“You sure this is the place?”

He nodded. “There’s the hollow oak where you hid. I ran to tag you, tripped on a stump.”

“Which is still here. After twenty years.”

“You came to help me, found the key.”

“Saved it in my treasure box. Forgot about it. Till we remembered the saying.”

She who unlocks the forest door, lives and thrives forevermore.

“Look, Katya. Bricks! A window!”

“The forest door!”

Katya reached it first. She shivered, afraid to try the key, afraid not to. “For our children,” Denis reminded her.

She took a deep breath and inserted the key.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

I am wondering what is behind the forest door? And what happens when they open it? But what most captured me is the phrase saying, “For our children”. We parents will do everything for the sake of our children, even if it is too risky or in a life-threatening situation. The snappiest salute to all parents who are willing to take a risk for the sake of their children.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

I am excited to read more adventures of Katya and Denis. Hope I will read that soon.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

There is something fascinating about a door in the forest. I cannot help but wonder what they will find on the other side. You have set the scene so well, it is easy to picture them standing in front of the door and Katya reaching out to unlock it. I enjoyed reading your story.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

I have a door in a forest in my ‘Forest Magic’ short story that I published on Kindle and KU earlier this year if you’re interested.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
1 year ago

I have read your story, Forest Magic, and can definitely recommend it!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
Reply to  Marianna Pieterse
1 year ago

Thanks Marianna, that’s kind of you to say.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

It is a stunning picture you chose for this story. It might be the start to a longer story?

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Love this Juma, so much mystery, so much that is left unsaid for the reader to think about. The ‘for our children’ made the story feel more urgent, like they are looking for a place to escape too with their children. It leaves you wanting to know more. Very nicely done.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

Oh, definitely. It’s surprising where it may take you. With the ‘Write Storybooks’ prompts I wrote several stories starring eleven year old twins ‘Jem and Clem’. Now I’m writing a children’s chapter book about their adventures, so it’s definitely worth writing prequels and sequels to the micro / flash fiction stories that you submit here ?

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

Because there is no hint as to what could be there we are all kept guessing by the clever crafting of the story.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Love how the dialogue tells us so much about Katya and Denis and drives the story Juma. Leaving us with the cliffhanger – will she turn the key and, if so, where will it lead? Very well written.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

If my ‘Cherry Blossom’ story is shortlisted, you might just find out ?

Lisa Gledhill
Lisa Gledhill(@lisa-gledhill)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

Oh I LOVE your story! Cannot wait to read further. Pleased I helped inspire you 🙂

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

It all seems very symbolic and open-ended, Juma, which makes it possible (and necessary) for the reader to activate their own mind and try to imagine what Katya and Denis are going through. And, of course, what they already have been through during the twenty years that have passed since the key was found. Fascinating! I hope you’ll be able to delve deep into their story!

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hello Juma, what question do we ask first? I’d like to think, opening the forest door is stepping into the world of nature, lives and thrives for evermore – (not in a material world)

Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock(@daisy-blacklock)
1 year ago

This story is brilliant. It is very intriguing.

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