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Doorways

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The journey is long and arduous, beginning only when one can build up enough courage to start the venture. Down a long winding path, up a few thousand steps, past hundreds of every type of tree and flower, across a river or lake or ocean, and is an ancient temple. The walls have fallen into disarray, the treasures pillaged thousands of years ago, and the wildlife seems to have abandoned the site. The sky is consistently foreboding, with whirling gray clouds and the scent of a storm settling in the air. Within the temple, only one artifact is left: a doorway. Surrounded by fragments of destroyed towers, broken effigies, and sprawling vines, the doorway is a depressing sight. The door itself is not present, and what is there is out of place, belonging only to the most horrifying nightmares. The frame is a hideous contraption: points sharp enough to draw blood line the top with no pattern to their placement, thorny vines trail the sides seeming to at once repel and attract any creature that witnesses them, and the horrible darkness comprising the frame itself is frightening enough to make both a child and adult weep. However, this horrifying entrance pales in comparison to the opening it surrounds. In place of a door, swirling darkness looms. All encompassing blackness is all one can see. It rips away hope, dreams, happiness, and any remotely pleasant feeling one has at his or her disposal. It violently shoves against one’s instincts, pressuring him or her to flee back to civilization and never return. To forget this place and its horrors before no happiness can be felt again. However, if one can manage to withstand the brutal onslaught and stay in place, something peculiar begins to happen.
Slowly, starting with the ground and sky, the world begins to burst with life. The gray, tumultuous sky shifts to a sunny, cloudless afternoon. The decomposing flora and fauna start to bloom once more and display a variety of colors and scents scarce seen anywhere else. The calls of birds fill the air, and a warm breeze begins to blow. The temple shivers and quakes as the lost finery of its past returns: shards of stone forming ornate details on the walls, colorful paints trailing themselves along the multiple faded pictures, stolen artifacts appearing in their alcoves, and water flowing from hidden spouts to fill beautiful fountains and pools. Finally, the nightmarish doorway begins its transformation. The sharp spikes disappear until all that remains is an ornate golden edging surrounding the entirety of the frame. The once terrifying thorns lose their danger and roses of varying shades and size begin to bloom. The blank slate of black and sorrow that colored the frame shifts to a warm, bright gold decorated with mythical creatures and places. Most dramatic of all the changes is the swirling portal. While still dark and seemingly inescapable, now the darkness appears to be interspersed with the wonders of space. Stars are born and returned to death. Galaxies whirl by, their bright colors piercing the darkness. Planets large and small, gaseous and terrestrial, known and unknown drift by. The once terrifying, horrible, hideous doorway is now a thing of daydreams and star-stuff.
Of course, this is only one interpretation of what the transformed doorway contains, for it changes for every person who stays long enough for the darkness to lift. In order to see the full expanse of the doors power, one must picture absolutely nothing. No sights or sounds, no wind blowing, no scents drifting lazily in the air, no ground to stand on. Not even the impenetrable presence of darkness or the blinding brilliance of light. Absolutely nothing that has ever, will ever, or could ever exist. At the same time, envision that exact space filled with everything. Every color, sight, sound, smell, and taste experienced at once. Every possibility, every occasion, every instance in all time and space present, beginning and happening and ending at once. The chaos of everything and the piercing absence of it all. This paradoxical existence is the true nature of the doorway, for it is a gateway to the impossible, the fantastic, the beautiful, and the chaotic world of dreams, where anything or nothing is possible is one only stays long enough to enjoy it.