She walks down the long corridor, keeping close to the wall on the left-hand side. The walls are a nondescript grey colour, and the corridor itself is narrow; she thinks of intestines winding around in a confined space; she also thinks of the Ghost Ride at the Fun Park where, beyond the entrance, there does not seem to be any kind of exit. Her eyes are fixed on the highly polished, dark timber flooring, and they rarely rise above the ever-changing patterns of shoes and trouser legs and the very occasional long skirt.
She knows that there are many people all around her, ordinary, anonymous people, like those she might see at the train station or in the street, hurrying in different directions. Some of them are well-dressed: she can tell by the shoes. When she very occasionally lifts her eyes from the floor, she sees tailored suits and jogging outfits side by side, young people in Gothic black with facial piercings and hair thick with gel, and trim, well-trained people alongside others who are quite obviously overweight. Almost everyone looks slightly anxious; some appear dazed. No one is talking; she knows that it is forbidden. She looks around quickly: there are no children anywhere.
This is the beginning of Room Nineteen; if you want to read the rest of the first chapter (or Fragment), click on Room Nineteen under Pages on the right side of this blog.