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Serially Tuesday

                                                                                     The Doors
episode 6: Three teenagers, six doors. What’s the worst that could happen?

Irene tapped her pencil on the desk, consciously keeping a slow tempo as her impatience mounted. She watched as Mrs. Gorgesom handed out homework assignments, then shoved everything in her bag as the bell rang. Racing out the back of the school, she entered the tunnels in less than two minutes. Haily still beat her. Breathless, Irene dropped her books in front of the doors.

“How did you beat me?” she gasped.

“Study hall,”Haily smiled smugly. “I ducked out early. Went to the bathroom and never came back.”

Irene shook her head.  Haily never failed to surprise her, even after being friends since grade school. Hearing footsteps, she looked up, expecting to see Frankie. Instead, Greg was coming down the tunnel.

Irene and Haily immediately jumped up and ran to meet him.  It was Haily that neatly turned him before he got to the doors, scolding him for ruining a perfectly good prank they were playing on Frankie. Irene followed them back up the tunnel, nodding when necessary and hiding her smile. No one could out-talk Haily.

Frankie met them near the entrance. “Sorry, class ran late. What’s this?”

“Greg met us down in the tunnel,” Haily announced. “Irene and I had a joke for you, but I guess that is over now.”

“Sorry,” Greg said, “although, maybe you should be thanking me, Frankie. I can’t imagine any prank Haily planned would be that fun for you!”

“Good point,” Frankie agreed. “I guess we might as well head out.”

“Hey, Irene, my dad saw your mom–” Greg started.

“Oh! I left my back pack in the tunnel,” Irene broke in before turning and darting back.

When she got to the doors, she passed her bag and picked up the oblong stone Frankie had designated as the door-stop. Pushing the lintel stone on door #2, she went through.

*****************************

Frankie and Haily found her sitting on a hillside. Irene was tucked in on herself, arms wrapped on her shins and her head on her knees as she stared out on the vivid canopy in front of her. They sat next to her, bracketing her. Haily put an arm around her while Frankie leaned against her. They all sat looking out at the autumn leaves spread before them.

“I wonder where we are,” Haily finally said, reaching for her phone. Irene held out a hand to stop her.

“I don’t want to know,” she said. Haily stared at her, but put the phone away.

Irene knew she couldn’t explain it, but she just wanted to sit in this moment. The strong  edges of pinecones adding structure to the waving grass, the leaves drifting down to carpet all with reds, yellows and oranges. Her dad was probably laying under just such a canopy of leaves, somewhere in the world, she thought. She’d like to know where. Frankie would understand, she knew, he would understand the mournful beauty of the  bright decaying leaves covering the acorns that would seed new growth.

Haily hopped up, unable to sit still that long. “How is it fall here? It’s spring at home. I guess it must be around the world, opposite seasons. Or is it always fall here?”

Irene shrugged. “I would love it to be fall here always. I could come and sit whenever I wanted.”

Haily frowned, Irene’s answer not satisfying her. “Hey Frankie, is Lizzy still after you?”

Irene felt Frankie tense next to her.

“Could you believe it, Frankie and Lizzy? Lizzy and Frankie?  I mean, what is she thinking?” Haily wondered as she moved down the hill to inspect the trees.

“You should tell her,” Irene murmured.

Frankie hunched a shoulder. “I know.”

“She wouldn’t care.”

“Are you kidding?” Frankie whispered, “she would build me the largest damn float and put it in the parade! I don’t think I am ready for that.”

Irene burst out laughing, the truth of his description melting the last of her depression.  “I do love you, Frankie!”

Haily came back to see what the laughter was about. “You love Frankie?” she gasped. “Is that why he doesn’t like Lizzy?”

Irene rolled over, clutching her belly, giggling helplessly. “No, n-no,” she hiccupped. “I l-love you both!! You are my best friends ever!”

She caught her breath and sat up, extending her hands to Haily. “I think I am ready to go home now.”

 

If you would like to follow the series from the beginning:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

 

 

 

 

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Door #1

A continuation of my series about three young people who  found 6 doors. And wonder where they lead.  It may be helpful to check out some of my former posts, particularly 7/6 FFfAW.

Irene and Frankie spun.

“Haily! You can’t see the door because it is over there! God, I thought I would die!” Irene exclaimed, then collapsed on the ground.

Frankie started laughing again, while Haily looked even more frustrated. Then, recovering her natural ebullience, she pulled her cell phone out of her rucksack.

“Think it will work?” she winked as she turned it on and thumbed through her apps.

“What are you going to do with it?”

“Somewhere….ah, there it is! Gps,” she announced proudly.  “We are….huh.”

“Well,” Irene demanded, “where are we?”

“Not sure, it doesn’t seem to be working properly. Maybe the leap through space confused it.”

Frankie rolled his eyes.  He got up and headed for the dune.

“Hey, where you going?” Haily demanded.

“Out there,” he pointed, “I’m pretty sure the owner of that house know where they live.”

Haily and Irene stared at the trail of stepping-stones leading to the house out on the sand spit. Haily immediately followed her brother. Irene looked back at the safety of the door, so far away, then followed the other two.

“So, what,” Haily said, “you are just going to say we have no idea what continent we are on and can they please tell us?”

“No, how about we just say we got lost? If they tell us where we are, we should be able to figure it out.”

Irene had been slowing down as they got closer to the first rock. Now she stopped.

“Wait, what if we can’t understand them? What if they don’t speak english? What if, what if they aren’t nice?” she finished on a whisper.

Frankie looked at her seriously while Haily hopped from foot to foot.

“That’s a good point,” he finally admitted. “Maybe I should go out there and you guys wait here.”

“Then what?” Haily asked. “We aren’t going home without you! What would I tell Mom? At least if we go we don’t have to worry the entire time. If they don’t understand, we will pretend to be tourists. And if they aren’t nice then we will, we will punch them! Frankie knows how. Lord knows he does it to me enough,” she finished, sticking her tongue out at her brother.

“Ok,” Frankie nodded decisively. We probably shouldn’t be separated. I don’t want to explain that to Mom or Dad either!”

Still not reassured, Irene followed the other two, again,  out onto the rocks.

 

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