2. The Spiral Staircase – The Door

by Eric Liang

After I opened the secret door, it revealed a sturdy metal door. This time, it had the word CAUTION in big black and yellow colored letters labeled across it. I wondered what could be behind the door. Then, I noticed at the bottom, in very small font, it said:

“In case of nuclear warfare, zombie apocalypse, and/or the apocalypse takes place, use the thing inside to survive and arm yourselves for what’s to come.”

Beneath it, showed

Do not open this door if not necessary unless it’s for maintenance. The gold key is also required to open what’s behind this door. Guard it with your life.

Just then, I felt someone’s breath hitting my neck. I nervously and cautiously turned around. My grandparents had caught me. I told them this isn’t what it seemed like. Luckily for me, they were the nicest grandparents in the world, so they understood and instead of expecting a punishment, they asked “so do you want to know what’s behind this door?” I nodded with excitement.

“Do you promise to keep this a secret between us three and no one else? That also goes for your parents.”

I raised my hand and replied, “Yes, I do and I swear my life on it.”


I was then prompted to insert the gold key into the door and turn 90 degrees counterclockwise, then 180 degrees clockwise, then the tricky 45 degrees counterclockwise, and finally, pulling it out in exactly 10 seconds otherwise the traps down here will activate, killing us all without delay.

I hesitated and swallowed my anxiousness and nervousness. My hands grew sweaty. My life, no, our lives were at stake once I insert the key. I started to have second thoughts. What if it fails? What will happen? What kinds of traps did my grandparents set up in here anyways? Will it be painful?

Without knowing, my hand moved on its own and inserted the key into the slot. I freaked out. Here goes nothing. I turned the key according to the instructions I received: 90 degrees counter, 180 degrees….. finally, the 10 seconds remained. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… zero! Without hesitation, I pulled out the key with my eyes shut. It felt as if time had stopped. Suddenly, mechanical noises were audible behind the door. Smoke began to leak out of the door, and finally it opened up revealing nothing but darkness.

My grandparents both went in and turned on the lights. One by one, the lights lit up from closest to farthest. I was speechless and my jaw dropped. It was something I would never have imagined my grandparents owned.

To be continued…