Time: 10 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.
“You discover a door in your house/apartment that will lead to any door in the world that you want it to.” (I found this writing prompt through the Reddit Writing Prompts sub forum. Check it out for hundred of writing prompts on all kinds of topics, including this one.)
It was strange coming back to my childhood home after so many years, but probably not so strange as living with my parents after I’d gone forth into the world, expecting my obvious greatness to be recognized. Instead, I was 30, in debt, and back with the folks in rural Missouri. It was humiliating. What I wouldn’t give to be back in Belgium at the chocolate shop or in New York in central park. But most of all, I thought, I’d like to be away from people—Moab. But I didn’t have money, so these thoughts stayed dreams.
In the five years since I’d returned home, mom had redone the kitchen and redecorated my bedroom into a hobby room and dad had given away a good portion of my toys to cousins kids. I don’t think they were thrilled to have me back either. The heavy bookcases of the living room were gone, and I realized I’d never seen that wall. The old wallpaper behind where they had stood was brighter, showing their outline.
Hold on, I thought to myself, noticing another line in the wallpaper. I went closer. It was a seam in the paper, about 7 feet high and 3 feet wide. A door? There was a dent at about the right place for a handle. I pushed, tentatively at first, but when I felt give, I pushed harder.
The door popped open. Moab’s grand orange arch stood in front of me, the blazing hot and dry summer air pouring through the door. I stood and gawked, and several dozen tourists turned and snapped my picture, looking delighted. I pulled the door shut with a slam. Why was there a door to Moab in my childhood home?
The whole front of my body still seared. I could feel the beads of sweat form, half from apprehension I think. I pushed the door open again, bracing myself for the heat. Instead, a rocky coast full of fog and mist stretched before me. Canon Beach in Oregon. The air was refreshingly cool, and then it occurred to me that the door was taking me where I wanted to go. I closed the door.
“Prague, Wenceslas Square,” I said, and opened it again. The square stretched before me, with tinges of twilight falling over it and the National Museum and the Jan Palach memorial. I shut the door again.
“Gabriel, what are you doing in there?” My mother rushed in. “Get away from that wall!”