Day 5: A Door in the Wall

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-05

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!.

Enjoy my fifth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Pheonix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Jimalee paced back and forth before the wall with her hands tucked behind her back, tracking one spot as she moved. A very curious spot with a door she’d never seen before. True, the emperor’s gardeners worked voraciously to clean the grounds after the court’s exile in Ternel. True, the wall had been covered in thick vines only the day before. But Jimalee had an affinity for doorways, and, even with the vines, she should have spotted the curious blue-green portal filled with sparkles and set within the solid stone.

She had also lived here when she’d been young. Even then she had hunted out doorways. They were noteworthy. Doorways stood between neither here nor there. They could be sturdy or fanciful. They could stand beautifully carved or plain. Doorways were never one thing and offered glimpses of worlds clearly defines or dimly glimpsed through color glass. Worlds that appeared greater than the everyday. No, Jimalee would have noted a door here.

Her obsession with doorways had provided their escape into exile when the marauders had attacked. The emperor had certainly never forgotten. He had taken an interest in her and her interest in all that lay between.

His interest had created a space between in herself as well. An exile and accepted. A child and an advisor. Interest which she had chaffed under being so pinned down and observed. The gardens, secured by his guards, were one of few places she could retreat to and did so often. Another between there as well.

Perhaps that feeling of being stuck between had increased her affinity for doorways over the years. An affinity which had led her here now. She glanced behind her to where the sun touched the horizon. Here now in a moment between day and night.

Pausing before the doorway, she took a step toward it and raised her hand. Jimalee held herself scant space from the portal just keeping her fingertips from touching. A moment between in itself.

Between seeing the doorway and experiencing. She’d never seen the like before. The blue-green tone didn’t come from paint or any material she knew. Perhaps water, but she’d never seen water stand straight. Jimalee didn’t’ know this doorway, but she would. This moment between was precious. Precious because it was fleeting.

She stretched one finger forward and rested it against the material. The cold surface rippled beneath her finger, and she felt pressure within the portal. Did another surface lay below? She moved her hand down and whatever she’d touched continued up. Her hand slid through the portal as another extended out.

A face appeared in the doorway. At first it appeared the same blue-green as the surface, but as it continued forward, color seeped into the lip and cheeks. Her eyes were closed and her features narrow, soft, and sharp all at once.

Jimalee stepped backwards and the person stepped forward, their eyes snapping open. “I found you at last!” The voice rang melodically, and Jimalee felt the words shivered through her. Recognition rang inside her as if she’d awaited those words her whole life.

Taking another step forward, the woman shuddered as she finished stepping through the portal. Thin wings fluttered open behind her. Her feet curled beneath her, and she drifted above the ground. “I found you. The Queen will be so pleased!”

Jimalee retreated another step, she glanced away for guards. The creature’s sudden appearance disturbing her and casting Jimalee between now and this fairy and a childhood when the grounds had last been invaded. Fear from then clutched her now.

She didn’t live that life. She turned back toward the fair and saw her lowering her hands, a scowl on its face. “At least I think you’re her.”

“Who is her?” she said the words in jumbled frustration.

“My fairy queen’s true daughter! We haven’t found her for far too long.”

Jimalee scowled at the words. Fairies didn’t have children. They were light and magic made from laughter, and Jimalee was… She looked down at herself. Her skin didn’t glow with light. She had no wings and she had always been overly tall and gawky. Nothing like this fair, faint creature before her.

She stepped back again and wrapped her arms around herself, trying to comfort herself against the pain swelling in her chest. A pain she couldn’t fathom, but which the fairy’s words had awoken. “I am fairy. Queen’s daughter or not.”

“But you are.” The fairy dropped to the ground and pressed a finger against her lips. “Or will be.”

“Will be? Either you are or aren’t someone’s daughter. Why would think me that?”

“Not always. Kin can be chosen, and you are like us. You exist between like us.”

She had existed between her whole life. She’d always been most comfortable there. “I want to believe you…” She shook her head. “I want to but how”

The fairy glanced over her shoulder at the door. the shimmering pool. Light and fairy dust, could the door be made of that? “Well, the first sign is the doorway found you.” The fairy turned back to her and extended her hand. “The second will be it letting you through.”

“And if it doesn’t let me through?” She held pressed her hand against her chest.

The fairy shrugged. “Then you’ll be standing here in the garden, and I keep searching for the princess.”

Jimalee and the fairy stared at each other for she didn’t know how long. Yet another between. Between this world where she was prized for being witty, and one she couldn’t envision. Not truly. But she had known that world existed. She had felt it keenly. Felt it with every between she’d encountered.

She turned back toward the fairy. This was a moment of between. She could move from here to there and become something else. Jimalee started when she realized she was smiling. Yes, this was a between, and she loved them. She loved their precious fleeting nature. She had to make a choice. She held out her hand to the fairy and felt the creature’s touch.

The fairy turned its wings fluttering as she flew toward the doorway, pulling Jimalee behind her. A laugh escaped Jimalee’s throat as she stepped forward. Her hand once more near the doorway. One way or another, she would know if she were the fairy queen’s daughter. Then this between would close. Jimalee wondered what between would follow.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day5

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

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