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The Door to Nowhere; Death or Freedom - Flash Fiction - Billybuc's latest challenge

Updated on January 29, 2015

Was it really only yesterday?

Sara stared at that door for the thousandth time in the last five minutes. Did it really lead straight to a painful death? To hell on earth with no escape? That's what Barry had told her for as long as she could remember.

For the millionth time today, she wondered if death would not be better than the life she was stuck in. At eleven years of age, Barry and the men that paid for her hourly had become a hell she could not escape. Yesterday was the first time she ever considered that she could.

Yesterday some random looser had actually opened the door.

Door leading to Heaven or Hell.


No one had ever opened the door.

Sunlight touched her face for the first time since Barry took her some eight years ago. Had it really been so long? It was only for a second the forbidden door was open. Barry killed that pig almost instantly after he opened it. The sound of the guy's neck breaking was both sickening and heart lifting. He wasn't the first Barrry had killed in front of her.

Despite her desperate wish to the contrary, she could not help but remember the first person she ever saw Barry kill, her mother. That night, so long ago, her mom had pulled over to help someone. Sara was in the backseat when her mother's blood and brains were splattered over her face as Barry yanked her from the car seat, reverberations from the gunshot still ringing in her ears.

When she thought of her mom, all she could remember was soft blonde hair, a sweet voice singing "You Are My Sunshine" and the smell of chocolate. That, and the sickly metallic smell of being covered in blood. The terrible taste, like a filthy penny. It used to make her cry to remember what she could. There were no tears left anymore.

Barry had said since that first night that going out the door would be instant death for her. She'd seen him kill enough people to know the threat wasn't an idle one.

Would death be better? Could it be worse? Could anything be worse? What did she have to live for? There had been at least three pigs on her since that random John bought it yesterday. Usually, she checked out in her head, just went bye bye. Today, she could not stop thinking of the door.


That damn, dirty door.

She had been terrified of that door forever. Terrified of Barry. Terrified of the never ending parade that used her night and day. Would it ever end? Barry said she would be his till the Devil took her. Sara didn't know who that was but how could he be any worse than the rest of them?

She had always thought a fire filled lake of torture lay beyond that door, one from which she could never get relief. For the briefest second, just a flicker in time, she saw sunlight come through it. Was it a dream? Could it have been real? Was there really a world outside that door better than the hell inside?

The door, it was becoming an obsession.

No matter what she did, Sara could not get her normally easy to turn off head to shut up. The same questions kept rolling around, getting louder and louder, refusing to give her any peace.

Why did she want to live? What was there to live for? There was never anything but pain, shame and more of the same. Barry always said she was too ugly, too stupid to ever be anything but a toy for some hard up fool. But, he said fire and death was on the other side of that door. She could still smell the sunshine. Had her mom smelled like sunshine?

That damn door was important.

It meant something, if she could just figure out what it was. Was it freedom, an escape? Could there be an escape? What if Barry was right?

For the first time, a tiny voice in her head stated so quietly, what if he is, as if it just didn't matter. How could that be? How could death not matter? The endless litany of jibberish continued to invade her thoughts.

What is death? She had seen enough johns dropped to know it meant no more moving, eating, talking, no nothing. No nothing was starting to sound not so bad.

The pressure was building up in her like a volcano.

She was going to do something. She had to do something. She felt it like she had never felt anything before. The problem was she didn't know what that something was.

After what seemed like hours, she finally had reached a few conclusions. She was shocked. Never had she even considered there were any choices in her life. That glimpse of sunshine had somehow brought home the fact that there were. As far as she could tell, she had two choices. She could leap out that door and maybe die, maybe not, or she could stay here and continue to exist, to survive. The question was, was it worth it?

Everyone wants to live.

She kept telling herself just that, that everyone wants to live. But, each time she told herself that she believed it less and less.

What was there to live for? Why live if it only means pain? Was it worth it? What's the point? Was there anything to live for?

There it was again, that small, quiet voice, the one she could not ignore. It told her yes. Yes, there was something to live for though she surely didn't know what that was. What she was fast determining was that it was not this nightmare she was stuck in.

The phone jangled louder than a siren.

Oh, crap! That was Barry's cell. The pigs always showed up shortly after it rang. She didn't have long. She had to figure something out.

For no reason she could fathom, things seemed to get quieter. Her mind seemed to clear. A few things were coming into focus. Some things must be worse than death. This was worse than death. Some things must be worth living for though she surely did not know what they were.

The sound of Barry moving around in the next room brought a sense of urgency that only cleared the fog of her thoughts even more. Time is almost up she heard the little voice say. But, she still didn't know for sure. There was something else, something important. If she could just figure it out, she would know what to do.


Sara's head was pounding.

Her heart felt like it was about to explode. What is it? What's the answer? She had to know. She just had to!

And like a gift from on high, there it was glowing warm and steady in her head, the final answer. You, Sara. You are worth living for. You are worth dying for. No one is going to save you and no one can help you but you have the power to help yourself.

Clarity was a new thing but somehow she knew at that instant she would take whatever was on the other side of that door over this. If she died, so be it. If she burned forever, it couldn't be worse than the hell she was in right now.

Barry's door creaked. Her face felt so funny. Was it already starting to burn? It felt tight, stretched. She did not know she was smiling for the first time in years as she bolted for the door.

She heard Barry's thunderous advance behind her as she flung it open and lept.

As she fell, she felt bliss for the first time ever. This must be what freedom is like she thought as life finally began on the other side of that damn, dirty door.

Life or death

Is there anything worth dying for?

See results

This disturbing flash fiction was inspired by Billybuc's writing challenge.

