This week’s writing challenge from The Daily Post involved imagining the door to your home has become unstuck in time and the next time you walk through it, you enter the same place, but a different time. I veered off path just a bit and took the prompt to spur something in a short story I finished a few weeks ago — perhaps something that could continue it.
Instead of delaying the judgement that waited inside by walking up the driveway and then across the concrete path to the front steps, Alexis crossed the front yard in a straight line from the car. The Bermuda sod had lost much of its lush green hue over the past week, and it gave a stiff crunch under brown flats. She was thankful for those light shoes as she took the front steps without the slightest sound.
The black front door stood in front of her. Her parents had to special order it last year because the opening was smaller than the standard, and her dad grumbled for a week at the extra cost. Her mom wanted one with the decorative oval glass in the center, but her father refused to consent to anything that allowed someone to see in the house. Alexis had never been so grateful for his stubbornness.
As she reached for the door knob, she felt the porch spinning. She wondered if by some miracle something was transporting her back — or ahead — in time. Perhaps she had wished so hard for the chance to do last Saturday differently, someone or something had granted her wish. Perhaps God had heard her prayers — the ones she prayed every night since Sunday.
She pushed the door open and floated across the living room illuminated in morning sunlight as she brought in the newspaper and passed her younger sister who sang along to the Katy Perry video on the television. Alexis set the paper down on the kitchen counter and grabbed a warm blueberry muffin from the plate next to the stove.
Sunlight streamed into her bedroom windows as she got ready to meet at the school for the band competition. This time she wasn’t annoyed at how hot it made her room. On the way to the school, she didn’t regret leaving her sunglasses on her dresser; she closed her eyes and welcomed the sun on her face. She loved feeling the warmth as she marched on the football field during the band’s performance, and she hated to see it fade on the trip home as she sat on the bus and let Brayden teach her how to twirl drumsticks between her fingers.
This time she wouldn’t linger in the chorus room to tell Madison about how it felt to have Brayden pretty much holding her hands for two hours. She would tell her that she’d call later and try to get out of the room — perhaps to see Brayden one more time. She would do anything to make sure she got out of there before Mr. Easterling could catch her.
She closed her eyes to stop the porch from spinning and turned the doorknob. The incandescent light from the ceiling fan hurt her eyes, but she still saw her parents seated on the couch. Her father’s arm circled her mother’s shoulders as her mother’s hand held a tissue to her nose. A Merriville City Police officer sat in the chair next to the sofa.
The three of them watched her enter the house and close the door behind her.