Thursday, February 20, 2014

Knock-Knock-Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Finish That Thought #33 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: I ran for the door, but someone had taken the keys.
Special Challenge: Include a countdown and/or a ticking clock

Courtesy of sloopjohnb @
She ran for the door, but someone had taken the keys. They weren’t hiding in their spot under the welcome mat. Trying the door handle, she was troubled to find it locked. She pounded on the grungy, yellow, metal door. A window slid open as two dark eyes peered through.

“Whaddya want?” a gruff voice slurred.
“I-I want to come in,” she faltered.

The eyes looked her over and shifted from the window, presumably to spit from the sound he made.

“No can do, little missy.”

She took a step back, alarmed. “Why not?”

The eyes moved again, this time backing away from the door. The woman could just glimpse a long counter in the back of the dimly lit room. A man stood behind the counter polishing a glass. Her view was obstructed when a golden pocket watch grasped by a pudgy fist shot through the window.

“Ya see this, lady?”came the muffled voice. She bent closer to see that the hands were ticking so slowly, she almost supposed them still. It looked oddly familiar, though she could swear she hadn’t seen it before.

“Yer deceased. Dead. Kabutch.” The hand retreated and the eyes reappeared.

“But I know your boss! He said I could come here!” she panicked.

“Ya do, do ya? Hold on a sec.” The slider clanged back into place. The woman sighed, holding herself to keep from trembling, and hoped she would be remembered. The eyes soon came back with bad news.

“He say he don’t know you, lady,” the gruff voice said. “Go down the hall. There’s a door at the other end. They’ll take ya.”

“I-I don’t understand!” she cried, tears starting in her eyes. “I came to his house every week! I even called him sometimes, and once, he even said he’d like to dine with me!”

“Did ya ever dine with him?”
“No. I was always too busy.”

“That’s why ya can’t come in, lady,” the voice explained. “He don’t know ya because you never invited him in. Now it’s too late. Capiche?”

“Then how did I get in before?” she demanded to know, her eyes wet with anger now instead of fear.

“Yer mammy brought you in when you was little, right? And the second time was when ya had no friends in school. But ya never came back after that. You lived yer own life, lady. You may have met the boss, but ya didn’t live like it. Ya never let ‘em in. Now he won’t let you in.”

All during this speech, the woman began screaming for the man to let her in, slamming her body into the metal frame in a vain attempt to budge it.

The man on the other side simply closed the latch and walked away, leaving the woman to her wailing and clawing at the door.

“Another goat, Peter?” the bartender asked as he settled himself on a stool. He nodded sadly.

“Poor kid. She just didn’t get it until it was too late.”

1 comment:

  1. Dis is what the judge said about me piece! (This is the most positive feedback I've had on a story. Can't ye tell I be a little over-excited?)

    "A unique take on the pearly gates rounds off our stories this week. As the gruff doorman advises our protagonist to head on down the hall, it becomes clear that this is a very exclusive club, and the realization dawns as the excluded woman grows ever more frantic to get in. While Peter is almost a cartoon of the wiseguy doorman – did anyone else hear him speaking with a Brooklyn accent? – JM wisely keeps the bartender in the shadows, except to deliver that single killer line."