Empty Door

surreal door to nowhere spotted in the Alps

Mish saw the door when he reached the top of the mountain. Catching his breath, he shrugged off his rucksack and sat on a rocky ledge. The half open door, he noticed, was standing in a frame which had been strapped in place by rotting ropes. Wondering why it was there, he pulled out a bottle of water and chugged it down. The cold liquid felt good on his parched throat and he felt a little better. Screwing the lid back on, Mish wiped his lips, then swept away strands of his long black hair.

With his breathing steadying, he took stock of the view. The German Alps stretched in all directions with their ragged tops cutting into the sky. Banks of grey clouds charged above them as if to stop their attack. A lazy breeze was waving the short grass, causing a constant change of colour. Foreign bird songs repeated themselves in the distance and the door stood out like a broken window.

Mish went to inspect it. He pushed the door fully open without a problem or a sound. The view captured within the frame was breath taking. The mountain slopped bumpily and dipped out of view as the next peak rose up, with another range shadowed behind. They reminded Mish of ocean waves. He took a hold of the latch handle, which was the only thing on the door, and pulled it shut. He faced the weathered wood for a few moments and then opened the door again. The view hadn’t changed.

He searched the ground, but couldn’t see the remains of a house. Someone had put the door frame here deliberately. Probably an artist or a photographer, he thought. Mish closed the door and put the latch down. He walked to the other side, careful of the loose stones and stood in front of it. This side looks the same, he decided. He lifted the latch and released the door.

A different view was now before him. He recognised it from the glances over his shoulder as he’d walked here. The dirt track he had followed faded away around a curve going downwards. Other peaks towered up alongside and with the low clouds blocked the way. Mish eased the door to and walked back to his rucksack. Putting it on, he set off following the track once more. However, as he looked back he saw that the door had disappeared.