23 September 2013

Creative Corner 6

Writing Prompt:

The Locked Room

Summer vacations in my family weren’t the usual kind.  My parents always rented a house in a different part of the country each year in order to experience what they called “a wider aspect” of society.

I was always an introverted child, much more interested in inside of the house than out of it and I preferred reading a book to touring around the local sights.  When my parents made their vacation decisions I championed the older looking houses, hoping to find something interesting in the attic or an old family story I could investigate.

In 2006 we made the 1200 mile journey from our home in New York to a small town in Louisana.

The house was huge and at least a hundred years ago.  The realtor had said that the property was permanently on let to vacationers, but somehow the place had still retained a certain charm that countless visitors hadn’t spoiled.  I immediately loved it.

After making a tour of the house, from cellar to attic, I came across a locked door to what appeared to be quite a large room.  This was unusual given that the house was on permanent let.  What could be the reason to lock it?

After much Googling I found out that the house had not had a permanent resident for the past thirty years.  The last residents had been a Glenn and Jessica Cartwright in 1976.  They were still listed as the owners today, now living in the Florida Keys.  Curious.  Why would you uproot and leave your house, never to return?  I had to find out what was behind that locked door as I felt sure that that would provide me with the answers.

I was confident after years of watching people do it on the television that I could easily pick a lock with a bobby pin.  I was wrong.  Day after day I tried, but the damn thing just wouldn’t open.  Eventually I gave up on the door and found other pursuits to amuse me.

The day before we were due to return to New York I passed the door again.  The bobby pin that I had been using was still nearby on the floor, where I had thrown it after my last failed attempt.  I decided on one last go.

This time though, with barely a wiggle of the pin, the lock on the door opened and I hesitantly opened the door and peeked around the side.

Unlike the rest of the house which had a modern, clean lines feel to it, this room was decorated in a distinct 1970’s style, the time when the owners had last lived at the property.  Moving my eyes away from the desk in the corner and the brightly coloured wallpaper, I noticed a small child’s bed in the corner with a huge teddy sitting on the pillowcase.  The name “Kimberly” was embroidered onto a picture over the fireplace.  This was a child’s room. 

Moving further into the room I saw that the linen was still on the bed, the toys were on the floor; everything appeared as though someone had walked out of the room one day and never came back, simply locking the door on it.  It was a room preserved in history.

Realisation flooded into my mind.  I now understood why the Cartwright’s had left this house, never to return.  I went back to the computer and found what I was looking for.  An article in July of 1976 about a little girl called Kimberly Cartwright, drowned in the local creek at the age of 8.

I went back to the room and carefully locked the door again with my fashioned bobby pin key.  My entry into the room had gone unnoticed by my parents and I never told them what I found inside.  It was a reminder that not every locked door should be opened.

The next day we flew back to New York.


  1. Fantastic piece of writing, Vicky! I really felt like I were there. xx

    1. Thank you Louise :) I have done a few of these lately so think am going to have a gap and then crack into some more after. I have been missing doing my fashion posts! x

  2. A brilliant post! I was enthralled. x


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