The Dark Door Chapter 3
***AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know it's been a while since I've uploaded ANYTHING here, and for that I apologize! I'll try my best to update these stories as much as possible. Anywhoo, like the title explains, this is chapter 3 of "The Dark Door." Chect out the previous chapters in my story-list to get updated! Thanks.
Mother (The First Illusion)
Traffic was backed up for miles along the winding highway. Not a car within three lanes of Carol’s truck had budged in a half an hour and she had been waiting to get into the lane beside her for ten minutes. From her passenger seat, an orange glow from the setting sun peered over Cellular Field and rested on her leg, making her hot and uncomfortable. She tapped her dark pruny fingers against the smooth leather of her steering wheel, the other hand twisting the knob on her radio to find something that would cool her agitated nerves. Even the short cool summer breezes flowing through the open windows weren’t helping. She had been on her feet all day long and they throbbed in pain. All she wanted was to get home, have dinner and go to bed. Not only did traffic delay that goal, but it was also wasting gas and she had no money to replace it. To take her mind off of the situation, she decided to call home. Picking up her phone on top of a breifcase in the seat next to her, she saw that it read: One missed call: Home; One new voice mail.
“Hey… Extra Closet…Leah… Call me…” She could barely hear what Caleb said over the static in the message.
She waved at one car that finally let her move into the next lane. Above her was a sign stated the next exit and ahead, the road curved off into the distance. There was no answer when she called back. She tried again. Still nothing. Frustrated even more, she left a voice message that cursed, threatened, and promised to sell her children to a farm in Europe if they didn’t pick up the phone. Her mind began to wonder what those sneaky brats were up to. Carol imagined a wild party raging in her front room, with goats and pigs knocking down her precious china and eating holes into the furniture, all the kids there-including her own-were drunk because some ignorant heathen had brought alcohol and now they were puking all over her floors, dancing on top of her tables. It was a thought that made her muscles tense and veins pop up on her forehead. She rubbed her temples to soothe a brewing headache. Tucking nappy strings of hair behind thin silver arms of her glasses, she thought, What if they wasn’t at home and all of that was going on at someone else’s house? If one of those spawns don’t call me back, I’m gonna’ kill them. Checking the sign above her again, she read that the next exit was within a mile. Her leg shook with impatience.
When she reached her neighborhood, the sun had set, leaving the cloud-less sky a dark purple color that revealed few stars and a full moon. Tall thick trees stood in front of every house, swaying in the evening winds. Not a light was on in her neighbor’s homes. Some even had candles in their windows. She also noticed that the street lights lined along the block were out. Her kids were lucky. She reminded herself to erase those angry messages when the telephones were turned back on.
“We need cell phones,” said Crystal as she saw her mother enter. “So when stuff like this happens.”
They were all sitting on the couch in the living room staring at a movie playing on the bright laptop screen that illuminated the pallid walls and the dining area next to it. At the sides sat other beige furniture, and a wooden table that held magazines was placed in front of them. Standing in each corner was a glass case filled with expensive dishes. Caleb leaned back and stretched before getting up to help his mother hang up her coat in the small room alongside her.
“She’s right, but she don’t want a phone so she can call you. All she thinkin’ about is text messaging.”
“Shut up, I’m serious!” she growled, jumping off the couch, bolting over to her brother and shoving him. Her long braids flailed in the air while they grappled. Leah quickly followed, her short pig tails flopping above her ears.
“I want text messaging!”
“Unless you two want to be sleepin’ outside, cut it out. Now I’ll make a note of it. Money don’t grow on trees, so no messaging. Really thought you three were up to no good in here, I was about crack some heads,” She turned to her son. “You cook?”
He pointed to the kitchen. “Food is in the microwave.”
“Good. I’m only gonna say this once. After dinner I’m goin’ to bed. Stay quiet and find something to do. Got it?”
They all nodded and began to argue about who should bring the food as Carol removed her shoes and climbed up the creaky stairs to her room. The kids do need cell phones, she thought. Though the weather was already warm and humid outside, school still wasn’t out for the summer. She needed to keep in touch with them while they were at camp downtown. She sighed. Great. More money to spend. Arriving in the hall on the top floor, a low buzzing noise snapped her into reality. It came from Leah’s room behind her. Bright flashes of light flickered from the crack at the bottom of the closed door. Stepping closer to open it, she could feel warm sand beneath her feet. What the hell was sand doing in her house?
“Leah, get up here! Bring your brother with you!” she called out. When she opened the door, the sand was gone. Outside of the window across from her, a car drove past their home, playing loud music that vibrated the wooden floors. Light from the headlights flashed across the room, revealing a small bed in one corner, along with a dresser, and a desk in the others, before disappearing. She realized that she must be worn out for her mind to be playing tricks on her. Maybe the light she saw earlier was just another car driving down the street outside. She heard the noise again before the lamp on the dresser sparked on. Downstairs her children cheered.
“I brought your plate,” said her youngest daughter as she and her brother raced into their mother’s room. In front of them and their mother’s bed, on the television stand, a reporter stood in front of the tall gates surrounding a white Electricity Plant, speaking about a failed generator that was the cause of nearly a city wide blackout.
“Good Lord,” Said their mother shaking her head before turning to Leah. “Now that the power’s back, go heat it up. Caleb, I got your message today but it had static. What were you talking about?”
Her son raised an eyebrow, folding his arms and leaning on her door. “What message?”
She began to pull out her phone, but remembered she deleted it. “Something about an extra closet.”
He smirked and pushed his hands in his pockets. “Didn’t say nothin’ about that.”
“Don’t play with me, boy.”
“I’m serious! I couldn’t call because the phone was out!”
She frowned. “God don’t like liars. Get out.”
She changed her clothes, brushed her teeth and searched for something lighter to watch than the news. While flipping stations, her mind wondered back to the sand she felt earlier. Was her mind really just messing with her? Her brain then reminded her about work tomorrow and she groaned. Maybe she could call in sick. If the kids needed cell phones she was going to have to work overtime. Or borrow from her brother again. How much money did she owe now? She let loose another long sigh, her body feeling heavy. By time Leah returned with her food, she was already asleep.
Little did she know the danger that was unfolding in her home. Her kids were absent, wandering through a dark space that left their mother trapped within her dreams from the moment her car touched the driveway. She never made it inside, but collapsed into the passenger seat. Sand had replaced the wooden boards of Leah’s Floor. Her desk morphed into a beach chair, the walls were replaced by the night sky and millions of stars. Under the shining moon was an ocean, hundreds of miles long. Their home was fading into the door they had opened.