The door to your house/flat/apartment/abode has come unstuck in time. The next time you walk through it, you find yourself in the same place, but a different time entirely. Where are you, and what happens next?
Her hand trembled.
As the rounded door handle clouded with the reflection of her palm, he reached out and steadied the ever-so-slight shaking of her fingers.
She hadn’t even realized that how shallow her breathing was until his fingers closed around hers. Deep breaths, slowly now, time to open her eyes… she firmed her grasp on the door, turned the handle, and…
The single lamp in the hallway was lit, casting an orange pall on the adjoining coat stand. The lamp looked so very familiar, the hallway itself… she looked about as she stepped inside, suddenly noticing the many details that her brain had squirreled away during the daily grind while apparently not noticing any of them at all. I know this house, but how am I here? She turned back to look outside through the doorway that she had just passed through, and found impassive wood staring her in the face. Wait, how is that… she realized she was searching for her keys in the left hand pocket of her jacket to put away.
There was nothing there. This jacket was only 2 years old, and the keys she was searching for were at least 20. And no-one carried keys anymore, anyway. She started feeling her confusion mount as the memories collided, and the many incidents from this hall, from this house started flooding back. She buried her head in her hands.. what, why, how? Staggering sideways, she leaned against the hallway entrance trying to calm the throbbing that was permeating her head, her body, her brain…
“Zoom, zoom, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn…”
Her head snapped forward. No. Eyes widening, she took in the furniture in the hall; a hall that she had decorated with so much love. The couch, the fireplace, down to the color of granite by the fireplace and the matching curtains in the corner. No. She took it all in, all the details she knew so well.. she knew without looking that her “rest-seat” was on the right next to where she was standing, waiting for her to collapse into it as she had always done.
That sound. She knew that voice, she knew what the vocalist was up to, why he was making that sound. She knew it too, too well. She also knew what she would hear next; a second tenor would join this one. But it could not be! That was years ago, so many years ago; back to a past that..
A second voice joined in. “Zoom zoom..”
She didn’t want to follow the voices. She could not. This could not be happening. How is this possible at all? The question was a chant, a litany, a clamor drilling itself into the very fabric of her brain. She took a step forward, then faltered, nearly fell. She rested her hand against the wall as she blindly searched around for the doorway that had brought her back to this day, this time, this exact point in time… She didn’t want to look around any more, she didn’t want to remember any of it; any of it at all. The broken banister and the off-kilter step. Her stumbling home in a stupor; in yet another stupor all those years ago. Ignoring those very voices as she would fall on the couch in a dreamless sleep.
And then waking up to the screams. On this day.
Her nerveless fingers found the handle, she forced them to turn, yank… as she stumbled, collapsed… But I remember all the doctors, all the visits. The procedures. They assured me he would never remember. Then how could he.. why would he.. The world turned black.
“Michael, you need to get here quickly. She just re-appeared and she’s collapsed outside the Door.”
“Wait, what? We’ve never seen that before.”
“Well, I don’t know. She’s in a pretty bad state, if you ask me. Heart rate way up, labored breathing, contorted face. Are you sure that visual was the right one to pull from her brain for going through the Door?”
“Well, my memories of that time period are a tad hazy, but I do remember being happy. And all 3 of us being happy.”
“Sure there was nothing secretly wrong between her and your Dad? Maybe we hit on something that was wrong between them that you couldn’t have known..”
“NO! That came later, much later. The time period I gave you was Dad, Mom, and myself and that’s it. Quite golden, in fact. You must have screwed up.”
“I can show you when you get here, my settings were perfect. I don’t know what happened here, this was obviously her clearest memory of that particular time period. Too clear, in fact. If you weren’t so insistent, I would have said it was a suppressed memory. Given your own visuals..”
“We know that suppressed memories end up being the clearest due to the Reverse Memory Effect… but wait, you said what? My visuals..?”
“Guess I didn’t tell you. When I pulled your visuals to add detail to the Door, you had fairly clear visuals, but only after some point in time. Before that they were surprisingly black, almost as though they’d been blanked out.”
She screwed her eyes closed, pleading with her brain, her ears to make the sounds go away. The dual voices continued to resound: “Zoom, zoom, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeennnnnn…”. All that time and effort to Shield Michael from the trauma, and somehow.. Her fingernails dug into her palm as she crushed the note that had been attached to the door knocker when she had gotten here:
“HAPPY MOTHERS DAY, MOM.
Just open the Door and get ready to have the time of your life!