Joseph had come to the end and there was nowhere else to go but through the door; he was afraid.
“All you have to do is walk through,” said the man in the lab coat before he left as mysteriously as he had arrived. The man was safely back on the Other Side, watching Joseph to see what he would do. In the room was safety: every few hours, food appeared in simulation of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner times; the room got lighter and darker in simulation of morning and evening; but Joseph had no idea what might await him should he decide to leave. The world had gone strange and somehow he had run in there to escape the horror. But it wasn’t a “somehow” and in fact had been orchestrated by the man in the lab coat and the rest of Them as They sat on the Other Side. They had been watching Joseph since he was born and knew what he was capable of; he would be a good addition to Their team if only he would come. Joseph had spent 48 hours so far trying to decide. After 24 hours he tried to call his sister; there was no signal, no dial tone. He tried half a dozen other numbers and got the same result. He gave up, sat on the bed, and waited.
Joseph had no idea how long he had been asleep, but They had taken advantage of the time by taking blood, hair, and skin samples. They did not need the samples but the longer Joseph hesitated, the more They felt it important to have genetic evidence to support Their desire for him. Upon waking, Joseph approached the door, sighed and opened it, smiled at the sight that greeted him, and stepped into the Other Side.
The Daily Prompt asked
When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?
The final Story A Day prompt suggested that we explore an ending and what happens after.
I decided to put the two together, but didn’t address two areas in either prompt within the story but will touch on them briefly.
- I think it is natural for everyone to have the desire to go back and turn in the opposite direction from the one which they chose; I could tell a number of stories about decisions that, if I had a time machine I would change, but let’s not go there or we might break time.
- There is always something that happens after an ending, but it is so much more interesting to me as a writer to leave that happening to you, the reader, to cypher out.
Visit the links to add your stories today. Thanks to Julie at Story A Day for her hard work on the daily offerings for the last month!