Cellar Door

Penny Gotch

Penny Gotch was born in Luton, England, in 1991. Raised in Essex, she now lives in Kent, where she is studying a Creative & Professional Writing degree. Penny writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry: her work has been or will be featured in publications as diverse as “Asperger United”, “What the Dickens!” magazine, “Breath & Shadow”, and the Gentlemen Press “Poets & Muses” Competition. She also self-publishes on Tumblr with the handle aspermoth for poetry and pennygotch for fiction and non-fiction. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, baking and playing video games.

Jacob always pretended that a visit from Mirrie would change things, but it never did, and never would. It was self-delusion. But what else was there? Despair? Certainly not. Too undignified.

He ran his fingers across the damp wall. Moisture usually meant rain: he couldn’t hear it over Mirrie’s footsteps upstairs and the hum of her beloved vacuum cleaner, but if he looked up, he could see hundreds of raindrops trickling through hidden cracks in the concrete near the ceiling and racing each other to the floor.

Rain. It was one of those little things you don’t notice until it’s gone. Like a wife, or daughters. Except Mirrie came by often, and she always brought photographs of their girls. She never brought any of the grass, or the stars, or the rain.

And how he missed the rain.

Jacob pressed his cheek to the wall; water trickled down into his hair, tickling his scalp, and it made him laugh. There were still small joys to be found, even here.

Surely Mirrie would let him out someday soon, wouldn’t she? Except… she was different now. Inside and out. A new nose, smoother cheeks, nips and tucks: the surgery was flawless, but he preferred the old Mirrie.

He’d never know where she found the money for it, but he suspected it was something to do with him being locked in the cellar.

Someone once said “cellar door” was the most beautiful English phrase. Maybe, if Mirrie opened wide their cellar door for him, Jacob would agree. He stroked his beard and pondered as rain coursed down his face. After forty years, surely anything was possible.

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