By, Wendiann Alfieri
Inside Morality, there is a hallway that no one can go down.
It’s been closed off for years, due to the incident.
What the incident was varied from person to person.
It’s when you hit that car while speeding when it flipped into a ditch and left the driver blind.
It’s when you lied to cover up cheating on your husband. It’s when you screamed at your mom and the next day she had a heart attack and your last words were “I hate you”
Sometimes, the incident is seemingly insignificant compared to others.
Comparisons don’t matter when it comes to guilt.
Shame is the same color
For Janitor Lee, that color is purple.
The plum-colored grease that oozes from the walls has to be cleaned somehow for everyone to function.
Every day, Janitor Lee is sent to the hallway, with a small metal bucket and a washcloth.
No one wants to visit the hallway of encompassing guilt, once there, you never leave.
The encompassing guilt hallway is not the normal kind of guilt.
The guilt you experience every day may be heavy.
If that hallway isn’t cleaned, though, it will kill you.
With the daily toll of sins rising, the walls bleed more and more
Janitor Lee isn’t exempt from the hall of Guilt.
He is the only soul who can return from it.
Not for any specific reason.
He’s not better than anyone else.
He can enter and leave as he pleases.
Just because, well.
Someone has to.
It’s a gray day in Morality, and of course, with his luck, there was an alarm going off and he has to check it out.
He doesn’t even feel concerned until he notices it’s Easter.
Typically his day off.
He groans as he gets off his mattress and goes to wash his face in the sink.
The faucet of sadness is off, they must have shut the water off cause he is past due on his bill.
The mattress rises to suppress the indent left by Janitor Lee, and Lee goes to see if the problem even involves him needing water to clean.
The water always runs from the faucet outside his room, only just enough for him to use to clean the walls.
He can’t use the cleansing Holy Water to clean himself. Only the water from his room can help him clean the sadness off himself.
Today is odd.
Lee leaves his room and turns to the hallway, walking down it and looking up and down to see if the automatic sprinklers that go off when he sleeps are working.
Last year there was a problem with one not working, making his job so much harder considering how much more thorough he had to be when he didn’t have the automatic system to keep everything in order while he was able to close his eyes.
Nope, Lee doesn’t see anything wrong, and he turns to walk out of the hallway when something catches his eyes.
He thinks about how he still has to do daily Hallway Assessment paperwork to earn credit to pay his bills.
A small scratching sound echoes.
He turns, expecting leftover violet jelly, but sees a small box.
He reads the label.
Yup, for him.
He opens the package once returning to his room.
It’s a bottle of Champagne, the finest anyone staff in The Morals Resurrection Center anyone did see.
“Janitor Lee, I know drinking wine is traditional, but it’s a New Year, and I’ll give you a break from the color of grapes. I appreciate your help in keeping up with everything. It gets harder every year, but you are appreciated. Enjoy this and Cheers,
Janitor Lee smiles, Opening the bottle with a satisfying Pop!
Within ten minutes, the bottle is empty, and Janitor Lee falls asleep.