Ken Watanabe wasn’t shown the entrance off the courtyard when he took over Santa Fe’s historic Museum. The ex-Curator gave him the keys. The door had been locked since 1943. No one knew why. There was no eastern door inside, but it was apparent on the outer wall.
Hesitantly, he used his key, opened the door, and saw a lit, multi-arched corridor. Then he heard a voice at the other end. “Glad those Japs were locked up after what they pulled at Pearl Harbor.”
His father was interned here 74 years ago on Ken’s first birthday. He never opened the door again.
There’s a larger story being told but it’s hard to compress into 100 words or less.
The photo reminded me somewhat of Southwestern architecture, which is why I placed my tale in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I wanted to do a “corridor through time” story, but I needed a date where the other end of the tunnel linked. I looked up Santa Fe at Wikipedia and discovered that during World War Two, it had a Japanese Internment Camp. Beginning in June 1942, 826 Japanese-American men were arrested and imprisoned.
I remember actor George Takei saying that when he was a small child, he and his family were similarly interned because of their Japanese heritage. Thus my tale was born.
I wrote this as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The goal is to write a short story of 100 words or less based on the photo prompt you see above (and as I mentioned, I just made it at exactly 100 words).
To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit InLinkz.com.