Thursday 12 May 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 249

This week's picture prompt was taken by American photographer Walter Arnold. He took it in an old abandoned house on Sapelo Island, Georgia, USA. He calls it 'Choices'. He has appeared on MidWeekFlash before, on Week 177. He has some inspiring pictures. Worth checking out. 

This took more time than planned because I stopped and restarted a few times with different ideas - much like the character. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

An image of two identical doorless door frames on either side of landing, looking into two rooms which both have windows, and the right one has a reflection of the sun through another window. Taken by Walter Arnold.


There should have been only one door, but I could see two. I stepped through the right one, I knew their game, and as I suspected the image changed.

I found myself again confronted with the doors, but they looked a bit more worn; dirtier round the door frame, and needing a fresh coat of paint. I stepped through the right one again.

By the fifth time, the paint was peeling and through the left hand door I could see part of the ceiling falling in.

This caused me to pause. It wasn’t replicated on the right. Why not? And the light was different. There was a sunshine pattern on the floor; sunlight was coming through the side window.

I frowned.

I stepped into the left room, breaking my pattern. The image didn’t change, the room remained. I went over to the window and looked out onto a lush garden below: An expanse of vibrant green lawn, surrounded by dense foliage. It was the thing of dreams. And they knew it.

I climbed out of the window and jumped down into the garden. The image flickered and I was back at the two doors again. They looked freshly painted.

I sighed. This loop wasn’t getting me anywhere. I stepped into the left one. I remained in the room. I looked out of the window at that inviting garden, but knew it wasn’t where I was meant to go. So where was I meant to go?

The other window offered the view of more gardens and a field beyond. But if I climbed out into it, I’d come out at the doors again. Or would I?

I opened the window, which screeched its age and climbed out. Within seconds I was standing in front of the two doors again.

I decided to keep going right and see how decayed things would get. By the tenth time the floor I was standing on felt spongy and precarious.

I carefully stepped into the room on the right again.

The image flickered and I found myself in a huge entrance hall. Okay, something new.

The front door was in front of me, and behind me there was a staircase, which split off left and right at the top.

Stairs or door?

I went to the door. It was locked. I went up the stairs. There was a locked door at each end of corridor both left and right.

I stood at the top of the stairs. There were no other doors leading out and nothing open. I wondered what to do. There had to be a way out. There was always a way out. How could I get a door open? Was there a key?

I realised this was like one of those escape room challenges, except that really I was a mouse in a maze trying to find their way out. I didn’t want to be their mouse. I didn’t want to do this anymore.

I sat down on the top step. How long would they let me sit like this?

I pondered this as I picked at my nails, and let my mind wander to other places, to other times when I had a life and they weren’t running it.

It felt like forever ago, but it was only a matter of weeks. It had all been so sudden. And this was one of the training systems they put me in to make me compliant. It didn’t work on me, which is why I spent so much time in them and had learnt patterns and knew what to expect. They didn’t know what to do about that, which is why I was sitting here at the top of the stairs, and waiting. I could be stuck for hours in real time.

I got up and tried the doors again. Nothing. I had hoped they might unlock one to give me something to go through.

The only other item was a mirror on the left wall as you came through the front door. I went and looked at myself in it. My reflection looked worn, nothing new there. I touched the glass and the image flickered and I was back at the doors again.

I took a deep breath. Okay, so they had reset it. What was I going to do? Play their game or play mine? I could just sit by the windows and look out at the garden for a while. Why not?

I went into the room on the left and leaned against the wall, looking out at the untouchable beauty of nature they had created. It was better than the cell I would wake up in, in a few hours, when they decided to give me a break.

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