Weekly Writing Challenge: Wrong Door

Detective, please let me explain. I have a key, which you have confiscated, that opens the door. Yes, of course it is a key to my own front door–well, it looked just like my door but once I went in I realized it wasn’t.

Image courtesy: Strange State

Now hold on a second! Let me finish…

I came home from work, just like I always do. I didn’t take any detours, wrong turns, or pick up any strangers. I came the usual way and everything was as it should be. The sun was setting in the west and as usual blinded me with a reflection from my neighbor’s pool across the street–that reflection bounces right into my eyes from my rear view mirror, you see. It happens every sunny day in spring and summer when I get home. I got out and avoided stepping on the grass seed; it’s the third week of the month and last Saturday the lawn people re-seeded along the edge of the drive. They do it every year at this time and I have to remember not to step on the fresh seed before it sprouts. I got to the door, put my key in and turned, but the door was stuck.

What? Oh, yes: I got the key out, sure. I gave the door a little extra push and went in, calling to the family like regular. I figured the dog was outside since she didn’t come jump on me like usual.

No–I did not break in the door; I have..er, had my key! I told you!

Anyway, then I noticed that the bookshelf was on the wrong side of the room and in fact the whole room was backwards. Yes, backwards. Everything on the wrong sides of the room, yes. Oh, and the fireplace was no longer wood-burning but gas; I know that because the wood cradle was gone and there was just that key thing for gas fireplaces where the cradle was supposed to be. And it was on the right side of the room instead of the left, along with red couches. Our couches were..um, are white; we picked white to hide the white dog hair. And the bookshelf had all the wrong books; my Heinleins had been replaced with Harlequins.

And it was too quiet; usually by the time I get home the kids have at least a television and a video game going, the wife is fussing with her mum on the phone about current events, and dinner is bubbling. There were no sounds or smells. But I guess since you lot showed up so quick, somebody was in there because it wasn’t me who called you.

Where are we going now? Psychiatrist, you say?

Well, fine by me.

Oh, but do I get a phone call? I’d like to try and call my wife.


You tried the number in my phone?! And what happened?

The person who called you answered?!? What do you mean? Who was it? What did they say?

The person whose house I broke into–but Detective, I keep trying to tell you that I didn’t break into that house. I had my key to my house. Yes, yes, I know how it sounds! But you say you called; who was it that answered?

But the person who answered should have been my wife!

Of course I know the date; it’s the 6th of March, 2013.

It’s not? It was when I left this morning.

And that’s why we’re going to the psychiatrist you say?

Fine! I’m coming; no need to get pushy.

Today’s Weekly Writing Challenge suggests the following:

The door to your house/flat/apartment/abode has come unstuck in time. The next time you walk through it, you find yourself in the same place, but a different time entirely. Where are you, and what happens next?

Well, this is of course all fiction. My neighbor doesn’t have a pool. I don’t cook much and Christopher doesn’t commute much. There’s only the one child but there are two dogs. And there is no way on this or any other earth that we would have white couches–no offense to those of you who do, but most folks with big dogs who live in the desert wouldn’t. Just sayin’. Oh, and yes, if I walked in and there was no sound, I would know I had walked into a different space-time; our house is always filled with music. And Harlequin romance novels on my bookshelf instead of Heinlein?!? This would surely be a nightmare…

(57) Comments

  1. As soon as I read Harlequin’s lined your bookshelf I thought “RUUUN! Quick, get out of there!” But then again your character did originally buy white couches, white would technically go with the Harlequin. Or Danielle Steele books. Either or.

    Nightmare. All of it.


    1. Thanks, mightwar! I think it actually happens, just not quite this way. I imagine the folks who live in those communities where all the houses look exactly alike; a person pulls into a drive, thinking it’s their house, but it’s the one two doors down… 😀

  2. Ha! I love this! Especially the line “my Heinleins had been replaced with Harlequins” — the horror! What a great voice you’ve written this in!

    1. Haha! Very true; I imagine if this ever happened to me I would have either lost the keys completely or left them locked in the car, necessitating a call to AAA (which wouldn’t work either as luck would have it…). I used to dream about walking into my parents house as a youngster (and latch-key kid) and forgetting the code to the alarm. That was part of the inspiration for this tale 😀

  3. Gosh, thats really very good, I don’t usually read wordy story type blogs all the way to the end but you totally got me and now l want to find out whats going on… what happens next. Good job its great : )

  4. A beautiful short story! (At least I consider it a short story). It had characters and a plot. This was beautifully written and could, if you wanted, be made into a series (I could see it as a comic story), and one that I would read.

  5. I wanted to also thank awebofinspiration for following, but can’t seem to find his/her/their site…if anyone is familiar, do let me know!

  6. “Hey, I recognize that lady from Trifecta.” Congrats on being Freshpressed.
    This is a really good story. I’d have to agree that the most horrific part would be having the wrong books on the shelf.

    1. Hey there! Thanks for stopping in 😉 Oh, for sure, the wrong books, but this dude was scary from the beginning with white furniture 😀

  7. This was lovely and so easy to picture. Wonderful job. I often try to get into the wrong car when parked at the store. It seems there are a lot of silver Corollas. Harlequin Romance “novels” were everywhere in the 1970s. It was fun for me to think about those book covers again.

    1. Thanks, Diane! I remember getting very upset in a parking lot once when the car door wouldn’t open…worst part wasn’t that I was at the wrong car but it wasn’t even the right make, model, or color!! Terrible morning that was 😯

      1. Oh, that’s rich. But don’t feel bad. Once I found my daughter sitting in a car that wasn’t ours! Earbuds in, rocking out. Later, I thought with terror of some stranger leaving the store with her inside his car!

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