The Cellar Door

buttonWrite at the Merge, week 14 offered the phrase “cellar door”.

“Cellar door” is considered a perfectly euphonic phrase, some say the most beautiful in the English language.

I first heard it expressed as so in the film Donnie Darkowhich led me to the following image for the other half of the prompt.

image courtesy of Thor Carlson (via Flickr Creative Commons)

image courtesy of Thor Carlson (via Flickr Creative Commons)

So “cellar door” and a propeller… use either or both to craft your piece. Happy writing!

It was hard, yet again, to try to stay within the 500-word limit! It’s pretty obvious and predictable but here goes…

 The Cellar Door

The sun in the milky-blue sky made William squint. His ball slightly obscured it before coming back down. It missed his hand, landed with a bounce, and rolled to the bushes that separated his yard from the one on the other side. He ran over to get it. Something scurried through the bushes. William chased after it.

“William!” his sister called. She and a friend were skipping rope. William couldn’t skip rope. The girls had told him to get lost. Skipping rope was dumb anyhow. “Coming,” he yelled. The ball dropped from his hand. He chased after it and clumsily kicked it with his foot. It gained momentum, rolled quickly across the barren dirt yard, onto a cracked cement path and bounced down some cement steps. The ball landed on debris in front of the cellar door. He walked down the steps to get the ball.

“William!” his sister called.

The yard on the other side was not overgrown with weeds or overtaken with ivy as one would expect. Other than the overgrown bushes between the two yards, it was mostly dirt and cement. The house was majestic, but neglected. Tiles had slipped off its roof. The paint was peeling. Some of the pillars holding up the porch were bowed. The girls walked around calling out William’s name. “Look,” said Jane, his sister’s friend. She pointed down the cement steps. At the bottom was William’s ball. Ellen hurried down the cellar steps. She turned the knob. It was locked. She tried to push it open but it did not budge. She shook off the grime and dust and walked back up the stairs. Where could he have gone? She knocked at the back door. There was no answer. She peered into a window but saw only darkness. Panic began to settle into her young heart as she walked around to the front of the house. Jane fell in step close behind.

Bright, blooming azalea bushes stood in front of the house with paper-whites neatly in a row below them. A lush lawn rolled out under the girls feet. Not one tile was out of place on the roof, curtains hung in the windows and magazines poked out of the mailbox. “Go on,” Jane whispered giving her a nudge. Ellen walked to the door and rang the bell. A woman opened the door.

“H-Hello,” Ellen stammered,”is my brother here?”
“You’re brother?” there was confusion in the woman’s voice, “ No, no he isn’t.”

“He’s gone missing in your backyard,” Jane blurted out.

“What,” the woman asked.

“We found his ball at your cellar door, but he isn’t anywhere,” the words tumbled tensely out of Ellen’s mouth.

“Cellar door?”

“Yes,” the girls said.

The woman stepped closer. “Are you sure he was in my yard?” her voice filled with kindness and concern.

“Yes,” the girls said.

“But, this house doesn’t have a cellar,” she said.


4 thoughts on “The Cellar Door

  1. Oh no! Poor little brother! I hope the cellar door took him somewhere wonderful in a Narnia sense and not somewhere more sinister.

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