Flash Fiction: The Door

It’s Labor Day so I thought I’d send something a little lighter your way. I’ve been working on some fiction samples for the blog this summer and I’m excited to share some of the results of that work. Here’s a piece of flash fiction that I hope you enjoy!

My laptop was set up on the desk in front of the old oak door in the lab.
I wasn’t supposed to get so wrapped up in this. Really, it was supposed to have been a simple DIY. Not that those words ever went together
I bought the door from that antique shop downtown. It was sturdy, classic. And the doorknob was a lovely ornate copper. From the moment I laid eyes on the door, I knew it belonged in my apartment.
Except that once I popped it onto the bathroom hinges, I found it was a half-inch too narrow for my door frame. My simple weekend project was a wash.
It wasn’t until I had gone through the whole ordeal and propped the useless door against my bedroom wall that I noticed its peculiar property.
So here I was, after months of research and tests, ready to put the door to action.
“Kat, you can’t really believe this is going to get you anywhere. It’s a nice door. That doesn’t mean it’s connected to any rip in time,” Charlie complained.
No one was supposed to know about my work with the door. Not even Charlie. I had planned to run my tests after work. He found me in the lab one night after he had forgotten his external hard drive. He then proceeded to wheedle the entire theory out of me.
I now rolled my eyes at his cynicism. He would realize soon enough.
“You saw through the key hole. How can you still question that there isn’t something supernatural going on with this door?”
He shrugged, adjusting his glasses before pushing his dark curls off his forehead. “Doesn’t mean there’s anything going on with the time-space continuum. For all we know, Monster’s Inc. is a real deal.”
“I know what I saw.” I turned away from him as I took a reading from the monitor to my left. “Besides, you’re not a physicist—you’re not the expert here.”
“You can hardly call yourself a physicist.” He looked from me to the door. “Besides, you’re already on probation with the board.”
“They have no respect for gut instinct.” I watched the monitor with clenched jaw. The waves surrounding the door were beginning to spike. I looked at the clock. 11:55.
“Not when you have nothing to back it up.”
“I’m gonna.”
“And what if you do? Remember how Michael J. Fox was always screwing up the present?” he teased. I looked to him. There was a smile in his eyes as he tried to ease the tension.
“You watch too many movies.” I returned to the desk, elbowing him out of the way. “Besides, it is just a theory; I don’t know if anything will actually work. But I’m sure as hell gonna find out.”
“Thing is, you are calling this a theory, but you think it’s fact. Explain that one.” He crossed his arms, looking down on me. That amused expression was always so irritating,
“Now tell me, Dr.expert-know-it-all,” I crossed my own arms, mimicking his patronizing stance. “Who was the biologist that wasted thousands in university funding based on a hunch? Something about antibiotics derived from—”
 “That’s not fair, Kat.” His teasing grin turned to pursed lips.
I just smirked up at him.
He was glancing over my shoulder. “It’s 11:59. You ready?”
“Oh!” I stripped off my lab coat and rushed to the door. “How are the levels holding?”
“Heightened, but holding steady as we approach oh-one hundred.”
I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Count me off,” I told him.
“Going in five…” He rolled his eyes as he began. I took a series of deep breaths, “… four…” closing my eyes, I prayed for the best, “… three… two…” I tightened my grip on the doorknob, “one!” he finally said.
Pushing open the door, I was more than a little surprised to find not the other half of the lab, but instead a bedroom. Just as I had seen through the keyhole. It was ornately decorated. Like a set from a BBC period drama.
At the foot of the bed stood an older man dressed in a waist coat and breeches, looking completely unphased, unlike my slack-jawed self.
“Well, Miss Katherine,” he spoke in a polished British accent. “You certainly have kept us waiting.”

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