Three Doors and Black Waters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
What is in those caves by the sea? A lonely man receives a mysterious message to go down and look for himself. Inside those caves he finds three doors, three wishes and three choices that will change his life for ever.

Submitted: August 24, 2012

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Submitted: August 24, 2012

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Three Doors and Black Waters

 

The smell of the sea hung in the air, and as a breeze washed over him like a wave, he pulled his tattered coat tighter around him. He was returning from work and looked forward to nothing more than simply sitting in front of his electric heater with a cup of tea. Perhaps he would buy some treats for his cat, Tinders, on the way home, he thought. For some reason he felt like he shared in Tinders happiness and made sure that his best friend was as content as possible. Up ahead, past the end of the street he saw the large sign displaying the entrance to the caves. He had lived in this town for all of his 30 years and not once had he been tempted to venture down those stone steps and explore the unending maze of tunnels that snaked under the ground towards the sea. It would have been stupid to go down there now anyway, he told himself. The caves had been closed to the public for the past 5 years so it wasn’t even an option anymore. That didn’t stop the teenagers though. He had heard the rumours, kids doing drugs, having sex, there was even a story about how one was stabbed and hidden in the deepest part and their body had been washed out to sea. But that was more than enough to deter anyone who wanted to keep a hold of their wallets, and he wanted to keep a hold of his wallet, very much in fact. His phone was another matter however. He had bought it a year ago and not once had it rung. He had received a few texts from old friends wanting to see how he was, he had replied eagerly, desperate for a way to escape the lonely vortex that was his flat for just a few hours, but they hadn’t continued the conversation, no matter how many times he sent them a message. It was a waste of money he had concluded a few months ago but something stopped him throwing it away. Then it vibrated in his pocket.

He scrambled to get it out of his pocket and stared in amazement at the flashing “one unread message” that was displayed on the screen. He hesitated, savouring the feeling. It was just like opening a present and he wanted to make the experience last. Finally he pressed a button and it flew open.

 

“Go into the caves Todd. You won’t regret it.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

Todd looked around nervously. The number was blocked so couldn’t reply. He didn’t know anyone whose last name was Highway. The best thing to do would be to just walk away. But just as he hadn’t thrown his phone away he felt he couldn’t throw away this chance. It was probably nothing, and if it looked dangerous Todd had always been good at running away. His feet found themselves moving towards the steps. He stood at the top. There were a dozen stone stairs that descended into the darkness. The metal gate stopping people getting in had long been broken. Todd slowly stepped down. He pushed against it and it swung inwards with a creak.  Todd took his first timid step in. his phone, still in his hand, vibrated again. Feeling sure it was Mr Highway again, Todd pressed open.

 

“That’s it Todd. You’re on your way to getting everything

  you’ve ever wanted.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

Todd was a little disturbed that Mr Highway was watching him but it was too late to turn back. He had always had a problem with his curiosity and now it pulled him inside. The light of the sun only reached a few feet into the cave. The kids that came here probably brought torches or something Todd guessed. He inched his way along, holding onto the cave walls for support. They were damp to the touch, probably something to do with the sea being only a hundred yards away. The smell of damp invaded his nose and he wrinkled it in disgust. He was more than used to the smell of the seaside, the seaweed especially, but the smell of damp just made him feel ill. He stopped suddenly. There was a gap in the wall. The gaping black hole was only just visible but it filled Todd with dread. He was torn between going down there or continuing the way he had been going. What if there were teenagers down there he worried. As if to confirm his worries he saw an empty pack of cigarettes and a condom wrapper next to his battered trainers. His phone vibrated once again.

 

“No naughty teens down that way Todd, promise. Just you.

