The Door That Isn't There

Writing prompt
Closed doors: What's behind the door? Why is it closed?

It's about the door. It's always about that damn door. The door that isn't there but is. The door that can be seen or unseen. It's about the whispers that leak out from the corners and the secrets that it keeps. Generation after generation ignored that door. Some because they thought it a figment of their imaginations, others because they were so frightened of it that they tricked themselves into believing there was nothing there. The mind is a funny, funny thing, really. Every few generations a child would happen across the door and take a quick peak. Though they'd run to mommy and daddy to discuss it's contents, they were never believed. For children you know, have quite active imaginations, and adults have a way of ignoring the things that they do not understand. And as the children grew up, year after year, their memories faded as childhood innocence was replaced with the reality taught to them by other former children. And one day they would disappear, one by one, to the other side. And so on and on the pattern continued.

It continued until one dark night. A night so dark in fact that even the stars dared not shine. It just so happened that the last living member of that house's family was home alone. At the age of 19 she was hardly an adult, but certainly no longer a child. And on this night she walked swiftly passed the door, as she had done since childhood. She averted her eyes, like a good little girl, thought of pixie dust and soft kittens, sweet candies and green lily pads. She thought of anything but the threshold she was passing by. But on this night, for just a second, she slipped. She found her mind had wandered to that deep unknown and once a mind wanders into the deep unknown it isn't long before the body follows. And on this night the body followed. First the hand, gripping the brass knob ever so gently, pushing it slowly, silently willing it to let go of its secrets. She found herself wondering if the door had always been there. Of course it had. How could there be a door in her home that she had forgotten about? No, she knew it was there. Didn't she? Why couldn't she remember ever having opened it? Surely it was just another bedroom, plain and ordinary. Like any other room. Was that a breath? Was there something in there? Someone, she meant to think was there someone in there. Her mind went deeper and deeper as her right foot stepped solemnly inside. Just as she had accepted her fate, allowing the darkness to seep deep into her bones, there was a faint tug on her skirts. A tug that turned into a pull that turned into an embrace, a powerful one that pulled her from the hollow pit that was and was not the door.

Before her next breathe a very disoriented girl stood in the hall of her home, all alone on a night so dark even the stars dared not shine. She stood there, unsure of where she had been headed. She thought only for a moment about the faint scent of a man's cologne that hung heavy in the air and the ball of anxiety resting uneasily in the pit of her stomach.

I watched as she struggled with her memory. A memory that was there and was not there. A fleeting thought of something that may have passed but couldn't have. I watched as she slowly made her way to the staircase that led back downstairs, as I thought of those that came before her. I couldn't save the rest of them. No matter how hard I tried or how vigilant I was, I couldn't save any of them. But her I could save. I would. I had to.

As she was halfway down the steps she stopped, almost turned, but didn't. There was a nearly imperceptible tilt of her chin and I knew immediately what that was about. It was about the door. It's always about that damn door. The door that isn't there but is. The door that can be seen or unseen. The door that brings us together and keeps us apart. Once she was gone, I returned to my place, closing the door behind me. Here I will stay, in the darkness alone, until she slips up again. I will whisper to her and tug at her skirts, keeping her close but keeping her safe. Because I couldn't save the rest from me. But I surely will save her.

Image by HelloKimmy13


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