The winners of Christian Courier’s Short Story Contest – Junior Division (Grades 4-9) will be announced in the August issue. One of the entries, “The Secret Door” written by Jennifer Boone of Smithers, B.C., was chosen as ‘most intriguing entry’ as the ending was left unfinished. The editors have decided to print it here and continue the contest by inviting you to read the story and submit your own ending to us! Each submission will be entered into a draw for a one-year subscription and the winning submission will receive a $25 gift card to Chapters. The top three endings will be printed in an upcoming issue of Christian Courier.
Send your submission by September 30, 2016, to Monica deRegt, Features Editor, at ac.reiruocnaitsirhc@acinom
or mail your submission to
c/o 2884 Gladys Ave
Abbotsford BC V2S 3Y2
It was the beginning of summer, and the school year had just ended. My twin brother Seamus and I, along with everyone else, were eager to get home. Almost everyone had left but we liked to be last so we didn’t have to be caught in the mob of excited kids. When the last few students were trickling out of the school we decided to leave.
“James! Seamus!” We both turned at the sound of our names. Anna, a girl in our class, was hurrying towards us, her brown hair bouncing behind her.
“Hi, Anna,” we both said wearily. The reason she usually talked to us was to boast about herself.
“What are you two doing this summer?” She asked.
“Nothing really,” Seamus replied. “Only staying at my uncle’s house while our parents are gone. What are you doing?”
Anna was quick to answer. “I’m going to California next week for a whole month. Too bad you don’t get to go anywhere.”
Seamus and I glanced at each other and I held back a laugh. We knew she wasn’t sorry.
“Well, see you next year!” Anna said, and with a smug look on her face she skipped away.
I awoke the next morning to Seamus pounding on the bottom of my top bunk. He slept right underneath me and usually woke me up this way. I rolled over and before I knew it Seamus was shaking me and dragging me out of bed.
“Okay, okay! I’m coming!” I slowly climbed down to the floor and Seamus handed me my suitcase.
“The van’s ready and mom is waiting for us!” He checked his watch. “Wow, you sure overslept! We were supposed to leave 20 minutes ago.” He left me to get dressed. A couple minutes later I sat in the backseat of the van beside Seamus, our suitcases packed away in the trunk of the car. My mom looked at us.
“Are you absolutely sure you’ve got everything? I don’t want to come back because you forgot something.”
“Yes, mom.” We answered in unison. She nodded but I could tell she didn’t believe us. She turned back around and we backed out of the driveway, our house disappearing from view as we went down the road.
The following hours passed quickly. Seamus and I listened to our favourite music, blasting it out of the car speakers and telling funny stories and jokes. Just when I was starting to feel carsick my mom announced we were almost there. We were passing through a small town but I knew my uncle lived a short distance away from the town. Our van turned onto a dirt road and in no time we pulled up to a huge blue house. I stepped outside and stretched my legs, relieved to not be in the cramped car anymore. Seamus and my mom hopped out beside me and stretched. A middle-aged man came out the front door and strode towards us, beaming. When he got closer I could see him better. He had the same dark brown hair as my mom and soft, kind, blue eyes. He could pass as my mom’s twin.
“Kendra! I haven’t seen you for a long time!” He hugged my mom and then looked at Seamus and me.
“And you must be James and Seamus! I’m your Uncle Charlie.” He shook both of our hands, studying our faces carefully. “Wow, you two are identical! I’m going to have trouble telling you apart.” Uncle Charlie clapped his hands together. “Well, let’s get your bags and I’ll show you the house.”
I fetched both of our suitcases and handed Seamus his. My mom walked to the car.
“Have a good time!” She waved as she drove away.
“Let’s go inside, shall we?” He smiled brightly and led the way to his house, the gravel crunching loudly beneath our feet. We reached the door and he held it open for us. I gasped, and my suitcase slipped from my grasp when I stepped in. The entrance hall was beautiful, with shiny brown floors and a spiral staircase leading up to the living room. I could tell already that Seamus and I were going to enjoy it here.
“I knew you guys would like it.” Uncle Charlie led us from room to room and every time I was amazed. Eventually we passed a set of double doors that Uncle Charlie nervously glanced at, then he continued down the hallway without a word. I stopped, alarmed by the noise coming from inside.
“Uncle Charlie, aren’t you going to show us this room?” I asked him. He smiled nervously and wrung his hands.
“Uh, that room isn’t important, there’s nothing that would interest you in there.” He walked on and Seamus and I exchanged glances. Seamus just shrugged and kept on walking and I had no choice but to follow.
During the days that followed I got so eager to know what was behind the double doors that I checked often to see if they were unlocked, but they never were. Seamus rarely ever showed interest in the doors; he was having too much fun doing things with Uncle Charlie that he even forgot about them sometimes when I would bring it up. One night, when Seamus and I were in our beds, I asked him again what he thought was behind the doors.
“I’m not really sure; we could just ask Uncle Charlie. He said it wasn’t important, so he will probably let us go in someday.” Seamus rolled over and fell silent. I didn’t agree with him. I could still see Uncle Charlie’s worried face and doubted he would ever let us in. I listened to Seamus’ breathing turn into snores, and quietly crept out of bed. I hurried along the hallway to the double doors. I closed my fingers around one of the door handles and pushed. It was unlocked! I stepped through, my heart hammering, and I heard the doors close behind me . . .
What do you think is behind the door? Send us your ending to this story, 250 words or less, using one of the addresses printed at the top of the page.
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