I haven’t done one of these for a while, and this one is late, but at least it almost feels as if the words are returning. Thank goodness, considering NaNo is 20 days away :)
[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October 10, 2008:
Start your story with this line: Alice tried to remember who had given her the key.
Alive tried to remember who had given her the key. It sat, small and cold, in the fold of her hand, a constant reminder that it was there. She tried changing hands, but it was glued to the skin of her left hand.
It resisted any attempt to be removed, well, any attempt that Alice could think of short of cutting off her hand. But she was sure that even such a drastic step would fail.
By the time it had been there for a week, she hardly noticed it any more, until someone else noticed it again.
“What’s that,” the lady behind the counter said, her hand recoiling quickly after touching the key accidentally.
“Nothing,” Alice blushed, hiding her hand deep in her pocket again, and made excuses to leave quickly.
Now, she sat on a bench, trees tall around her, staring at her hand. The small, silver key glinted in the sunlight as she moved her hand.
“Curiouser and curiouser” she said. “All I need now is a cat.”
Since the key made its appearance, she continuously expected seeing a timeswept rabbit rushing past too.
“How am I supposed to use you, anyway, if you are glued to my hand,” she said, frowning, picking at the key with her right hand in another futile attempt to remove it.
Find the door.
“What?” She looked around. She was still completely alone. “Must be going nuts.”
Find the door, the voice repeated.
OK, she thought, I will play along.
“Which door,” she asked, feeling silly immediately.
The wind rustled the leaves behind her, and she looked around. Still alone.
“This is silly,” she said, and went home.
It was well past midnight when she woke up in a cold sweat.
Find the door.
“Where?” she cried in desperation.
Find the door.
“Which door?” she asked again.
She lay in the silent dark for several minutes waiting for the answer before she fell asleep again. In her dreams, she chased doors of all shapes and colours, opening and closing them until she finally stood in front of a wall.
She looked up, trying to see the top, but could only see it stretching up into the clouds. It stretched as far as the eye could see on either side of her. She ran her fingers over the smooth surface, trying to find cracks that her eyes could not.
As her left hand touched the wall, the key burnt her skin and dropped to the ground in front of her feet where it lay, completely harmless, for a couple of moments before it floated up and hovered in front of her. She stood, motionless, the pain in her hand lingering, and watched as it grew and inserted itself into a previously invisible keyhole.
The key turned, the lock clicked and a door, just tall enough for her to walk through, opened to darkness beyond.She hesitated as long as possible, but stepped through when she could no longer fight the compulsion. The darkness beyond quickly brightened and she found herself standing in a park filled with trees in front of a lone figure sitting on a bench, picking at something on her hand.
“Find the door” she shouted as loudly as she could..
I liked this story a lot. I liked how you never really clarified with certainty what the key was for and instead left it up to the reader to figure out. I sure have a lot of theories for what it is supposed to unlock. Thanks for sharing!
wow... interesting and surreal. gives you a lot to think about.
I love it. It's great when a story turns on itself and the character in the dream becomes involved with the character who's wide awake. There aren't many things creepier than hearing your own voice say, "find the door." You did this really well.
oh this is good! I love twists like this. reminds me of the twilight zone episode where someone desperately tries to call herself (himself?) in the past to warn him/herself about what was going to happen.
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