The heater was broken.

The late December night was snowy and cold as Benjamin Grey, or Benny as his friends called him, drove his old, reliable, beat up car down a narrow country road. He was headed towards Philadelphia where his family was expecting him home for the holidays.

Cursing softly at the bitter air surrounding him, Benny shuddered inside his coat.

The only sound in the old car was the soft thrump of the wipers vainly trying to fight off the pushing snow, and the squelch of tires on the slippery road.

Benny's mood was darkening by the minute. This road he was on had no end; it just went on and on. Totally lost in the storm, Benny took his temper out on the nickel map he had bought for this trip; it was useless.

The radio had long since been silent after the first few hours, when Benny had found himself lost. The man had only his thoughts to keep him company.

He had resolutely decided to stop for the night, when the wipes stopped moving.

Again cursing, Benny fought for sight as the snow piled up on the window. He never saw the ice patch in front of him.

The car spun around several times and eventually came to a halt before a giant elm on the side of the road.

Taking a few breaths, Benny stepped out of the car to survey any damage caused by the tree. Again he cursed as he saw the large dent in the door. It would be expensive to repair.

Looking around despairingly, Benny sighted some light not far off. A house.

Grabbing his luggage, the man struggled off towards the building that could offer him shelter against the frigid elements for the night.

After what seemed like an eternity, Benny lurched onto the front porch and sat heavily down on a small bench he found there. His lungs frozen and his fingers solid, he got up and rang the door bell.

To his surprise, the door opened instantly.

Caution was swept aside as Benny saw the warm glow of candles inside.

He rushed into the house and looked around for his host. Calling out, he discovered himself to be alone. Not a soul in the room.

And what a room it was. This was obviously a well off family. The high ceilinged foyer was the most lavish room Benny had ever seen in his life; the walls were covered in a dark red wallpaper that stopped just short of the floor when it ran into a wooden lining that surrounded the room. The candlelight was from the myriad of candles scattered around the hall. The floor was laid in wooden slats, but the ceiling was shrouded in darkness, almost invisible.

To his immediate right was a magnificent statue of a woman dressed in a flowing dress with her arm outstretched as if reaching for a proffered hand; her face gazing down her arm and seemed to be looking exactly at Benjamin. He was stunned by the craftsmanship of the piece.

To his left was another statue, but this one was of a man clad in long coat and fedora; his gaze fixed towards the high ceiling.

Behind each statue was a large wooden door.

Upon inspection, Benny could find no differences between the two doors.

Besides the statues, there was nothing in the room.

The man put his luggage down in the centre of the room and sat on them, staring at a small plaque in the floor.

The plaque read:

Chose One.

Benny knew that it was referring to the two doors, but which one should he chose? The right or the left? The man or the woman?

As he sat and contemplated his choice, he could hear voices. Not loud voices; they were the voices that are heard just at the edge of hearing. Soft voices calling to him.

Getting up, Benny walked towards the right door; the voices increasing as he neared.

They seemed to call up forgotten fond memories of his life.

He could picture himself as a young man, many years ago, at Christmas time. He saw himself sitting on the floor of his parent's house in front of a roaring fire. Presents were being opened by his younger sisters and he could hear their squeals of delight at each new gift.

He could picture himself, also at Christmas, sitting in his own home with his fiance snuggling next to him, laughing in pleasure at the gifts he had brought her. Their tree, Benny could recall, was the most beautiful his family and neighbours had ever seen. Irene was a master when it came to decorating. She had impeccable taste.

Several years later Benny and Irene were enjoying the glow of their son's face as he opened his presents. The newborn sat in Irene's lap, happily watching the festivities before her. It was at this time in his life that Benjamin was at his happiest; watching his children enjoying themselves, and seeing his wife smile majestically at them playing. Life could not have been much better.

Snapping out of his reverie, Benny found himself kneeling on the floor in front of the door behind the statue of the woman.

Standing up, he backed away and stood at the centre of the room, listening to the faint voices calling to him.

Turning, Benny walked towards to left door and let himself be engulfed by memories once again.

Again at Christmas, Benjamin saw himself in a cemetery. The snow was falling lightly on his young shoulders as he watched his father lowered into the ground. Tears freezing on his cheeks, his mother put a comforting arm around him. He could hear himself muttering the curse upon the man who had taken the life of Master Grey.

One year after that, Benny watched as his young self raised a crowbar again and again to a man lying wretchedly on the ground before his father's grave. No one kills the father of Benjamin Grey and lives to regret it. He had felt no remorse in taking that coward's life.

Several years later, after he had married Irene, while he had supposedly been on a business trip, Benny was lying in a hotel bed and watching his secretary undress for him, eagerly awaiting his 'Christmas gift'. That affair had lasted for almost two years.

Two years later, Benjamin was arguing heatedly with his wife. Next to him stood his secretary. He was telling his wife that his bags were packed for a reason and there was nothing she could do about it. Her tears went unnoticed by him, but not by their children, who were hiding behind a chair.

Again snapping out of the trance-like state in front of the door behind the statue of the man, Benny looked wildly around. He was still alone in the room.

He walked to the middle of the room and stood next to his bags, looking down at the small plaque.

Chose One.

He looked at each door for some time before finally reaching a conclusion.

Benjamin Grey picked up his luggage, his decision made, and entered his chosen door.

He'll put his fate in God's hands.