PROMPTuesday Exercise #3: The Door

PROMPTuesday came around quick, didn’t it?


And here I was, just a few short hours ago, sitting at book club, innocently forgetting that shortly, a new writing prompt must be posted, so I, without a care in the world, poured myself another glass of wine…


But: I’m BACK, suckas!

And as such, a new writing prompt awaits you…if you double dog dare….


For a refresher, read some of the coolio PROMPTuesday submissions here: COOLIO PROMPTuesday SUBMISSIONS, and please pay heed to the carefully selected half-ass rules:


–You must write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kicks in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.


–Keep to 150 words or less.


–Use Mr. Linky to post your entry, so everyone can read them. You don’t have to link back to me. I don’t care. Just write, I want you to write. If you don’t have a blog, please post your entry in the comments section.


–A new PROMPTuesday post will appear here every Tuesday morning and writers/just having funners will have until 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time to participate.


–Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy of the writing process.


And now, here’s the prompt:


You’ve been taken from your home, blindfolded and put on an airplane. After what seems like forever, you’re led off the plane, and left to stand, alone. You take off the blindfold and see this:


Door to Nowhere


What’s behind the door?




My submission:

I shut my eyes again. I considered turning around, but to where? I didn’t want to see ahead of me, I didn’t want to know what lay behind. So I knocked. What else was there to do? I heard the door open quickly, quietly. I’d thought for sure it’d creak or groan, but nothing. Just a small whisper, like leaves blowing. I gathered in all my breath and let it out, turning my closed eyes to the sky. Here goes. I opened one lid slightly, the way I do when I’m watching a scary movie and don’t quite want to see who’s waiting in the dark.
Hello?” I said it loud. Both eyes popped open and I saw no one before me. A half-twilight beckoned through the door, the outlines of trees, a hint of water ahead. But again, no sound. Not really, anyway. Rather, a low hum droned from the four corners. White noise, nothing more. Still…


I stepped over the threshold and walked toward a clump of trees just ahead. A small pool glimmered between the spindly branches and I spotted a canvas propped on an easel, one leg threatening to teeter into the water. Perhaps something on the canvas would offer a clue. I stepped forward, reaching the lake in 10 easy steps, and saw that the canvas was white, empty, plain.


I hesitated, the non-noise grew louder, and I began to draw.


19 Responses to “PROMPTuesday Exercise #3: The Door”

  1. aaryn b. says:

    She sets her right hand on the door, palm flat against the warm wood. She gives it a push. She finds the door to be much heavier than she’d anticipated. She leans one tanned shoulder against it and puts all of her weight against that shoulder, sweating under the warm afternoon sun. The door opens, slowly, quietly to reveal a broad room. The Saltillo tiled floors are cool beneath her bare feet. There is no wall on the opposite side. Nothing but ocean down there. Twenty or forty feet in front of her—she’s no good with distances—there is one shallow step down to another level of the room. Another forty feet, another step, a pool with no edge. Just the light blue of the water meeting the dark blue of the ocean meeting the pink blue of the sky, twenty or forty or thousands of feet away.

  2. […] (This is my 150-word, written-in-10-minutes-or-less exercise about what’s behind that door.) […]

  3. Tony says:

    It loomed. No, it glared. A door, any door, that stands apart from other objects, it is cast in intentionality, something marks it with meaning and gives it life. Doors are at times welcoming. At other times menacing. A door can greet or a door can warn. A door might whisper or it might growel.

    The door glared.

    Its cocked eyebrow conveyed the unspoken words, “Come hither, if you like, but pass in confidence if at all, for I am not to be trifled with.”

    And I passed. I glared back in the face of that time-ravaged door. It did not avert its gaze but it did not resist my shove. It moaned as it gave way, it creaked as its forboding failed to halt my passage, it starined against its own impulses and cried out under my sway, but it yielded as certainly as if struck with Thor’s hammer.

    She lay behind the door.

  4. Jamie says:

    Oh MAN! Those two above me have sucked all my door juices out. Next week, I’m doing this, but I’m not reading anyone first. Love the prompt. I’ll come back to lurk at your other brave writers.

  5. Eden says:

    That door looks like a face.

  6. Deborah says:

    Squinting in the sudden glare, I gaze up at the impenetrable walls of the stone building. I glance around me. My captors are gone. I am alone in a wild, unfamiliar land. Alone except for the jungle sounds. Hyenas howl in the distance, brush crackles beneath stealthy footsteps. I can delay no longer. As I reach for the door with trembling fingers, hinges creak and a face appears behind the grille. I withdraw my hand as if scalded. I know those eyes. They are the same piercing blue as my own. The door swings open and my mother pulls me inside. I fall sobbing into her arms. Since the terrorists captured her three years ago, I had searched tirelessly and finally, in exchange for a large sum of money, they had agreed to let me see her. Time was precious. They would be back at sundown.

  7. Steph says:

    First, I dig this concept in a big way.

    Second, holy Hannah, you have some very creative readers. Excellent. :)

  8. Wade Nash says:

    My rapping knuckels emit a feeble tapping noise against the hardwood panels. I reach up and use the metal knocker. A clanking noise breaks the silence, and the window slowly slides up revealing a pair of gray eyes under bushy white eyebrows . . . “Slide your manuscript in, please,” an old-yet-regal voice beckons. Manuscript?, I think to myself. What manuscript? Was I supposed to . . . Ah, yes. Remembering that I had used my “Writing Prompt Tuesdays #1” poem to plug a hole in my shoe, I quickly unlace and liberate it, smooth the page flat, and slide it under the bars toward the doorman’s squinted eyes. “One moment, Sir,” the voice says as the window slides closed again. Nearly an hour slips by and I toy with the idea of forraging for berries on the nearby bushes. I slip to the ground outside the door and lean upon it. The clanging awakens me, and I leap to my feet. “Madam will see you now, sir.” More clanking and the door swings inwards. “I beg you to forgive the formalities, sir. Please enter. Ms. Rowling is very selective about her ghost-writing staff. She awaits you in the great hall.”

