The top of the door was arched, and the lines simple, but it looked as though someone had dipped a quill with gold faerie dust and sketched a door into the air. Some of the aching in her heart eased, and her breaths didn’t pinch so tight in her chest. If only she knew how to make doors in the real world.
“You’ve forgotten the doorknob,” Lyra whispered, as if the slightest sound could dissolve the magic.
Taking a deep breath, and keeping her eyes open this time, Gwyn held out her hand and brushed her longest finger against the center of the door.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the shimmerings of a knob faded into view.
Mesmerized, Gwyn reached out, but her hand passed through the knob as though it had no more substance than the Ruby Queen’s kindness. When her hand grasped nothing but air, she clenched her hand into a fist, and some of her earlier happiness dimmed.
Lyra drifted up behind her. “You have to truly want it to open.”
“I do.” Her voice cracked. Until she was up here and away, she always forgot how heavy the Ruby Queen’s garden was. Like iron to the soul.
Lyra flew around so they were facing one another. She raised a brow. “Do you?”
“Yes,” Gwyn growled.
The corners of Lyra’s lips deepened the dimple on her cheek. “Well, don’t tell me. Tell the door.” She gestured to the gold lines that stared back at them.
Gwyn sucked in her cheeks. In all the times she’d visited Lyra, and all the doors she’d ever opened, she’d never thought—never felt—that maybe the door wanted something just as much as she did.
But what could a door possibly want?
And how could she ask it? Doors didn’t have mouths or thoughts of their own. They were silent guardians that kept people in or kept them out.
Shaking her head to clear it, Gwyn called up all her wants, her wishes, and dreams. She focused them on the doorknob, her heart pounding in her head. The pressure grew so great that her ears popped.
A tiny sound. An infantesimle change. But one that opened like the floodgates, taking the intensity and desperation she felt with it, and leaving behind a single, open door.
“I knew you could do it.” Lyra clapped her hands. “Shall we go?”
Gwyn nodded, the taste of a memory just out of reach, hovering near the back of her tongue. Had she imagined the door’s wanting? Had all the time she’d spent in the Ruby Queen’s garden driven her mad at last?
Or was there truth to the feeling?
She furrowed her brow under the weight of her almost-discovery. How could she tell the difference?
Gwyn nodded and shrugged off the uncomfortable feeling squeezing at her shoulders. It was an interesting question, but one she didn’t have to answer. Not here. Not now. Maybe later.
She took Lyra’s hand and followed her through the door, marveling at its existence. But that small wonder would soon be replaced, as it always was, with the wonder that was Lyra’s world. Already she could feel frizzles of anticipation working their way in long tendrils out from her heart, and fizzing through the rest of her.
Lyra let go of her hand and turned around, her arms wide open. “I thought, for today, purple!”
. . . TO BE CONTINUED . . .
© 2015 by Danyelle Leafty. All rights reserved.
Ah, the door. Not quite sentient–at least not by normal standards–yet so much more than a slab of stone or wood. A door has so many intriguing possibilities, and yet, in a world where one door leads to a single place, we’ve forgotten the magic that could be waiting just one step over.
Join me next Tuesday to see what all the fuss is over purple. 😉
If this is your first time visiting, check out the first installment of this episode. Feel free to gather round the hearth and read the other stories that are going on too. The more the merrier!
If you like, feel free to join me tomorrow as we follow the adventures of a certain Queen of the Nearly Dead Fae in training. 🙂