There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.
— Jim Morrison
Ian stopped. He gazed back at the yawning doorway.
How noticeable was it really?
Ian frowned and stomped back toward the entry. He poked his head through for a last look around the attic. Sunlight still spilled from the only window and scattered through the dust particles floating in the air. Depending on how magical this magical world was, he could be missing for mere minutes or a few hours.
A couple days . . .
A few hundred years . . .
Ian looked at the fantastic field of flowers and trees that sprawled behind him. It was so beautiful and different than the smoggy city he was leaving.
Unconsciously, he grasped the doorhandle and was slowly shutting the door, when he stopped. Wasn’t there a story that said to never close the door behind you when entering a magical world? Something about how the door might disappear and you’d be stuck there forever. But what if someone followed him in here? Truthfully, he wouldn’t’ve minded the company, but a small, selfish part of him screamed, No, this is MINE. I FOUND IT.
He glanced at the nearest setting of trees. It looked rather more menacing than before.
Who – or what – might decide to go through the door from the other side? Into the attic?
The protagonists of those stories never worried about that. But then, they didn’t have a sick baby sister downstairs.
A great shudder went through Ian’s slim frame. Lila . . . Poor baby Lila. The doctors still didn’t know what was wrong. No one did. His parents were getting desperate. His gramma, whose house they were in at the moment because it was closest to the hospital, was actually the reason Ian was in the attic in the first place. She was an “old kook,” according to his father, and always suggested strange herbal remedies for illnesses. It was she who had said she owned a herb book with a recipe that might help Lila, but it was somewhere in the attic, probably lost. She hadn’t known Ian was eavesdropping, and he had sneaked off after breakfast to see if he could find the book himself.
It had been a discouraging search until he found the door. Ian had thought it was an oddly-colored section of wall, but he had found a loose doorknob that didn’t match the door that led downstairs. It was old and blue and looked like it was made of stained glass. Then the wall suddenly had a small hole in its middle. In what had felt like a sort of trance, Ian had inserted the knob into the hole . . .
. . . and opened the newly-exposed door to find a whole new world. It was sunny and warm; birds were singing and the trees were swaying; grassy hills begged to be rolled down and fruit yearned to be eaten. He had nearly run through without a thought, but common sense kept him in check. He examined the door for nearly fifteen minutes, hopping in and out of the strange dimension before finally deciding to go all the way in . . .
There still remained the problem of the door. He stared at it, as if hoping a solution would present itself between the panels of wood. He knew better than to close it, but suppose a wild something got in? There had to be something able to prop open the door slightly, enough so it wouldn’t be closed but not entirely open, either.
Ian wasted about twenty minutes rummaging among the boxes in the attic. Without finding anything remotely interesting, he had decided to just leave the door open, when he remembered the chain lock he still had in his pocket.
He had planned on putting it on his own door at home, since he was ten now and thus was surely old enough for a lock, right? His parents hadn’t agreed, but he had taken to carrying the lock around anyway, just in case.
Ian found a screwdriver easily enough and rather clumsily attached the lock to the door and doorframe. The chain was long and loose and the wind low enough to have the door be a few inches open and not blow shut.
Ian felt pleased with himself. He had decided that this was no mere discovery but the start of a quest. Surely magic medicine would cure Lila. He gave a final glance at the door as he started walking.
He may be Lila’s only hope now.
Records say I wrote this in 2012. Probably based on some sort of prompt!