The Cellar Door


This week, one of your offerings is the phrase “cellar door”. “Cellar door” is considered a perfectly euphonic phrase, some say the most beautiful in the English language.


Justice wished for a nail.  She was trying with little success to hang a portrait of her father on the plain white walls of the house that was once his.  It was her favorite of him, taken not long before his death.   But she had dropped her nail and it had rolled, down and down the tilt of the floor, slipping underneath the cellar door and into the chilly darkness below.  She shifted her weight back and forth, debating on whether she would go search for it.  It was her last one, and she did not have the patience go to the store and buy a million nails when she only needed the one.  It was the last thing she had to unpack, the last thing to do before the house became hers.

Putting her hammer down, she walked towards the door.  She hadn’t been in the cellar since before.  Coming back, it was the last place she wanted to be.  Coming back, she was hoping she could just pretend it wasn’t there.  It housed the imaginary terrors of her childhood, and the very real tragedy of her adult years.  

She pushed open the door.  The wooden stairs faded into the darkness below.  She wondered if she should just go to the store.  Stealing herself, she flicked on the light. It hung from the open beams and swayed with each step she took, descending to the dimly lit room.

This was where it all happened. This was where her father, broken hearted by the cancer that happened her mother, had placed the snub nosed pistol in his mouth.  This was where she found him, pooled in the same blood that flowed within her veins.  She was chilled by the dark patch on the floor, the stains that wouldn’t leave.

Spotting her nail just at the bottom of the steps, she picked it up, clutching it in her hands as if it were gold or jewels or all the precious memories she had of the man who couldn’t bear to live anymore.  Flicking off the light, taking herself back up stairs she held it against the wall.  She hammered it in, one strike at a time.





I toyed with the ending of this for awhile.  I thought about botching the suicide, Fight Club style, about keeping her mother alive.  I wanted everyone to live, just this once.  But it just wasn't working, it was cheesy, so I went this direction.  Also, I totally forgot about the propeller. Whoops.  Thanks for reading!

13 comments:

  1. I actually really loved that her terror was internal, and I loved this line: She was chilled by the dark patch on the floor, the stains that wouldn’t leave.

    And thought this sentence was really amazing: Spotting her nail just at the bottom of the steps, she picked it up, clutching it in her hands as if it were gold or jewels or all the precious memories she had of the man who couldn’t bear to live anymore.

    Nicely done!

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    1. You flatter me. Thank you so much for your kind words and for commenting!

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  2. I thought it worked well. Also, the propeller is an option, I think? I didn't use it, either! lol

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    1. It is just optional :) It wasn't until I was linking up the post that I realized I forgot about it!

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  3. How terrible for her, to have find her father and still make the house her home.

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  4. This was intense because you didn't allow all of your characters to live. Well done!

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    1. I tried to channel my inner Moffat :D

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  5. "This was where she found him, pooled in the same blood that flowed within her veins."

    That is an amazing piece of writing! I love how you drew that connection between Justice (great name!) and her father.

    Great job!

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  6. This piece was suspenseful and had the proper ending for the tension that was built up beforehand. I don't know if I could live in that house after that, Justice is brave.

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    1. I feel the same. I definitely couldn't live in a house where someone died, especially someone I love. Thanks for reading!

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  7. I love the opening line. With a name like "Justice" at first I thought this was an analogy of some kind! Perhaps it is...

    One little concrit: "...cancer that happened her..." doesn't make sense. Did you mean to say "...the cancer that afflicted her..."?

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    1. You're absolutely right. I will edit that. Thank you!

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