The return of Gladys

The long corridor looked so bleak and dim in contrast to the brightly lit elevator. Morgan winced as her heel clacked on the marble with her first step out of the elevator. It didn’t help that this end of the corridor was particularly cold which sent chills through the spine, enhancing the feeling that perhaps something hideous was following  close in the shadow, or you were heading to your terrible doom. The slightly creepy sense the hallway brought was designed to turn back anyone who didn’t have real cause to be there. I tried to keep my eyes focused on the warmly lit desk at the very end of the corridor to prevent myself wanting to turn back.

I would have warmed myself and Morgan up but the usage of affinities within the building was strictly prohibited unless a person had signed certification and permissions or were in an emergency, and I didn’t want anything that could be used against us even slightly when we appealed.

A person with such certifications slowly raised her head from the end of the corridor we were halfway down, her slivery, blonde hair was once again done in a perfect bun, no single hair was left out or allowed to stray from its designated position.  She peeped over her half moon spectacles which she had positioned halfway down her nose and looked Morgan over. I thought I may have seen her nod slightly, deeming my daughter to look respectable, before she returned her eyes to her work.

Morgan and I remained silent as we walked down the rest of the way, it was the kind of moment where speech is not necessary and seems absurdly out of place. The shared silence was broken by Gladys. 

“You’re early.”  With her familiar voice came an odd warmth that reminded me of my own teenage years sat waiting for my father in this corridor with my brothers. It seemed a lot less ominous and dark back then but I suppose back then I was not faced with the task of convincing the Faerie council to go to war at a time when they had enough trouble within their own land. Layla’s face flashed through my mind for the millionth time, she had lost her husband to the problems within our kingdom, everything I thought of seemed to connect back to her, I needed to try and forget her, no matter what the decision of the council was there was a huge chance I wouldn’t ever return.

A form was placed in the hand of Morgan’s that I was not currently holding onto.

“Just fill it in sweetie, they will be ready to see you in a moment.” She pointed to a chair by the side of her desk and Morgan sat down to fill it out despite her gently shaking hands. Every now and again she clutched her pendant to steady herself before taking a deep breath and continuing.

“She has a lot of her mother in her.” Gladys whispered to me as we stood opposite Morgan. “Not sure about the skirt length but otherwise she looks thoroughly presentable. I remember you at her age Mike, it makes me feel so ancient”

I smiled through an overwhelming serge of nerves. Gladys had always been one for ankle length skirts.

“Still I thought she was only a....” She was cut off by a sharp ‘peep’ noise that came from a small box on her desk. Which startled Morgan so much she almost dropped her pen.

“Send them in Gladys.”

It was a voice I had dreaded hearing and one that Morgan quite clearly recognised by her reaction.  

Gladys took the completed form from Morgan and raised her eyebrow as she scanned down it.

“You know the routine Mike. These things haven’t changed since you were a kid.” She pushed open the large oaken doorway. “Good luck to the both of you.”

Morgan took my hand.

“Here we go.” I smiled what I hoped was a reassuring smile at her.

The End

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