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Two Souls, One Door

 

Two Souls,

One Door

by

Christopher Goodrum

Two Souls, One Door

By Christopher Goodrum

Copyright 2016 Christopher Goodrum

Shakespir Edition

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

For Kevin Hauser…

One of the Best Doubles I Ever Had

Two Souls,

One Door

What do you see?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?!”

“Absolutely nothing. Look, we have to accept the fact we are going to be here a while.”

“We already have been here for a while. It seems like forever.”

“It has been forever. Don’t forget where you are, friend.”

“I am not your friend.”

“You might as well be by now.”

It has been said that even nothing was something. That even complete and total darkness had depth, and a blank canvass could have meaning. Some people would say that was poetic; others would say that was nonsense.

Bilbee was quite beside himself. He was one of those people who thought nothing poetic about blackness and nothingness. A blank canvass, to him, was just a representation of the lack of work.

He disliked those who read too much into things. People who saw symbols and meaning in random, inconsequential things. But now, he was in the middle of a vast, black nothingness in wait.

His uninvited guest had been with him for as long as he could remember, which wasn’t much. There were fragments of memory slowing coming back to him while he was there. At first, it was unnerving to not know much of anything of where he was or how he got there. There was a good stretch of time where panic set in and he was absolutely frantic. That seemed like ages ago at this point. His guest, Joe, stared at him the entire time, watching him lose control and breakdown until Bilbee wore himself out, hyperventilating in a fetal position in the middle of the vastness of nothing.

Joe was calm the entire time. In fact, he never really showed any other form of emotion or expression. He was like a talking statue. Even his voice didn’t reflect any happiness, anger, or amusement in its tone. All Bilbee had to go by was the words that were coming out of his mouth.

“I don’t understand why…”

“You know the rules,” Joe stated, sharply.

“I know what you told me were the rules,” Bilbee shot back.

“I haven’t lied to you, yet.”

“That’s not exactly comforting.”

“Are you going to lay down a card?”

Bilbee looked down at the pile of playing cards in his hand. He still had a sizeable amount, although Joe had more. But this was a long game where the amount of cards each player had changed hands. Bilbee pulled a card off the top of his deck and laid it face up on the weathered, beaten down wooden table.

Without breaking a smile or even a twitch, Joe reached over and grabbed Bilbee’s card as well as his own, and added it to the bottom of his deck.

Bilbee grimaced.

“Do you think animals have spirit people?”

“What?!” Surprised by the unusual question, Bilbee nearly didn’t process it, at first.

“Some cultures, and some people outside of those cultures, believe they have a spirit animal. A bear, a coyote, a lizard…everything has a soul. Has a spirit. So I speculate that animals have spirit guides, too.”

“As people?”

“Sure,” Joe replied, placing down a card.

“That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Is it, now? Look where you are, Bilbee.”

That was the problem, wasn’t it.? There was nothing to look at. Other than each other, the deck of cards, the old, splintering table, and the uncomfortable chairs they were sitting on, there was nothing to look at.

The room they occupied was immeasurable. In the vast blackness of nothing, determining the dimensions of the room was impossible. After snapping out of his panic attack, Bilbee searched for ways to leave, walking tirelessly for hours in every direction. No wall was found. No ceiling could be seen. But there was a floor. A smooth, cool floor that gave off a strange humming noise when he placed his ear to it. He noticed that during his panic attack, huddled into a ball. Other than the door they kept waiting for to open, there was no sign they were actually in a room.

“Is that what we’re doing here?”

Joe ignored the question.

Barely visible in the distance, the door glowed with a faint, pale yellow outline. Every time Bilbee tried to approach it, it seemed to move further back in the distance, maintaining its space in relation to him.

“Do you think animals just wander around the planet willy-nilly, acting on pure instinct hardwired into their brains? Do you think dogs and cats love people because evolution taught them that we won’t hunt them or eat them? No, something guides them. Someone guides them.”

“Like who,” Bilbee scoffed. “The ghost of George Washington? Cleopatra?”

