The Other Side of the Door
Yda Dugan

We all sat in the dimly-lit room, fidgeting and rubbing our hands together as we waited for the door in the middle of the front wall to open. It shed a blindingly bright light, if only for a few seconds, shielding us from what transpired past this room.


There were sentries standing by the door, holding stacks of paper as they called out the numbers of those who were supposed to walk through. They spoke monotonously, staring at the ones who moved forward.


It was always the same. Everyone wore monochrome uniforms with a series of numbers painted onto the front, each set different from another. Everyone would stay quiet unless they wanted to be reprimanded by the sentries. Everyone sat around until someone would be chosen to walk through the door. Every minute was spent waiting pensively until someone was called.


The wall would open up and take in whoever was called upon. Some walked in with their head held high, some hesitant to move forward, and very few were dragged, yelling and thrashing, by personnel we would never see unless the circumstance arised.


I flinched as my number was called, hearing my heart pounding against my ears. I felt everyone’s eyes boring into me as I slowly stood up, taking small quivering steps towards the door. It opened outwards and I walked in. I’d only taken a few steps before the door slid shut behind me.

First published: November 2017
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