The Door

by Brian Woodruff

I have been down into my dank, dark basement at least a hundred times. I knew I needed to go down there again, but I was dreading it a little more than normal. I took a deep breath and flung open the door. I wanted to roar and let what was down there know that I was not afraid. Yeah, I'm sure the mice are shaking in there little mice boots. Mice boots.... now that isn't something you see every day.

So here I am, atop my stairs chest trusted out like a rooster in a hen house, pondering mice boots.

I snapped back to reality and tried to squint and look down the dark wooded stairway. I made the mistake of taking in a deep breath.


The nice smell of mold and that pair of gym socks we still can't seem to find hit me like a brick. I reached out and searched for the rusty pull cord for the over head light. I was temporarily blinded by the sudden onsite of light. Adjusting to the new surroundings I saw something that was not part of the norm.

A small door, about a meter high and a half meter wide. A small, seemed to be gold handle was crafted to the door.

I just stood there perplexed by the sight. I knew I was under allot of stress and was out of it from time to time, but this was boarder line crazy. Now I knew I had lost it, I smelled the strong aroma of flowers. Not any flowers, but my grandma's flowers.

My heart was racing now; my hands were gripping the old railing. I had dent even noticed the small trickle of blood now running down the old wood.

The smell brought me back to a warm day at my Grandmothers.

My Grandmother had invited her life long friend Gladis over for tea. I was 11 at the time and was going threw my cut-off shorts and getting in trouble fazes. A few hours after my Grandmother called, a car was approaching the house from the highway. Mrs. Hathway exited her car and a young girl was with her. I had never seen her before, and found myself hiding behind my grandma's summer dress. To my surprise, the young lady was doing the same. She had golden blond hair and the most beautiful blue eyes. My heart was racing and my mouth was like the desert. I'm not even sure how long I stood there.

Mrs. Hathaway introduced her as "Christy"

"What do you say?" "Don't be rude." My Grandmother shoved me gently.

"Do you like frogs?" Seemed to be the only thing I could mutter out my mouth.

My Grandmother and Mrs. Hathaway just laughed. I was turning three shades of red.

They had a nice long talk, and I just stood behind my Army fort I built earlier that summer. Using my binoculars to keep tabs on the enemy, (at 11 girls were still the enemy, kind of.) I found my self not thinking she was that bad.

Mrs. Hathaway and Christy left and all my Grandma could do was laugh. I didn't know what was so funny. I went back to my planning of taking over the den of lions. Of coarse it was just my Seymour my Grandmothers cat, but I had a great imagination.

My grandmother had gotten ill that winter. There were "good days' and there were "bad days". My mother and Father and I moved in to help out and take care of her. Despite all that she was going threw, she always told me a Bible story before bed. There were always fresh flowers in her room. The aroma always made it feel more comfortable.

She got better that spring, and like the birds, she was in the in the yard tending her prize winning Roses. Life seemed to be getting back to normal. With all the things were going and the thoughts o how close we come to loosing her, we were al a little closer than we were in years. Life was good.

I came to my senses, and took a deep breath. I proceeded down the stares again, gripping the railing a little tighter. The old stares creaked under the pressure of my steps. My heart was pounding as if it was going to rip out of my ribcage. I found myself not wavering from the stair if the door which wasn't there just this morning. I have no idea how long it took me to make it down the stairs; it felt like I was on them for hours.

Arriving at the bottom of the stairs, I could smell the sweet aroma of flowers again. If I didn't know better they were my grandmother's prize winning roses. Memories of sun shining and large glasses of lemonade filled my mind. I could almost feel the grass between my toes.

Sweat was streaming down my face, my heart was racing. I don't think I was ever that scared. My knees were shaking and my throat was closed like a pair of hands crushing my windpipe. I stumbled down the remaining stairs, falling onto my knees. I was on al fours crying hysterically. I started to catch my breath. I wiped the tears and took a deep inhale. I started shaking profusely as I reached for the door.

To my surprise the gold handle was warm to the touch, and it also seems to fit my hand perfectly. I never seen anything like this before, and I doubt I will ever again.

I tried to open the door, it would not give. I pulled, and tried with all I had in me.

"Why!" I screamed with all I had.

"Why will you not open for me?"

"Is this not meant for me?"

I was brought back to my years in the infantry, sitting in a ditch at four in the morning. I felt the lonely scared feeling that I knew all to well. I don't think it was the risk of loosing my life, but the fact that I was alone in a foreign country. With my family, my wife, waiting for me. The loss that se will feel was more than I was willing to bestow upon her. So I sat there doing my job trying to make it home to her. There was a sound from behind me; I didn't have time to turn around when the heat from the blast hit me. I heard nothing after that. I saw a blurry figure in front o me then I past out.

I woke up three days later in a hospital in the Germany. My arm hurt, and I had something covering my eyes. I started to stir; I asked if anyone was there. A nurse got the doctor and he explained to me how the night went down. There was a small rebel force in the area that the Intelligence didn't tell us about. I took the majority of it, but my rifleman, Max didn't make it. I wish I knew exactly what I was feeling at that moment, but I don't. I made it home three months later and went to Max's house and told his wife what really happened and what her husband was like. I think that hurt more than the three metal pins in my hip.

I once again was brought back to the basement where I was kneeling on the floor. My hands pounding on the little door.

I felt as if my world was collapsing in on itself, as if I had no more reason in this life to live anymore. All I could do was cry again. Me; a grown man who has seen many gruesome things in my military career. I have been to many countries, and have seen a lot of evils. With all this in my life I felt like this was the point where it mattered less than nothing. Just as I was about to scream for all I had, I heard a voice come from behind the door. A voice that was calming as a warm blanket.

"Be calm Brian."

I looked around and say nothing there.

"I am still with you, and will always look out for you."

I was still gripping the knob with tears streaming down my cheeks.

"Don't worry; it isn't time for us to be together right now."

I just sat on the cold concrete floor with the strong flower smell still in the air.

"Be strong, we will see each other again."

I knew the voice was coming from behind the door.

"I love you"

I opened my eyes when I felt the comfort of the small hand on my shoulder. The tears were still dripping down my face. I looked with red blurry eyes, and saw an angel looking down on me.

"Its ok Daddy, Mommy is with Jesus now."

I didn't know how long I was kneeling in the grass that day. All I know is that I hadn't slept since the day of the accident. I didn't even know if it was really my wife who was talking to me a few moments ago. All I know is that I will never be able to talk with her again.

"I love you so much." I whispered to the marble angel and giving it a small kiss.

A little hand grabbed mine and helps me to my feet. A slight smile came to my face.

"Do you know that you look just like your mother?"

I leaned over and picked up my little girl and gave her a big hug.

"I know Daddy. I love you too."

As we walked to the car I looked one last time, and noticed a small bouquet of flowers now sitting in front of the angel. If I didn't know any better I would have sworn they were from my Grandmother's Prize garden.

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