Today’s writing prompt was found at Writer’s Digest, a website dedicated to helping writers, well… write better, and get published. It’s called, The Room, and gives the following prompt:
One day as you were cleaning you noticed air being sucked towards the base of wall near the cupboard. Perplexed you went closer to investigate. The air was going in, slightly yet in. You hold your breath and gingerly peel away at the wallpaper until a huge wrought iron door stands before you. Where does it lead? Did you imagine this? What happens next?
I almost immediately had a story in mind, but had to the change the title to The Door, as The Room didn’t make much sense in the context of what I was writing. This story is safe for all ages; I don’t need to put up any warning signs. I hope you enjoy it!
Writing Prompt: The Door
Picking up a stack of mail from the side table by the front door, Cassie hefted it for a moment, and set it right back where it had been. Sighing loudly, she looked around her living room noting two cups, old magazines, and more mail on the coffee table. Her climbing gear lay where she had dumped it by the front door yesterday, along with a muddy pair of hiking boots from last weekend.
What can she say, she liked adventure.
If only the mess stopped there. A stray sock lay on the floor near the couch. An overflowing basket of yarn from an abandoned afghan project peeked out from under the coffee table. Her belt was draped over the back of the couch where she had taken it off the night before. And several dust bunnies were rolling across the floor.
“Ugh! Why can’t all of this just magically go away?”
Wait. Dust bunnies rolling across the floor?
Looking again, she watched as a smattering of dust and fur rolled slowly toward the far wall in small movements. She often found fur around the apartment, on the couch or the rug near the floor to ceiling windows, as if a cat had found a nice sunny spot to lay in. Except… she had no cat.
Cassie had no pets of any kind, though she lived alone. She often felt lonely and thought about getting a dog, or a fish, but between work and her hiking and climbing, she wasn’t home very much. So it was all the more confusing to find light colored fur throughout her apartment.
She watched as one of the dust bunnies inched closer to the wall.
The windows are closed. I’m not running the fan… She tilted her head, listening to the silent apartment. The air isn’t on at the moment.
By this point all the dust bunnies had gathered at the wall. They swirled in lazy eddies as if kissed by air currents.
Walking over to the wall, Cassie squatted down and ran her hand along the baseboard. A warm breeze caressed her fingers and she pulled back in confusion. Moving to her knees, she tried to peer under the baseboard, but could only see darkness. She sat back on her heals, frowning thoughtfully.
There must be a vent behind the wall. Air is somehow flowing under the drywall. Except… the air is also flowing into the wall.
She peered more closely at the wall itself and found herself focusing on the slightest of ridges running vertically in a straight line. Feeling along the ridge, she stood and soon realized there was a door-like shape under her flowered wallpaper.
“Oh, well, now I have to know what that is.” She quickly grabbed a butter knife, and a metal spatula she normally used when grilling on her balcony, and returned to the hidden door.
She paused, the butter knife a quarter inch from the wall. Do I really want to do this?
Nodding, she cemented her resolve on a whisper. “I always hated this wallpaper anyway.”
She had been in the apartment for only a few months. Her job paid well, and she had waited three years for a vacancy to open up in one of the few lofts of the complex. The rooms were open and spacious, and she loved the ten foot ceilings, which were unusual for an apartment. However, the previous tenant had a penchant for flowers and pastels. Hence, the wallpaper.
After four hours, and the help of several spray bottles of water, she finally found herself facing a large metal door. “What the hell?”
There was no door knob or handle of any kind. Using her butter knife, she tried to pry the door open, but only succeeded in bending her knife. Stepping back, she huffed in frustration. “Maybe my flathead screwdriver?”
Reaching up, she pulled off a lingering fragment of wallpaper in annoyance, and then leapt back in astonishment as the door suddenly shifted. As she watched, amazed, the door stretched and bent, growing larger and more intricate. The harsh grinding of metal resonated throughout the apartment and Cassie covered her ears, backing away even further.
When the din quieted, a very large, very beautiful door stood before her. Made of a dark metal, and now circular, it completely filled the wall from floor to ceiling. A tree of life adorned the massive door, standing out in stark relief in varying shades of bronze, silver, and gold.
