The Red Door

Reads: 696  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 12

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ten strangers are trapped in a room with only one exit - The red door. What fate awaits them behind it?
(Based on this really freaky dream I had... Though I changed it up for literary purposes, a lot of it is quite close.)

Submitted: February 22, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 22, 2015

A A A

A A A


 The thick, oak door towers over me, its glossy crimson coat a foreboding omen of what lay behind it. I sit in the corner of the room, curled into myself as I ignore the suited man who paces the cement floor and the blonde woman who frantically pats the brick around her. I shut out all nine of them, digging my nails deeper into my shoulders.

I don't remember how I got here. None of us do. Yet we have all managed to find our way into this cramped space with no exits besides the bold red door in the center of the wall. There are no windows - no furniture - only a small fluorescent bulb directly over the door. I casts an eerie glow over the blood red paint, and I sense that it is watching our every move. It is enticing, the only logical exit, but I fear what is behind. Have we been captured? Are we awaiting some terrible fate? I clutch my arms tighter as I envision the countless possibilities.

The burly, bearded man slams his fists against the wall behind me.

“There is a door right inn front of us, why haven't any of you even tried it yet?!”

“I bet that's exactly what they want us to do...” A younger man with dark glasses mumbles.

Who? Who wants us to?” He counters.

“Why are we here in the first place? I-I don't remember anything... I just woke up here.” The round, blonde woman rambles in a jittery panic.

The mute man contributes to the discussion with his quick moving hands.

“Look, the only answers we're gonna find are behind this door. You people can stay in here and starve for all I care. I'm getting out of here!”

He rushes towards the door and grips the brass knob with white knuckles, inhaling deeply. He shuts his eyes before he swings the door open in one swift motion. We gather around the light that pours into the room.

Desert. Barren and seemingly never-ending. How did we end up in a wasteland like this with nothing in sight for miles? The man cautiously pokes his head through the door and takes one feeble step into the dust. We watch as he peers in both directions and travels further towards the horizon, awaiting signs of danger. There is no one guarding us, no mysterious assailants - nothing.

Suddenly, a dull humming fills the room. It crescendos into a roaring vibration that shakes the entire room, and I dash for the corner, huddling close to the others as a strong gust of wind brings the man to his knees. A whirlwind forms in the distance, and it quadruples in size as it draws nearer. The fully-fledged twister tears through the desert, swallowing tumble weeds and distorting the landscape at an alarming rate. He sprints back to the room for cover, shielding his eyes from the lashing sand while stretching a hand towards the door. The mute man and the young one reach for him, only a few inches away. But something blocks them. He curses and screams at those who turn away from him and at the two men for not helping him. Despite their desperate attempts, they can not get a hold of each other, and the remainder of us gape in horror as the sands engulf him.

The brass lock clicks, and the deafening noise ceases. We scurry away from the door and squeeze ourselves into the corner, preparing for the eye to pass over us at any time.

But hours go by. Though the winds have not started again, none of us dare move towards the exit. 

“H-He's dead... Why it stop?” The frail Spanish woman mutters in her thick accent as she anxiously combs her fingers through her graying hair.

Argument breaks out shortly afterward. All those who can sufficiently communicate are bickering and shoving one another towards the door, but no one wants to risk getting sucked away even though our options are wearing thin. Just as the suited man is about to push the young man into the door, the elderly Asian woman lifts her gnarled hand in protest. She shakes as she pushes herself off of the floor and slides past those who stand in her way. Though she doesn't speak a drop of English, she is fully aware of what their fight is about. As her trembling hands wrap around the knob, we silence ourselves, just like the first time.

Golden sunlight pours into the room, and a saccharine breeze wafts through the open door. Where there was once desert, there is now a dabbling stream which winds through a lush forest of cherry blossom trees. Petals slowly fall onto her silvery head as she steps out in wonder. We are taken by this majestic scene, and we follow her, feeling the warmth of the radiant sun as we seek to join her in this new land. I stretch my hand outward, but again, the atmosphere blocks me. I pound against it. The middle-aged blonde pushes me away to give it a try, but finds herself with the same terrible luck. We cry for her as she wanders further into the wood, and she turns to acknowledge our distress with a reserved smile and wave of her hand for just a brief moment. As the door carefully shuts itself again, I realize that her old frame is still, and her hair is much darker than before.

