Creativity for the day. It has been a while since I shared some of my fiction here. This is my newest short story. It is called Red Door and More.
Red Door and More
Was that door new?
It hadn’t been there yesterday, this morning, two minutes ago, had it? He’d been out of bed at 5:42am and had only consumed half a mug of coffee. He wondered if he was at the woah-my-head-is-making-crap-up stage.
Well, it looks like the latter stage was the one to play with today, thought Brian. Only he wasn’t sure if he would suit the character of the situation well enough as he was hadn’t shaved… yet. As he itched his chin, he considered how many times he’d said that to himself this week. He even pondered whether he’d said it out loud. Not that Ginger cared; she was too busy scratching at the legs of his coffee table anyway.
Another sip of coffee and a thought about the whether he had refreshed her water bowl lately, and then he was somehow down on his hands and knees on the floor. Just to the right of the kitchen counter. Hell there was even a doorknob on this red door.
Knock? He laughed to himself. Yeah, knock and shave. He laughed out loud this time. The sound of fabric being torn met his ears and he knew already Ginger was at work on her project in the living room.
He opened the door and peered through. He couldn’t fit; that was obvious. Ironic, he’d always seemed to come up short for things and now here he was too much for something. He spared himself the emptiness of laughing to a room that wouldn’t respond to him.
Through the doorway, he saw a thin corridor, and there were doors on both sides that looked much the same as this one he had opened. Each door was shiny red with a brass handle. As he continued to look through the open door, he started to see a figure at the end of the corridor.
The figure began to get bigger, and he saw that it was an orange creature with tubes that stuck out for a few centimeters from a bald head in the place where a human’s ears would be. He had black eyes, all black, no white around them, and they faced forward. They faced him.
As the creature came closer, it started to run, its bare orange feet pounding on the cement floor of this long corridor. Brian couldn’t take his eyes off of the blackness that seemed to devour his thoughts that filled his head on those nights he spent staring at the ceiling.
As the creature neared, Brian took note of the details of the grey jumpsuit that it wore. There was a nametag on the upper left chest. It said, “Radiation.”
And it was then that Brian squeezed his eyes tight together, trying to squeeze them so hard that he could somehow squish this orange thing, this mutant that was barreling toward him. Brian could no longer feel his hands although he desperately wanted to shut the door. Instead, he heard the words of a male voice all too familiar to him. “Alright Brian, time for your next treatment.”
And he knew he was in the pale blue gown under the dull off-white sheets in the bed that had held him for too long. As the loudspeaker above said, “Paging Dr. Cantone,” he wondered how Ginger was doing in her new home and if she knew that he really would rather be with her still. He wished he had shaved before he’d been admitted here. How he had so many wishes. Photon radiation therapy had never been one of them.
©2015 Christy Birmingham