“I’m not talking about ghosts, friend. Spirits.”

“What’s the difference,” Bilbee asked, quickly becoming uninterested.

“These would be spirits who were or never will be people. Are you going to put a card down?”

Bilbee laid down a ten of spades. It wasn’t good enough for him to beat Joe this hand.

Joe scooped up the cards and added to the bottom of his deck. Then, came down another card.

“Think about it, Bilbee. When God created the earth, what did he make first? Man or animals?”

“Animals. What’s your point?”

“Who was instructed to tend to them? Care for them?”

“Man. But man was also instructed to eat them.”

“I wouldn’t say ‘instructed’, but certainly permitted. But that’s beside the point.”

“I’m still waiting for that point, friend.”

Something caught the corner of their eyes. They abruptly turned their heads toward the door. The pale yellow light glowed brighter, making the door’s appearance more pronounced in the empty space. The light pulsated for a few moments like a heartbeat, growing slightly in intensity until it suddenly stopped.

“What are we doing here, Joe?”

“You know what we are doing here,” he simply replied. “We wait for the door.”

Bilbee shook his head in frustration. “Do you remember anything?”

“I remember everything.”

“Like what?”

“That’s not for you to know.”

“I only get pieces. It’s like dumping a jigsaw puzzle on the table and you not allowed to turn the pieces over. They threw away the box so you can’t tell what the picture is suppose to look like and only ones I can see is the few pieces that face up.”

“I’m not a big fan of metaphors, Bilbee.”

“But you’re fine with hypothetical animals having spirit guides,” he replied sarcastically.

“I’m not a big fan of sarcasm, either. Are you going…?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” Bilbee interrupted, a bit flustered. “Put a card down. Here!” He slapped a card down, shaking the table. It was a nice high card. The king of spades. But Joe had an ace. Joe gathered both cards. “That’s ten in a row!”

“Fifteen, actually. You need to concentrate.”

“Concentrate?! This is ‘War’. What’s to concentrate about?”

“I told you, we don’t call it “War”. Not appropriate for the kids, remember?”

Bilbee did remember. One of the few things he did remember.

How strange was it to teach his 2-year-old daughter a simple card game called “War”? He wasn’t a “Crazy Eights” guy and never liked “Go Fish”. “War” seemed like a good way to teach her the value of numbers. Which numbers were greater and which were smaller. But “War” sounded too aggressive, and too…adult. He had to soften it up. Make it sound more pleasing and fun to a toddler. “Don’t lecture me. I was the one who renamed it.”

“’Crocodile’ is equally as aggressive, don’t you think?”

“Nonsense! Kids like animals. All kinds of animals. They don’t know any better. They don’t know to be afraid of one animal over another unless they were taught to think that, or if they happen to have an unfortunate experience with one.”

“Ever have a pleasant experience with a crocodile, Bilbee,” Joe challenged.

“You mistake my meaning.”

“It’s not your meaning. It’s what you say.”

“Remember that when you end up as some crocodile’s spirit human,” he smiled.

“Who’s to say that’s not why we are here?”

“You,” Bilbee replied. “You’ve been here longer than me. You seem to know everything. Remember everything. Do you really think that God or whoever put us in here is deciding which one of us gets to go through that door to be some sort of spirit guide to a ferret? That door could lead to reincarnation for all we know. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

“No,” Joe simply replied. “No, it wouldn’t. One life was enough. Believe me.”

“If we had a choice, I rather return to my old life.”

Their attention, once again, was drawn to the door at the moment the light turned from pale yellow to violet. The light focused into a bulge near the top left corner before tracing around the edges like a blowtorch cutting its way through a steel door. When it completed its tour around the perimeter of the door, it stretched around it, creating a new violet colored outline.

“I’m a good person,” Bilbee began. “You know that, right?”

“I know you believe you are. Only one of us can go through that door.”

“And who gets to decide that?”

Joe stared blankly at Bilbee for a long moment. “You know who.”

