The Door At The End Of The Hallway
Author's note: I really wanted to write this after I thought of the title. That's how it usually starts with me... Show full author's note »
RealizationAll they have done is sit in their apartments, and listen to my shouting and crying and begging and pleading. And all the bastards did was sit in their rooms, and laugh. Laugh at young Jeremy, the kid who just wanted a quiet life, to settle down and write; but not anymore. Since this Thing has entered my life, all I can do is think about how powerless I am to do anything about it. And while all the others laughed, I spiraled into blackened hatred for something so simple: A Door.
I spin on my
Or the weather.
The first door breaks before me with the utmost ease. The axe slices through as if it hungered to taste the pine for too long.
“Don’t worry, my friend.” I whisper in its ear, to comfort it. “You will have a gracious meal before you yet.”
I knew that there were people in here, for I always saw lights on, and muffled talking. I kick through the splintered door, and step into the suite. It was the same design, yet not nearly as modern. It looked exactly as a tenement suite should. Like a complete hole. Yet none of that mattered. I had to cleanse this place, it had to be done.
“Hello, Anybody home? Neighboooor?” I called out. No answer, yet the muffled talking was clearer now.
“Just thought I’d bring over a little present: Tuna fish casserole, I made it myself.” With that I drove the axe deep in the wall, giving my friend a quick meal before the real work begins.
“I just know you’ll love it.”
I passed through the living room, spotting several signs of someone living here. Pizza on the coffee table, a television, drinks. Yet something wasn’t right. At all.
The pizza had deteriorated to a black sludge, as if no one had been around in years. The television had long since burnt out, with a scorch mark along the wall behind it, yet due to the fire previously, there was little damage it could do. The kitchen was also a very curious sight: the refrigerator had long since stopped working, and all the food inside resembled the pizza. And the sink only spat out brown liquid in spurts. Yet, most curious of all, was on the table: a tape recorder.
And it was playing on a loop, with nothing but muffled voices blaring through. It was surprisingly new, as if it had only been here a short while. Barely more than a few months-
And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Frantically I searched the entire place for life. Yet it was deserted. The first place I went was the door at the end of the hallway, as it was identical to my suite. As much as I wanted to tear the door to pieces, I simply opened it, relishing the feeling of having control over something again. My eyes swept over the room, analyzing all I could, and realizing that this is what the room looks like. Tears welled up in my eyes at the intimacy of the moment. Yet it was short lived, for this was not the room, merely a copy. Now, only tears of rage greeted my eyes.
I left the room, and this time, my axe tasted the buildings flesh. The door lay in heaps of splintered wood, and the last if my innocence. I destroyed the other two doors, giving my friend a feast it would not soon forget.
Then I moved on to the next suite. I was not surprised to find it empty as well: and the next one, and the next one. A few had tape recorders, playing the same recording, yet at different speeds and tones.
After I was done with all the suites I believed were inhabited, all that was left was my own.
I walked slowly through the door way, and from the entrance I glared at the door at the end of the hallway, as it was clearly visible from where I was standing. I let the door see me, and realize what I was about to do.
And then, I started forward. Slowly at first, simply walking towards it, as I called out,
“Don’t try to apologize; it’s useless at this point. Although, it would be a nice gesture.” My voice was rising to a yell as I went from a walk to, to a jog, to a sprint at the door, the last word emphasized as my axe bit into it with all the ferocity I could muster. Months of ineptitude leading up to this, my anger and hatred and fear and happiness, all flowing from me, through my arm, into the axe, and finally, through the door.
It was difficult, at first, for the door had been reinforced with a sheet of metal, so no one would get any ideas, like the one I had now. Yet it didn’t matter. I was almost free, and such a feeling I had never experienced before. Tears of joy flowed freely, as I felt the axe begin to bite through the metal. We danced my dance of rage, and emotion, the door and I, until I bathed in sweat and the axe tasted the blood of my hands. It had deserved something more substantial than mere wood, so I gave it blood. And it feasted like a king. We both did, in that moment.
I never tired for a second, and such a tiresome action would have worn most out, but not me. I needed to end this doors life. I needed to kill it, to send it from this world. For it represented what I, a writer, feared most. It was a door that could not be opened; at least, not within the safe waters of sanity. Yet I knew what separated me from the rest of my kind. I was not afraid to cast aside such restraining shackles, and dove, headfirst, into enlightenment.
Finally, the door gave way, and I sobbed a sob of relief, of hope, of happiness, of freedom. My vision blurred as I stepped through the door, and breathed in the smell of musty old curtains, mothballs and- and something else.
This room smelled different than what I had imagined it would smell like. Among all these things, I caught the scent of death. Not death, as in a coffin, that lingers for years. It was almost fresh.
My eyes adjusted to the darkness, and I squinted through the heavy curtains of black, until finally, I found what I was looking for.
And I felt my core physically shake. For in the middle of the floor, hunched, on its knees, was a single figure. Legs, fused to the equally burnt hardwood floor, arms, curled inward with the flesh that still clung to the burnt bones yearning for freedom against its bonds. What clothes that were left were in tatters, and were forever melded with the withered figures pitiful scraps of flesh. It turned its head to look at me, and I saw in the glassy eyes, my reflection. Yet, for some odd reason, I was no afraid of this thing, for I had finally broken down the last barrier between me and it, and I felt we were connected. I was not afraid of this being, for I pitied it. No longer could it enjoy the streaming light of day, or the sweeping fields of green upon which to rest, and watch the sun set. The tears were back, yet only in sadness. I wept silently for the creature, vision blurring before me. I watched as my tears fell upon the floor, glistening for a moment, before fading away.