Stuck In The Closet


     Susan wandered down the hall to her bedroom, looking for something to do.  Daddy was busy giving school assignments to her brother Brian.  She wished Brian didn’t put up such a fight when it came to schoolwork.  Checking his assignments and giving him new ones always put both Brian and Daddy in a bad mood.  She was not going to do anything in the living room while they were working on schoolwork.

     Susan was 9 and Brian was 14.  Daddy and Mamma had been home schooling both of them ever since Susan started the 1st grade.  Daddy did schoolwork with Brian and Mamma did schoolwork with Susan.  Right now, Mamma was busy in the laundry room, sorting laundry and starting the washing machine.  Then she would be in the kitchen cleaning up from breakfast.  After that she would want to do school with Susan.

     Susan slipped past the laundry room hoping Mamma wouldn’t see her, she might want her to help with the dishes or give her a school assignment to do and Susan didn’t feel like doing any of that right now.  She was thinking about her favorite game, hide and seek.  It was fun to play hide and seek in the house and outside.  You could find some really good hiding places in side that no one would ever think to look in.  Susan loved finding a good hiding place that no one else had thought of.  Maybe now it would be a good time to find one of those perfect spots.

     Hey, maybe there was a good spot in the linen closet.  She opened the door and looked in.  It was a small closet just a little wider than the doorway.  The door was just the same size as her bedroom door.  There were shelves from the top of the closet to the bottom.  Mamma had all the sheets and towels arranged nicely on the shelves.  The bottom shelf was about a foot and a half off the floor and there was nothing stored in this space.

     “Perfect hiding place!” Thought Susan.

     Getting down on her hands and knees she slid under the shelf.  It was easy to fit under the shelf if she kept her head down.  But how to close the door?  She couldn’t reach the door handle from this position, but she could grab the bottom of the door and swing it closed.  With a soft click, the door latched.  Instantly Susan realized she was trapped.  There was a small space between the shelf and the door but there was no way to get into a position where she could reach the door handle.  It was dark in the closet and she was cramped with her head between her knees.  How long would it be before someone opened the door?  An hour?  Two hours?  A day?  How long till Mamma started looking for her?  Her heart was pounding in her chest.  Would she ever get out of here?  Would she die here?

     “Mamma! Mamma!” She called.  She knew Mamma was just around the corner in the laundry room and Daddy and Brian were there in the living room.  But no one heard her cries, or at least they didn’t come.

     “Dear Jesus, please help me get out of here.”  She prayed.  Then she realized that no one knew where she was, even if they could hear her.  What could she do?  Oh, She could just slip her fingers under the edge of the door.

     “Mamma! Mamma!” She called again, wiggling her fingers under the door.

     “Mamma!”  Then she heard footsteps.

     “Susan, where are you?” Asked Mamma.

     “I’m right here.” Said Susan, wiggling her fingers frantically under the door.  Mamma opened the door and Susan scrambled out from under the shelf.

     “What are you doing in there?” Asked Mamma.

     “I thought it would be a good place to hide but never thought about not being able to open the door from inside.  I’m sorry.” Snuffled Susan as a tear rolled down her cheek.

     Mamma hugged her and said she was just glad she was able to find her.  Brian laughed at her and teased her for locking herself in the linen closet.

     Later she thanked Jesus for helping her get out of the closet and prayed that He would help her to remember to think carefully in the future before doing something that might get her into trouble.



Virginia Markwell