For Part 1 of Tinson’s Door, check out The Friday Muse from a couple weeks ago!
Curiosity had always scratched at his insides, luring him into the fields of science, technology, and astronomy.
The Black Door, however, was something completely different. It was something that fell between the shelves of Tinson’s chosen fields of research. The Black Door was something supernatural, something alien. Something bizarre.
When he made the decision – that split-second decision to cross the threshold of the Black Door – he wasn’t really thinking straight. He knew the risks involved. He knew the great statistics. He knew the dangers. But he threw all of that to the wind to walk through the opened door. For science.
Nobody had ever been reported having gone through a Black Door and then coming back. Nobody. Tinson always wondered if people actually came back, but maybe without their memory intact. Or maybe they came back as different people, possessed by some otherworldly creature sent here to spy on mankind. With how little anyone knew of Black Doors, the possibilities were endless. That simple fact was what kept Tinson interested. Intrigued. Devoted. Even somewhat obsessed.
A white room. It was what had been waiting for Tinson on the other side of his Black Door. A white, square room, void of furniture, doodads, color. White walls. White ceiling. White floor.
He wriggled his mustache and turned back in the vain hope that the Black Door was still there, open, waiting for him to cross back over to his home. It was not there. Just another white wall. Dismayed, he scanned the room in the hopes of finding another door, a window, or even a secret passageway that would lead him out of here.
He wriggled his mustache again. There was a scent in this room, familiar but unusual. Burnt popcorn…and strawberries? Natural light filled the room, casting shadows in different corners of the room, though Tinson could not tell where the light came from as there was no source for it in the room itself.
He released a long, winded breath and then sat down in the middle of the room, cross-legged. He slowed his breathing, settled his nerves. Did his best not to panic.
Though nobody had ever reported having returned from a visit to whatever was on the other side of any of the Black Doors, there were many reports detailing what people saw on the other side of the doors when opened. Creatures. Worlds. Chaos. Peace. Nightmares. Dreams.
Tinson reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a set of dice. He rolled them on the floor, watching as the red cubes tumbled along the white tile and stopped on six and three. He picked them up and rolled them again. Five and seven. He knew it was a gamble, walking through the door. But it was one he knew he had to take. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he couldn’t pass it up because of fear of the unknown.
He rolled again, this time getting snake eyes. He chuckled nervously.
Something caught his eye to the right of where he sat. He turned his head that way, but saw nothing but white wall. Something grabbed his attention to his left. He turned and saw nothing. A heavy weight pressed against the atmosphere in the room, pushing down on his spirit, smashing despair into his spirit.
I’m trapped, he thought. I’ll die here, and nobody will know.
He looked up after rolling the dice again and saw bulges moving through the white wall in front of him.
Tinson glanced at the dice and saw that they had landed on…blank sides? He scrambled to his feet and watched the bulging item move along the wall, cut across the corner, and move to the next wall. It finally stopped in the center of that wall and then disappeared.
“What are you? Who are you?”
“Creatures,” a cackling voice muttered.
Tinson examined each wall but could see no sign of life in the room with him. “Creatures?”
“Creatures,” the voice echoed. “Creatures. Demons.”
A light chill traveled down Tinson’s spine, an icy sensation that brought fear to his bones and fog to his mind. Where am I? What am I doing here? Demons?
The bulge reappeared in the wall, but this time it started to punch its way through the surface, a massive fist – quite easily the size of Tinson’s head – pounding violently against the surface of the wall, attempting to break through the paint to enter the world in which Tinson had mistakenly stepped into.
Tinson could do nothing but watch, as there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. He closed his eyes and wished he would awaken on the couch in the study room, the Black Door still closed, his body still safe in his own reality.
The question came to his mind: Was this another world or another reality? Was there even any way to tell if you were really in another reality without at least some of the landmarks or anchors from your own day-to-day life to prove some kind of change? He felt the panic creeping up again, filling his arms, his stomach, his neck, but he took a few deep breaths and steadied himself. If this is a dream, I’ll awaken soon. Probably when something breaks through these walls.
Tinson opened his eyes just as the fist broke through the wall and two hands slid out of the opening. Black sludge spilled off the hands and arms, and poured through the opening the fist had made. Tinson’s own curiosity begged him to examine the sludge, to get closer and see what this new, alien liquid was. But he knew better.
The arms stretched across the room, the hands grabbed the dice, and then the arms retracted into the wall. Black sludge continued to spill out of the opening, coating the white floor, marring the immaculate purity of the tile.
Tinson scowled. Those dice had been given to him on his sixth birthday. The last birthday present his father would ever give him. “Hey! Those are mine.”
A voice chuckled through the walls. It was not a jovial chuckle, but more of a creature – maybe a dog – wheezing with its own version of laughter. “You are creature.”
Tinson threw his hands up. “That’s me. Creature.”
Tinson pulled at the ends of his mustache. “And you are?”
Tinson ran his hand through his hair. It came out sticky – a side effect of using too much dime store hair gel. “Demons?”
“Yes. Demons. And you are creature.”
“What kind of demons?”
“The good kind.”
“I wasn’t aware there was such a thing.” Tinson couldn’t help but notice the black sludge still pouring through the opening in the wall. It had coated a quarter of the white tile in deep black. His mind leaped to a flash of what the room would look like completely flooded in that stuff. He shook the thought from his head and squared his jaw.
“There are good demons. Demons who help.”
Tinson glanced around the room, noticing no other bulges or movements in the walls. “Help with what?”
Tinson’s ears perked up. “Science? What do demons know of science?”
The voice chuckled again, though this time it was jovial and childlike in nature. Tinson wasn’t sure if that made the laugh any better.
“We know of the doors. All of the doors. We can…control them.”
Tinson moved toward one of the walls, excitement pulsing through his veins. “You can control the Black Doors?”
“Some of them.”
The entity didn’t answer. Instead, the black sludge on the floor began to flow back into the hole in the wall, like a bubbling stream moving backwards up the mountain. Tinson watched, mesmerized, as all of the sludge returned to the wall, then formed the shape of an open doorway made completely out of the dark material.
“Come through. Become ours. And we will become yours.”
Tinson’s mouth opened to ask more questions, but he couldn’t seem to get the words out. Why in the world would he even consider giving himself over to this…this creature? He knew nothing about it. He knew nothing about where he even was. What type of demon would offer him control over the Black Doors? Though even having control over one door would give him all he needed to fulfill his research. To better mankind.
The doorway stood there, a standing rectangle of black, shifting ooze.
“Come through. We will return you to your world. We will give you control over doors. We will give you powers you cannot fathom.”
Tinson wriggled his mustache. For science, he told himself as he walked toward the wall.