“The desert disappeared... How is that possible?” The other elder in our group, an African man, inquires.

“Well, I am notwaiting around until it changes again.”

The redheaded model yanks the door open, but it is too late. The Asian woman, along with her fantasy world is gone, replaced by a bustling city street corner. Car horns blare in the distance as people of all races, ages, and sizes, travel along the sidewalks with blank stares. None seem to notice us.

“Even better,” she mumbles to herself with a smirk on her freckled face.

She struts into her territory confidently clicking her heels against the pavement, but every street goer stops. She, too, pauses for a moment, suddenly aware of herself. They face her in a synchronized pattern with glazed over eyes. It's a jarring scene and we each back away, frightened by this disruption. The model, too, tries to return, her eyes wild with fear, but she is blocked from us. The masses race for her with dazed expression, and they swarm her, trapping her beneath them. While she fights them off, her hair bobs around her like a fierce flame, but it grows ever dimmer as the crowds cling to her. She screams as they tug at her clothes and limbs, suffocating her. After a few moments, there is no trace of her among the dozens of people who encompass her – only the blood curdling scream she emits. Once the door shuts, they vanish entirely, just as everything has before it.

“No, don't you dare change!” The suited man cries out as he grabs the handle just seconds after it closes.

He flings the door open with such force that he nearly topples over, but fortunately for him, two of the remaining men pull him back. His eyes are wide with terror as he stares down a cliff that drops into a chasm of shattered glass bottles.

“There is no chance on this earth that I am going out there. I guess we'll just have to wait.”

He backs up, wiping his brow and readjusting his tie as he pushes the door closed. But it does not budge. Instead, the door moves him. No matter how desperately he tries to push it shut, something from the other side continues to pulls him out. It is as if some invisible force is dragging him into the glass river stories below. The man panics and calls for us as his sole teeters over the edge, and we each grab a hold of some part of him or his immaculate dress. Still, the unseen force is stronger. He is torn from our grip with ease and he screams, just as the first man had as he tumbles hopelessly over rocks and roots into the sharp abyss. The door slams shut before we can witness his gruesome demise, but we six have a decent idea of what became of him.

I, too, begin to pace the room, reflecting on what I have witnessed in these last hours. Only one out of four has escaped with a happy ending. Who or what determined this? Was it purely bad timing or some predetermined fate?

“It seems that the one who opens the door is the one that must leave, so it doesn't matter who opens the door or when, really...” The young man pushes his glasses up his nose bridge in thought.

“And take the risk of dying a horrible death?” The blonde woman snaps back.

“We'll die in here just the same, slowly, and of hunger...” The Spanish one adds and the mute man nods fervently in agreement.

None of us speak for quite some time. We have all come to the conclusion that leaving this room is inevitable, but for now, we are in a safe place, alive, and the prospect of a tragic death is too dreadful to consider. I stick to my corner pondering this, believing I am too weak to approach the mysterious door yet.

I don't know how much time has passed since the last opening of the door, but my legs are numb from crouching in this position for so long. The Spanish woman rose from her place on the floor next to me which awakened me from my traumatized daze. She shows familiar determination in her black eyes. Biting her lip, she turns the knob and peeks through the door.

A cobblestone street runs parallel to the door, and a bright orange house stands on the opposite side underneath a vbrant palm tree. Hibiscus bushes dot the front lawn and potted plants line the entrance. It's a charming sight, and we all sigh inwardly, understanding that we can not travel with her. She places a hand to her mouth, smiling sentimentally, and as she steps towards the house, she speaks in her native tongue. I believe she knows the place – perhaps it was a childhood home or a dream of what she had always wanted. As she unlocks the door to this familiar home, our door draws in, taunting us further.

