#ThursdayDoors Writing Challenge — Number What?

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Hello, all.  I usually keep it to two posts a week, but yesterday I couldn’t resist sharing my visit with Rebecca Budd.  Also, until a little while ago, I didn’t think I would have another short story for Dan Antion’s Thursday Doors Writing Challenge However, something about a fierce looking metal door photo from Cheryl Pennington had immediately triggered a memory.  It’s just that it took me three weeks to sift through that memory to write a little story.

Number What?

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Photo credit Cheryl Pennington
Photo credit Cheryl Pennington

As I walked into the drycleaners, steam hung in the chemical laden air.  No one was at the counter.  Distractedly I stared at the various garments in plastic bags.  I looked at the switch that would make the device rotate, moving the coats, dresses, and trousers.

Suddenly I couldn’t remember why I was there.

I looked down at my shoes.  There was something important about my shoes, a way they could help me, but what was it?  And numbers… a certain number was very important.  There was also a number I was supposed to call.

Staring at the wall telephone I lifted my hand.  However, I didn’t move.  I couldn’t remember the number I should call, or even why I should call it.

My eyes returned to the plastic bag covered clothing.  Each had a receipt with a number that I knew corresponded to a ticket.  Almost frantically, I thrust my hand into my pocket, feeling for a ticket.  That must be why I had gone to the drycleaner’s.  However, the only thing in my pocket was a little ball of lint.

Panic began to rise in my chest.  It clutched at my airways.

Where was the clerk?  Why was the desk unattended?

The work area was curtained off from the storefront. Hoping to find the clerk, I went around the counter and opened the curtain.  Oddly, it concealed a heavy metal door, which stood ajar.

“Hello?” I called out, stepping inside that door.

It slammed shut behind me with a loud metal clang.  I stood alone in an empty hallway.  There were no windows, and the walls were bare.  Another door stood about thirty yards away.  My heels clicked on the hard floor as I walked toward it.  The door slid open.  Door after door clanged shut behind me as I walked down the interminable hallway.

Finally, a door opened onto a steep staircase.  I hurried down the stairs, keeping to the broad stripe that went down their center.

At the foot of the stairs was a phonebooth.

I stopped, confused.  I was even more certain than before that there was a number I should call.

“Why can’t I remember?” I complained aloud, feeling like I remembered everything else perfectly well.

Then I realized that I didn’t know my name.  Although, I no longer had a name.  My name had become a number.

“What should I do?” I muttered and sat down on the stairs.

Then I felt a vibration coming through my left shoe and up into my foot.  It was very uncomfortable.  I took off the shoe to examine it.  The shoe shouted at me.

“Agent 42, come in!” demanded the voice in my shoe.


“Don’t worry, 42.  Everything will be fine.  A Chaos agent managed to get a memory drug into you, but you got away before enough could be administered to do any lasting harm.  At least, we think so…” the voice that had at first sounded reassuring added in a faltering tone.  “Sit tight.  Someone will be up to collect you shortly.  Nice work, by the way.  Control out.”

Movement from inside the phonebooth drew my eye.  The voice had been literal.  A man rose up from nowhere, inside the phonebooth.  He was short, with dark, closely cropped hair, and he wore a neatly tailored suit.  He managed to look all around the empty space before spotting me.  Then he spoke in a rather nasal voice.

“Ah, 42!  It’s about time.  Come with me.  99 and I will brief you.”

♣  ♣  

The end

♣  ♣  

As usual, I also had some musical inspiration.

Join me and all the zany supernatural goings-on at my serial, Atonement in Zugzwang.  Read free every weekend.  Friendly comments are encouraged.

♣  ♣  

If you missed the Syfy story on which Dan Antion and I collaborated, you can get it through the universal links below.

Available as e-book

The Inyan Beacon

The Inyan Beacon 6x9


Kindle only:  relinks.me/B0C3Z7G2C6

♣  ♣  

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. It’s hosted by Dan Antion.  Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).


2023 Badge Thurs doors teresa-my-camera-and-i

Thanks for opening this door.  Hugs!


This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2023 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.



38 thoughts on “#ThursdayDoors Writing Challenge — Number What?

    1. Many thank, Liz. I loved that show when I was a kid. Even though 99 didn’t get equal treatment, back then it was rare to see a woman in an exciting job, and I wanted to be Agent 99. 😀
      The video of Johnny Rivers was a great find. Thanks for opening this door. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, agent 99 had a fab job!
        I always wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore. Lol!
        Now I want to become known as the designer who brought sustainable glamour to the world.
        IE – Gowns made out of anything NOT new, no new resources used. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL, I actually wanted to be I Dream of Jeannie — she could blink up all the clothes she wanted!
          Resa, I honestly admire all of your work. You are the queen of sustainable glamour.
          Ha… the upcoming villain, Leonidas Gathright aka myth/monster Old Green Eyes would have his own idea of sustainable glamour. Some say he has been around since the time of the Mound Builders (before the Cherokee). Others say he originated after a particularly bloody battle in the American Civil War. So I see my version of him in a mix of clothes from the mid 1800s (including a stovepipe hat and a knee-length coat) with a few modern details. He’s lanky and loose-jointed, with glaring green eyes.
          I’m not asking, because you’ve already been very generous. However, if you ever get the creative urge to dress a villain, or to even describe how you’d dress him, I would be thrilled.


    1. Hi, Kamal. “Get Smart” was a television series in the 1960s. It was camp and comedy. A feature film was made in 2008 with stars Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson. I don’t know if the film is on Netflix, but it might be. I’m happy you enjoyed this little story. Thanks for opening this door. Hugs.


  1. Such a very cool story, Teagan. I remember Get Smart so well, but I didn’t know where you were going with this. I love it, and you put a huge smile on my face. Happy Thursday, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

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