anything to make this world a better place?”

“Uh, well, there was this time I ran across a drunk passed out on the sidewalk. I could’ve robbed him, but I didn’t. Most people would’ve taken everything he had, I think.”

“Actually, no,” said the man. “Most people would not have done that. Call here probably would have, though. Wouldn’t you?”

Call just shrugged.

“Well, gentlemen, I’ve been going over your files, searching for signs of goodness. Sadly, I found none. I asked you the question as sort of a last chance. And I’ve heard nothing to change my mind.”

“Change your mind about what?” asked Call.

“I’m afraid I have some very bad news for you. The two of you were in a car, trying to get away from the police. And, Call, you’re not a very good driver. The two of you were killed instantly in a crash, and I’m here to decide where you spend eternity.”

“Who are you?” asked Seth.

“I’m God, of course.”

“A pipsqueak like you?” cackled Call.

“Indeed. Now it’s time for you to get on the elevator. It’s a very long ride, and I’m afraid the only direction it goes… is down.” 

                                © 2016 Stanley R. Teater

                         All rights reserved

© 2016 Stanley R. Teater

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This reads like an episode of The Twilight Zone. Rod Sterling would give you a thumbs up. If he were alive. And actually liked the story (honestly, I have no rights bestowed upon me by his estate to speak for him or his literary opinions). My only criticism is that I would like more. More back and forth between Seth and Call. Maybe some dialogue that takes us even farther into their twisted psyches. Perhaps more about the place they're in, like sounds, smells, a quirky receptionist, a hurried accountant who needs signatures... The possibilities are endless.

Posted 4 Years Ago

and she passed it on to me in which i throughly enjoyed reading it

Posted 4 Years Ago

This is very good. It took a few lines to get it but the ending is great. I am passing this gem on. Valentine

Posted 4 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on September 1, 2016
Last Updated on September 7, 2016


Stanley R. Teater
Stanley R. Teater

Cedar Park, TX

Writing fiction has always been a dream. After 36 years working in television station marketing and advertising I grew tired of writing 30-second commercials and promos. I retired and I now write fict.. more..


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