Inside Door

“Girl, you scarin’ me. Come in, come in.”
Within a few moments Tiana was ensconced on Shay’s comfy sofa with a blanket with a huge glass of red wine. Tiana’s hands shook as she held the glass.
“TiTi spill it,” Shay insisted.
Tiana downed the wine.
“It started three months ago when I went to that big commercial furniture convention in Chicago. I stayed at the Hyatt and my hotel room was nice but it had an interior door with a little plaque that read Room 137 Inside Door,” Tiana said. Her voice sounded stilted almost mechanical. She stared into her empty glass. “I noticed this weird door wasn’t on the room map. But I didn’t think much of it. It was just a nice hotel to have such an old looking door.”
“And…” Shay pushed.
“Then in Atlanta for that Color Forecast thing I was at a Wyndham and the door was there again. Standing in the corner like a closet but not. The door, the plaque everything was the same. I took the lift to the lobby and tried to explain to the front desk lady but she just looked at me like you’re looking now.” Tiana broke down her body shuddering in tears.
Shay held her friend brushing Tiana’s tears with her fingers. “We’ve been through too much together. I believe you. I’ve never seen you this frightened. Is there more?”
Shay poured herself and her friend another generous glass. “ What happened when you try the door?”
Taking slow breaths, Tiana drank deeply. “The first door I checked and it was locked. I never touched the second door. I can’t stop thinking about this. I called out sick for the Virginia trip but I’d have to call out dead to miss Lamps & Lumieres. I’m a mess. Then it happened.”
Shay’s eyes widen. “Dude.” She held her friend tightly.
“I was home right watching tv and then I heard something in my basement,” Tiana said, crying on Shay’s shoulder. “I thought it was the heater. Or maybe a window. The lights were out so I grabbed a torch to investigate. And the door was there. Dark oak, brass knob, and a brass plaque Room 137 Inside Door the same as before in my basement. In my basement.” Tiana squeezed Shay. “Something was knocking on the other side of that door!”
Shay pulled out of the embrace slightly to look at her friend’s face. “You’re holding me so tight. You’re so scared you don’t even sound like yourself. You’re suddenly British and crap. What happened next?”
Suddenly Tiana drew Shay back into her arms. Squeezing harder and harder Tiana said, “silly girl, I answered and let me out.”

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