 And what you desire the most of course.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

Todd’s stomach dropped. He stared in disbelief. Fear raced through Todd’s mind. It seemed as if this guy had known exactly what he had been worried about. Had to be a lucky guess Todd concluded.  Taking a deep breath he went through the pitch black opening. He felt it sloping downwards sharply and struggled to stay upright as he journeyed downwards. After a few minutes he couldn’t tell how far down he was, the walls were no longer damp, and instead they just felt smooth, almost like wood. The smell of seaweed had disappeared too. For those who had grown up next to the sea it was almost impossible for there to be no trace of sea in the air, so Todd felt uneasy. Up ahead a faint glow suddenly came into view. Todd hurried towards it, as the tunnel began levelling out. Soon the glow was brighter and accompanied by a low humming noise. The ground was now flat and Todd was practically running, desperate to discover the caves mysteries. Finally he emerged in a bright room, not unlike a waiting room at a doctor’s office.

“What the hell…?” Todd muttered, looking around the room. There were half a dozen empty seats against the plain white walls. There was also a table in the middle of the room with a copy of today’s newspaper.  Todd swung around. The tunnel he had just come from was still there, just a black square shaped hole in the otherwise pristine white walls. He examined the room once again. There were three doors on the other side of the room, one red, one blue and the other green. Todd walked over to them and reached out for the green doors handle. Suddenly his phone, which he had forgotten was still in his hand, vibrated violently.

 

“Hold your horses there Todd. You need to learn the rules

 first. You can’t just barge in without knowing the rules.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

“Okay, what are the rules?” Todd asked, feeling stupid for talking to an empty room. “And why is there a doctor’s office down here?”

 

“Glad you asked Todd. Because there is that’s why. Now

the rules are simple enough. Behind each door is something

you desire. Go through the door to claim it. No strings

attached, it’s all yours. Then you can choose to keep that

 desire and live happily ever after or you can come out an

 choose another door. But this is important Todd, once

 you leave you can’t get that desire back again.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

“So kinda like 3 wishes right?” Todd asked.

 

“In a way Todd. But you don’t ask for anything. It’s what

 your heart and soul want the most.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

“So all those doors have something my heart desires right? So what’s to stop me just picking the first door and then staying with that one? What makes you so sure that I’ll try the others?” Todd said confidently.

 

“Because Todd, not only are you a very curious person,

but the doors each have something better than the last.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

“So I guess it doesn’t really matter what door I open then does it? Since it just goes from my third desire to first? So I can just open any door” Todd pondered.

 

“Open any door then Todd.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

There was something different about that last message that made Todd very nervous. Just an underlying feeling that it contained something cruel, something dark that was lurking within his phone, and in the cave all around him. He shook the feeling off, or at least as best he could and walked towards the green door. It was a simple wooden door painted green. It had a silver handle. He pushed the handle down and opened it. The first door swung inward and Todd was dragged inside by the shadows.

Todd screamed in terror and desperately clawed around, trying to fight off the shadows which had an icy grip on him. His eyes were clamped shut, terrified of what horrors they might see if they were open. His phone vibrated. Todd kept his eyes firmly shut and continued trying to fight off the shadows. He no longer felt their grasp but he knew they were still there, he just knew it. His phone vibrated again. Eventually Todd braved it. He opened his eyes slowly, staring straight at the ground. He put his phone in his limited line of sight. Despite it going off twice there was only one message.

 

“Took your time to open your eyes you chicken. Look around

and see one of your innermost desires.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

Todd looked up and was left speechless. He was surrounded by money. At least two dozen stacks of cash piled like haystacks around him, making the walls impossible to see. The ceiling had to have been 8-9 feet high and each and every one of the stacks was comfortably touching it. 

“How much money is this?” Todd said in wonder.

 

“Enough so you never have to work a day in your life ever

again Todd. Your first desire, to be richer than you could

imagine.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

With all this money, Todd realised, he could be anything he wanted, anyone he wanted. He could walk out of this cave a new man, start life all over again. People had always said money didn’t bring happiness, but those people had never truly experienced having no money like he had. A feeling of jubilation was growing in his stomach. He supposed this was how people who won the lottery felt. But then, a thought emerged in the further recesses of his mind. What was behind the next door? No, Todd thought, this was enough. He walked over to the nearest stack and thrust his hands deep into the money. The paper rustled as he pulled out two large handfuls. They slowly drifted down to the floor. As soon as the first crisp new note touched the floor Todd knew he would never be satisfied unless he tried just one more door.  He looked at his phone half a second before a new message arrived.

