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A Doorway to the Mind of Lily
Lily was scraping the wallpaper off bit by bit. The horrid yellow ducks all in a line were too young for her now that she had turned thirteen, it was time for a change she had decided and her parents had agreed to let her remodel her room. She was given money and given the task of doing all of it herself, so she chose the paint and she chose new furniture and was spending her weekend getting to work. At the moment she had already finished the three other walls now the fourth wall was a bit more work. As Lily scraped away a strip of wallpaper her scraper ran over something on the wall that was sticking out. As Lily scraped again the wallpaper peeled off and under it was a line. Lily continued to scrap up the line and then the line went right and so Lily went right and then the line went down so Lily went down. As she pulled back the outline of a door could be seen covered in yellow ducks. Lily went to scrap where a doorknob would be and instead found a keyhole.
She was an adventurous child and was quick to explore her surroundings so she knelt up close to the door and craned her neck and peeped through the keyhole hoping to find a flash of what was on the other side. As her face went further towards the door leaning in towards the hole the entire door banged. Lily pulled back quickly and fell on her behind as she scrambled away from the door. The door shook and shook but remained closed. After a quick minute the banging stopped and Lily gathered the courage to go back, so this time she laid her ear against the door and knocked twice. Then she waited, and waited. As Lily was about to pull back a knock was heard that did not come from her. Lily's eyes went wide with joy and her smile spread across her face at what she had found so far. Yet again she knocked twice and without waiting another knock was heard from the stranger on the other side. Lily giggled and covered her mouth so her parents wouldn't come snooping. Lily looked at the where the door and the floor met and ran her scraper along it, and what she found was a gap between the wall and bottom of the door. So Lily scraped away the wallpaper and laid on her stomach and tried to peek underneath. What happened next was like magic. As Lily leaned down a single small bronze key flew from under the door and rested upon the hard wood floors of Lily's room.
The key was old, Lily would even say ancient. She picked it up and held it in her hand turning it over and over again. She looked towards the door and back to the key, continuing the action a few more times. Contemplating whether she should. Her mind was made up and Lily clenched the key in her hand as she made her way back to the door. She knelt down on her knees again and slowly put the key in the lock as she let it rest there for a moment before channeling the courage to twist it and unlock the mysterious door. The click was loud and formal. The door itself seemed to breath out a huge breath as dust pressed out of the lines. The door seemed to separate from the wall and it opened without a creak. On its own the door swung back to the wall and stayed there, wide open. Darkness consumed the small rectangle in the wall. Lily peered into the dark but did not move forward, she kept her distance.
“Lily! What was that noise? Are you alright?” Lily heard her mother call up the stairs.
“Yeah Mom! Everything's fine I just...ugh dropped my scraper” Lily was only half focused on her mother and the reply she gave. Most of her attention was on the door and the dark endlessness. 'Was it empty?' 'Was there something hiding in it?' 'Should I just close the door and lock it up?' All these thoughts went through Lily's mind. Instead she stood up and went to her closet where she kept her flashlight for power outages. Lily clicked it on and it shown brightly. She made her way to the door and crawled on her hands and knees seeing as she was slightly taller than the door itself. As Lily bent in between the doorway she shown her light through the dark. At first she saw nothing but then as she passed over what seemed to be a corner she saw it. The eyes, the glowing yellow eyes as wide as dinner plates they were surrounded by feathers, dirty black greasy feathers. Lily tore her eyes away from the soulless windows and scanned lower. The creature looked like a bird at least that was what Lily took away from the feathers and what looked like wings. But this creature was completely different then the other birds Lily has seen. This bird seemed to be the same size if not bigger than Lily herself and its back was hunched up and its feet were all mashed up and crooked it seemed painful. Lily didn't want to remove the light from the bird and she didn't she kept right on looking. Then the bird turned its head to the left and its eyes shown glaringly at Lily. Then slowly its eyes rose up, the creature was stretching its neck and it was long. It made the creature two feet longer just from the neck. Then disgustingly the bird snapped its neck, like a ninety degree angle it snapped and then it snapped again, and again. This birds neck was starting to resemble a zigzag and Lily could feel the bile rise in her throat. Then the bird started moving towards Lily and squawking loud and angrily. Lily grew frightened as the bird moved closer, dragging its body. How was this creature not dead yet it was so deformed bones could be seen popping out from the beneath the feathered wings. The grease she thought was from the feathers was from the blood dripping down the creatures scratched up legs.
