The snow had highlighted a negative space that would not otherwise have been seen. She knew this the moment she saw it, but not why. Still, there it stood in front of her, something she couldn’t quite un-see: a little door in the back of her house, where it had never been before.
She stooped down in her slippers and put her morning coffee on the ground. The hot cup melted a ring in the snow around it. After brushing off some of the frost, she could see that the door couldn’t lead to anything larger than a crawlspace--and it lead straight into what she had always believed was solid foundation. The door had a petite handle on it, like it was made for very small hands. She tried it, seeing if it would open.
The door budged, but only gave a couple of inches. She peered into the dark, seeing nothing past the cobweb strung across her line of sight. With her shoulder, she pushed a little harder, trying to gain purchase on the icy snow with her slippers. Finally, she dug in her heels and the door acquiesced to force.
She tripped, tumbling into the empty air. When she dusted herself off, she took a moment to look around. She was in a room full of furniture made for a child. Everything, even down to the pencils on the small desk were in miniature. The room was completely windowless, closed up by concrete on all sides.
Moving around the room, she let her hand alight on the various, dusty memorabilia. The floral pillows, the stuffed toys, sticks of play lipgloss. On the table she found photos, sitting neatly in an uncurled pile. They were dusty but still decipherable. One was of a golden retriever with a red collar, staring up at the camera with a dopey expression. The second was a little girl, her fingers pressed to the trunk of a wide tree. She had on a black pinafore dress with sunflowers on it. The third was a picture of a picture of a large willow tree against the backdrop of a stormy summer sky, the branches caught stirring in a perpetual breeze. On the back, scrawled in the left-hand corner was familiar handwriting. It simply said:
“Remember, or you forget all of it.”