Charlie’s Room


Assignment: Describe the room of a fictional character

“You can, uh, you can wait here in the hallway until he gets back.”

“Yes, thank you.”

Alice had to press herself against the wall as Gimpy squeezed past her and the bags of flour that crowded the hallway. It seemed that there was a tear in the seam of one of the bags, and the hall floor was coated with the scuffled eddies of the pale dust.

With both hands still clasping her hand purse, Alice stepped towards the room and peered in.

It was small, not much bigger, actually, than the customer bathroom in the bakery below. An unmade cot dominated the room.

A grated window gave a view of the alley behind the building. Next to the foot of the bed, jammed against a corner, were several sacks of flour with comic books strewn, like confetti, over them. Some of the comics were glossy and new and others looked decades old, their pages nearly torn and unhinged from their staples. The older ones looked gray and faded, as if they were slowly decomposing into pulp at the intent and constant gaze of their owner.

On the opposite corner, right at the entrance of the door, was a school desk — just like the standard issue ones in her classroom at the community college. It looked like it might actually have been discarded from a classroom; its corners were scored and whittled away and there were doodles and notes not in Charlie’s handwriting in patches along the wood and metal. A squat three-legged stool, a little too short for the desk, was awaiting like a little brother in front of the desk, a pencil and speckled journal carefully placed on top. That lonely pair of furniture brought an unexpected moistness to her eye.

Flowers for Algernon


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