The Room of Doors

by JM Prescott

The key fit the tiny door and it creaked opened lazily, showing her the garden full of painted flowers. She smiled, remembering, and closed the door.

She placed the key back on the table next to the small bottle. Sighed. Smiled and looked around at the Cat who floated in the corner with a knowing smile.

"Not thirsty?" he said.

"Not even a little," she said. They looked at each other then broke at the same time. Their chuckling and giggling echoed off the doors.

He caught his breath first. "Which way ought we to go from here," he asked.

She smiled again, "that all depends on where we want to get to." He nodded but didn't laugh so she sighed and strolled around the room, tuning and looking and considering her options. She pointed at one door that looked as much like the others as they all did - except for the small one behind the curtain, of course.

"That one leads to the woods outside the March Hare's house," she said to herself, but the Cat was listening.

"Does it?"

She turned, surprised. "You don't know?"

He smiled that knowing smile again. "Perhaps I do - contrariwise, perhaps I do not. What does it matter?"

"Oh, I should know better," she scolded herself and turned back to her choices.

"Must every door lead someplace?" He was playing a new game now, one that she didn't know the rules to. She should have chosen faster.

"Even if it's no place, that still is some place," she said.

"Contrariwise, then every someplace is a no place; so it doesn't really matter which one you choose."

She ignored him, "I've been someplace before - many times. So I think I should like to go no place." Convinced she'd solved the riddle, she grinned and turned so fast her dress twirled around her knees. "Which door leads to no place?"

He grinned so wide that his grin reached past his face. "Follow me," and he disappeared.

"A little more help than that," she shouted into the empty space.

The grin reappeared and then phased through the door behind him. She shook her head and smiled to herself. "He knew which one all along," she said and touched the door. Her fingers sunk into the wood. She pulled them out again, a little frightened. But then she relaxed into herself and stepped through the door into no place at all.