The Locked Door

Submitted into Contest #130 in response to: Write a story titled ‘The Locked Door.’... view prompt


Fiction Fantasy Romance

A Short Viginette In Four Scenes

``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````THE CHARACTERS

Rene: a charming, sophisticated Parisienne man ,  who frequents Le Fouquet’s, and enjoys watching people go by. He is wealthy, and loves to look at the mirror a lot, and enjoys all the good things life has to offer. It is all good.

Gaby: A young, innocent, raven-haired, Parisienne woman, who only lives only a few blocks from Rene, but the two never met. They lived parallel lives, went to different schools, but met quite by chance one afternoon at Le Fouquet’s.



LE FOUQUET’S ~~~~The premier cafe on the Champs-Elysées sits behind a barricade of potted flowers at the edge of the sidewalk. You can choose a table in the sunshine or retreat to the glassed-in elegance of the leather banquettes and rattan furniture of the grill room. Though this is a full-fledged restaurant, with a formal dining room on the second floor, most visitors come by for a glass of wine, coffee or just to sit and watch the world go by.


Scene One

Rene is seated alone on the sidewalk cafe at Le Fouquet’s on this gorgeous, sunny July afternoon. He is deep in thought, writing a post card to his cousin in Quebec. He grips the pen tightly and pauses a few minutes in deep thought. He turns the post card around several times, admiring it, and smiling widely.

Opening up his cigarette case, he takes out a cigarette and lights it up. The remnants of half a pack lay in the ash tray in the middle of the table. Three cups of espresso, later. Rene still is not finished writing to his cousin.

The waiter stands in front of Rene’s table.

Waiter: " Sir, is everything alright? Would you like to order some food?" "

Rene: "No! I am working! Go away!"

Waiter: "This is a restaurant, not a library. Order right now, or off you go!"

Rene: "I will stay as long as I want, as I am the one paying!"

Waiter: Pffff (rolling his eyes)

Rene: "Well, I need to be alone!" (waving the waiter away)

A gorgeous woman with long red hair and green eyes walks by.

Rene: "Hello there! How are you?"

The woman completely ignores him.

The only reminder is her sweet scent

Rene Breathes in her scent, sighing dreamily.

Rene: Thinking, ("Just turn around gorgeous, turn around and come back".)

The woman walks to the corner, stops, turns around and gives

Rene one good look. She waits for what seems a lifetime.

Rene puts his hands over his eyes and holds his breath .

He suddenly hears a woman's footsteps on the sidewalk.

Is he dreaming?

Rene: Pinch me! (He smiles)

Rene looks up at the smiling face of this mystery woman. Once

again He smiles at her and invites her to sit with


Rene: "You are a walking dream. How pretty you look today!"

She smiles, taking in each syllable like a drop of pink champagne.

Rene: "Hello, would you come sit here with me and have a

coffee and cigarette? My name is Rene."

"What is your name?" (Rene pats the chair and shines a big smile on her)

Rene: (takes her hand and kisses it gently, checking out the shiny diamond bracelet, earrings and pearl necklace..)

Rene: " I am a jeweler by trade. I like shiny things. I like jewels. I like women and I like myself. I like to count things. Like money and women. I like to sit here and watch people. Most are pretty predictable but they make me laugh. A long string of pearls catches his eye. These women here in Paris are unlike most women. The attitude, the scent of heaven, all ‘shi-shi’ and jingle. Men are enamored when they walk like they own the street."


Rene: "A quick whisper : Just a moment, reader, I need to get her interest, she is starting to look a little bored. Am I talking too much?"

Readers: "Give her a chance to talk silly."

Rene:" Okay, Okay. (fixing his hair and checking his

smile once again in the mirror) I will sit back and listen."

Readers: "Good!"


Scene Two:

Gaby: " I like the name Rene. You like many things. I like

to walk around Paris. It's so pretty this time of year. I like

to try new things. I like art and music and dancing. My name is Gaby", she says all pearly smiles and red lips and heavenly perfume. He offers her a cigarette and she accepts it with those perfectly manicured hands and brings it up to her sexy lips, leans over and lets Rene light her cigarette, his eyes watching, drinking her in.

Rene:" Let me order you an espresso. Is that what you want? Or

would you prefer a cappuccino?"

Gaby:" A cappuccino, thank you."

Rene: "Waiter!"

Waiter rushes to sidewalk table.

Rene: "A cappuccino for the young woman."

Waiter: "Right away! Anything else?"

Rene: "That's fine for now."

Gaby:" I was born right here in Paris. I used to go to

school right up on the hill. Do you know that school

too?" (She points up the hill)

Rene:  (taking a sip of espresso) 'Why yes! I grew up

two streets over from there. I went to a different school.

Do you remember dancing in the streets every July


Gaby: "Yes, everybody dances in the streets on that

day, silly, it’s a holiday! It’s Bastille Day! Those

were gloriously fun days. I love to dance. Don’t

you Rene?"

Rene: "Gaby? You saved me. I was sitting here all alone.

Just admiring every pretty woman that walks by and you

are the very first that agrees to share a coffee and a cigarette with me.

Your beautiful face has saved me from a lonely fate. Want

to have a dance?"

