The Locked Door

A short story by Jason S. Sullivan, 06-26-19

I stood outside the door. I sighed and closed my eyes. I imagined what was on the other side of the door. What did it look like? What did it feel like? I envisioned it to be warm and inviting. Familiar, yet strange. Dark, yet light. I imagined people in there. I recognized some of them but didn’t know them personally.

Where was I? Would they let me on the other side of the door? Was I good enough to be part of the team? Was I even at the right door? I shook the thoughts away from my mind. I couldn’t answer those questions. Not yet.

I had to open the door to see it for myself. That’s the only way I’d be able to know for sure. I had to get inside the room!

I reached down to the doorknob. It felt cold in my hand. I turned the doorknob, but it wouldn’t open. I turned it the other way, but it wouldn’t open that way either. I winced. Was it locked? I pushed on the door, thinking I could push it open. No luck. It wouldn’t move. I felt discouraged. I had to find a way inside!

I reached my hands in my pockets for a key. Yes, that’s it! A glimmer of hope. Maybe the door is locked, and I have the key. I searched my pockets. I found the key! I sighed with relief as I slid the key into the lock. It didn’t quite fit right, but I turned the doorknob anyway. The door wouldn’t open.

Maybe I had another key. I frantically searched my pockets for another key. I started to feel sick to my stomach. Oh, no. I didn’t have any other keys. Maybe I dropped it? Yes, that’s it! I looked on the floor around me. Nothing.

Maybe if I knock on the door and tell them what happened…maybe then they will let me in. I’ll explain how I got here, what I’m doing, and my plans for the future. No, that won’t work. I’m sure there’s a list. You have to be on the list to get in. How do you get on the list? Was I on the list? Only one way to find out.

I took a deep breath. I composed myself. I knocked on the door. I waited for a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Maybe I didn’t knock loud enough. I’ll try again. I knocked on the door again. I put my ear to the door. I could hear something inside! I was at the right door! I knew it. But, still no answer. OK. One more time. I took a deep breath. I envisioned myself on the other side of the door. I could see myself there this time. I fit right in. Let me in!

I banged on the door, this time loud and with more intent than before. I heard the sound of my knock echoing through the room. I put my ear to the door. A frantic noise, then silence! I gasped as footsteps approached. I could feel someone on the other side of the door, looking at me through the peep-hole. I heard a muffled voice inside. The voice announced something to other people in the room. I the door chain jingled, and the deadbolt slid out of place. My heart raced. I stepped away from the door and prepared myself.

The door opened. A friendly voice from inside spoke to me. “Ah, we’ve been expecting you. What took you so long?”

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