  9. Wade Nash says:

    Oops. I’m so lame for spelling Knuckles wrong. Sorry!

  10. Cocktail Maven says:

    I knock. What else can I do? After a moment, the wood slides away from behind the tiny barred window, and two pale, rheumy eyes beneath maniacal eyebrows peer out at me. “She’s here”, he croaks, to someone other than me. The door swings back on creaking hinges and the rheumy-eyed old man guides me inside. The room isn’t so much a room as a cavern, carved from the stone of the mountainside into which it is nestled. The stone floor is covered in oriental rugs, showing their age, but spotlessly clean. There is a pride of place here that is palpable. The only light in the cavern room collects in pools around scattered oil lamps atop myriad antique tables. Placed strategically near and around these tables so as to take advantage of the lamp glow, are beautifully crafted wingback chairs, perfect for reading. The walls, floor to ceiling are covered with books.

  11. Cocktail Maven says:

    Waited to read all the posts until AFTER I had submitted. Boy am I glad I did! These are really good, I might have been intimidated. And by the way, Mr. “Nash”, no wonder I married you! XOXO

  12. San Diego Momma says:

    Everybody is just too good.

    Don’t forget to click on the Mr. Linky links above, either, because they will lead you to more submissions.

    Also, I broke my own half-ass rule about 150 words.

    But like Toots always says, “If it’s my game, I get to cheat.”

    I won’t do it again.

  13. San Diego Momma says:

    P.S. The rule-breaking thing:

    I’ll make it up to you.

  14. Mommyrella says:

    Was I supposed to put my writing in here, too? Sorry if not.

    I blink for a moment in the hazy light filtering in through a grimy window. The door is leaning up against…another door. Except the next one is made of a light oak with a purple and green stained glass window inside. The one behind that is white, with a brass lion’s head door knocker. There are so many doors. So many shapes, colors and sizes. A whole warehouse full of them, all leading to nowhere.
    Is this some kind of a joke? A bad metaphor? Come on baby light my fire/come on set the night on fire. I start to feel angry. Of all places, why take me here? I pound on one of the doors, which creates a domino effect and the row topples. The noise sends a sharp knife of fear into my throat. I crouch low and look around, irrationally hoping not to be discovered. But, clearly, someone has brought me here for some reason. I’ve already been found out. Maybe they’re standing behind one of the doors, watching me? My anger, my old friend and protector, returns again and I walk toward the next row, sucking in my stomach and readying myself to push them all down. If they won’t come out, I’ll make them.

  15. Cheri says:

    I Lovey McLovey yours. And rules are made to be broken. And someone has to take responsibility for the double standard. And you go girl!

  16. workmonkey says:

    I’m standing at this door in a seriously sour mood. How the hell did they smuggle me on a plane without some of the other passengers speaking out on my behalf? Even if it was American Airlines, with all the fat business men squeezed into cheap suits, neck fat oozing out, typing on Dell laptops with their sausage fingers, making spreadsheets about costs and benefits .. wouldn’t one of them look up from their ginger ale long enough to think it odd some dude with a blindfold was screaming “what the fuck!!” while being carried on board? Wouldn’t that cause someone to push the attendant button? I guess you can’t trust anyone these days. Or was this a private jet of some sort? Even so, how the fuck did the pilot, who I’d assume was some sort of professional, I mean how many corrupt criminal pilots are there?, since becoming a pilot takes some serious work, and if you had the potential to make pilot-type cash, why would you become a criminal instead of just staying a pilot, since that’d seem to be a bit more profitable than ferrying kidnap victims around the country for some weird Opus Dei type organization? So are you telling me this mercenary-pilot sees some tall white guy in a blindfold yelling and just generally freaking out (since not only do I not like to be kidnapped, but generally speaking I do not like to fly either) and was totally ok with it? And as far as that goes, what kind of kidnapper has the funds to either own or rent a private jet? This would put him in the elite club of kidnappers, someone who would kidnap for a reason other than money, since he clearly had enough money to buy or rent a jet, and probably wouldn’t need any more money, unless he wanted a newer, better kidnap jet. Which again makes me wonder: why is someone with richard branson-type money, or one of his representatives, kidnapping a douche like me? So now that I’m at this door, that’s kind of ugly by the way, I don’t know who is on the other side, but whoever he is, he better have some goddamned answers, or I’ll be seriously pissed.

  17. Tony says:

    This is so darn fun, I’m doing it again . . .

    Stumbling a drunken Chinese arcade, stalls, pavement wet hot cracking, all fish and fennel and filth and five-thousand-year-old smiles and sounds and thoughts you never had. You are other. You are outsider. You are you. You can’t hide.

    Children run from you. Old people stare and girl eyes bat and flutter, chests heave, legs stiffen backs arch toes curl. Still, monster. Beast. A hulking man-thing that eats with its paws and drains the river with its gulp. A thing. It.

    It with its fur. It with its unhidden eyes. You for once amid a thing of which all is a part and you still so apart. Never one, just the other.

    Who will you be when you forget who you are? How will you make yourself from nothing? What is the recipe for identity with no ingredients? Who are you?

    I am me, damn it, and this is my door.

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