This story is for the Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: The Secret Door.

Taking it light this week. Maybe I’m in a lighter mood right now, who knows, but I don’t feel like writing anything dark at the moment. Probably just have too much going on. But I digress, on to the story.

The challenge was to go through the door here, and write about what was on the other side. I went through the door twice, here’s what I got.

 

There was a door in the hallway when I got home.

Of course there are doors in the hall, it’s a hall after all, but not this door. This door was new. Well it looked old, but the door hadn’t been in my hallway before. I didn’t remember there even being a doorway where this old, solid looking door now stood.

The wood was deep grained, the doorknob worn. There was even a big doorknocker right in the center at head height. The metal face, of a lion or gargoyle or something, held a big thick ring in its teeth. You don’t see those kind of knockers any more. Old school was what it was.

There was no sign anyone else had been in my place, but the door was most definitely there. I tried to move it, to see what was behind it, maybe to just take it outside, but it wouldn’t budge. It was there to stay apparently. So I did the obvious thing with a door; I turned the knob.

It opened outward, straight into the wall.

I probably should have been worried, especially when the white light started pouring out, but suddenly I was curious. You don’t find a new door everyday. Instead of calling my landlady, or the cops, I did the next best thing. I stepped through the door.

I was blinded, my eyes seared, but suddenly I felt space around me, a lot of space. My lungs sucked in clean air, my nose smelled dust, and water, and the outdoors. I cracked an eye open.

I stood on a bridge, smack dab in the middle, right over a river. I could see rapids churning over slick rocks. As close as the water was I should’ve heard it, but I didn’t. All I heard was, music? Some sort of mystical chimey sound was ringing in the air around me.

What the hell?

Beyond the bridge were rocks, a lot of tall red and orange rocks like you see in the desert. I was in a canyon. A big one.

Like the Grand Canyon or something, I thought.

The sight really was amazing; the sky pale blue overhead, the canyon sharp with shadows. I turned and looked behind me. The bridge stretched back to what might be a narrow trail.

There was no door.

I spun back, then back again. Nadda.

There was just canyon, bridge, canyon, and me. Just me there in the middle of it all.

What in the bloody hell was going on?

I started across the bridge slowly, each of the wooden slats creaking beneath my feet, but couldn’t keep that pace for long. Feelings I was trying to deny were crawling up my throat. They drove me forward, moved my feet faster.

I ran across the final ten yards and scrambled up the small trail I found on the far side. My shoes were dusty by then, and I slipped scrambling up the slope and tore the knee of my pants. At that moment I couldn’t care less.

A few panting, and clawing minutes later I pulled myself up to the top of the rocks. With more than a little panic I spun, looking in all directions.

I saw desert. A lot of desert. No cars, no road, no civilization. Just me and the sage brush and the cactuses.

I tried not to panic. I failed. I screamed and kicked a rock. It didn’t move. I hopped around on one foot and screamed some more.

When I was done screaming I got concerned. I wouldn’t admit scared, but I was more than a little worried. The sun was too near the horizon for comfort and I didn’t see a single thing signaling a way out.

The chiming sound was starting to get on my nerves.

What else was there to do? I started walking toward the setting sun.

The sun set, I kept walking. When it was full on dark, I thought about stopping. That lasted until I heard the howls, high, and long, and lonely. At least they drowned out the chimes. Soon after that I saw eyes watching me way out in the dark. I kept walking. Suddenly sleep didn’t seem so important.

I can’t say how far I walked. Miles, light years, I had no idea. As the sun came up (behind me thankfully) I was still on my feet. They were raw and I was sure blistered. I didn’t dare look. Loafers were apparently not made for crossing a desert. My lips were parched and rough like two emery boards. I’d quit cursing the door at some point in the middle of the night. I needed the spit to keep going. I did keep cursing the chimes, they deserved it.

As the first light of morning stretched out across that desert, all of that didn’t really matter. The sight before me was so beautiful, so breathtaking, that all I could do was stare. I’d never seen anything so wondrous in all my life. There was a building.

I didn’t know what it was. A house, a gas station, the world’s largest port-a-potty. At that moment it was magic.

I staggered up to it, fingers reaching for it before I even got there. The place was old, but I thought I saw a car parked around the other side. A glow in one of the windows might have been a light on inside.

I was too parched to even hail the building. I stumbled up on its sagging, creaking porch and knocked on the door that was probably older than the desert.

There was no answer, so I tried the knob and it turned easily. I pushed the door open.

I probably should have noticed the lion or whatever it was holding the ring at about head height. That would have been smart.

White light washed over me then I felt, snow?

The damn chimes were still playing. I cursed and blinked.

Were those monkeys?