Image courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Hip slammed the door closed with a satisfying click, while hand tossed the keys into the basket and arm dumped the groceries on the island, and I concentrated on rushing to the bathroom. Reaching for the doorknob to take care of a very important necessity, I grasp … empty air.
The doorknob was gone.
I looked down to where it should be, stunned. The bathroom door was there, in the palest blue I could find while I was purging all white from my life following breaking up with a wizard. I wanted the inner wall to reflect light, but I had enough pure white stuffed down my throat from the moment we met at Christian’s Winter Solstice party to July Fourth firework-level breakup two months ago to last a lifetime.
The door still had the intricate carved inserts which made me pick it up in the first place but the doorknob was gone. Not even the plug for the knob to be inserted was visible. It’s like the door never had a knob.
I one-eightied and headed back to the kitchen portion of my home.
My eyes, knowing the fear I haven’t let myself think about yet, went to the condo front door. No doorknob there either. My stomach dropped and my bladder let loose.
I had been holding since work. I should have gone in the grocery store, but I don’t use public restrooms. I try to stop it, clinch whatever muscle I am suppose to, but nothing stopped the freed bladder. Thick jeans absorb most, but the balance ran inside the legs over the sandals and onto the tile.
I grab the paper towels and pull a half dozen or so from the roll and drop it to the floor. Stepping on the pile I rub it back and forth through the small puddle before picking up the lot and dropping it into the trashcan. Automatically I grab the cold water lever to turn the sink on.
And my hand swished. Empty air again.
Goddess, I hate weird shit.
Well, considering my friendship circle I guess I should be more particular. I hate weird shit I am not expecting.
Not the normal weird shit, but …
The frightening shit.
I turn around and scan my open floor setup. Bed under the frosted glass wall with dozens of my jeweled creations transforming the afternoon sun into rainbows throughout the third floor condo. Silk and bamboo wall panels cutting out the right side of the living space from public view. Living room conversation pieces centered under the skylight a short distance from my little eating table.
I rush over and look up fifteen feet. The latch is missing. Not that it mattered much because my closet door with my maintenance equipment, including the ladder, was also missing its doorknob. And the hinges should have been visible, but they weren’t.
At least I don’t have a separate changing room. Going over to the dresser to get out of the wet jeans, I discover the knobs are missing and the drawers may as well be nailed shut. For all I know they were.
I scour the room. All doorknobs, levers, hinges, anything to open or close anything was gone. Even the knobs on the kitchen cabinets to get at my knives and cooking tools had disappeared.
Dashing the tears from my eyes and forcing myself to stop chewing my lower lip I go behind the bamboo screen I place around my jewelry workspace to hide the mess from visitors. The very small hammer, a cold iron awl I use when working on potential items for friends to enchant, and a two-pound anvil were still out from this morning, beside the turquoise bracelet I was crafting for a horse enthusiast. After tucking the beading awl out of the way through the jean belt loop, I grab the hammer and return to the front door.
I hate abusing my tools.
Wiping the tears from my face so I can see clearly, leaving the unmistakable smell of urine behind, I pound my four-ounce hammer into the front door with all my might. It bounced without leaving a scratch.
The door wasn’t that good. While I can replace anything I want in the condo, the door belongs to the outside hall and was provided by the original cheapskate owner. My bathroom door was solid wood; the front door was not.
Frustrated I take a swing at the plaster wall. The plaster breaks away to reveal concrete stone underneath.
That’s not right.
Everett was thrown through the inner wall into the hallway during a failed enchantment without breaking anything but the wall and my monthly budget two years ago. My silk wall panels had more substance than the building.
The hammer slips from my grasp and lands with a soft thud. The gibbering terror I had been ignoring rises as I slowly slide down the plywood door; I collapse in a pile, leaning against the plywood door. I barely had the presence of mind to not bury my head in my hands.
A smug voice resonated from a corner of the condo I realize I hadn’t look at since I got here. “I’ve never seen anyone look so lost in their own home.”
Note to self, never, ever date a magic user again.
Bending further forward, into near fetal position, I tapped the panic necklace I had Christian bless after the “white wizard’s” last visit, activating both the alarm and the defense. Next I palmed my awl, before slowing standing up, letting obvious defeat drip from every pore. The useless hammer on the floor lying testament to my capitulation.
Bet the bastard believes my body language.
He never did “get” me.
Every two weeks the fucker has come back, each full and new moon. First by phone, then a “chance” meeting at a coffee shop near work, each time escalating until the Saturday he pounded on my door for an hour until the police arrived. He freaked because I had dyed my ash blond hair black.
I could not get a restraining order.
Now he was inside the door.
Inside MY HOUSE, using spells to destroy MY SAFE PLACE, oh, this is so on.
He thought the Fourth of July was over the top.
(Words 1,055 – First published 8/28/2016)