Wednesday Words – The Door
In my daily writing I’ve been playing with the western genre. I just free form these, only having a germ of an idea to start with then see where the story takes me. I’ve noticed in a few of them I’ve worked in supernatural elements. This story is the first I think is finished and ready to put out. Or at least good enough. Enjoy. Let me know what you think.
By Grant Baciocco
Simon’s left eye opened first, followed by his right. A light hung in the darkness above him. As his vision focused he realized it was the moon, full, sitting quietly in the sky above him. As this realization focused in his brain, so did the realization that there wasn’t one inch of his body that didn’t hurt. Everything hurt. Everything. It was as if his entire body was on giant, throbbing mass of hurt.
He figured he start slow, try to wiggle a finger or two. He chose the pinky and ring fingers on his left hand. As they twitched it felt as if they hadn’t moved in days. They practically creaked when they moved. As more fingers joined the movement, he realized that his finger were wet. Sticky.
He grit his teeth and lifted his left arm at the elbow to bring his hand up into view of his eyes. They focused on the digits and he saw they were covered in red. Blood. This revelation was followed by the revelation that his the reason his shirt and pants were pressing heavy against his body is that they, like his hand, were drenched in blood.
As he dropped his hand back down to the ground with a thud, he nodded, ignoring the pain. It made sense. He couldn’t be in this much pain without there being some blood. Or a lot of blood.
He tried his best to look around for his horse, but he couldn’t see it anywhere. “Probably long gone,” he thought,” or in worse condition than me.” It seemed as if he was alone.
Simon thought hard. How did he wind up here? How did he wind like this? Lying here, on the ground, under the moon, wracked with pain and covered in blood? He thought hard, pushing the pain that consumed him out his head, and for a brief moment he saw a door. A large metal door.
He let the pain flow back in and concentrated on that door. The door. He’d seen that door before. Before he woke up here. He looked up at the moon hanging high above him. As he traced the circle of the ball of yellow hanging above him, he realized he’d opened the door.
He had opened the door. That was the last thing he remembered. He had opened the door and had wound up in his present condition. This brought to mind his brother Charlie.
SImon had been riding through the plains on the way to Yuma with Charlie when they had found the door. They’d promised their mother they’d be their when their father was released from prison to ride back home with him. The trip was over 1500 miles, but their mother was not going to leave them alone until they agreed to go. They were only about sixty miles into the journey when they came across the door.
They’d both been dumbstruck to find it. A big iron door built into the ground in the middle of the prairie, sixty miles out of Yankton. They’d circled around it for a few minutes on their horses until Simon had hopped off of his horse to get a closer look.
Charlie immediately began chastising Simon saying they needed to keep riding. Simon waved him off as he knelt next to the door.
He had run his hand along the iron, warm from the day’s sun. Both horses shifted nervously the first time Simon’s hand had grasped the big metal wheel that served as the handle for the door. Simon and Charlie locked eyes. Had the ground just shook a little when he grabbed it? Simon looked back down at the handle.
“Don’t open that door Simon.” Charlie called out, his voice wavering.
“Why not?” Simon replied, not looking up at his brother.
“A door that heavy, that big was put there to keep something big behind it. You ain’t got no idea what’s in the ground under that door. We ain’t got no business opening it.”
“Its a door in the middle of the prairie. What’s it doing here?”
“I don’t know, but I do know that however it got here it took a lot of doing, we’re miles from anywhere. Whatever’s under that door, it ain’t for us. So let’s just keep ridin’.”
“I want to see what’s inside.”
“I don’t. Let’s go Simon. No good is going to come from you openin’ that damn door.”
Simon didn’t reply, he just looked down at the door. Charlie shifted nervously in his saddle.
“You hear me Simon? Don’t touch that door again.”
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
“You don’t know and that’s the point. Do not open it.”
Simon looked back down at the door to study it closer. As he did, his eyes landed on a metal plaque that was bolted to the door just above the wheel. He hand’t noticed it before because it was covered with months of windswept dirt. He bent down and dusted off the dirt and in doing so revealed a single word. A word that gave him faith that opening the door would be okay. He gripped his hands tighter on the wheel of the door.
“That’s it Simon. I’m not going to be around when you open that door. You can find your own way to Yuma, because I’m not waiting anymore.”
Simon didn’t look back at Charlie. “Fine. Go. I’m going to see what’s in here. It ain’t going to hurt us on account of what it says on the plaque here.”
Charlie didn’t wait around to hear Simon finish his sentence, He rode off south as fast as his horse could carry him, never once looking back to see what his brother was doing.
Simon thought of all this as he stared up at the moon, the throb of his mangled body becoming louder. Drowning out the visions of earlier. Of his brother. As they faded, he focused his mind on trying to remember the word. The word inscribed on the plaque on the door.
It had four letters. Yes. Four letters.
He thought hard.
That was it.
Simon’s last breath escaped him.