For the first time since being here, I take a good look at all those who are still with me. We've been through so much together in this short time, but we don't even known each other by name. I open my mouth to introduce myself, to ask about their stories and passions, but I stop myself. Perhaps it is better this way. It will make it easier to forget them if I never knew them.

“Is this some sort of purgatory?” The African man speaks up. “The door leads us to our heaven or hell?”

“We're not dead,” the blonde demands. “W-we can't be...”

I stare at the door, reading it for some sort of clue. Should I leave now? What will await me? I shy away from it again, sure that I can wait a bit longer.

“That means whatever we do in this room isn't going to change our fate then, will it? Better to get it over with... This isn't exactly living, anyway.” The young man steps up and faces us. “This is goodbye, now.”

To our surprise, the outside world is almost as dark as our small room. A thick forest obscures the sunlight, but there is a clear path leading from the door to a clearing up ahead. At the end stands a smiling woman who motions him to come closer with her dainty hand. He gasps upon seeing her. Hardly missing a step, he darts between fallen branches and rocks, running passionately to her with outstretched arms and tears streaming down his cheeks. I breathe deeply at the affectionate display, but the thick air chokes me. In my peripheral, a smoking object lays crunched between two trees. I begin to consider the African's theory more seriously upon the lock of the door.

Four left. We glance nervously at each other, as if persuading someone to take the first move. Though we are growing few in number, I still can not bring myself to go next.

“I think I've had enough of this room then... Time for some fresh air.”

The blonde woman rakes her long fingernails through her thinning hair. Her eyes shift and her confidence wanes as she opens the door. I feel she has regretted this decision. She inhales sharply as she scans the room with beady brown eyes.

Our small room leads to another, similar in size. It appears to be an office – Dimly lit with a mahogany desk and a small, 2 by 2 safe. The steel door has been pried open, and papers and manila folders lay strewn over the floor. It appears to be the scene of a robbery, but as I take a closer look, I make out faces printed onto several of the documents, along with sheets of statistics and credit reports.

“No, no, no... It can't be! Why are you doing this to me?! I don't want to remember them!”

An angered screech rips through her, and she yanks her hair at the sight of the closing door. It is no use.

“I'm sorry! I didn't mean for it to hurt them!” She shrieks her final words as the door separates us.

The mute man moves his hands around once the door closes, giving signs we can not understand. I can see he is scared, and so is the African, but they stay calm. The black man wipes his brow from the beads of perspiration that have formed and runs a hand over his salt and pepper stubble.

“May you enjoy your new life on the other side, my friends.”

His smile is genuine and I, too, smile back as he moves past the red door. The briny smell of the ocean washes over my senses as the door blows open, and I behold a wooden dock over turquoise waters. A small paddle boat is tied to the end of it, and he approaches it, collectedly. He leaves with a sense of peace, as if he had been expecting this. With ease, he steps into the boat and places the oars into the rusted metal slots. He begins to row over the open waters with no sign of land or civilization, but he seems pleased. As he disappears from view, the door closes.

The mute man rises, a light in his eyes. He seems excited by this sight – there is no fear in him. Without inhibition, he reaches for the door and thrusts it open with welcoming arms. This puzzles me, and I fear that his fate will not meet expectation.

Before him is a long marble staircase. I can not see where it leads from behind the door, but as he steps out and gazes at the top, he smiles wide. Taking eager steps, he marvels at the brilliant light ahead of him, then turns to me.

“Good luck.”

His words leave me in shock as the door closes. I look around to see the reactions of others, but realize I am the only one left. Though the room is much more spacious without nine others in it, I am stifled by this creeping loneliness. I scold myself for the coward I've been, waiting until I am the only one left. There is nothing here for me now. I know my time has come. With quick breaths, I apprehensively glance around the brick room one last time then at the formidable door. It's ominous aura seems to mock me as I grab the handle and tear it open.

My eyes widen.

I scream and wail in a deranged manner, totally distraught.

Behind the door is brick wall.  

 


© Copyright 2017 BrieBlakmyre. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Thrillers Short Stories