“You keep saying ‘the door. The door does’. I don’t know what that’s suppose to mean.”

A few more cards were exchanged between them before either one of them spoke again. Joe focused on the cards, keeping one eye on the door; Bilbee cared less about the cards. Pulling from the top of the deck, it didn’t matter. The game didn’t call for concentration or strategy. It was the luck of the draw each and every time. It didn’t stop Joe from studying the card he placed down like it was a medical journal. Instead, Bilbee focused on the little bits of memory he had since arrived there.

He remembered his blue, two-door sedan with the broken air conditioner; he recalled his favorite cookie was the snickerdoodle; and he vaguely remembered watching old reruns of “The Rifleman” and “The Dick van Dyke Show” with his father. But the one memory he wished he could hang on to was that of his wife and daughter.

Jolene was a waitress when Bilbee met her, working the night shift at the local diner and earning her way through law school. She didn’t look attractive at all in her red and black uniform and yellow apron, and her hair thrown into a ponytail. But there was something about her brown eyes that he found mesmerizing. Those eyes were what kept him coming back every Wednesday night until he had the courage to ask her out.

They were married two years later in a small country church in a small town in Montana. Between her family and friends and his, the size of the church was just right.

He remembered thestunning picturesque sky full of white, fluffy clouds and the sun beaming from behind, peaking out over the top. The field of yellow and red tulips along the left of the rock trail that led up to the wooden stoop.

Bilbee never felt such serenity, walking up the trail with his tuxedo in a garment bag draped over his arm. Jolene was already inside, preparing for the walk down the aisle in the back of the church with her sisters while her parents greeted the guests as they filed into the church.

How many years ago was that now? Fifteen? Twenty?

He wished he knew where Jolene and his daughter were; he wished he knew how they were; and he wished he was with them. There was so much he needed to tell them, and for the life of him, he couldn’t remember why he never had the chance to.

“Say,” Joe continued.  “Let’s try your hand on a different game.  You don’t seem to be faring too well at this one.”

“You would quit right when I was on the verge of a comeback,” Bilbee smirked.  He received no reaction from Joe.  He never did.  “No, this game is fine.  Just put a card down.”

Joe did:  six of hearts.  It wasn’t low, but it wasn’t high, either.  Bilbee had a good chance on this one.  He laid down his card and much to his chagrin, he had a six of spades. 

“Twin crocodiles,” Joe stated.

Just like in “War”, Bilbee and Joe had to lay down three cards, face down on the table, one at a time.  Then, they had to place a fourth card face up while saying, “Here comes the mama.”  Bilbee felt silly saying it while playing with another adult.  This was meant for kids.  He might as well have used words like “potty” and “binkie” instead of bathroom and pacifier.  It was rather embarrassing, but Joe didn’t seem to care.  Joe didn’t seem to care about anything.

The fourth card was a three of diamonds for Joe.  Bilbee had a two of clubs.  Bilbee removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes in frustration.

“What do you remember, Bilbee?”

Bilbee let out a sigh as he placed his glasses back on his face, then shrugged.  “Bits and pieces.  To tell you the truth…nothing important.”

“Everything is important.  What do you remember?”

“This game for starters.  I used to play this with my daughter when she was just a baby.  But I told you that already.”  Joe nodded.  “She was the sweetest kid.  Happy, too.  Always happy.  She had this stuffed rabbit.  A white Easter bunny with a purple bow tie with a matching fedora.  The fedora had a card in it, you know.  Like what stock brokers used to do with cards on the trading floor back in the 1920’s, except the card was in the shape of a carrot.  And she hated carrots.  She preferred spinach.  What crazy kid prefers spinach, anyway?  But she was my crazy, happy spinach loving kid.”

“It’s funny how delusional people get with their memories. And your wife?”

Bilbee gave a weary smile despite the odd comment. “Jolene,” he said softly. “Her name was Jolene. She’s the only woman I ever loved, really. I fancied at lot of women in my time, you know. Beautiful, gorgeous women. Tall, short; smart, not-so smart. Jolene was different. She was honest and frank. Didn’t humor me by laughing at any of my bad jokes. Told me flat out if it was being a jerk. But never in front of company. Bonnets. She loved bonnets. Collected them. Never wanted to wear them, mind you. Just collect them.”

