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I look at my calendar and notice the date, it’s already been five years.

I quickly change and rush out of the door. I don’t know why, but it

feels like I need to visit that place.

I ride my bike around a few danger signs as I finally arrive in front

of an abandoned hotel. Inside, the hotel walls are flaking as easily as

the skin of a pastry. I smile at the thought of how similar it looks

since the last time I came. A wave of nostalgia washes over me as I

recognise the familiar cream entrance. There are still crayon marks

graffitied on the walls.

Two young children were playing at the front desk of a recently abandoned

hotel. A young boy excitedly observed their surroundings. ‘This is gonna be our

secret hideout!’ He declared. The young girl was going to veto the idea, but she

gave up when she saw the boy’s anticipation. ‘Boys these days’, she thought.

I pull out a drawer and I see a little wooden sign. There are two

messy stick figures painted in a colourful hue with a large title stating

‘Our Secret Hideout’. I place the sign at the front desk where it used

to stand whenever we came to play. I find the open/closed sign, still

flipped on the closed side.

The boy and girl continued developing the hideout bit by bit. It was a place

they visited and spent time at everyday. Their parents would be curious about

missing food here and there, they would also get annoyed whenever the children

returned home late. But both of them kept silent about the hideout. Keeping the

secret was part of the fun.

I run my finger across the small coffee table, now covered in a

thick layer of dust. I can still remember all the things we used to talk

about and all the snacks we ate at this table. My finger reaches a

bump on the surface of the table while travelling through the layers

of dust. I uncover the hidden object and find a small photo frame.

In the photo, there is a boy sliding down the swirly banister of

a staircase.

After recently watching a cartoon, the boy was keen to try sliding down the

banister. The girl protested saying it was too dangerous. The boy confidently

walked up the staircase and told her not to worry.

I walk towards the staircase, now sealed with warning tapes. The tape

is wearing away and you can barely see the writing. One end of the

tape is tied on one side of the banister, the other end is tied to a

broken stub with small chips of wood surrounding it on the floor.

A man was walking along the more quiet areas, when he heard a young girl

screaming for help. After finding the young girl in an abandoned hotel, he called

Opening A Door

Of Memories

Hillary Wang

Isobelle Carmody

Creative Writing Award

Highly Commended