The Wall – A short story


The doors with their archway stood once faded lines were drawn.  They were massive in size and grandeur. They seemed to be the doors of a King or noble man.


She set down her paints and went to the door.  She touched the door and the carvings began to raise or fade depending on her command. She closed her eyes. She felt the wood form under her hands.  The intricate details ebb and fade as they recessed or became pronounced. She inhaled the aroma of newly carved wood, of stain, and of age as well.  All combined together in harmony. It was beautiful in her mind. She opened her eyes to see the beauty still in front of her. They were just as she imagined them. She wondered what was behind the doors.  She longed to open them.  She reached for the knob and the handles with both arms. She expected to fling them open but they were locked.  She tried the small, plain door.  It, too, was locked.


The doors needed her command. She looked around. There was a pen and a notebook near her. She sat down with that pen and notebook and she began to write.  The story unfolded before her.  She wrote and wrote and wrote.  The doors began to moan and groan. Whispers and winds flowed through the room.


Her family was there.  Friends and strangers began to gather again to see the massive doors that were so delicately placed within the otherwise blank wall. Everyone stood and waited for her to open the doors or tell them the story.  Few believed the door was real, even though they looked real.  They were just painted, right? However, they would comment that they were exquisitely done.  So life like. So real.  They came and went all day coming back to see if it was done.  Some mentioned they thought they could hear the doors unlock.  Others wondered if they really heard the sounds of animals, people, and wind behind the doors.  Each said they heard something different.


Before she handled the story to her husband, she tore a piece of paper out of the book.  She glued it to the wall next to the doors. She stood at the doors with her hands on the knobs.  She paused. Could she do this? She inhaled and exhaled. She looked at her family. Her husband stood there with his hand on the back of one of his children, another in his arms, a third had her arm wrapped around his bicep. She wondered, should I do this?   


Her husband went up to the paper and in a muttered voice whispered, “BEWARE. If you enter into these doors, you will not return the same – if you return at all.  BEWARE!  THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!  GOD SPEED.”

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2 Responses to The Wall – A short story

  1. It’s an interesting analogy and I like the initial direction. However, I think you would benefit from first drawing the scene so that you are firm on the aspects of the wall itself: its shape, what does it block out, what does it allow in, can it be got around, etc. That will help you more clearly establish the rules of this wall before you begin to write about it.

    I got more than a little befuddled when instead of painting the wall, which was an idea I quite liked, your character painted the wall in the garage. By the end I felt she accomplished little to overcome The Wall, and merely got sidetracked painting a wall, thus cheating the reader of her triumph in overcoming the obstacle (and illustrating my own follies while providing no inspiration to change).

    Your imagery when talking about the painting itself is probably the most rich. It’s clear your heart is in the art (ooo look, I made a rhyme). That’s why I feel like creating this story in sketch or painting form before writing it out will help clarify your written imagery and provide you more concise direction.

    Finally, it’s always my policy to write a thing, leave it be a day or so, and then proofread aloud. That helps your brain forget what it intends the page to say, and allows you to concentrate on what you actually wrote.

    • Oh my, what a lovely response. I see your point and I will work on it again. I had several people read it and re-read it myself days apart and never saw what you discussed. I think you are right and I could improve it by using your ideas. I will get to work on that right away. I, also, have to create a better link between the garage wall and the wall at the street that she sees. They are the same wall for her. I see that it would be better that I make the wall at the street more defined for clarity purposes. I thought I did but it was probably too far down in the story. So, I will move it to the beginning to help. Your comments are so helpful. Thanks. I’ll let you know when I have rewritten it.

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