by Edward Nygma
A rough, incomplete story about a man and a door. More to come
Part 1: Dreams
Temptation can lead a man to his death. This notion holds true to times when sailors heard tales of beautiful women with beautiful voices that devoured the flesh of the hapless sailors that they caught. Or tales of the glamorous amazons who captured men to use as slaves.
If twenty-seven year old John Winslow knew this, he might have not done what he had done. He might have sold his soul to the devil and found himself in the deepest levels of hell. That is where is, though. Figuratively speaking, of course.
He sits behind his desk, wondering if what he had done was worth it. He had what he wanted but he wasn’t happy. He just couldn’t take it. He didn’t have the logic to understand just how free he was. Everything was gone. Nothing was holding him back. He could do whatever he wanted.
But somewhere John couldn’t grasp it. That is why he was behind his desk…He reached out and grabbed the drawer handle. It felt slippery. The blood on his hands had not dried. He wished it would so he wouldn’t feel it. Somehow he knew it wasn’t that easy. He thought if he tried to wash them off, it would just come back, just like Lady Macbeth. He could scrub and scrub and nothing would change. He wouldn’t try it for that reason. It just might take his desperation over the edge. If that was possible.
Now he has the drawer open. He eyes his prize. A .32 Magnum. It had been bought to keep them safe. Them being him and his wife. She was obviously against it. She said it would be dangerous if they had had kids. Of course, they won’t have any now. His wife’s opinion doesn’t matter much either. He laughed at that thought. Then he felt sick.
After a pause he pulled the large gun out and opened the cylinder. Hollow points. Just to increase the effectiveness. Just to make sure anyone who entered was dead. They couldn’t testify against anyone. It would be John’s word against no ones. His wife would obviously support him. Would have, more precisely.
He closed the cylinder and stared at it a moment. He sighed and set it on the table. Now he would make it right. Time to set the record straight. He painstakingly wrote out a letter confessing every detail of what he had done. He finished it and set the pencil down. He grabbed the gun and stuck it to his head. Tears started to fall from his eyes as thoughts of his wife came up.
“I’m sorry” he muttered. Then all went black.
Several days later, worried neighbors knocked on the door. After no response, they called the police. When they arrived all they found was bloody mess all over and on the table, a note. It was drenched in blood and all the writing had been burning and twisted away. All except for the closing which read simply.
“BEWARE THE DOOR”
Much woe could be brought of this tale, but to be fair, there was a bit of deception involved but once again, not really deception. All the information was there but John just didn’t see it. He should have, but it was temptation that blinded his tale. Just the same as millions before him.
It started on a dark night. It was a new moon and only the stars lit the sky.. The million year old lights let John sleep deep into the night.. His wife, Rachel, was there. Beautiful. Lovely. Perfect. All of these words could describe her but none do her justice
This was peaceful room. Red linen curtains line the clean nicely polished windows. Outside you have a perfect view of a garden. They had just planted the plants a few weekends ago. It took all day but it was well worth it. Someday a young Winslow would run through there and begin to experience the wonders of nature.
The house itself was new. Built specifically for them. It had 7500 sq ft of living space. Something quite expensive for a 27 year old. That wasn’t important His new job would be able ro pay for the house threefold every month. That part, however, isn’t important yet. What was important was what was going on inside Mr. Winslow’s head. His sub-conscious started to dance. Then images flare upon in the optical sensors. These thing were much more than just delusions of flying or of riches and glory. These were of things that should not be.
All John saw was darkness. Not complete darkness. That weird dream-like darkness where you can only see yourself and nothing else. He attempted to yell but found that nothing would come out. Something that happens at the end of nightmares. But this wasn’t the end. This was just the beginning. He wanted to wake up but the only thing that happened is he became more afraid of this place.
Then the though crossed his mind. Maybe this wasn’t a dream. Maybe he was really dead and left to wander nothingness for eternity.. IT did seem all too real.
Unfortunately for our lad, he was not dead. In fact he was far from it. but at the same time he was so close he could feel it. He didn’t realize what this really was until it was much, much too late.
When his desperation finally reached it’s peak, something happened. At light came from the distance. It approached in a very slow manner. In the light he saw a faint square outline. A voice came in the eeriest of manners. It felt like it was inside his head. (though technically it was). He heard the vilest sounding of messages.
“The Door is here to help you. The Door is here to free you. The Door can lead you to happiness. You can find it.”
He now clearly saw a door in the light and light started to fade making it much more clear.
“You can find it, just look behind where the delirious go. Somewhere under the leaves.”
The door was now in front of his face. He reached for the handle and attempted to turn the knob. It was locked.
“No,” The voice continued. “the door will not open for you. You must do something to trigger it. You unlock the goodness in some other way. Think like a magnet. I leave you to figure this out.
John just stared trying to understand what he was seeing. Before he had time to consider the message though, he was blood seeping from all point of the door. More and more just flowed like and open wound. Jphn did the only thing he could do. He screamed as the world faded right back into the place where he…
…was sleeping so peacefully not ten minutes before. John felt his forehead. Drenched in sweat.
Was it really that bad? He thought to himself. Does that mean I was also screaming?.
His attention turned to his wife. She was sound asleep. That was good. She looked so peaceful when she slept. She was one with the world, with no cares or worries. Very much different from when she was awake.
