New voices, new flash-length fantasy.
By Sommer Nectarhoff
Seven years ago, and I know this because of the records I have been keeping on the seasons, as mild as they are wherever I am, I opened the door for the last time. Sometime before then, perhaps eight years ago, I opened the door for the first time.
Let me tell you about how I found the door; I didn’t. It found me. Or, rather, it became to me, for it was not always. It was once my closet door, and for others it remained my closet door, and likely it still remains, if only I were. However, one morning (perhaps eight years of your time ago), I opened the door for the first time. And my closet, for the first time, was not on the other side of the door. On the other side of the door was a beach, and I walked out onto it. I stood there on the white sand in my pajamas and watched as massive wooden ships twirled and danced around one another out on the water. There were hundreds of them, some ablaze. The sound of gunfire and cannons blaring sailed to where I stood. I turned and saw that the door stood ajar inside the small wooden frame in which it was framed in my room. On the other side of the door I saw my bedroom, and I saw that the wind from the beach did not reach the sheets that were hanging off the side of my bed.
That first time I visited the other side of the door I sat there on the sand and wondered if I had gone crazy. I decided that if I had there was nothing to be done about it, so I went back to my room and closed the door behind me and went about my day without telling anyone about it. That night I opened the door again and on the other side I found my closet. I closed the door and opened it again; I was in a jungle in the midst of a camp of great apes. They did not see me. I stepped out of the doorway and they began to shriek and chase me. I retreated immediately and they seemed confused. They could not see the door; to them I must have disappeared.
It was then that I realized the door was mine, and after further experimentation I found that I could go wherever I wanted. Even more importantly, I was able to go to Whenever I wanted. For a year I explored the infinite worlds that I had access to. I opened the door far above the earth and gazed down at meteors showering over the horizon. I visited the kings and queens of medieval Europe. I had lunch with Sophocles. I watched myself run around the park as a child.
But there are some things that no man should see. I have seen how the world ends. I have seen how the world began. I have seen parents kill their children. I have seen children kill their parents.
The day that I watched myself die was the day that the door closed behind me.
I am not sure where I am, but the landscape resembles the beach of my first passage through the doorway. I have wandered for some time but I haven’t come across any other people. I feel no hunger here. There is no night, only day. The temperature fluctuates very little, but I can tell that there is some semblance of the seasons.
Is this purgatory?
I suppose that it matters not what it is, for the door is locked, and I will not return to where I once was.
This world is a shadow, a shoddy facsimile of what might have been. Perhaps I am already dead. I do not know. But if you should find the door, do not be so foolish as to follow me.
I am lost. I am gone.
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Sommer Nectarhoff is a twenty-two year old writer from Chicago. He is the author of “22”.
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