In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors. (William Blake)
One horrible day, my internet went down. I wondered how I would cope. There was news to read, emails to send, Zoom calls to join, and social media to engage with. Frustrated, I decided to go for a walk, hoping the internet would somehow correct itself while I was gone. Leaving the congestion of the town, I entered the countryside. Walking on the road beside a field of lavender, I barely noticed. I was much too frustrated.
To my surprise, a free-standing light green door appeared ten yards in front of me. Had it been there all along? I drew closer and tentatively bent around the sides of the doorframe. To my surprise, the door was not visible from the back. I dipped my head behind the door again to make sure. The door was there from the front, but not visible from the back. A strange sensation shivered through me. Something other was happening.
With a shaking hand, I turned the knob and opened the door. Tentatively, I stepped over the threshold, arriving atop a floating wooden platform that gently bobbed on the surface of crystal blue water. There was no land in sight and the door disappeared from behind me. The slight sea breeze blew my hair. The pure air smelled almost sweet.
A strange sensation caused me to look at my feet. I discovered that I stood in a puddle of a dark gray substance, which appeared as some sort of sticky goo. The substance began to move, and I tried to step away, but I could not.
Fear gripped me until a disembodied voice whispered, “Stay calm.”
I strove to do so as the substance covered my shoes. It spread upwards to cover my calves then my knees. It flowed up my thighs to my torso, across my mid-section, and over my chest. I quelled several urges to scream and reminded myself to “stay calm.” The substance shimmered as it continued to cover my shoulders, arms, and hands like a second skin. Panic squeezed my throat when it slipped across my neck. I closed my eyes as it covered my face.
The whisper returned. “Open your eyes and breathe.”
I complied. I could see through the suit. I could breathe.
“Jump in!” the whisper called out.
The water was neither cold nor hot. The temperature was perfect. I sunk below the surface. A woman-like creature, with gills open at her neck, skin covered in scales, toes and fingers webbed, and bright red hair swam up beside me. She was dressed in clothing that looked to be made of seaweed. The woman of the sea smiled before waving for me to follow. We cut through the water and dove down deep.
The bright yellow, red, neon green, fluorescent blue fish that nibbled the brilliant colored coral caused me to giggle in delight. Sea turtles flanked us. I thrilled at their company as we swam together. A pod of bottlenose dolphins whistled, clicked, and squeaked. They dipped and spun before us. Octopuses crawled along the ocean floor where kelp and seagrass swayed. Schools of fish created tunnels for us to swim through.
We swam on until we came upon a city at the bottom of the sea. Men, women, and children of the sea glided and swam in and out of buildings that were made of brilliant coral and other materials I did not recognize. I eagerly took in the vastness and wonder of it all, until the woman abruptly gestured upwards.
I never wanted to leave this place, but I knew it was time to go. Breaking the surface of the water, the platform bobbed back and forth and the free-standing light green door waited in the middle. The woman of the sea waved before sinking below the surface.
As I stood on the platform, the gray skin suit rolled from my body and puddled at my feet. Before I walked through the door, the whisper returned.
“There are many worlds, if you willing to see.”
“I am!” I shouted to the sky.
When no response followed, I stepped through the doorway. I was once again on the road beside the lavender field. I watched the plants dance in the wind. I inhaled deeply their sweet fragrance.
After returning to my apartment, I found the internet was back on.
It brought me no joy.
There were worlds to see. I just needed to find the right doors.
This piece of fiction is my contribution to the first annual Thursday Doors Writing Challenge started by Dan Antion at No Facilities. The challenge is to write a poem or story inspired by a photo of a door. The intriguing photo that inspired this story was taken by Janis at RetirementallyChallenged.
Thank you for stopping by. Take care, stay safe!