But that dream…
To him it seemed too real. Much too real. What did it mean? He question himself as if expecting that powers of God Himself to give him the answer. Maybe, it’s just a bad nightmare.
IT took him two hours of tossing and turning to finally fall back to sleep. There was some part of him expecting to fall right back in the black room with the door.
He would regret the lack of sleep the next morning. It was one of those days where the working never seemed to end. Good fortune managed to land him a job at home, but there were time when he was even sick of that. Much better than before.
John Wilkins had grown up in the large sprawling metropolitan area of Norfolk, VA He enjoyed the town. His family happened to live in the nice part of town. Had he not, this story would be a totally different. Maybe it never would have happened.
His parents were successful partners in a law firm. In their house, not much different from the one that John and Rachel now resided in, John built so many pleasant memories. That is why he admire his new structure so. It was the perfect place to raise a family.
After high school he attended Old Dominion University, not to far from where he grew up. There he majored in Finance and quickly rose the ranks in hi class. After graduating third in his class, he moved to New York to work for a firm that went directly to Wall Street.
It was in New York he met Rachel. She had moved there from California, trying to escape the orange county lifestyle. She was attending NYU went he met her in a local singles bar. The rest is history.
John finally managed to receive a promotion out of the office ranks and into management. One never realized how dull that lifestyle is until they see it in retrospect. Some times he wondered how he didn’t just tie a rope to the wooden support beam in his tiny one room apartment and just end it all.
Perhaps it was because of Rachel. She had just graduated and was trying to find a job. An opening finally emerged in a small rural city in northern Virginia. The city of Plattsburg( pop 7800, or so it says on the sign) would become their refuge from the busy chaotic city life. John saw this as an opportunity to start his own firm. He presented his two weeks notice without hesitation. The next two weeks they packed up what little they both owned and moved to the tiny little hole the wall.
Just before that, they were married at his parents home in Norfolk. The ceremony was mall but meaningful and everyone seemed to have had a good time.
Now they could move to their new home. At first they just rented but of course they had greater ambitions. This moved changed both their lives forever.
For Rachel, it was a new opportunity. For John, it was trip back home.
His wife was gone by morning. Before John even woke up. She did that more and more lately. Clients here and there. Meeting to talk about efficiency and effectiveness. Real Estate was not an easy business. She did have the resolve and the ambition. That was what started to drive them apart. Not that he loved her any less. John just wanted to see more of his wife. Dinner had a tendency to be Pizza or Chinese every night. Rachel usually brought it home and stayed downstairs just long enough to eat and then she was off to bed.
“It was a long day.” She would say..
John also worked hard, but nothing to the sort where he didn’t have free time. He typically made more than his wife though that did differ from month to month because they both did work for commission. Perhaps that lead to a bit of resentment on her part and may explain why she worked so much.
John had his share of problems with his job as well. Usually it was newbies who didn’t realize that it did cost money to use a stockbroker. Others would declare highway robbery for the commission. Some people didn’t know that he had people on Wall Street that require a fee to make trades Plus the ones who knew what was going on but complained loudly whenever they lost money.
“It is a risky business,” He would try to tell them. “Sometimes you can’t predict these things.” But they would hear none of it. He had heard it all. John didn’t care. He made money still and he was the only broker in town. He had started to spread out and was making national deals.
There was a building in planning and he was looking for partners to make a firm in town. He was quite content in that aspect. But the zoning board kept denying his application. There was something about his out of town attitude they didn’t trust. That really didn’t bother John much. He just wished he could get someplace to run a business.
The problem came to the fact that neither of them had time for each other and that was beginning to wear at John. One night he had approached about perhaps taking a week off.
“I don’t think that will work.” She would respond. “I have a lot of peole who count on me.
John decided it was best not press that issue any further. She was stressed enough as is.
He ponder this very question again as he awoke after that long fateful night. It wasn’t till he was well into eating his breakfast that he remembered the dream.
The door is here to free you…
It was a brief thought but one that seemed to ride on him all day, even though he wasn’t really aware of it. Sometimes the subconscious can mess with you.
The next week was a typical week. Things happened. Others didn’t, like the dream.. Rachel came and went. Life was pretty normal. It wasn’t until the next Sunday night ( It didn’t seem like Sunday, he still had clients who wanted there trades ready to be made on Monday and of course Rachel wasn’t home) that something happened. The dream came back. It was exactly one week after it began and 1 month before ended.
The dream was almost exactly the same except for few differences. The space around him seemed darker, as if it were blacker than black. The voice seemed more vile as well. But what was truly frightening was that the door had much more blood.
It was horrible; like someone had sliced open a human body. The blood flowed straight towards John like a torrent of water and hit with the same force. But John could move. He was paralyzed with a nightmarish fear. He could only let out an inaudible wail worse than any sound he had never heard. He wanted so bad just to hear himself and to let his feelings be known. He genuinely felt as if he were really there as the torrent swallowed his entire body. At that moment he burst straight in a gasp form his bed and let out another inaudible shriek. This time, it was real and yet there was still no noise.
It took several moments of deep breaths to realize exactly where he was. John had just escaped hell. At least that was what he had envisioned hell to be. That didn’t matter now. He was safe. Nothing could get him here. This time despite his fears he got back to sleep very quickly,