This month’s (or rather, last month’s) writing challenge from Leslie was this:
And this is what I wrote…
The thing with doors and indeed, opening one you haven’t opened before, is to let go of all expectations. You never know where one will lead and that is the whole point: you can explore a whole new reality.
Or fantasy for that matter.
That was what I had discovered when my great uncle, Louie, died, leaving me the sole heir of his entire estate. For a 17-year-old girl who was not yet technically ‘legal’ by law, it was unimaginable. It was certainly unimaginable to the lawyer who deemed that my uncle had decided to re-write the country’s laws concerning minors and deceased properties. Yes, my uncle was a man of high esteem and someone who had the power to do such things.
I know I wasn’t in any way prepared for what was to follow.
Due to the nature of the event (not just my great uncle’s death, but the whole law incident), I was plucked from obscurity as an unknown and plunged into the world of high society. I was suddenly expected to know how to behave in the company of dukes and duchesses and my wardrobe went from being limited to one or two frocks to dresses of the finest quality, handmade to fit me perfectly. All of that made me very uncomfortable.
It was around that time that I moved into the manor and found myself the only occupant in a house that was far too big for just one person. I felt as though I was rattling around like a pebble in a large man’s shoe. I spent my days wandering the corridors, exploring each room that I came upon. No door was locked and most rooms were empty bar a few odd pieces of furniture.
That was, until I found Room 362.
From the outside it looked just like any other room. It had the same wooden door with the same shaped handle as all the other rooms in the house. But, when I went to turn it, I met with resistance.
It was locked.
I had frowned in puzzlement and found that I was surprisingly curious as to what was behind that door. I felt that once it was unlocked my entire life was going to change. At that moment a guest had arrived and I had had to abandon my quest for the day, but my mind continued to drift back to Room 362 and how I was going to get inside.
For the next few days I was kept busy entertaining prominent members of my great uncle’s various business ventures so I didn’t have much time to myself. I did manage, however, to discover a key that didn’t fit any other lock in the house that I knew of. The uncertainty of not knowing was nearly driving me insane, yet I managed to remain composed, at least on the outside. No one suspected a thing.
When finally everybody had left, I had extracted the key from my pocket where I’d been keeping it safe and made my way up to the third floor. I hesitated for a moment outside the room, unsure of whether I really wanted to make the next move and discover if the key did indeed fit. What happened if it didn’t? Would I be disappointed? Would I decide to give up? I couldn’t see that happening, but I wasn’t entirely sure. I was both anxious to know and scared to take the next step. I looked down at the key in my hand and stepped forward with some trepidation. My right hand was shaking as I held it out and I couldn’t insert it into the lock without using my left hand to steady it. I took a deep breath and turned it in the hole. It made a loud click that echoed in the corridor and I knew then, I had unlocked it.
I withdrew the key, placed it in my pocket again and grasped the handle firmly. Turning it to the right, I pushed and the door swung over.
What I saw, I knew I would never see again.