The Locked Door

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


Bedtime Kids Mystery

The Locked Door 

There once was a curious little boy who was an absolute delight to be in the company of. Eyes so bright they outshine the sky and a smile so wide and contagious it’d make grumpy Uncle Bob crack a grin. Young in age and young in spirit, he sought out adventure as any other kid would. He was always determined to uncover mysteries of this beautiful house he called home. In this peaceful home lived an elegant mum of a giddy little boy and his name was Thomas.

His toes spread out across the cold wooden floor as he stretched as tall as his little body would let him. The glowing evening sun slowly seeped onto his eager fingers that were reaching for the door knob only a few inches out of his reach. Though his young back began to ache, he gave no sign of giving in. Licking his lips at the thought of the mountain of homemade chocolate chip cookies he was desperately hoping were piled up behind the door. He adjusted his current position, switching arms as if his right were longer than the other, this was turning out to be quite the challenge. Shifting his weight from left to right, his feather footing was as quiet as a mouse, this was not his first attempt. His heart raced a thousand miles as he knew the time was ticking, mum would catch him at any moment.

He first saw the cupboard a few weeks prior, when mum was making supper one evening. She’d sung soulful jazz over the record as she danced in her baby pink and blue apron, sliding gracefully around the kitchen. Thomas loved evening time with mumma, she was just so pretty and sounded like a sweet bird in the morning. He was so giggly and magnetized by his mum that he almost didn’t notice the secret door within the pantry she'd just swooped out of. Leaving the door open, just enough for two blue curious eyes to peer into, he locked his sight on a mystery he so desperately needed to uncover. Without a second thought, he climbed down from the chair and raced so fast he thudded across the floor smacking head on  into the main door of the pantry. Drenched in a hard ache, he cried and screamed until mummy picked him up and held him in her arms for at least a few minutes. That one really hurt. 

Thomas had been thinking about the secret cupboard ever since he’d discovered it. Although a bit sore, he was not disheartened by his first attempt in unlocking the secret contents behind the locked door. It was more than just curiosity in his child mind that kept his fire burning, the excitement and thrill of sneaking around to make an exceptional discovery was far more motivating. This discovery would be the first of many he endured to uncover. We all have to start somewhere. 

It was the first thing on his mind as he arrived at day-care and when the other kids wanted to play; “Come on Thomas!”, “Come play on the swings!” he retreated into his little nook in the tree, scheming. How does a four a year old become capable of accessing a secret door that's much, much greater than he is? What would it take to achieve this task that had been set in stone, engraved on his little mind after first laying his eyes on the mystery cupboard? He decided he needed time on his side, he’d wait till it was time for his bath, the only time when mum would be upstairs, and he’d have a few moments alone to complete the mission.

That afternoon, as he was pulling his body upwards as best as he possibly could, he began to feel a bit hopeless, he just wasn’t tall enough. Jumping and stretching, changing hands and feet just wasn’t making him any closer to the brass knob above. Then it came to him, in his determined little mind, he realised that although he couldn’t make himself taller, something else would! Exploding with excitement and with a mischievous grin at his genius plan, he raced over to the other side of the kitchen and slowly dragged a screeching kitchen chair over to the pantry. One small, but committed step at a time he crawled up on the chair where he triumphantly stood up. He’d almost done it! He was so close! His hand reached the dusty knob which ruled over the rest of the shelves in this kingdom of goods and non-perishables. Pulling with all his might and two hands, like his entire childhood depended on it, he squealed excitedly, but the unexpected happened, the door was locked! Before he knew it, one last aggressive tug at the knob had  sent him flying backwards off all limbs. His heart had left his chest and stayed up in the clouds as his body plummeted before the fast approaching ground below. As the cold smack of the timber waited for poor Thomas, a warm embrace scooped him up and spun him around before he knew what had happened. His mum had been there in the nick of time to save him from a nasty fall. 

After a big fright, a long bath and some stern words from mummy, Thomas was exasperated from the day's events and was longing for his bed. He really believed he could do it, he could unlock the mystery that burned through his bones each day, a door longing to be opened. What on earth could be in that cupboard? After two attempts now, he pondered how to tackle it again for the third and final time. 

As Thomas was sunk into the chair in disappointment after some warm milk, he just noticed mum creeping into the kitchen with a key in hand and disappeared into the war zone he’d only just survived a few hours earlier. She came out with a smile sewed onto her face and gleaming eyes; “Only just this once, Tommy.” And she served him an old china tea cup, on which was placed a homemade chocolate chip biscuit, baked by his favourite person in the world. His golden treat! - kept all this time, behind the locked door. 

January 28, 2022 03:39

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Shelley Baldwin
21:36 Feb 17, 2022

A lovely story Stef!! Great read. I was totally captivated:-)


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Adam Brooks
06:38 Feb 02, 2022

Great read Stef, really enjoyed it. Hope to read more!!


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Tricia Shulist
19:46 Jan 31, 2022

That was sweet. I liked Thomas’s determination. Thanks for this.


Stefanie Grace
02:47 Feb 03, 2022

Thank you Tricia! :)


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