Title: “The Problem with Doors”
Originally written: January 20, 2010
Copyright Deborah J. Natelson
There was one door in that room, and Acacia had never gone through it. Her own precipitous entry had been via the ceiling, due to an architectural design flaw – the flaw being that the architect hadn’t designed the roof with the intent that it should hold up a twelve-year-old girl whose winged horse had to make a forced landing.
Really, the things some people overlooked! It was lucky Burns’s legs hadn’t broken in the fall, or Acacia would never have been able to forgive herself . . . or said architect.
“I can’t fit through there,” Burns said, examining the door first with one eye, then the other. “Even if I could get the rest of me through, my wings would stick – and they’re tender enough as it is.
“I don’t suppose there’s any way you could fly back up through the ceiling?”
Burns gave her a look.
“What? It was worth asking. If Mom’s going to kill me for knocking down a wall as well as caving in the roof, I might as well know that there wasn’t an easier solution.”
“Knocking down the wall is the easier solution.”
“We could get a crane . . .”
“I’ll take my chances with your mother,” Burns announced, facing off against the far wall. “This is the outside wall, do you think?”
Acacia shrugged. “I don't –.”
“Then stand well clear.” Burns reared and brought his front hooves down on the delicate plaster wall. At first it crumpled easily, but then his legs fell through the other side, until he was braced uncomfortably half in one room, half in the other.
Acacia ran over and kicked down the rest of the wall – although really, Burns’s weight did more of the work.
“Huh,” Burns said. “So this wasn’t the outside wall.”
“My new bedroom!” Acacia wailed. “Mom’s going to kill me!”
“Cheer up. She was going to kill you anyway; she can’t do it twice.”
“You have met my mother.”
“Oh, yes. Charming lady. Ah, this must be the outside wall – I see a window.”
“I don’t want to look,” Acacia moaned. “Just make it quick.”
Burns scooted back a little, preparing, and –
“What on earth is going on in here? Acacia, do you have that horse inside the house again?”
“Um,” Acacia managed. “Really, Mom, this isn’t what it looks like – okay, maybe it is, but it was an accident! Please don't kill me.”
Her mother rolled her eyes. "Just stay where you are and don't make it any worse; I'll get help. And next time you need help, ask for it instead of knocking down walls."
Acacia grinned sheepishly at Burns, who winked horsishly back. They'd try again, just as soon as his wings had recovered.