Awed, she inched closer and reached out tentatively to lightly brush the metal. It was surprisingly warm. She pressed harder, trying to determine if she was losing her mind. Suddenly a circle of light edged the frame, and with a loud groan, the door swung inward.
Barely aware of her gasp, she looked into a scene so astonishing, Cassie knew this time she truly had lost her mind.
A broken stone path lay before her. It lead into a forest of massive trees before curving out of sight in the distance. The trees were bigger than any she had ever seen. She knew several people could stand around their trunks and not be able to touch fingertips. The canopy was so thick, it darkened the land underneath, though she was able to spot a dazzling blue sky as the branches moved in a cool breeze.
There were several things wrong with this scenario though. The most obvious being… she lived at the top of a building with fifteen floors.
Shock had her frozen in the doorway. “I… I’ve gone crazy. I had a stroke and something broke in my brain.”
A light abruptly pulled her back from the edge of hysteria. Rounding the curve on the path, a soft glow was coming towards her. Too far away to make out, she held her breath; torn between slamming the door shut out of fear and the desire to see who it was, to know what the hell was going on.
The glow came forward slowly then stopped unexpectedly. Flaring brightly, it resumed its motion forward, but now it was coming swiftly. Very swiftly. And it was bounding forward in giant leaps that could only be described as… excited.
Fascinated she watched as the creature moved closer, for it was a creature of some sort, she could see that now. It looked to be a very large… cat. Of course. She smiled in understanding now. Somehow, though she wasn’t sure how, this beast had been sneaking into her apartment and invading her space. She found she wasn’t that upset.
Loping forward, the animal slowed to a stop about three yards from her. It sat on its haunches and eyed her intensely. It was much larger than she had expected, about the size of very large dog, like a Great Dane. Its fur was a silvery-white and literally glowed in the gloom of the trees. Longer on the tail, which was currently wrapped around its feet, the fur looked very soft. Longer tufts of fur also edged its ears, which were attentively pointing towards her. Large, brilliant green eyes, currently in vertical slits, gazed at her in interest. Her hands tingled, she wanted to pet it so bad.
They stared at each other for long moments. Slowly, the giant cat blinked.
She couldn’t resist. The creature obviously wasn’t a danger, and somehow she knew she would be safe. Taking a step, she felt the hard surface of the stone path under her. She didn’t care if she had suddenly gone crazy. This was too amazing not to see through.
Walking slowly, she stretched one hand towards the feline. Up close, it seemed much larger, its head coming to about the height of her chest. Nervous, arm still outstretched, Cassie froze, abruptly doubting herself.
Yawning widely, flashing very long, very sharp looking canines, the cat apparently decided it had waited long enough. It stood to press its massive head against her hand. A long drawn out, “Oh,” left her lips and she smiled in delight as she ran both hands over its soft fur. A huge rumble filled the air as purrs emitted from its throat and the glow intensified.
Pressing against her, the animal walked around her. It rubbed its body against her in warm strokes of welcome, making her feel hugged. She couldn’t contain her delighted laughter and felt happier than she had in a long time. Just as she knew the creature wasn’t dangerous, at least not to her; she also knew she belonged to it, just as much as it belonged to her. Somehow they were connected.
The cat gave one last rub and then took a few steps down the path, the way it had come. It paused to look back at her. She sensed it was waiting for her.
Looking over one shoulder at the circular door, she was amazed to see it was set into the base of one of the trees. But not very surprised to find the door had shut.
That was okay though. She had no desire to go back.
She faced the cat, still waiting patiently for her. “I hope where we’re going isn’t too far. I left supplies back at home.”
Catching up to it, she placed one hand on its silken back, and stayed by its side as it resumed its journey down the path.
What can she say, she liked adventure.
I hope you enjoyed this short story! Please feel free to leave comments below. I do welcome constructive criticism in the comments, but please give me more than, “I didn’t like it”. Don’t be afraid to tell me it sucked, but tell me why you think it sucked! And, of course, if you did like it, I would like to know that too.
And if you liked this writing prompt, and feel inspired to write a short story of your own, please feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to highlight your story in a post of it’s own!
Please don’t mind the mess.
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