Two Doors

Two Doors

Matthew Richardson


The shapes don’t make sense at first. Maybe the yellow streetlights are reflecting perversely off the garage door. Maybe it’s a shadow cast upon the white aluminium. As I walk into the driveway though, I realise that my eyes aren’t playing tricks. There is a huge bulge in the bottom half of the left door; a metallic pustule ready to burst through.

The windows in the house are dark and expressionless.

Key fob pressed, and the mechanism works. Groaning and squealing, the door raises, unpeeling with a shudder from the back end of my Audi. The vehicle is skewed across the darkened room. My eyes strain past shattered tail lights and an open car door to the garage beyond. Serrated saw blades and medieval chisels glint in the dim light, hanging from hooks and providing reference points in the shadow.

Black against grey, a man is seated in the driver’s seat of my car. He isn’t moving. Backing off, I fumble for the mobile phone in my pocket. A half-breath catches in my throat at what I see on the floor. Body parts litter the concrete. Frozen steaks, chicken wings, pork chops and even the remnants of the Christmas turkey, all scattered where the rear of the vehicle has struck the chest freezer.

The strange driver still hasn’t moved, and I shift round to look at him. Cheek bones jut out from his face, jumbled scrabble-tile teeth fill his mouth, and a dirty tracksuit hangs off him. His face rests on the steering wheel, blue powder smeared around his mouth. Cobalt bubbles pop in his spittle as he breathes gently.

He’s out for the count. I should do something; call the police, a neighbour, a family member. For some reason though, I can’t move. I can’t decide what to do first. The only thing stirring in the garage is the air freshener attached to the rear-view mirror. It swings gently, urgently.

My attention is drawn to a flashing red light on the dashboard-door open. It strikes me that it is not the driver’s car door that is open; it is the passenger’s.

The yellow streetlights seem more dirty-orange from the garage. The light doesn’t reach far.