Short Story: The Changing Room Part 3

A loud knock came from the front door startling everyone in the room.
“I’ll get it, don’t get up.” Said his grandfather shaking as he walked to the front door.
“Mr. Planter, you’re under arrest for embezzlement.” Said a stern looking detective as two police officers handcuffed Harrison’s grandfather. The old man didn’t fight as the officers lead him out the door, he didn’t need to as Harrison’s parents did all the fighting for him. The two shouted about his innocence, and when that didn’t work, they turned to physical fighting the officers until they were taken away along with Harrison’s grandfather. After the shouts and pleas of innocence had died down behind the large front door, Harrison found himself alone again in the large foyer of the quiet house. The grandfather he knew may have not been the kindest man, but he was not a thief.
Whoever the man was who just left the mansion was not the grandfather who raised him, and the house he stood in now felt unknown to him and wrong. Harrison began to panic. Falling to his knees he clutched at his chest trying to regain his breath, but the now spinning room around him was too much for him to take. Running up the stairs Harrison went to the only place that felt familiar to him in the house, the changing room. The small dark room helped him to calm down a bit, but before he could do anything the room began to spin again.
This spinning was shorter than Harrison’s first trip, and within a few short minutes, the room had stopped again. Harrison shook at what he might find behind the door this time but decided to push on. As the door creaked open, Harrison was greeted by the loud, happy shrieks of two children running down the halls with a visibly tired woman trailing behind. The woman stopped when she saw Harrison and shouted.
“ Harrison, what are you doing in there? Can you please get out here and help me with the kids?”
It took Harrison and the woman over an hour and a half to catch up with the little boy and girl and put them to bed. The woman, exhausted, threw herself on the couch.
“ Can you take care of the kids tomorrow? You’re not working, and I really need a break.”
Harrison chuckled and nodded as the woman buried her head in a couch cushion.
“ Abigail?” Harrison asked trying to find out if the name on the photo in the hall was indeed hers.
“Yeah?” Replied Abigail, her voice muffled in the pillow.
Feeling confident after proving his first theory correct decided to confirm his next. “How long have we been married?”
“ What, did you forget?” She asked picking up her head.
“Nevermind.” He said having gotten the information he needed.
Abigail gave him a confused look and rested her head again.
“Could we invite my grandfather and parents over for dinner tomorrow?” Harrison said hopefully.
Abigail gave him a concerned look and sat up. “ Are you ok Harrison?”
“ They’re dead aren’t they?”
“ They’ve been gone for years?”
Abigail put her hand on Harrison’s shoulder.
“Can I just be alone for awhile?”
Abigail was worried but respected Harrison’s wishes and walk up stairs.
Harrison sat there angry that the ability he had now never gave him what he wanted, only certain things. Harrison decided that the only way he could truly get what he wanted was to use the room as many times as it took to find the life that would be exactly what he wanted.


– Matthew Brosche

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