13 Mar The Door
Thomas pulls back the covers of his bed. He lies comfortably, letting his body sink into the mattress. The weight of his eyelids is more than he can bear. He fights them not. Slowly but surely his thoughts begin to fade away. Thomas is ready for the passage, he’s ready to immerse… body, mind and soul, in deep sleep. It is a perfect night. No disturbance. No sirens, no sound of cars, no sound of people, no noise whatsoever. The blinds are slightly opened, but only the light reflected on the surface of the moon makes into the bedroom giving it a perfect owl-light.
A second goes by: Thomas is still there. Something is off. Something is missing. He opens his eyes, turns his head towards the entrance of the bedroom. There it is: The door is open. Outside, the vastness of darkness.
Thomas hesitates for a split second but, he knows. C’mon Thomas, it will be quick. One final task. One final action. He gets up, goes to the door. He closes it. There. That familiar sound. “Click”. He’s safe. Back to bed.
Thomas repeats the ritual. He lies comfortably, he pulls the covers up to his chest, he closes his eyes. Ah, the satisfaction. He’s ready to go, he’s ready to… let go. He’s ready to enter the World of the Gods, the unfathomable journey into the World of Dreams. Houston, initiate countdown. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. 0.
Silence. Something is wrong. Thomas is still there. What is it now? Once again he opens his eyes. He looks down. Ha! His feet are exposed! He smiles and adjusts the covers, makes himself a burrito, surrounding his feet, legs and torso into the thick safety of fabric. As he does… his peripheral vision notices darkness in the background. What?
Thomas sits on the bed. He notices that the door is fully open. But… he’s sure he closed the door. He’s sure he heard the “click”. We cannot hear the clock but a second goes by. And another one. And another one. And another one.
Taken by a strange anger, Thomas rashly pulls the covers away. He comes to the side of the bed, eyes locked at the door. Outside… pitch black. Hesitant, he places both feet on the floor. He then stands up and faces that portal to the outside world. Finally, he walks, firm, in a fast pace, masquerading his fears, as men often do. He pushes the door shut. Again the “click” sound. The door is closed. But Thomas doesn’t go away this time. He reaches for the door, touches it. He makes sure the door is, without a doubt, secured, in place. It is. Suddenly Thomas’ touch takes a will of its own, it becomes… gentle. His fingertips try to… “feel” the door. Sympathize with it. Is the door alive? Does it want to say something?
Thomas presses his whole palm against the door. Then the other one. He approaches his ear, leaning against the cold material. He listens. Tell me.
Nothing. The door says… nothing. Ha! What was he thinking? That the door would say anything? C’mon Thomas, it’s just a door. It’s just… a door – he assures himself.
A smile of relief comes to his face, his heart once again in a normal pace. He turns around, heads back to bed. Mid-step a sound echoes through the room. Thomas blood runs cold. He knows that sound, he heard it before – the sound of wood… squeaking.
Thomas freezes in place. He stays still. Like prey when a predator is around. Only his chest moves noticeably. He tries to control it. Breathe in… breathe out. No need to panic, it’s just your imagination, Thomas. He looks at the clock on the nightstand. 2:03 am. Wow. It is late. He needs to go to bed. He needs to sleep. Are you ready, Thomas?
He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath. He then turns around. The door is… open. I’ll have none of this. I’ll put chains on you if needed be! – He thinks.
Thomas steps forward reaching once again for the door. It’s then that something moves in the background, in amidst the darkness! A figure, a silhouette, something! Outside! Beyond the door! Beyond the safety of the bedroom!
There is no one here besides you, Thomas – he assures himself – There’s no one here besides you.
Thomas considers, something needs to be done. He moves… towards the unkown. Step by step he goes beyond the boundaries of the room, beyond the boundaries that keep him safe.
The living room is supposed to be a familiar place, but not tonight. Thomas doesn’t recognize the shapes in the dark. And silence… silence is an enemy now. It will take a minute or two for his eyes to adapt. He waits. Inside his chest his heart pounds, heavy. He wonders if it can be heard.
A few minutes pass. There. He can distinguish some shapes now. He can almost… see. Where are you? – whoever you are.
Nothing. There’s nothing here. There’s no one here, Thomas… There’s no one here… but… you. Relief.
Once again Thomas’s blood runs cold. What the hell is going on? He rushes to the bedroom – It’s just a few steps away! Wait. The door is… CLOSED.
Thomas reaches for the knob, adrenaline running wild through his veins, but before he touches it something makes him stop. Something. A feeling. A chill. An electrical current crossing his spine. The hair on his arms somehow alert him. Danger. As careful as one can be he turns the knob. Gently. Delicately. There. It is open. Thomas takes a deep breath. With his fingertips he pushes the door. Again, gently, delicately. Like he’s caressing a flower. A breeze would have a similar effect. The door finally moves, revealing the room. But Thomas… he doesn’t come in. He stays there for a second, he stays by the door. Waiting. Prowling. He’s not sure but he thinks… Could his eyes be deceiving him? Could it really be? It seems like… It seems like there’s someone in the bed. Someone or… some thing. A figure. Under the covers.
Fuck. Double fuck.
Thomas approaches. He measures his steps – every – single – one of them, as he comes next to the bed. Like a cat.
He’s close now, he’s in reach. Of whoever or whatever it may be. His or… its “body” turned away. Tucked. Like a burrito.
Thomas reaches for the covers. Slowly. So slow one could say time is frozen.
Suddenly, when Thomas is about to touch the covers, the figure TURNS, startled by something!
No! No, please, no.
Thomas’ face is just panic now. He steps back. His jaw collapses. Tears come to his eyes. It’s like… it’s like he’s seeing a ghost.
In the bed… Thomas, himself, is frozen in place, staring… at the door.
Fuck – he thinks – The goddamn door is open again.