 

“Not enough for you Todd? Why don’t you try the next door?

That might be enough for you. Why don’t you try it?

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

He slowly backed out of the room, taking a long last look at the piles of money. His face was filled with longing and regret. Todd frowned. He knew this was more money than he would ever make on his own, but if Highway was telling the truth he would be happier with the next door. With a sigh of desperation, he opened the door and went back into the waiting room. Todd sat down on one of the green plastic chairs and put his head in his hands. He couldn’t believe he had just thrown away all that money. A chance like that, Todd shook his head. He sighed. What a day he thought. He looked up towards the remaining two doors. The blue door was next he decided.  A thousand ideas ran through his head as to what would be his next desire.

“Only one way to find out I guess” Todd said aloud, standing up. He walked over to the blue door. He reached out, his hand trembling in anticipation. He braced himself for the shadows, trying to mentally prepare himself for the terrifying claws that would spring out and drag him in.  

But they never came. The door opened normally to reveal a small dark room with a wooden table illuminated by a naked light swinging from the ceiling. Todd held back in expectation. There was nothing else in the room at all from what he could see.

“This is my desire?” Todd said, confused. He ventured further into the room and looked around harder. The light was barely enough to see by but even from that meagre light Todd could see that there was nothing else in the room except the table. Only then did Todd notice that there was something on the table. It looked like a newspaper. Todd walked over and picked it up. It was a newspaper, but something was strange about it. It had his face on the front. As Todd slowly looked through the paper one thing became clear. He was a big deal. Someone had taken the time to create this fake newspaper and had included him extensively throughout it. From the front page all the way to the sports at the back, Todd was mentioned almost everywhere. But what for, Todd could find no trace.

“What the hell, a fake newspaper?” Todd sighed. “How is this my desire?” He checked his phone for a reply.

 

“You’re famous Todd. Everyone in the world knows you.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

“I’m famous?” Todd asked flabbergasted. “What for though?”

 

“Anything. Anyone can be famous nowadays Todd.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”

 

Todd frowned. He was unsure of this desire. It was true that he was desperate for people to know him. To be remembered in some way. No one wanted to go through life and not leave a mark. Todd realised, with a pang, that if he died in this cave, no one except Tinders would even notice. His parents were long dead and his friends barely remembered him. So to have millions of people recognise his existence. Could that be what true happiness was? But what if it wasn’t? It seemed a very hollow desire Todd thought. He put down the paper and confidently walked out of the room. That had been easier to turn down than the money he smiled. Now there was only one door left, his greatest desire.  Now that he had reached the last one, Todd felt a change in him. Whereas before he had been fearful of what was behind the doors, this time he welcomed it. He knew that his life had to change for the better through this door. Smiling to himself, he walked over to the last door and opened it and everything went black.

He slowly opened his eyes, yawned and looked around. He meowed happily and walked over to his giant’s leg. He purred as he jumped onto his lap. His giant laughed and scratched his head. He purred some more and curled up. His giant stroked him absentmindedly for a while before gently getting up and going into the kitchen. His giant’s phone was on the chair. It vibrated loudly startling him for a moment. He touched it with a paw. The screen lit up and he saw a text from his friend. He remembered the cave, he remembered the doors and he remembered waking up all those years ago when his giant had come to pick him up from his mother.

“Hey there little guy. My name’s Todd,” the giant said, gently picking him up and cradling him. “I know you don’t have a name yet but how do you like the name Tinders?”

 

“You wanted to be loved Todd. Now you can experience

 the love you gave to Tinders every day.

Your Friend Mr Highway.”


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