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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)

TITLE: Hidden Secrets
By Joseph Veseli


"When did the realtor say this house was built?" Joy says staring at the wall.
"1992," I reply.
"I would have thought the 70's. Look at that wallpaper. It's a good thing we're painting it, huh?" a smile plays around the corners of her lips.
"What fun," I mutter.
"This is going to be the accent wall. So I want to use this paint," she hands me a can labeled, Bordeau Brown, and walks away.
"You need to hurry. It won't be long before your precious tv gets here."
I go to set the can down and something on the wall catches my eye. I walk over and see part of the wallpaper peeling back. It looks like something's written behind it. I pull it back and uncover the words, Seek And You Will Find.
"What are you doing?"
I jump like I was shot! "Woman," I say but quickly laugh it off. "You scared me."
"I see that. But that doesn't explain why you're tearing up the wall instead of painting it," a smirk across her face.
"I'm not tearing it up. The paper was peeling and I saw something. Look."
She walks over and reads it.
"What does it mean?"
"I don't know," I say.
We both look at it as if the answer will jump out at us.
"Whatever," I say, giving up. Joy looks at me and pushes a roll of tape into my chest. "Here you go, handsome. I'll start on the other side."
I bend down and start taping off the baseboards. But halfway through I notice another part of the wall peeling. Reaching over, I rip it back to see something else written.
"Honey, look at this," She leans over me and reads it out loud, "Knock And The Door Will Be Opened."
"Okay, I know I've heard that before. I just can't think of where."
"It does sound familiar," she agrees. Again, we both stare at it, trying to figure it out. On a hunch, I reach over and knock on the words. A hollow metal sound erupts.
"Honey, grab my knife out of the toolbox." I start to strip away the hideous wallpaper.
"What do you think it is?" she asks, returning with the knife.
"We're about to find out," I say grabbing the blade. "But I'm guessing its a door."
I knock to find its edge. Then taking the knife, I etch along the edge of the metal.
A few minutes later and the door's revealed.
Puzzled I ask, "Where do you think it leads?"
Joy steps back, concern etching her face as she points to the door. "I'm hoping nowhere without a handle."
I look and sure enough, nothing. I rub my hands across the metal but I don't feel anything. Looking at the words again, oddly placed where a door handle should be, I knock. There's a small creaking sound as it opens slightly. I step back, examining it.
"Well, what do you think?" I ask.
"I don't know, honey," her eyes dart from me to the door.
"Oh, come on, don't chicken out on me now. We have to check it out." I grab the side of the door and pull. It resists a little, but opens up to a dark hallway.
I run over and grab a flashlight. I shine it into the hall. It goes back a little but then stops at another wall. A dead end. I take a few steps, Joy right behind me. The air is musty, and cobwebs are everywhere. But right before the wall I notice a staircase. We make our way down and at the bottom is another metal door with the words, Ask And You Will Receive, written on it.
"I have a bad feeling about this," Joy whispers. "lets just go back upstairs."
"We have to find out. Who knows, maybe it's a storm shelter or something."
"It's the, 'or something', that worries me," she says.
"At least this one has a handle," I say, reaching for it.
I open the door to a large room. On one end there is a bookshelf that stretches across the entire wall. At the center is a table and a few chairs.
I notice a light switch and flick it on. Light pours into the room. Joy walks over to the book shelf and pulls out one of the books.
"It's a Bible," she says.

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This article has been read 369 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Vince Martella03/02/13
This was a fun read. The title interested me and the story kept me hooked. Very creative. I would have liked to see an ending more worthy of the rest of the story as far as the surprise factor. More white space would make your stories more readable. Overall, I thought this was great. Loved it.
Judith Gayle Smith03/03/13
Intriguing and intricate. I might have had the Bible opened on the table in that hidden room - perhaps open to Romans. This is a most interesting entry. Thank you.
C D Swanson 03/05/13
Great story with a perfect ending! I am thrilled with "endings" that have purpose and meaning, and yours had all that and more.

Great job. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
I so totally loved this story. You did a superb job on it. I was hooked right away and by the end I found I was leaning closer and holding my breath. You have a delightful gift with suspense.

I noticed some tiny errors with the punctuation. You may want to invest in an excellent book called Elements of Style by Strunk and White. When using a tagline like he said, then you have a comma and a lowercase to connect the dialog with the tagline. You did use some great narrative lines like: she hands me a can labeled, Bordeau Brown, and walks away. This is a great example of showing and is a complete sentence. It can stand on it's own without the dialog so when using that instead of a comma at the end of the dialog, you need a period and the S in She should be a capital one.

Those were tiny details. I would suggest you use less taglines and more narrative ones as it identifies your speaker plus gives the reader insight into the characters. For example your first like could be changed just to Joy stares at the wall. I also admire your ability to write in the present tense. it's not easy to do without accidentally switching to the past tense. i think you did a great job with that. There are so many things that are delightful about this piece. You covered the topic in a fresh and exciting way. Your ending was perfect. it's not easy to pull off a perfect ending but you did just that. I'm excited to see how this will do, I suspect it should do quite well.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
Congratulations for placing 14th in your level! The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.