A monster behind the door is one of the classic tropes of horror stories. You can find countless examples of the protagonist, antagonist, or just the cook, opening a door to reveal something horrific. Perhaps a zombie holding a Father’s Day cake made with a severed head. Maybe Frankenstein with bolts in his neck.
But those monsters still have to get to their hiding spot. They still have to tear themselves from the grave, rise from the sea, and stagger to the front door of the country house. This is a journey that could take hours.
I never thought about this before. Not before someone dropped me to bottom of that deep well. But I learnt that on the other side, you get something that could be called a choice. And that revenge is a very powerful force.
It took hours to climb up those slimy walls, especially as my neck was a like broken turkey bones, and my lungs were filled with damp leaves and water. By the time I clambered to the surface, the moon was high and fat amongst the stars.
My home sat upon the hill, the lights off in all but one window. The one in the lounge. Every step I took was loose and floppy, like walking through pins and needles. I used to jog this route in under three minutes. Now the twisted hand on my watch ticked from two to three through broken glass.
What keep me going is revenge. Not an action plan based on shattered memories. Just revenge, drumming through me like a replacement for my pulse. A pure emotion no less broken down than the shredded muscles in my arms.
The light is still on in the window, and I can see him, sitting in the armchair by the fire. The bottle of wine on the table next to him is half empty, but his hands shake.
My hand scratches against the door knocker, and leaves a mucky trail. The trope is about to play out once again. But now I understand how the monster gets to the door. And I understand what they think about.