A Short Story : A Story?

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Craig shifted in his seat; the wooden chair was so uncomfortable. He was in a corridor, lined with identical chairs occupied by more young men of about his age. The corridor smelled like polish and floor cleaner, and was painted a dull grey and cream. A few feet away stood a tough looking soldier, immaculately dressed in a dark green uniform and carrying a large wooden cane. Every few minutes a light bulb hanging above a doorway would flash, a buzzer would sound and the soldier jabbed the man sitting closest to him with his cane.

Craig heard the buzzer yet again and saw the flashing light reflected on the wall opposite. The soldier turned to the nearest young man and prodded him in the middle of his chest with the cane.

“You --- in there,” he said. Craig had heard him use that phrase repeatedly.

The young man in question stood up and opened the door as the others before him had done. He went inside and the door closed.

“Move up!” shouted the soldier, another frequently repeated instruction.

The man now nearest to the soldier stood up and moved to the vacated chair. Everyone else in the line followed suit, moving nearer to his fate. Craig was now only two chairs away from the door, the sinking sensation in his stomach intensified and he started to bite his fingernails. The man ahead of him in the queue did not seem to know what to do with his hands; he put them on his head, under his chin, behind his neck, on his knees and in his lap.

There was no clock in the corridor

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