“Why?”

Bilbee shrugged. “I don’t know. Her ancestors were pioneers, I think. I never really paid much attention to those kind of things.”

“Maybe she liked ‘Little House on the Prairie’.”

“Maybe. I don’t know. I never liked the things she liked. I could have been nicer. More attentive. I know that now.”

“It’s funny how there’s always ‘too late’ and ‘way too late’ for those kinds of things. Never ‘just in the nick of time’.”

“Hindsight, right,” Bilbee chuckled. “If I could do it all over again…”

“I wouldn’t recommend that. Not in your condition.”

“My condition?”

“Why do you always talk about her in the past tense?”

Abruptly, Bilbee stood up and stepped away from the table. The Joe watched curiously; more interested in his actions than his explanation. But Bilbee simply stood still for a long moment, mind frozen, and unable to process the question, let alone come up with an answer. He appeared dazed and disorientated for a moment, as if his thoughts were fogged.

The door reappeared, drawing their attention immediately. A blaring cyan light poured through around the edges like headlights forcing its way around an object blocking its path. Bilbee and Joe shielded their eyes, wincing away from the intensity. Warmth and electricity filled the space, charging the air until it slowly dissipated into a simmering glow. Like embers, it produced just enough light to make its presence known, but shrouded the door in shadow.

They waited. Maybe the door was going to open this time. Maybe the wait was over. Maybe one of them…

The light was quickly snuffed out.

The door hidden once again.

Hopes dashed.

Joe returned to his cards. “You were saying…”

Bilbee shook out of his daze, casually walking away, and distancing himself from Joe and the frustrating card game. “I was?”

Joe nodded. He laid down a card, reached over to Bilbee’s side of the table, grabbed one of Bilbee’s cards, and flipped it over. He claimed both cards.

“Your wife,” Joe said. “You were telling me about your wife.”

Bilbee looked at him, strangely. “My wife? I…ah…vaguely remember something about a wife. What was her name,” he asked softly to himself. His voice was distant and confused. “And a daughter, too, right?”

Joe shrugged, dismissing the question as if he was mistaken. “I must have been thinking about someone else,” he replied, cracking a faint smile.

“What is this place? What is it really? I keep forgetting things. Important things…I think. It comes and goes. You must know something.”

“I do. I know a lot of things. So do you.”

Frustrated, Bilbee slammed his hands on the table. The cards nearly fluttered onto the floor. “It would be nice to get a straight answer out of you.”

“Then ask questions that really matter,” Joe replied, staring coldly back at Bilbee.

“Are you saying what I want to know doesn’t matter?” Bilbee was shouting now.

“Yes.”

“Damn you!” In a fit of rage, Bilbee picked up his cards and threw it at Joe. The laminated cards erupted in a flurry, scattering in all directions as Joe simply sat still, unflinching in the sudden assault. “I can’t stand being here any longer. My mind is fuzzy. Blank sometimes. I don’t know where I am, who you are, how I got here, or where that damn door goes. You know things…or at least, you seem to know things…and all I get are vague, cryptic replies. How do I know we are where you say we are? How do I know we are really dead? This could be some cruel joke. A dream or a hallucination, maybe. If I had to guess, you are either a shrink, or a spy.”

For the first time, possibly ever, Joe burst into laughter. Not a cruel, maniacal laugh someone like Bilbee would be afraid to hear in a moment like this, but a hysterical fit of laughter as if Bilbee just delivered that funniest punchline to a joke in the history of punchlines.

“What would a spy want with you?”

Taken off guard by Joe’s reaction, Bilbee’s anger fizzled away. Perhaps, his remark was absurd to a certain degree, but he was flustered and angry and confused and…lost. He couldn’t get a good sense of where he was, what he was doing there, who Joe really was, or anything. He even wasn’t sure how long he had been there.

