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Twisting Through the Doorways

it's 3am and there's no way out

By Oneg In The ArcticPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Image made using AI on fotor.com

A grand bronze-coloured staircase leads nowhere.

It is adorned in dim and sensual lights, the golden glimmer of the chandelier adding elegance and richness to the room. This is the biggest room in the unknown home. A house made of multi-sized doors leading to multi-dimensional rooms. Some exist in daylight, some exist sideways against child-like postered walls.

There is a bag of bent action figures in a corner. A closet elsewhere holds canned goods and dusty cleaning supplies. Sometimes the house is twisting. Strobe lights directing furniture in odd directions, threatening to crush me in the spiral effect. A dance party gone horribly wrong.

We are playing hide and seek. It is unknown as to who is hiding and who is seeking. I am always searching yet trying to remain hidden. Something is always after me. I am always trying to find something. It is an endless game of find and be lost, while doors creak until a cacophony of slammed doors at the last moment signals the time to be quiet.

Most times there is no sound. No music.

Everything is traveling in shadows through a house with no windows.

An artificial light shines from a doorway. It makes me believe there is daylight. That there is an exit to this house of constantly-twisting madness. Yet only melancholy seeps in through the light. There is no warmth except through the floorboards of a grand staircase that leads nowhere. Not up, nor down.

I do not try to reach the top, the first step beyond my ability. Each attempt is restructured, and the first step expands more than I can manage. The banister is always too far from my reach, as if my arm has shrunk and the banister has pulled back, purposely avoiding my touch.

I am both traveling through cut-out puzzle-shaped doors made of wood that’s always the wrong color, and stranded in the grand room that has no entrance or exit. I am both an action figure in an over-stuffed toy bag, and the melancholy that tries to contain myself in the dusty closet. Ready or not, here I come.

The house restructures itself without my control yet also because of my decisions. I blip through rooms like a glitch in the matrix yet never see my limbs in front of me. Everything is a silent contradiction that bursts in color schemes.

I avoid the bedroom that stretches the open doorway too far from my bed. A room painted in darkness, a doorway too brightly blank, a metal rod stashed under my mattress just in case. I pray the doorway doesn’t get filled with the shadows that are seeking when I am hiding. My comforter too thin, my hope the only forcefield I pretend that can cover me.

If only I could feel my heart beating to know I am breathing. But there is no sound, only movement that feels like gliding on the sharp edge of a knife. Each movement slices through like a high-pitched scream that shivers through my cerebrum. If only I could feel more than melancholy and fear and doors slamming shut upside down.

Every exit just leads to another room that shifts and spins around this house of uncertainty and familiarity. Every room is just box. Every box is just leftover forgotten toys. The floor is just pretend lava. The lights are just flashlights under patchy blankets. The metal rod is just protection. And I am just a child eyes searching. Everything in this house is just a mousetrap with no incentive.

And I, I am both cat and mouse.


About the Creator

Oneg In The Arctic

A storyteller and poet of arctic adventures, good food, identity, mental health, and more.

Co-founder of Queer Vocal Voices

Some other rad writers to check out:

James ❄️ TheDaniWriter ❄️ Melissa

RiverJoy ❄️ J. Delaney-Howe ❄️

Water is Life ✊

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (24)

  • ROCK 18 days ago

    Congratulations Oneg!!

  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Congrats on TS. I think it horrid to be stuck in a dream where you are chased and can’t get away or out of the room!

  • ROCK about a month ago

    Hiding and seeking ones self is an evocative metaphor; congratulations on Top Story!

  • TahimaAniabout a month ago

    so beautiful

  • Great story, a lovely ending!

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    I love the detail you worked into the dream. Congratulations on a very worthy Top Story!

  • Caroline Cravenabout a month ago

    Oof creepy! So good. What a smashing top story.

  • Cindy Calderabout a month ago

    You've created great imagery in the mind of the reader. Congratulations on Top Story recognition - well-earned!

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a month ago

    I would love to see this. Such beautiful detail. Congratulations on top story

  • shanmuga priyaabout a month ago

    Congratulations 🎉

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Rachel Sabout a month ago

    Nice job! Congrats!

  • Margaret Brennanabout a month ago

    first, congratulations on TS. This is amazing. Sounds like something that should be on the Twilight Zone. Please write more like this.

  • Vicki Lawana Trusselli about a month ago


  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Wow. Super cool! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Sonia Heidi Unruhabout a month ago

    Dizzily surreal, yet grounded in sensory details, right from the start: that bronze staircase "adorned in dim and sensual lights." Parts of this are uncomfortably familiar for me. So well done!

  • Raphael Fontenelleabout a month ago

    Scary and very creative.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Loved your horrific tale!!! Fantastic ending!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Sweileh 888about a month ago

    Interesting and delicious content, keep posting more now

  • Gabriela Trofin-Tatárabout a month ago

    What a puzzle! Very well written! This was my fave: “Everything is a silent contradiction that bursts in color schemes.”

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Wow. This is really good. It's like a nightmare puzzle, or as you said, cat and mouse. Well done.

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Reminds me of my horror & fascination with liminal spaces. I have had nightmares of my old grandparents house being like this. Reshaping and changing without warning, never ending. Great atmospheric effect here

Oneg In The ArcticWritten by Oneg In The Arctic

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