Kids at school often teased Crystal for being gullible. She believed all their stories and bits of gossip. Even if it was harmful, she absorbed everything in her surroundings like a sponge. The result was a shy first grader who came home with the strangest and most outrageous stories. She was easily frightened and suffered from constant nightmares. Caleb recalled one time last year around Halloween when he told her and Calvin about the Urban Legend of Bloody Mary. Crystal couldn’t sleep for week and needed him to check the bathroom each time prior to entering. Her classmates often played pranks on her. Caleb suspected this as one of the reasons behind his sister’s screaming. Well, that or someone could honestly be trying to break into her room. Even though it was on the second floor, thieves in his neighborhood were reckless and carried no regard for human life. They would do just about anything to achieve their goals. He and Calvin raced upstairs, back to the furthest room on the top floor of their home. Crystal’s door swung open before either of them could reach for it.
“It’s in my closet!” she cried, her curly, dark locks flailing as she ran into his arms.
The three of them stood in the dark hallway next to the bathroom; light from their sister’s open room stood at their feet.
“Is it a robber?”Caleb asked. She shook her head.
Calvin frowned and folded his arms. “Another nightmare, wasn’t it? Girl, when you gonna’ grow up and stop being so scary?”
Caleb shot him a dirty look. “Leave her alone.”
“It’s the truth!” Calvin shot back, clenching his fists. “You want her to be a punk forever? She’s freaking eight!”
“Cal,” He approached his brother ready to hit him. He was very overprotective of both his siblings, but tended to have a short-fuse when it came to Crystal. He also understood where Calvin was coming from, however he didn’t have to be so mean to her!
“I said… Leave. Her. Alone.”
“Yeah? And what you gonna do?” He shoved his face into Caleb’s, not backing away. Thunder rumbled from outside over them.
Crystal jumped from the storm, glancing at her brothers nervously.
“Stop it!” She yelled, interrupting the furious stare-down between her brothers. Sporting a violet long-sleeved shirt, a jean skirt and multicolored stockings, she tugged on her outfit and looked down, shuffling her feet.
Caleb and Calvin turned to her, raising an eyebrow.
“Huh?” They spoke simultaneously.
“The door in my closet,” She mumbled. “It’s black. Sabrina Hightower told me last week at lunch that it’s bad luck to have another door in your closet. She said that it leads to the world where the aliens live. And if you open it, you’ll never be able to come back to your room… Ever.”
Caleb tilted his head, puzzled. There was no other door in his sister’s closet though. He was sure of it. He had to check for “monsters” all summer long earlier this year.
Calvin rolled his eyes. “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”
“It’s true!” Crystal hollered, stomping her foot.
“Your friend Sabrina is a big ass liar.” Cal went on.
“Uh sis… You don’t have an extra room in your closet.” The eldest chimed in, pointing at her.
“Yes I do!” The girl stomped her foot once more. “Come see!”
With that, she grabbed Caleb’s hand and marched into her bedroom. A small desk lamp kept the bedroom lit in one corner while books and toys lay scattered across her floor. The entrance to her closet was open to a crack, the light was on and some clothes were knocked down from the closet shelf. She dragged them right up the ajar door, then turned to them, placing her hands on her hips.
“Well? Open it!” Calvin commanded after a few seconds had passed.
“You crazy? I ain’t goin’ in there!” The girl sassed, snapping her fingers. “You do it!”
“But you brought us here!” The middle kid growled through clenched teeth, ready to kick her.
Caleb sighed and shook his head. “Fine! I’ll do it.”
Grumbling to himself, he slowly headed in pushing his sister inside. Since it wasn’t a robber, he felt there was nothing else to fear. That was his main concern. He considered this as monster checking, for the umpteenth time… The cramped space that was Crystal’s closet was long and narrow, packed full of clothes, even more toys, bed accessories and boxes of shoes. He could barely see anything ahead of him. Things were thrown everywhere. What on Earth did this little lady do in here? It wasn’t this full last time he was in here! Worse than a forest… Forging forward to the back, rain pounded on the roof of their home above them. He pushed a path through the hanging outfits, trying to avoid stepping on the mess sprawled out along the floor. However his efforts were in vain. Upon reaching the back, Caleb lost his balance and fell, slamming against something hard.
“Did you find anything?” Calvin called out.
His response was muffled to keep from yelling. Head throbbing, he rose to his knees glancing upward. His eyes widened.
It was another door.
“Guys. Come see this.”
“HA! I told you!” The youngest cheered and kicked her brother.
Calvin responded by pressing a finger to her forehead and pushing her, causing her to collapse onto her butt.
In all their years of living together, Caleb never noticed an extra entry in Crystal’s closet. This was new to him. He wondered if his mother knew anything of this. He had to call her. The entrance in front of him seemed like every other door in the house. It possessed an antique look; Skinny, curvy golden handle attached to it. Plus the entire wooden slab was painted black.
“Whoa…” Calvin began, when he and Crystal had caught up with him. “When did mom put this in your room?”
“She didn’t.” The girl replied worriedly.
Caleb thought to himself, rubbing his chin. “You think she wanted it to be a surprise?”
“What the hell so special about this?” Calvin scoffed.
“Stop cussing in front of your sister!” The oldest bellowed.
“What you ‘gonna do if I don't?”
A sudden loud thump from the black door cut each of them off. The siblings went silent, exchanging looks with one another.
Thunder boomed outside for a second time. A new powerful thud filled the closet, causing the entrance to rattle slightly. Was someone on the other side? Were they… Knocking?
“It’s the monsters! Caleb… I’m scared.” Crystal hugged her brother.
“Man screw that crap.” Calvin took charge and crawled a few feet ahead of his siblings and punched the entrance two times. Joining his hits came his words. “Monsters *Pow* ain’t *Pow* real!”
Nothing happened. Was it the wind inside the hidden room? He didn’t even know if it contained windows…
“See? I say we open this bad boy!” Cal grinned, cracking his knuckles and reaching for the handle.
“NO,” Both Crystal and Caleb protested, attempting to stop him.
The two barely had any time to react before he turned the golden knob, pushing it open. The door creaked loudly, revealing a world of darkness behind it. It was all they could see. A cool breeze greeted them, tugging on their clothes as if inviting them in. Black dirt began to collect on the sibling’s feet. Further inside, they could hear the whistling wind.
“Damn… That’s crazy,” Calvin whispered, completely awed. He waved at the darkness.
“Nobody move. I’m going to get a flashlight.” Caleb was off as soon as his sentence ended.
“Maybe the room is still under construction. We should leave it alone.” Crystal whimpered.
Her brother wasn’t listening. Taking a small step forward, he reached into the shadowy space.
“Cal, don’t!” She moaned.
“Don’t you want to see what’s inside?” He asked.
“But Caleb said not to move!”
He was becoming annoyed. “You always gotta do what that goody-two shoes says? I’m goin’ in. You either with me, or stay here and be a punk.”
Crystal scowled. “I’m not a punk!”
Cal smirked at her response. “Good. Then let’s go.”