The door to your house/flat/apartment/abode has come unstuck in time. The next time you walk through it, you find yourself in the same place, but a different time entirely. Where are you, and what happens next?
Through the door- By Talyn Marie
I stood before the door trembling. My hand longed to touch the
cool brass knob but my nerves were shot. I couldn’t raise my fingers to twist it. Instead I leaned against the frame and listened. This door was magic. Maybe dark magic and I tried to hear what notions may await me on the other side. He warned me; if I used this particular door, I might never be safe again. He assured me he would search until the end of time for me, nothing could stop him, but still I might not return.
I believed him. The last time I’d crossed its threshold I nearly died. I ran my nails down the wood. They made a low growl as they scratched into it’s surface. I could smell the deep masculine scent of the old oak trying to invade me. I wondered about the other side. “Is it really as bad as he claims.”
I should go back. If he catches me here, there will be hell to pay but, I’ve come this far and besides, there will be punishment either way. A rule broken is a rule broken. Still I’m tempted to turn back to the assurance of my room. I tell myself it will be less scary; that at least on this side, I know what to expect. I know what punishment will be. Who knows what horrors await me in that other place!
Slowly, with great care, I turn the thick dead-bolt to unlock. Dead-bolt. It’s name causes a low moan in my mind. I muster all my courage, send a prayer out to a God I have cursed a thousand times, and open the door.
There is a blinding light and at first I am frozen in fear. I think, “He must have found me.” Then I realize it’s only the sweet summer sun and I remember it’s warm embrace. I step out to find cars speeding by and people jogging down the street. This world has sped up since my last visit.
Two young men are playing with a tiny box on the lawn next to the porch. There is a screen playing images like a TV and one is poking at the screen as it changes, as if trying to torment the characters within. The last time I was in this world, I had watched television on a large black box that sat on a stand in the living room. We have no TV now, but I remembered vividly the impression left from the Saturday morning cartoons.
The boy’s wear jean shorts, which is a sort of relief, but they are much more baggy than I remember and their shoes looked space-age; like they were intended for walking on the moon. One wears a T-shirt that says, “Pierce the veil” in large letters around a bull. The other boy has a picture of a skateboarder thrashing across the front of his.
I stumble down the steps toward them. They looked up with mild curiosity but not fear.
“Can you tell me what year this is?” I ask.
“What happened to your leg lady?” one of them points to my bloody ankle. The skin there is torn and hangs around my foot like a worn, red sock.
“Please I need help!” I take another wobbling step toward them and they take one back. Their hair is long and one boy has bangs combed to the side, covering one eye. This boy pulls his fingers across the small TV like box for a moment and then tries to hand it to me.
I assume he is trying to play a game with me. He looks to be around ten years old and I think, “Ten. I was ten. I was ten when it begen.” The rhyme gives me the giggles and I fall to the ground, dizzy from blood loss.
“Man, she’s really hurt” one says to the other. He sees I am not going to take the offered box and pulls it to the side of his head.”Hello 911, Hang on I have a lady here who is hurt reee-aaal bad.” He looks like a child playing telephone. He listens and then says, “her foot I think.” Then he asks if I am hurt anywhere else.
I don’t know how to answer that so I just stare at him. After a moment of contemplation, he offers me the box again and this time I take it. I feel awkward and stupid. I put it to my ear and can hear the operator on the other end asking me what the emergency is. It is a phone!
“My name is Regan Manfield. I was kidnapped but I got out. Please send help!” The words rush out, like a tsunami washing over all other thought. How many times had I practiced saying that? How many years had I dreamed of it? How many years…
“Help is on the way. I have your location by GPS,” the operator said. “When were you taken, Regan?” Another rhyme. I giggle some more only I think I may be crying instead. My cheeks are wet. I ask the boys again, “What year is it?”
“2013 Mam,” the other says. I was always good at math and I know my birthday very well. The number flashes to my mind with lightening speed and, mournfully,I think again, “I was ten. I was ten when he took me.”
The operator’s in my ear repeating, “Regan, I asked how long ago you were taken.”
“1994,” I whisper. “I was ten.”
“Dear God,” the operator responds, then is quiet.
Nineteen years…Dear God indeed.