Tears could be felt traveling down Lily's cheeks, wetting her lips and finally plummeting off her chin. She shook with fright and the light shook with her drenching the creature in darkness and then shining on it as it had moved yet again in a new position closer to Lily. Lily could feel her throat constrict and she was incapable of screaming out. The creature drew closer and closer and snapped its sharp teeth at Lily. Finally Lily stumbled back into the natural light of her own room and slammed the door shut just as the bird was reaching towards her again. Slamming it right in its face. Lily leaned against the door and wept like the scared child she was. She could feel the banging from the creature on the other side of the door but she swore she would never open that door again. The creature was obviously hurt and possibly dying but Lily couldn't bring herself to help such a creature. She was terrified and confused. She wanted her parents to help her. She wanted the last few minutes to never have happened. She just wanted to paint her room and be done. Now though she knew she would forever wonder if that creature was alive on the other side of the wall. The banging would not stop and Lily shook as tears flooded from her eyes. The terror that she felt at the chance that the creature could break through. Her hands covered her mouth trying to reduce the sound of the sobs breaking past her lips. Her shoulders shook heavily and she could hear herself whispering 'stop, just stop, please stop, go away' Footsteps could be heard outside in the hallway as Lily's door was thrown open and her mother rushed forward.
“Lily sweetie what's wrong, come here, tell mommy what's wrong” Lily's mother gathered her daughter up and wrapped her in her strong warm arms. Rocking her gently back and forth her mother continued her questions.
“Don't you hear it the banging! The door in the wall! There's a creature in there! Make it stop Mom! Make it stop!” Lily screamed at her mother as tears poured freely from her eyes. Lily's mother would fix everything Lily thought.
“Sweetie what are you talking about there's no door, there's no creature, you're being silly, here look” Lily's mother turned Lily around and had her face the wall and what Lily saw or really didn't see shocked her. There was no door, there was no line there was no keyhole. Lily rushed over and felt her hands along the wall looking, searching for the outline, anything. She even knocked on the wall in hope that she would hear another knock in return. But she received nothing. She swore it was there, she knew it was there it had to be there.
“Lily I think you need to lay down for a bit okay, gather up your strength” Lily's mother pulled her away from the door and led her into her own room so she could lie on her large bed. Lily laid awake trying to understand what had happened. She swore she had seen that creature, that door, that darkness. Why was it not real anymore? Slowly Lily fell asleep tossing and turning, but asleep.
Downstairs Lily's mother and father sat at the dining room table across from one another talking in hushed tones.
“What are we going to do now, they're back again” Lily's mother stated shaking her head.
“I thought they were gone, the medications were working” Lily's tired father put in.
“We're going to have to put her in again, she's going to have to go back there” Her mother whispered.
“I can't send her back there, not again. She can't go back to that place, she's not crazy!” Her father yelled.
“But she is crazy! She's seeing those things again and she thinks they're real! They aren't real! She can't live her life this way!” Her mother shouted back in anger “I'm calling the hospital tonight, I'll see if they have a bed open for her.” her mother pulled back from the table stood and went towards the kitchen for the phone. Her father sat at the table, shoulders low and head clasped in his hands. Tears quietly ran down his face.
“It wasn't supposed to be this way, it wasn't supposed to be genetic, she should have been fine. I've ruined my daughters life” He repeated to himself over and over in self pity.
Father and mother knew the risks of having a child they knew they had schizophrenia and other mental disorders running throughout their family tree. But they chose to have a child in hopes that they might have a normal life separate from the childhood hospitalizations they had to deal with. Medication had worked wonders on them and they had hoped the same for their daughter but it seems her disease was just too strong for them. Her grasp on reality was slipping away again and there was nothing they could do to stop it from continuing. Only the doctors at the hospital would know and the family trusted their own lives in hope that the medical and mental health community would be able to save their daughter from a life of pain and fear. The mother came back into the room and laid her hand upon her husbands shoulder gripping it lightly.
“They said we can bring her in tomorrow. Don't look at me like that, you know this is the only option we have left...I'll go pack her bags” Tears welled up in the mothers eyes and before they broke free she turned away and rushed up the stairs.
The father knew what would happen now, his daughter would spend weeks if not months in a mental hospital getting used to medications and then getting used to new medications again and again. She would only see her family on visiting days and she wouldn't be allowed to hold anything sharp. She would be under constant surveillance and possibly restrained if she grew to hectic. This was not the life he had dreamed up for his daughter, not at all. She will never be able to go to classes yet alone obtain a college degree and getting a job was out of the question all together. She would forever be a part of the mentally warped community. The father only wished he could see what she saw when she had those hallucinations and those sounds she heard just so he could feel the pain she felt. But he never would because he was sane and he had a daughter that was legally deemed insane. The father picked up his glass of water and sipped from it, placing it back on the table and leaning back in his chair. He closed his eyes and wept freely for the end to his daughters life and the end of a family. The father stood up and placed his glass in the sink and walked upstairs to help his wife.