Grey Halls This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Clarkston, MI

Northwest of the bridge that crossed the river, a twelve-story office building sat immobilized in the endless plain of the city. The building was concrete; it was grey. Inside the windows existed a grey glare. Within the building, a grey desk, elevator, ceiling. Then there were the halls. The building was an infinite labyrinth of halls and they were all grey.


In the midst of the labyrinth lay the office of Farge, no different than any of the other offices in the building. Grey walls, a grey printer, computer, floors, desks, and lamps, all to the side of the grey halls.

He was 37 years old. He was the typical office worker. He came in, he worked, and he left. Nothing more, nothing less. He was fairly tall and slim, and he had a very standard short haircut that was pressed down with loads of gel, as if his hair wanted to break free but the gel was bogging it down, preventing it from accomplishing its dreams.

Farge, along with all of the workers in the building, were working for an air conditioning company, and they specialized in drawing and publishing blueprints for “new” models and parts. They really weren’t new. Every model was the same, but one of the fans might have a slightly different blade shape or one of the electrical systems might have a different power consumption. The employees didn’t really innovate. The same product swept through the halls of the building every generation, in a perpetual and infinite cycle,


Farge slowly limped into his office in grey trousers, a grey suit and tie, all surrounding his grey soul. Yes, Farge was depressed, but nothing less should be expected by those that live in grey. He was just too bored with his daily life to be happy, and he knew that this was a problem. He desperately wanted to escape the halls, or at least change them to create something new or different.


He had tried many times before. He had brought a drop of red into his office, but it was absorbed by the grey. Blue, he tried, but nothing had changed.

The workers in his building, Farge noted, were like a timeline. The new ones still had some joy, some creativity, but as he looked at workers that had been employed for 5, 10, 20 years, the joy faded away. He did not want to be like that.
He brought in posters, decorations, lights, and toys, but it was all in vain. So long as he lived to the demands of grey, so long as he stayed in his same boring job, grey would consume. The mood did not improve.

Farge came to work the following day in a red shirt, yellow tie, and black trousers, but they still protected the same grey soul. It was the same story as the posters and objects he had implemented. They were nothing but surface accents, they were nothing capable of real change, so Farge remained depressed. As he trudged through the grey halls, the other workers moved as one generic tsunami sweeping through the building. They didn’t look at him, but they spoke to his soul by means of the looks they gave him. They spoke words of shame, words of haunting, all about the simple suit he wore and tie he boasted. Only the grey was welcome.

The other workers were always strange, different, odd to Farge. They were engulfed in sadness and depression like Farge was, but they never seemed to notice it or care about it, as if the grey had possessed them.

The grey halls gave off the same vibe as the workers, the same haunting. No color was welcome, nothing new or unique or innovative. Farge felt left behind, shunned.

So he changed. He no longer gave into what was welcome to the halls, he no longer was a slave to the halls.

The following day, he left the halls. He did not attend his job, and suddenly the grey within him began to fade away, and he noticed the reds, blues, pinks and yellows in his soul. He was drawn to the rushing waters of the rivers, the high peaks of the mountains. He was no longer trapped in the endless cycle of daily life, no longer surrounded by the halls, no longer colorblind. He was happy.

He was no longer welcomed by the grey. He was, literally, not welcome. He was fired for not showing up to work, for avoiding the grey. But, now that he was away from the grey, he saw how he could find reds and purples and browns and golds. He lived a new life, living off of the colors in his soul rather than the obsession over living in grey just to make a little green. And when his joy levels skyrocketed, with them, all of the silvers and bronzes and oranges of the world were revealed with astounding clarity. After all, in his Norwegian roots, “farge” meant “color”.

And there was no more grey.






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