Changing History

Prompt Day #191: What strange manufacturing is afoot in the haunted factory?

Forgive me if my stories, prompts seem short and maybe not as involved but I am trying different methods (prose, dialog only, etc.) and trying to get points across in a more to the point manner. They say new writers tend to be too verbose in their writing. So, I’m trying to be cognizant of that.

Changing History


A factory sits on the top of a hill overlooking the town that moved on without it. The sun’s rays never seem to find the dilapidated structure, besides, there is no life there to need it. Pock-marked bricks span the surface of its foundation giving the impression of old but formidable construction, inside, the charred walls and ruined interior silently display the truth.

It is within these dead walls that the fresh wooden doors, the dust of recent sanding, the smells of natural oil adhesives permeate the otherwise stale air replete with oxygen unmoved by the respirations of the living. These doors, unlike those that lock the world away from the inside of the factory, do not contain locks.

Doors without locks, first one then more and more filling the burned out space over the decades since the great fire stopped production of tables and chairs. Where are they coming from; these portals between the living and the dead? It is unimaginable that the rusted, ruined machinery dotting the floor has functioned at all since 1932. Could the bits of cremated remains scattered near their stations or piled against the locked doors awake in the witching hour and go back to work, this time building themselves an escapable egress.

Phantoms of young women and men caught in a loop of eternal escape attempts. Locks, the damned locks to ensure no inappropriate breaks were taken when they should be working. These ungrateful destitutes saved from utter ruin by the privilege of employment in this poorly ventilated, climate variable fortress. It was necessary to lock the doors to keep production at a maximum, to keep the factory running. In this stagnant environment, a single spark—maybe from a cigarette secreted in the corner of the room—is all it takes to ignite the fumes from the adhesives. In a furniture factory, flammable adhesives cover everything. They spill onto the floor, the machines, the clothing of the workers themselves. The hands applying the oils touch the walls, the chairs and the locked doors. The fire spreads like cancer, eating away every living thing.

Fire cannot be unlit, the ghosts of the adhesives still cling to the walls but the locked doors can be replaced. They can be rebuilt. This is a woodworking factory after all and those who linger here still know how to build them.