And that was troublesome to him. He had no sense of time.

“You could have done something to my memories,” Bilbee accused him.

That only made Joe laugh harder. He didn’t think that was possible. Joe was at a near guffaw as it was, but it grew louder and the duration between breaths were longer and labored. After awhile…a long while, Joe calmed down to mere chuckle before finally stopping.

“Thank you! Thank you for that. It’s been…ages…since I had a good laugh. No, no! Questions don’t matter here. Knowledge doesn’t matter here. Only what you remember and for how long you can remember it. Only one question really members. One concern should be foremost on your mind, and nothing else. Which one? Which one of us will remain?” He pointed in the general direction of the hidden door. “Stay here, or there through there. Because only one of us can go through that door.”

Silence fell between them. They both looked toward the door, but this time, it didn’t appear. Not after a few seconds; not after a few minutes.

“Sometimes knowing is worse than not knowing,” Joe began solemnly. Uncharacteristically quiet, he removed himself from the table, slowly approaching Bilbee. He reached deep into the pocket of his black, pin-stripped slacks. A silver coin emerged from each pocket, newly polished and gleaming in the darkness despite the lack of an apparent light source. He handed one to Bilbee.

Briefly examining it, the coin was roughly the size of a half dollar coin with ridges along the circumference. There were unrecognizable markings on the surface. Neither the head nor the tail. In fact, it was impossible to tell which was which. Head or tail. Just one more mystery in the vastness.

“What’s this for?”

“I told you. Questions do you no good, here.”

“Maybe if I had some answers, I would stop asking.”

“For payment,” Joe replied, sourly. “Just in case. The last thing you need is to step through the door, find yourself on the river, and not be able to pay.”

Bilbee broke an uncomfortable smile. “Now you’re just making things up.” The coin flicked from his fingers back into Joe’s hand. “Keep your damn coin.”

Joe merely shrugged, then began to walk toward where the door last appeared. “Suit yourself.”

“I hate you.”

“I don’t care,” Joe shot back.

With nothing better to do other than pick up all the cards he threw, Bilbee trailed behind Joe. He had more questions. How could he not? But he felt that now he wasn’t permitted to ask. He needed to find another way to coax answers out of him. He obviously knew more than he was telling. Joe already admitted in a subtle way that he had been there a lot longer than Bilbee suspected.

The air grew colder, pushing a winter’s breeze in what seemed like a vacuum. The cool, crisp sensation shook him a bit as it washed over him. Goosebumps rose as he trembled.

“Not much longer, I would suspect,” Joe stated, more to himself than Bilbee. “You start to get a sense of these things after awhile.”

Before Bilbee could express his doubts, the lining of the door became visible. A streak of silver and blue light rapidly moved along the perimeter, gradually moving faster and faster until it became one solid line, pulsating like a beacon. The light thickened, further separating the book from the background. It crackled with electricity, generating energy that made Bilbee’s hair on the back of his neck stand up.

“When it opens,” Joe continued. “You want to be prepared.”

“Prepared? Prepared for what?”

“The truth. Bilbee…friend…you are a terrible card player.”

“Are you talking about,” he frowned.

“I’ve been here for a long time. Some would say far too long. I don’t know about that. But I do know this…I’ve seen a lot of people come through here. Many wandering, lost souls who couldn’t remember much of anything, and those who did, don’t for very long. They all come here. They always do. All for one thing. One blasted thing. Waiting for this door to open. Waiting to leave. I greet, befriend them, keep them occupied, and tell them the same thing I’ve told you. No more, no less. That only one of us gets to walk through that door. It’s never me. I’ve come close. Very close. But I’m still here, Bilbee. Wherever here is.”

“I have no desire to stay here,” Bilbee said, adamantly.

“Good! And you shouldn’t. I’ve been telling you that ever since you got here.”

