‘A Trial of Life’


Once, in one of the many chambers of doors that make up the universe, a person discovered a single door that was inexplicably locked to them. They pulled on the door. They yanked and tugged and yelled and still it would not open. As they grew more frustrated, the palms of their hands became slick with sweat, they lost their grip and fell, quite spectacularly, backwards onto the floor.

A passing demon grinned at them and laughed. ‘You’ll never get that open’ it said and flew away to be about its mischief.

The person, angry and embarrassed, returned to the door, determined to prove the demon wrong and get it open. On and on they went, through the hours and days and years that went by, pounding on the door, swearing and pleading with it to let them in. Around them, doors opened and closed, other people came and went, but they never noticed. The one locked door had become the centre and entirety of their universe around which all their effort and energy now orbited.

Eventually they collapsed and lay exhausted, their life force seemingly nearly spent. The demon had since become an an angel. It felt rather sorry for the broken figure and a little guilty for its past behavior. It flew down beside them.

‘I wasn’t lying’ it said. ‘This door is always closed to you. But there are one thousand other doors in this chamber alone. Why not try one of those?’

So saying, the angel scooped the person up, took flight and lay them down next to another door, chosen quite at random.

‘Try this one’ it said.

And so they did.

Damian Mark Whittle

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