Thursday 9 February 2023

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 281

This week's photo prompt is from Steve Hutch aka CdLCreative, an English photographer who shared it for the #SundayPixBlue them on Twitter. He said, "Blue Door and rusty bolt, Dreamland, Margate." a place on the coast of England. 

I've ran way over with this one, but the story couldn't be reduced any further. it came out well. 

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.

Part of a worn, chipped and scratched up wooden blue door with a gold handle at the bottom and a completely rusted up bolt above it. Slightly above that is a tiny opening from where there was another lock at some point. Taken by Steve  Hutch from CdL Creative


Erica climbed the stone stairs up to the apartment. She’d never known a working elevator in the building even though she’d been raised here, and years away hadn’t improved things. She approached the old apartment. The paint on the front door was the same, just more chipped and worn. She banged on it – there’d never been a bell or a knocker.

She heard the heavy footsteps of her mother and it opened a crack.

“Hi, Mum.”

“Oh Erica, you came. Good.”

Her mother gave her a half hug. No matter how much time had passed she hadn’t grown any warmer. She looked baggier in the face and scrawnier, but those hard dark eyes hadn’t softened.

When Erica stepped inside it was like going back in time; nothing had changed. It even smelled the same, although now there was an underlying tone of decay.

“Where is he?”

“You know where.”

The sick knot of dread that had been in her stomach since her mother had called, twisted a little bit tighter.

She walked in through the lounge, (pristine, but worn) and through the kitchen to the blue door.  It looked no different from when she used to be pushed through it. Maybe some more scratches had appeared and the bolt was more rusted. It reminded her why she’d fled this place, but she wouldn’t let it intimidate her anymore.

She yanked the rusted bolt and, despite its decrepit state, it let out a resistant screech. She opened the door and peered into the dark pantry, instinctively reaching for the frayed light string. A bare, weak bulb attempted to illuminate the space. It was enough for Erica to see her father sitting there in his underwear.

“Dad, I sent you that phone so you could get out of here, not let her take it off you and keep abusing you.”

He blinked, and smiled at her. “But where was I going to go, love?”

“To me!”


In that moment Erica realised the decades of abuse from her mother had reduced him to a child-like state.

“Dad, you’re to come with me now!”

“Don’t be silly, she won’t let me.”

“I’m not giving you a choice. Go and get dressed and I’ll deal with her.”

Her dad stood up and she ushered him into her parent’s bedroom beyond the kitchen. She went back out to the living room and found her mother watching daytime television with a cup of tea.

“I’m taking Dad with me. You can’t keep doing this to him!”

“What? No! You can’t do that! You were meant to come and talk to him, stop these stupid thoughts of his!”

She stood up and stepped into Erica’s personal space in a threatening way, but Erica had been away from her long enough not to be cowed by her anymore – in fact she stepped forward causing her mother to take a step back.

“They’re not stupid thoughts; he’s a full grown man that can make his own decisions. He’s my dad and I’m sick of you abusing him, like you did with us when we were kids. You drove my brother into the grave; you’re not taking my father!”

Her mother flinched at Erica’s words, but it didn’t deter her.

“You always were a nasty, evil child. I knew that the second you were born. You deserved to be shut away, just like him.”

Her vicious words no longer had an impact on Erica.

“You’re messed up in the head. I’m happy I got away when I did, and now I’m here to take my father.”

Her dad hovered in the hallway, having snuck through. Her mother rushed to him, grabbing and pushing him back into the living room.

“You’re not having him! He’s not going anywhere!”

Erica looked on in horrified amusement. She knew her mother would put up a fight, but she wasn’t about to play tug of war with her dad.

“I think Dad can make up his own mind. Dad, do you want to come with me or not? Now’s your chance.”

“I … I erm … I …”

“See? He doesn’t,” her mother said in a smug tone.

“I do,” he said.

Her mother froze for a second, stunned, and he quickly stepped away towards Erica, who was closer to the hallway.

“You can’t go! You can’t leave me!” she screamed at him.

“I can and I will!”

Erica had never heard her father stand up to her mother before, it made her heart soar.

He rushed towards Erica. Her mother’s scream escalating as she ran towards him, her fists raised, planning to bring them down on his back. Erica took a swift step forward and grabbed her mother’s wrists, startling her and catching her off balance. Erica pushed, sending her mother flying backwards into the room and onto the sofa, where she sprawled inelegantly. Erica took the opportunity.

“Come on, Dad, let’s go.” Erica walked quickly into the hallway and opened the front door,

Her father glanced at her mother for a second, indecisive, then turned and rushed after her, slamming the door behind him.

They hurried down the stairs, fearful of being chased, but there was no sound of the door opening or screams following them. When they got into her car, they sat for a few seconds, out of breath, stunned they had made it, but Erica didn’t waste time and started the engine, pulling away from the kerb to the new life they would forge together.

1 comment :

  1. It was the day, the day I feared most every year. Atlas had less weight on his shoulders than I had on mine as this day approached.
    The blue door was in my nightmares, so real, so terrifying, as I climbed the steps in my dreams the door grew larger, more menacing , but those were just dreams.
    In life it was worse.
    One day a year, just one day but it overshadowed the other 364, I had to check the door.
    It wasn't a dream, it was real.
    The bolt was open.