“I don’t want to get stuck here for who knows how long like you. I have a life to get back to. I may not remember anything, but I know that. Maybe they can do that. Maybe if I ask…”

“That’s what they all end up saying, Bilbee. Every last one of them. You can’t last in this place like I have. I’ve seen some go mad. Recognizable as intelligible people before the end. But not me. My wits are sharp, but for how much longer, I wonder. Be satisfied with your ignorance. You only know what I’ve told you. And I’ve told you enough.”

“I don’t know if this door is meant for me. But either way, I’m walking through it.”

Joe shook his head, smirking at Bilbee’s stance on the situation. “You’re not a good man, Bilbee. You’re not even a decent man.”

“You know nothing. You know absolutely nothing about me! I’m sorry you’ve been stuck here. But has it occurred to you that maybe you are already mad. Driven insane by this place. That’s not for me, Joe. Reincarnation, spirit guide, a vacation to the Poconos…I don’t care where this goes. I’m leaving!”

“You cheated on your wife, Bilbee,” Joe sneered.

“That’s a damn thing to say,” he shouted.

“You are not a good person. You cheated on your wife, cleared out your bank account, and abandoned your wife and daughter. You drink excessively. Scotch. Whiskey. Whatever you can get your hands on. You’re a drunk. A lousy drunk. To your credit, not a violent one. But that is as far as I’m willing to give you credit for.”

“You know nothing. You’re a mad, delusional coward.”

“Those weren’t cards, Bilbee, you ignorant fool! Those were your memories. Do you have any idea how many you lost to me? How how many you threw away? I know more about you than I care to. I know more about everyone who has come through here than they realize. And that is why they never see the truth coming.”

Bilbee’s hands balled into a fist, ready to strike Joe. His anger festered into a boil. He wasn’t going to let Joe hold him back. If it was going to be the last thing he did, he was getting through that door.

The light began to split right down the middle of the door. What Bilbee once thought was one door was actually a set of double doors. From a distance, he never got a good look at it. But now, despite the glaring light he made out some features. It was comprised of bronze, aged and discolored. Green and gray now stained it, making it look like marble or slate. Square divots were carved or chiseled into it, even in size and distance around the outer edges and cutting through the midsection. The door must have been thousands of years old. Greek, perhaps, Bilbee thought.

There was no way to tell for sure, and ultimately didn’t matter. Unless, he planned on sticking around to examine it some more, he was as good as gone.

“Do you see the trouble, here, Bilbee? There is no life to get back to. Your life is gone. Don’t you get it? You’re dead! Do you honestly think going through that door will take you back? Do you think they will let you do that? Stand at the pearly gates and plea your case? You’ve been here far too long to go back now.”

Before Bilbee could fully process Joe’s words, Joe fell to the ground, sprawled across the floor. Joe and Bilbee shared a look of shock as Joe wiped a speck of blood from the corner of his mouth. Bilbee stared at his fist, now raised to eye level. It trembled. Adrenaline coursing through his body. His lungs pulling in a rush of oxygen and exhaling just as quickly as he was breathing it in.

Slowly, the door began to open.

“You’re crazy.”

“Am I,” Joe asked. “The last thing you did before you wrapped your car around a light post was rack up your bar tab. That was 30 years ago, friend.”

“That’s impossible,” Bilbee yelled. His anger was getting the best of him. He was losing control, but something deep down was telling him that Joe wasn’t lying. There was the faint taste of cheap whiskey in the back of his mouth and stale pretzels.

“You weren’t the only one on the road that night, friend,” Joe continued. “There was a family of four. Forced them into a ditch. Parents died on impact. One daughter broke both legs. The other…just a collar bone.”

The door opened wider, still merely a large crack but large enough to get an arm through.

“Why are you telling me this? I don’t want to know this? If those cards were my memories, it’s better off forgotten. So, what is this? Limbo? Some place of judgment.”

“Nothing so cruel.”

“Good! Then, you can stay here. I’m leaving this place. I’m going through that door.”

