The Haunting Door

July 20, 2010
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The doorknob around which i enclose my hand is warm, the wood I rest my head on soft. I try a deep breath, cough, and return to my nervous self. Damn.

The other side of this soft, warm door will remain a mystery if I can’t pull myself together. Another attempt at a breath takes the air out of my chest and beyond, and as I return that air to the world, I turn the knob. It grows colder and colder as I turn, and my forehead drips rubies as splinters jut out of the door.
I hear a creak, and back away.

My sleeve becomes crimson as I wipe my head. My hand is still numbly frozen. And my eyes are locked unbreakably on the dim light creeping out of the slight opening of the doorway. I take another deep breath and I think a bug flies into my throat. Cough, move forward.

I’m careful not to touch the splinters as I push open the feathery door and, without much thought, step inside. I jump when the door slams behind me, and I realize I am no longer free to run down the long white corridor like a child, to run away from this haunting door.

After a brief second of collection, I look around. On the wall - paintings? I move closer to one - a portrait of my father. His eyes are wide and reflective, made of mirrors. I gaze into them for a second, examine myself.

I have a helmet on, like a soldier, and a shining silver cross dangles from my neck. I have a soccer ball in one hand, a stethoscope in the other. Paints and pens burn at my feet.

I blink, the image remains, so I move on to the portrait of my mother, running my hand across my head to be sure there was no helmet. When I stare into her glassy eyes, I see myself in a suit. The glimmering, golden badge on my chest announces that I am some sort of cop or detective. I hold a beautiful baby in my hands, as scripts and Playbills burn at my feet.

My hands are cradling air as I move on to the portrait of myself. I take one more deep breath before looking into my reflective eyes. However, I only see cracks in the glass, a broken image of myself, with my face strewn across misshapen triangles. My finger moves towards the mirror to touch it, but the tiny shards fall to the floor, leaving me gazing into hollow eyes at old, floral wallpaper.

I run towards the door, scared, and it opens. I fall to the floor in the long white corridor, the memories of what stands behind the haunting door already fading. And now I can’t remember, I’m just slumped against it, with a bleeding head and a frostbitten hand. Standing, I take one last deep breath, and begin to walk away from that mysterious door.
I wonder what’s behind it.





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