Special thanks go out to Bill Holland, a.k.a. Billybuc on Hubpages for issuing this writing challenge. I have not done fiction in forever and a day and thank him very much for the inspiration.

FBI estimates from 2012

The FBI estimated in 2012 that just over 293 thousand American children were at risk of becoming sex slaves in this country. The average age of said victims was estimated to be between 12 and 14 years of age.

Check it for yourself; FBI data.

CNN: Child sex slaves in America

The video above was created and aired by CNN. I do not own it but display it here for educational purposes in the hopes knowledge will help end this horror.

© 2015 Rhonda Lytle

Comments are always welcome.

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ FlourishAnyway - Thank you so very much. That's very kind of you. This was kind of depressing to write so it means all the more. God bless you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      You are a fabulous fiction writer. Well done.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ cam8510 - Thank you so much for the kind words. Every time I think about this story, it makes me really sad because I know what these kids are going through is so much worse than anything words can describe. It's an invasive subjugation of soul. My heart bleeds for them. For those reasons and more your kind and supportive words mean a great deal. God bless you and thank you so much!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Rhonda, you have written a very creative, well written story. The subject of course is disturbing, and you have done a good job of getting us into the mind of a child caught up in an industry run by men with sick minds. It is sad, but Sara made the right choice, no matter what was on the other side of the door. But she was free. Thanks for sharing your gift of writing flash fiction with us.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ sallybea - Thank you! Your encouragement and kind words are very much appreciated. I feel so bad for kids today. It's always been bad. It's nothing new but it seems to be escalating at an amazing rate. To me, this is one of the worst crimes imaginable, yet it's going on in every city in the nation. God bless you and thanks again.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      3 years ago from Norfolk

      Excellent, you did a great job with this challenge. Lots of light and shade in this one. I really connect with the word choice - we all have choices, finding the courage to choose which direction to go in is the hard part.

      Well done,


    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ fpherj48 - Thank you :). Your kind words have brought a smile to my face and goodness knows this page is no warm fuzzy. You have a great 2015 and I hope God's blessings upon you are abundant!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ pstraubie4 - Thank you very much for the visit and comment. The statistics, I feel sure, are skewed on the low end to be sure. Sadly, when teaching, I met more than one teenage prostitute. The hopelessness and despair these girls live in is really hard to comprehend. The chances of them getting out of that life and staying out are minuscule. Some do, but so many more don't and it isn't through lack of trying. We see them everyday, in the mall, on the corner, hanging out at the store but seldom do we recognize the plight they are in. Shame makes sure they don't come to us for help. I have to think God's judgement upon the world for allowing this will be severe indeed.

      Thank you again for your time and comment. You are very kind. God bless you!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Rhonda...Wow! This is a stunner! Excellent from beginning to end. Have a great week-end, Paula

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Sad statistics...heartbreaking and anger-invoking.

      You gave a voice to those who have and do travel this treacherous journey.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ Pawpawwrites - Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. Sadly, in all honesty, this just barely scratches the surface. The torment so many children around the globe and in America are forced to endure is unfathomable, yet under our noses daily. Its in our schools, our communities, our youth groups and every other group conceivable. God bless you and thank you.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image


      3 years ago from Kansas

      Thanks for bringing such a serious problem to light. Most people can't imagine what it would be like to be in a situation like Sara. With this story, they don't have to imagine. You have done that for them. Well done.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ btrbell - Thank you so much for the read and kind comment. God bless you!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow, so well written. Such a sad story! Thank you.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ bravewarrior - Thank you. I can't say it was a warm fuzzy but for some reason it just was there, no effort, just flowed. I wish the circumstances surrounding the plot were pure fiction as is the character but God help us, it's the reality for too many children. God bless you and most happy hubbing!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ EricDierker - You are too kind and it is greatly appreciated. This particular social injustice is dear to my heart. I can't understand how we allow this to go on in America but it's growing, not slowing. A walk through the seedier side of any town in our nation shows children on parade, dead eyes and dead dreams as the grown ups that should be fighting to protect them feed on them like depraved jackals. It breaks my heart. God bless and thank you so much.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ billybuc - It's good to see you. Thank you not only for the kind words and the read but for the challenge. You and other writers here give out the best challenges. That's something I really miss from Squidoo, the steady competitions. I wish HP would do that but won't hold my breath waiting for it. God bless!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ Dip Mtra - Thank you so much for the read and the follow. I agree about a door should be supported by something but I think maybe that's what sparked this line of thinking, the fact that it was not. For the girl, like so many girls, the figurative door to freedom is wrought with peril, uncertainty and no help from anyone. God bless you!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      ~ annart - Thank you very much for taking the time to read something so disquieting. God bless and most happy hub hopping!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Rhonda, you not only embraced Bill's challenge, but you chose to bring awareness to an ever-increasing problem. Kudos to you!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Extremely suspenseful. What a disturbing story indeed. A cause that needs more light shined on it. You took a challenge and wrote a great story and did social good. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is fascinating to see where other writers go with a simple prompt. You just happened to write about one of my favorite slavery in the U.S. Thank you for raising awareness and thank you so much for taking part in the challenge. We'll call this a successful return to fiction for you.

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 

      3 years ago from World Citizen

      Great story, tragic as well. If there is a door, there either needs to be a stairwell or a balcony or something to support the door. It cannot open to nothing, unlike a window. Anyway, imagination and great story telling wins over everything else. Voted up, and am following you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Great story. You portray the fear and degradation and you hold the suspense well. Will she, won't she? It builds up and then 'whoosh...' freedom!

      Excellent story, well told.



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