“The Door in the Earth,” by Alexandra Duncan, scared me on a pretty deep level. Horror is not my favorite genre and, when I started reading the story, to be honest I did not expect to like it. I consider it a testament to the author that I ended up fascinated and drawn in by it.
The story follows a pair of siblings visiting their mother, who lives in a strange home with a mysterious door. The suspense of what lies beyond the door grows alongside the discomfort these siblings feel as they reconnect with their mother after being apart from her for a while.
The story’s conclusion gave me the feeling I consider the hallmark of successful horror: increased heart rate and the sudden need to check behind me.
“The Door in the Earth” can be found in the September/October 2010 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.