Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ten steps to go

Ive got a bit behind with my writing so I've comblined this weeks prompt at Writers Island, Threshold ,with last weeks prompt at  Sunday Scribblings, The Next Step.

Silver spears of rain darted downward and glistened in the glare from the streetlamp which shook in the wind. It was as if his face and hands were being pricked by a thousand needles. In his arms a heavy load. Not much farther, the door was in sight, not far to go. He fumbled for the key which had lodged itself in the bottom of his pocket. As he pulled it out, his fingers which were numb with the cold let it fall the to the rain drenched pavement at his feet. The bundle he carried, his precious load was becoming heavier by the second but he dare not let it out of his grasp. Scooping the key from the ground took all the effort he could muster. His next task was to push it into the lock without once again letting it escape from his hand. He pushed it, twisted it, and eventually the door swung inwards. He stumbled into the entrance, it was totally dark. With his free hand he felt along the wall until he found the light button. He pressed it and in an instant the hallway was flooded with white light. It hurt his eyes. Ahead lay his next challenge, the staircase to his apartment which went steeply upwards, then twisted, and rose again then turned.  One slow step at a time, each one more difficult than the last. The next step, then the next and the next. A few feet above him he could see the door to his flat. Just ten steps to go, nine steps, eight steps ...... the light went out. Complete blackness. He swore out loud. His arms ached, why did he ever agree to carry this cumbersome load from his car to home? In the darkness he tripped then tottered back a step, quickly grasping the handrail preventing him and his precious bundle from falling back down the stairwell. He felt his arms were giving way, but there was no way he would give up now, not now he was so close.

As he reached the top of the stairs he located the light timer and stabbed at it, lighting up all around. He knelt down resting his load on his knee as he once again searched for his keys. He juggled them in his free hand until he found the one which would let him into his apartment. With all his strength he rose to his feet and pushed the key into the lock. A twist and the door flew open. A triumphant smile illuminated his face as he carried his cherished cargo across the threshold then lowered it to the floor. He lay down alongside, totally exhausted but elated. “Thank you so much” he said “for becoming my wife today, but that’s the last time I carry you anywhere!”

PS. Originating in Rome, the bride used to have to be carried across the threshold because she was or pretended to be reluctant to enter the bridal chamber. In those days it was considered lady like to be hesitant at this point or look hesitant. Another legend has it that bride was carried over the threshold to protect her from any evil spirits lingering there. 


  1. Had to keep reading to find out what he was carrying and ended with a smile on my face :-) Well done!

  2. Captivating, interesting, and a funny ending. Great job!

  3. lol I couldn't have anticipated a wife as a bundle. Love your style. You're a great writer

  4. Delightful story, really pulled us in. I was anticipating maybe a body... but not a bride! Great twist!

  5. Good to have you back..and what a read..she is alive I hope?..or is that a Jae dark thought! :)

  6. Perhaps I'm a bit morbid, but I too was wondering if that bundle was alive or dead...

  7. LOL, I love this. Very, very clever. You had me all intrigued, wondering what this guy was carrying and then the end...LOL. Congrats on a nicely written piece.



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