The chronicle of a child's discovery under her spiral staircase.
The Fifth Door - INTRODUCTION
Based on a child’s account of her bizarre discovery of a blue container in a small room under the spiral stairs at her home, with her sister’s birth date and a file number writer on it. Her sister Toni that she hasn’t seen, heard from or heard much about in over four years.
The door leading to the space was dubbed “The fifth Door” because of the label left on it by the builder of her home. It was left on the door for days as they unpacked, cleaned and organized their new home. The strange thing was, they tried figuring out why it was labelled the 5th door just for fun, and it made no sense at all to them. It didn’t matter what logical order the doors were counted in, this door just didn’t fall in that position. It may have been labelled for another home but the mysterious number encouraged the naming of the door that became an inside family joke, and over the years they actually referred to it as the fifth door.
The contents of the room guarded by the fifth door were out of sight and out of mind to everyone until curious twelve year old Danielle became lethargic half way through her dad’s request to pack away her suitcases in the storage room in the basement. She instead went to the small space that served as refuge for several plastic storage containers the size of laundry baskets, but covered and without the vertical slots that allows the dirty laundry to breath. A total of eight containers, each filled with documents, all sorts of documents, CD’s, diaries, binders and tons of photos were among the items.
This little discovery peaked her interest and fuelled her desire to dig deep into the meaning behind especially the blue container with those numbers; to her it was not just another storage container. She was convinced it had answers to questions buried deep down inside of her, questions that will someday transform into voices yearning for answers.
THE 5ifth DOOR
A few days after returning from our cruise vacation at the end of July, I picked up my suitcases with the intention of storing them away in the basement as requested or should I say, commanded by my dad. Something about leaving my empty suitcases in the hallway upstairs didn’t sit well with him. Too lazy to take the stairs to the proper storage room in the basement, I headed for the much closer “forbidden room” under the stairs just one flight down. With very little effort I cleared enough space over in the right corner to fit the two pieces. I intentionally tucked them away in this space to keep them under my dad’s radar.
You see; my dad has this strange belief that everything should always be in its place and in order. This makes it easier to find your stuff whenever you need them, he said. After rearranging the space and concealing my suitcases the warm golden sunlight that greets us through the back sliding glass door in the morning combined with the pale energy saver light mounted on the wall just inches above the containers, casted a beam of light on something that caught my eyes. Something very interesting caused me to linger long enough to make some sense of what I saw at the end of the golden beam. Revealed by the presence of the light was a label on a blue container with Toni’s birth date and another number written on it.
I became one with this blue container in some weird sort of way, those numbers, that treasure chest had a story to tell and I was in the mood for a front row seat. The danced around answers to my many childhood questions may have been lurking under those stairs for as long as I could remember.
No wonder that room was forbidden and locked down tight. Adult’s stuff I was told and off limits for playing.
The night I made the discovery I got very little sleep as I had two major issues on my mind. To figure out what was behind that mystery number and how to find the hidden goods in those thousands of pages without getting caught or getting my dad curious about my behavior.
It was about 3:30 a.m. when an idea was born. My bright idea was to clear a section of my closet creating enough room to fit all the contents of the bin so I could go through them in privacy. After all, I wasn’t even sure if anyone remembered that this stash even existed so I figured it wouldn’t be missed while I took my own time to satisfy my curiosity...more