Looking through a condensed window, Sammie Steele observantly studied the way a sordid stray dog voraciously gnawed at a bone, and was fascinated by the energy and aggression that she exercised throughout the startlingly disturbing and somewhat moving process. He knew he was going to fail, and he envied the dog. Yearning and dreaming for a change, a way out of the meagre and unintelligible realities of the 21st century, Sammie Steele reluctantly rose from his bed.
Right from the start, he knew he was going to fail. This was his 4th abject attempt and the odds of passing this time were not particularly pleasant either. But it was no use, he had to try: there was a certain sense of hope, a nostalgic pleasure of remembering, re-enacting his long-lost aspirations, stalled and embezzled by a loathsome feeling of lassitude.
Walking through the light morning fog, Sammie approached the building. In a few minutes’ time the place would be polluted with strangers, people rushing to and fro, the horrible din of a municipal community. He hated that, and he took particular pleasure in arriving as early as his underslept self allowed him to. Thinking of the impossible, hoping for a change, Sammie casually made it for the stairs. Surely, there was justice in this world; he silently mused on the possibility of passing the exam. After all, there wasn’t much to it.
As he awkwardly advanced for the door, a girl brushed quickly past him. Loaded with an inconveniently bulky stack of books, she accidentally dropped one on the concrete floor. Before Sammie realized what had happened, she quickly picked it up, mumbling a hasty excuse, and ran away without looking back. He managed to catch a glimpse of her face; quick, agile motions guided the inexperienced and flexible figure with such precision and exactitude that it took her less than a moment to be completely out of Sammie’s sight. With a subtle sense of indifference, for a split second, he gazed back in a wondrous confusion of surprise and curiosity. He promptly opened the door and walked into the building, swiftly.
He had never seen this girl before. She was obviously new; dressing differently from the rest - incorrect, too whimsical - and from her muffled, convoluted mumbles of speech, from the few words that had escaped her mouth at that time, he could tell that she was not from this part of the inhabited world. She was different.
The corridor of the municipal building that lead from the door was filthy. There was a certain stench of iodoform about it, which he thought was very ironic, since the chemical was typically found used as a form of disinfectant in hospitals. Quickly walking down the corridor, Sammie took this mental note, and of the peculiar contrast between the greasy corridor, ornamented with bawdy ballpoint doodles by juniors, and the uncompromising smell of hospital.
Arriving at his destination, an exam hall as dirty and ornate with lewdy illustrations as the rest of the building, he sat down on his stool and pulled himself in next to the square old rocking table, where his name had been carefully inscribed in bold letters in a corner.
He was ten minutes early. Or so the big, white luminous clock implied, which seemed to hang with inherent pride and power, an object being so big it easily filled the whole top half of the front wall; its round and clean design shouting at you, the intolerant bold, black and imminently bevelled, multifaceted roman numerals staring back in icy indignation and disregard.
The crowd rocketed in, steadily filling up the blank. Although no intentional noise was ever made, the persistent shuffle of shoes, paper scrunching and screeches of stools made Sammie very agitated; the exam atmosphere, he thought, keep calm.
The girl arrived, too. She sat right ahead and to the right of Sammie. She didn’t have the books this time, but still retained the very fretful and clumsy nature about her, which felt so appealing in so many ways; the rocking desk not giving peace, the long, messy hair always in the way.
Sammie focused on her. Red cheeks from the early morning run, highlighted by her naturally pale skin, gave her an appearance of Snow White, or, on the other end of the spectrum, like motivational women from the Soviet posters - her nervous look expressing true feelings of diligence and commitment, always seeking the right and damning the wrong, rectifying the past.
The bell rang. The exam started. But Sammie did not care for such seemingly trivial things, he was deep in thought. Sammie focused on her, the girl who sat ahead and to the right. Sammie wanted to give that girl a name. Polly, Jade, Lily, Zoe, Vicky, all seemed too ordinary and common, he wanted something more. He believed that Ingrid would perfectly fit the nature of her mysterious character; something complex and unique, like the actress from Casablanca: talented, beautiful and all things a girl could dream of. But, he might as well could call her his dreaded muse, and that would be enough; indeed, a source of motivation, unknown, incognito, playing the inherent strings of his innocent heart that had never been touched before. He was inspired, he wanted to show that he was as good as any other one can be. He looked down onto the paper, unopened and blank. EXAM PAPER #1, it read in bold, black and sensible monotype print.
$root - whoami sordid sammie
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