Robert doesn’t know when his fascination with doors began, but he loved to look at houses and doors where ever he went. One day, for some reason he doesn’t quite remember, he took a picture of a door he was passing by. It wasn’t remarkable in any sort of way, but he still took the picture. Just a regular dark brown door with a silver handle. The front door to someone’s house. It was that day that he started a folder on his phone and whenever he passed a door that intrigued him for any reason, he took a picture of it.
It wasn’t long before he had amassed a very nice little collection on his phone. Just of peoples’ front doors or garage doors or shed doors. How strange he must have seemed to others who were passing by – he’d stop his car and get out, or stop walking where he was. He’d take his phone out, lift up his glasses (because you can’t take a picture wearing your glasses apparently) frame it just so on the screen and snap a few pictures before returning on his merry way.
There came a point where Robert had no idea what to do with his pictures. He had such a large collection but there was no reason behind it. He printed off all the pictures and deleted them from his phone. He then started to search out the most interesting ones, and he remembered exactly where each one was. Funny how brains work that way.
Robert would take the picture with him, make sure it was the same house (it always was) and knock on the door. He felt silly at first but after a few doors he had an idea. A great way to talk to the owners but also a reason for doing all of this.
Hi! You don’t know me, but my name is Robert. I am making a book of interesting doors. I took this picture of your door a while ago. I was wondering, if you don’t mind, could you tell me a little bit about the door? Why did you choose this one? And if it’s ok, could I use your story and this picture in my book?
Robert even had a release form all ready to go just in case they said yes. Most people were a little awkward at first, but Robert’s quiet demeanor and fascination with the doors gave them a little bit of ease. They would tell him stories of how the door was just there when they bought that house, or they picked it out because they liked the window or something like that. Some of the people had changed the colour of the door and could show Robert the old colour along the edges of the door.
Once Robert has collected all his information, he set about doing exactly what he told the people he would be doing – he created a book. He took the stories that were told to him and typed them all up. He matched them with the doors they belonged to and edited it all on his computer. He sent it away to be printed and bound by a local copy shop. Sure it wasn’t “book store quality” but it was his and he loved it.
But then Robert wasn’t satisfied anymore with just his book of doors. He felt lost and like a void was forming in his life. He didn’t have anything to do anymore. Sure he still had his job and his social life, but something was just missing. He started to obsess over his collection of doors. Not all of them, just the ones in his book. These were his doors.
Soon Robert found himself walking by the doors almost daily, carrying his book with him always. There were a lot of doors, but he managed to get to every door at least once every 3 or 4 days. He was just checking up on them. Making sure they were ok. Robert felt a strange connection to the doors. As if they were his friends. He started distancing himself from his real life friends, being late to work or missing a day completely to go and see the doors.
One day, he noticed that the people in one of the houses were moving out. Movers were there helping to carrying things into a big truck. The man Robert had talked to was carrying out a coffee table when he scratched the door. Robert had to hold in a gasp! The man had damaged his door!
The man returned to inspect the door, but barely noticing the tiniest scratch on the door, he carried on with his business.
Robert stayed there all day. Fixated on the door, clutching his book to his chest as if he could help fix the door if he put enough pressure on the book.
That night, as Robert started to feel the chill of the evening press in around him, he saw that the man had come back to the house. He was doing a final check before leaving for good.
Robert saw that the front door was left open just a crack. He quickly made his way across the street to the door and slipped inside. He paused only for a second to press his hand over the minuscule scratch, almost as if he was showing kindness and compassion to someone who was hurt.
Robert found the owner in the kitchen, opening and closing drawers, checking to make sure everything had been packed. Robert saw a glass bottle on the island in the middle of the kitchen. He swiftly crossed the room, picked it up, and was at the apex of his swing before his target noticed something behind him and started to turn around.
Robert screamed as he slammed the bottle over the man’s head. That, and the following screams with each blow Robert landed with the now broken bottle, could be heard from the street. Within minutes the police were in the house, breaking Robert’s door off it’s hinges as they made their way into the kitchen.
But it was too late. They couldn’t believe the damage that Robert had inflicted in such a short time. He was sitting on the floor, his book to his chest, rocking in a puddle of blood – he scratched the door. He SCRATCHED the door! And he didn’t even care. He scratched the door….
For those of you just stopping by, this post is being written in participation of the A to Z challenge. No Love For Fatties will resume regular posts as of May 1st. Until then, enjoy a new short story every day of the month! If you are stopping by from A to Z, let me know by leaving a comment in the section below!