At the bottom of the garden and in behind the trellis supporting the climbing roses was a secret doorway hidden but known to us.
Gran had told me about it and had warned that for the most part, it was a place to stay clear of.
She explained the doorway had a door keeper, a small and for the most part obnoxious little man who made it clear entry to the door and beyond was always at his discretion.
Being an adventurous boy, I did go in behind the roses and found the doorway. It did take a bit of manoeuvring to get through, and the cuts on my arms from the rose thorns didn’t make me look any more appealing than usual.
The door was black in colour, as if in need a good paint, and had a black knob which when turned sent a shiver down my spine. As if an electric shock hit me when I turned it.
Within seconds there was a voice: “Who goes there? Who dares disturb my slumber?”
“It’s me, Harry,” I stuttered back unsure of what and who I was to encounter.
“Harry from the house?”
“What you want?”
“I want to go inside and see what’s there.”
There was a silence which then became a shuffling, and a small, wizened head appeared around the door. The head belonged to a man whose age could best be described as old.
“Nothing to see, just a lot of ruckus,” he replied casting a glance over his shoulder. Then after a moment, he added, “Nothing a boy should have to see.”
Having said that he closed the door and no amount of knocking on my part or turning the knob made any difference.
I gave up eventually and went back up the yard to see if Gran who knew most things could shed some light on this situation.
Gran was none too pleased and suggested I stay away as inside the door was no place for a boy. When I asked her about the ruckus, she laughed and said it was the doorman’s way of saying you weren’t getting in.
I went away to ponder my next move. I knew my inherent curiosity would win over in the end.