Gaby:" Do you use that line on every woman you meet? It’s

kind of lame. You don’t seem to respect women very much, but you are cute so, why not! I would love to dance with you!" (she smiles)

Rene: "You know sometimes I play this Gigolo game, but today, I was sitting

here for hours trying to write this postcard to my cousin Paul in Quebec. You see, Paul wants to come visit me in Paris, but he wants me to describe it to him. How do I describe Paris in a post card?" (Rene picks up the postcard and turns it around, showing Gaby)

Gaby: "Cute card! Love that Eiffel Tower! Just say a few words like wish you were here Paul. Let him come here. You can’t describe Paris in a few words, Rene. You have to experience it, breathe it, live it. Of course you know, Rene, if I can’t wake up in Paris, I just want to turn right over, fluff up my pillow and go back to sleep. Paris is wonderful!"

Rene: No, Gaby. "You are wonderful!" (toasting her with his coffee cup, smiling and trying to be charming)


Scene Three:

Gaby:" Do you love Paris, Rene?" (lighting up another


Rene: "Why yes! I love it all! But most of all I love sitting here talking to you, Gaby! You are lovely."

"You are Paris, my dear! You are the heavenly scent, you are all Shi-Shi and jingle, and you are Paris. Now let’s dance."

"They are playing our song and guess what day it is?

Look around you, check your calendar." (Rene teases while

he watches crowds of people dancing in the streets)

Gaby: "Let me take a wild guess. July 14th, Bastille Day!"

Rene smiles and whispers, "Yes, yes! Dance with me please."

(standing up and looking into Gaby's beautiful green eyes, walking

over to the crowd and letting the music sweep them away.

(Lovely music playing )

Rene holds Gaby close and they dance very close

for hours to the music coming from the

cafe .

Rene: "Even with crowds of Parisiennes dancing in the streets

this day, all I see is Gaby, all I feel is Gaby, all I want is Gaby, it is Rene and Gaby alone

in this crowd of people."

Rene kisses Gaby’s hand, savors her heavenly scent and smiles.

Rene: "Gaby. she is wonderful and smiling and she smells so good! Paris, I love this town!"


Scene Four:

The Locked Door

Rene rolls over and falls off the couch. His eyes are bleary. He wakes up to the sound of the TV still on and the movie "Algiers" playing in the background.

Rene: "No wonder I had such a lovely dream. I dreamt that I was that French actor, Charles Boyer, having a lovely time with Hedy Lamarr who plays Gaby."

Rene: "Let me out! Let me out!", he screams, his fists pounding the locked door.

"My dreams are driving me mad. I need to find my Gaby, somewhere, somehow. She is my heart, she is my destiny."

Wildly tosses pages of scribblings of a play he keeps trying to write. Pages scatter randomly across the floor, left for time to discover. Perhaps, Gaby can be found somewhere within the pages.

He must find Gaby, he must.

Rene is frantically trying to page the play back together. Utterly alone with his own thoughts, his dreams of Gaby are driving him mad.

He is in love with a woman that does not exist but is a creation from his own pen and paper. A product of imagination. Rene is a tortured playwright, trying to write words.

Gaby: "What good is a finished play if there is no one to read your words behind the locked door?"

January 24, 2022 22:50

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Nandini Prakash
09:23 Feb 03, 2022

Interesting story Kathryn! Your description of Paris makes it come alive in the reader's mind. Just one point about the ending - "He is in love with a woman that does not exist but is a creation from his own pen and paper. A product of imagination. Rene is a tortured playwright, trying to write words." I felt it would have been nice if the reader came to this conclusion on his/her own in course of Scene 4, instead of you pointing it out. But otherwise, I found the ending quite interesting. Instead of the whole thing being just a dream, I...


19:16 Feb 03, 2022

yes I see what you mean! I really do appreciate your insights! You are helping me tremendously. When I write I often don't see what a reader sees. You are very kind to point this out to me. Thanks so much for reading my story!


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Delia Tomkus
12:55 Feb 01, 2022

Very good story, one edit though. I don't think that you needed to introduce the characters in the beginning, sometimes it makes it more interesting to uncover facts about them as you read. Great job!


16:11 Feb 01, 2022

Thank you! I won't be able to edit the story as it is already submitted.


Delia Tomkus
22:55 Feb 01, 2022

Of course, just for future reference. Normally I don't like vignettes, but this one drew me in


13:12 Feb 02, 2022

I am happy you liked my story!


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Mohamed Sarfan
18:21 Jan 28, 2022

Dear Writer, Every human mind imagines something innovative; Trying to live by believing them to be life. Love is a kind of mind-blowing struggle. Though thorns are shed in the path of dreams, the mind believes that it is roses and walks on it. This life does not forget the relationships that are dear to the mind over time; Sometimes even forgiving minds that have done harm. Life is a cinema that runs in the theater of  Time, some moments sweet and some moments bitter in the life of every human being full of billions of scenes. I think of ...


Delia Tomkus
12:54 Feb 01, 2022

I think that comment was even deeper than the story!


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Boutat Driss
07:49 Jan 28, 2022

I loked this story. Well done!


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