Two Doors –A Story Dam Prompt
Posted May 5, 2012on:
A little upkeep is needed here, with a few announcements.
- First there are some wonderful upcoming features coming up including a review of Diane Ackerman‘s eloquent One Hundred Names For Love (May 14th) and a delightful guest piece in Your Inspirations by Barbara Chepaitis (May21th)
- I’m in the process of merging both this blog and Many Worlds, but the process is becoming far more emotionally stacked than I would like it to be. Please stop in occasionally for updates.
For the moment, please allow me to share a piece with you I’d written for the StoryDam Writing Challenge prompt this week
Spring time is about new beginnings and with new beginnings you have choices. We often are so excited to see the first days of spring turning into warmer days of outdoor fun, new projects, gardening, home improvement, new outlooks and decisions that have to be made if you want to start something new. Is there a doorway you always wanted to go through but allowed something to hold you back? What great adventure might have been waiting on the other side of that opening?
Dam Burst Prompt:
Write fiction or non-fiction, tell us what lies on the other side of the door. Will you take door number two or door number one? What magical wonders are just waiting for you to step through?
Despite writing this piece on the 30th of April, I’ve been unable to do anything with it until today…. It’s fairly raw. Still I hope you enjoy it. Sometimes life simply “is”.
Two doors… Where do they lead? Choices, choices…
A watchman stands at the door to the left. With promises of the stable life, the known life, everyone else seems eager to enter that door. Get your papers in order. The watchman–or watchwoman, depending on how you get here–deals with this every day. Just pass the information over and let him do his job.
He, or she will compare your papers to a checklist they keep. (Be careful–these guards all seem to have slightly different checklists!) It doesn’t matter what the little variation might be…. Child out of wedlock, too many job changes, a tattoo in a noticeable location… There are countless numbers of little things the guards check for.
After perhaps five strikes you have your papers handed back to you, and guard turns you from the line. There a few ways to get through the door even so. Perhaps you have a bonus supply of money or good looks or chutzpah… even talent can be used as currency to bribe the guard. If you have a surplus in some area, you still might get through. You can be one of the ones who has it all.
If you are smart, you may go over your papers on you own . Once you are in line, you’ve made you choice and unless the guard urges you out of line, you have to go through that door. You really have to mess up once you are on the other side to get sent back out to try again.
At least that’s what every one around you in line says, whispering in low, horrified voices, the sheer weight of ostracism held in each letter, each atom the air that is exhaled from their lips. They look askance at the ones that stand in line at the other door… Its blackened, muddied, peeling surface, dented and warped just enough that occasionally a whiff of “something” that doesn’t set well on your stomach escapes it. They have made it quite clear that you don’t want to enter that door.
That’s where those people go. You don’t want to be one of those people, do you? (They motion to their guard and say with pride “Why do you think we have to guard our door? Everyone wants to come in here. We have to be selective, you know.”)
And it does look so much nicer. There are flowers growing on a arbor over it. There is a light. Everything about their door is bright, clean. You once were near enough to catch the whiff of fresh clipped lawns and gentle perfumes as someone was let in.
But as you stand in the crowd, knowing that you should decide, already starting to step forward toward the door with the guard, you see someone push the other door open. This person hadn’t even considered the flowered, guarded door. He stepped out of the crowd boldly, he even seemed to smile when he got to the door and found it was stuck closed from having been warped so much. He pushed against it with all his weight, making his body into a battering ram in his determination to get through that door. And behind him, you could hear others calling to him saying “No! Please don’t do this!”
Suddenly, the door opens for him, just as the guarded door is opening for someone else, and you see inside for just the briefest moment. You see the guarded door and the rows of neat little boxes, of neat, carefully manicured grasses and faces, the sameness of it all.
Your eyes take it in in a second before you look back to the unguarded dooor as it creaks closed against the boy who has ducked into its depths. You see a multitude of colors and glaring brightness amidst devastating darkness, You hear music. You smell flowers and refuse and you hear laughter and tears.
You know that it’s all the same then. And why should you ask someone else yo judge you fit to simply “live”
We know the end result of both doors. The long term end that is. The doors all end in death. We cannot avoid it. Even if we were to try standing still and never move, we have chosen our exit from the world. And what a sad, desperate exit that is too. So what exit do we chose to use?
- Watchman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- Ipsden: inside the church porch Entering the 1761088 and closing the outer door behind you, it soon becomes clear that the porch does not have much in the way of illumination. Not having looked beforehand, I had to reopen the outer door so as to find the handle of the inner door. Here, we look back at the closed outer door, facing south on a bright sunny day as sunlight seeps in through gaps in the woodwork and under the door. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- Roses along a trellis, Interbay P-Patch (community garden), Interbay neighborhood, Seattle, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)