A (very) short story I wrote when I was in my twenties, as I started out with a young family. While many may find the following story slightly corny or simply won't get it, others will know exactly what I was aiming for and think it brilliant.
The hero stood before the summit of the worn and haggard old steps and let out a long, hard, resigned sigh. It was now time. She had thought about this moment for days now and the time had finally arrived.
She knew that the task she was about to endeavour upon would be hard and she wasn’t sure she would have the strength left inside her to complete it, but it had to be done – and she was running out of time, before they came back. With doubt in her mind and weariness in her legs, she took one last breath of fresh air before transcending the first of the steps.
Her clothes by now were dirty and loose and, in a couple of places, had been torn by the exploits and obstacles she had been forced to overcome since she started this journey just a short time ago, though it felt that several days had passed instead.
Once into a steady rhythm the hero found it easier to mount the steps, which were laden with many traps and pitfalls along the way. As she made her way upwards she noticed, from the corner of her eye, the walls were decorated with many strange and dusty old pictures that appeared to vibrate with the colour that was within them.
Finally she reached the top of the steps and, with a sharp turn to the right, was faced with a long dark passageway. Ahead of her, about ten yards away, she saw a chink of light. It was the entrance to the room she needed. The one she had struggled all day to overcome her fears about.
She stood there staring, wondering if she was doing the right thing, wishing now that she had not volunteered for this perilous task. Maybe if she stayed there long enough it would all fade away and not be real; but, alas, she knew it was and also what ultimately needed to be done.
With a huge combined effort from all her emotional senses she moved forward until she was at the door. She checked all her weapons – one in each hand and one tucked away in her belt ‘just in case’, and made sure they were ready and working.
With one final step she moved up and, with the outside of her right hand, brushed away the dust on the old sign fixed to the wall. Wiping the streaky dirt away she revealed the mottled gold writing:
‘John and Katie’s play room’