With a sudden force of air, the door swung open completely. Intense light flooded the immediately area, blinding them to the point of disorientation. Despite this, Bilbee began to head toward it as it was only a few feet away. Sight or no sight, he wasn’t going to give Joe the chance to intervene.

“That’s just it, Bilbee. That’s the other truth. A truth wrapped up in a lie. A lie I’ve been telling you. It’s true…the only way out of here is through that door. But that is a door no one should want to go through.”

Blaring heat quickly replaced the subtle chill in the air like stepping out of an air conditioned building into the desert sun. Growls and rumbles echoed out from the invisible barrier of the doorway as the sound of fire snapped and crackled with ferocity.

Bilbee stepped back in sudden fright as he began to grasp the notion of what might have been on the other side of the door. His heart pounded in his chest. Sweat beads formed on his brow as panic set it. He twisted and turned around to run only to find Joe standing directly behind him now with a devilish grin.

“You’re not a good man, Bilbee. And neither am I. But there is no way in hell I’m going in there. And as long as someone like you keeps showing up. I don’t have to. But one of us must go. Or it will take who it wants.”

Joe’s right fist lashed out, striking Bilbee across the jaw. Bilbee stumbled backwards, staggering into a shuffle. Surprising to Joe, Bilbee was able to maintain his balance. He was stronger than Joe thought. He knew what he had to do next. He charged Bilbee, colliding with him. His shoulder drove into Bilbee’s stomach, pushing him further back until the door was mere inches away.

Tendrils of light reached out, wrapping themselves around Bilbee’s waist and arms. The thin, astral strands burned his skin and seared his clothes on contact, releasing a sickening, sizzling hiss. Bilbee screamed. His eyes reflecting the horror that overwhelmed him. Then, in a blink of eye, the tendrils snapped back through the door, pulling Bilbee with it and he disappeared into the silver and blue light.

The door slammed shut as a pair of glasses clattered onto the floor. The light dimmed and became vanquished by the darkness. Shortly after, the door disappeared and the vastness that Joe had spent more than his share of lifetimes in, fell silent.

He hated being dead. But it was a fact that he learned to “live” with. When it came right down to it, wherever he really was…and he never did find out for sure…it was a lot better than being snuffed out of existence completely by the fires of hell and the beast it harbored. In a way, this was immortality.

Joe picked up the glass, polished off the lenses and then tucked it away into his pin stripped jacket pocket. He, then, returned to the table, ran his fingers through

his hair, straightened his thin brown tie, took a deep breath, and sat quietly, anticipating his next waiting companion.

###

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About the Author

Christopher Goodrum is a well-rounded writer of novels, plays, and poetry, and a composer of music. He has studied both journalism in high school and freelance writing in college. Over the years, Christopher has written, performed, and directed his own body of works. Although a consummate entertainer, Christopher prefers the art of the written word, with a knack for storytelling in the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

A native Californian, Christopher currently resides in Washington with his family.

Also by Christopher Goodrum

The Legend of the Dragonskinner

The Dragonskinner and the Hanging Stones of Wiltshire

The Dragonskinner and the Mirrors of Transparency

The Order

with Julianna Goodrum

The Leaping Lepre of Letterfrack

Short Stories

Addison Jane and the Christmas Chase

Alice’s Strange & Peculiar Easter

Connect with Me:

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/kieltok

Friend me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/christophergoodrum

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Two Souls, One Door

How do you leave a room when the only door disappears and reappears at random, and moves away from you when you approach? How do you leave an endless void of darkness and silence? And when the only rule that governs the room is only one person may pass through the door, how do you explain that to the only other person in the room with you? Bilbee didn’t remember much. And what he did remember was slipping away. Besides remembering he has a wife and daughter, the only thing he knew for sure was that he was dead with no knowledge of how he arrived in the endless room. With his waiting companion, Joe, they wait for the door and contemplate the mystery about what was behind the door, and who will walk through it.

  • ISBN: 9781370135769
  • Author: Christopher Goodrum
  • Published: 2016-12-13 22:20:09
  • Words: 5593
Two Souls, One Door Two Souls, One Door