A journalist follows a lead told through a man claiming to have went to an altered world.
|Prompt: The Mirror dimension and everything is backward Word Count: 3,015
My name is Jared. I recall the day when I first went there- that place so unlike yours and mine. It was dazzling. And I wish I could have stayed there but alas it was not to be. I will begin when I first heard of it from a close friend of mine named Walt. I remember passing by Walt in his cubicle at work. “Hey dude!” Walt said. “I found something totally intriguing at mystery.com.”
I rolled my eyes. “Walt, that site is for crackpots. It’s no better than the Enquirer.”
“I know but look at this one,” he said as he got out of his seat so I could have a glance.
I read out loud the caption over a photo of the old well which was about ten feet in diameter. “Man claiming to have entered another world has chain made of metal not on the periodic table.”
I was curious so I read on. The first thing that caught my interest was that a reputable scientist, Dr. Brine, was asserting these things. It wasn’t some obscure, crony supposed scientist. I decided to call the local science center where Brine worked.
“Hmm…Dr. Brine is no crackpot by any means.”
Walt smiled at my fascination and slapped me on the back. “You see! I told you!”
“Give me a minute Walt,” I said as I entered my own cubicle, sat on my chair and called the science center. After three rings a woman picked up on the other line. “South Vista Science Center.”
“May I speak to Dr. Brine? I’m with the Boston News Source.”
The woman sighed. “Would this be about the well and the other dimension or whatever?”
She was annoyed so I tried to be as cordial possible. “Forgive me but would it be better to call back?”
“No, it’s fine. People, have been flooding this place for a look at the now famous chain and they’re asking about the man who it was found on. You’re not the first caller either.”
Instantly, a story was born. “Is it possible to get an interview with the man who had the chain?”
“He’s being held at St. Rodhe Mental Hospital. You’ll have to ask them.”
“I see. Thank you miss. Have a great day.” I looked at the time. It was 3:47.
When the day was up, I sped in my BMW to the hospital and strolled right up to the receptionist in glasses and a woman’s dress skirt. “I’m from the Boston News Source.” I flashed my badge. “May I speak to whoever is in charge?”
The woman scoffed under her breath. “No doubt you’re here to see our new…celebrity?”
I paused. “Umm, if you mean the man who made it on the cover story of mystery.com, than yes.“
“You’ll have to speak to Doctor White. He’s the head psychiatrist here. I’ll get him on the line.” The receptionist looked down and pressed button for a line. “Dr. White, someone from the Boston News Source is here. He wants to interview Simon Shrouder.” She was silent for a few moments than addressed me. “You may have the interview if Simon wants to and if the doctor is present.”
“Doctor White wants to do the interview in his office as well,” the receptionist said last. “It’s down the hall to the left and the third door to the right.”
When I reached the psychiatrist’s office I knocked lightly and Dr. White opened it and asked me to sit on a chair with two chairs across from me, facing my direction. As I did, he sat on one of the two chairs in front of me.
“I don’t want Simon to get too…caught up in his fantasy. So keep it brief and not overly deep.”
I nodded. Dr. White reached behind for a phone on a large desk. “Bring him in Nurse Ivory.”
A young nurse brought in man in a t-shirt and sweat pants with a broad smile.
“Have a seat Simon,” the Doctor asked.
“Thanks for the interview,” I said to Simon.
“I’m just happy someone is getting my voice heard from a reputable source,” he replied.
I cleared my throat and got out a pen and a pad of paper. “When and where did you find this other dimension? Be brief if you would.”
Simon nodded. “It was about 9:30 P.M. I was walking through Ridge Park and the old well had something glowing coming from inside.” He shifted his sitting position and leaned in. “I walked to the well edge and saw an image in the water rather than my own face.”
“Go on.” I spoke cordially.
“I saw what looked like a large emerald on the water surface. I leaned in to grab it. When I was an inch close I toppled over. I fell at least six feet deep. I struggled to reach the surface. But when I did, I was in another place. There were no cars or fumes, not even a trace.”
Simon was getting riled up. “Relax Simon, you safe and back in the real world,” said Dr. White.
Simon took a deep breath. “Everything was totally different. Everywhere was perfection: no graffiti, no trash on the ground, no poor people asking for money and all the people were dressed in regular but immaculate clothing. And how happy their faces were!”
“And did you have contact with anyone?” I asked.
Once again, the man was getting excited but was told to calm down by the doctor.
Simon spoke on. “I did. I talked to a young couple. They were so kind. I asked them where I was and they simply told me like I was not crazy or anything. They had a childlike demeanor – very trusting.”
“What did they say?” I asked.
“They said I was on New-Earth.”
“I told them I was from a place called Earth. Then they said I came from a mirror Earth that is opposite the one I came from.”
“How did they know that?”
“I wasn’t told.”
“How did you end up coming back?”
The man sighed. “I was told I was not meant to stay there and they insisted I had to leave.” Simon looked heartbroken. “So I went back to the well. Before I jumped in, some other being like the ones I was talking to gave me the gold chain. He said it was a gift.”
Then Doctor White intervened. “Okay, that will be enough. I hope you got what you wanted Mister…”
I frowned. “But I just started. I barely asked any questions.”
“You’re getting too deep,” the psychiatrist insisted.
“I’ve made my decision.”
I took a deep breath and rose. “Very well then.”
Good day to you.” He turned to Simon. “Back to the recreation area Mr. Shrouder.”
I shook hands with the other two and exited the office. As I left the building, I pondered the validity of Simon’s claim. It did not sound like he was lying. I had a detection skill to spot such charlatans in the years of my experience. Was he mad then? Besides the outlandish claim, he came across as totally sound minded.
I got into my car and sat. As I did, my curiosity got the best me and I decided to visit the old well at Ridge Park. It took me fifteen minutes to get there. I halted my car in the park parking lot. I strode down the dirt path to the well and approached it. It was now near twilight. Once my inspection of the well had lasted a good twenty minutes, I turned to leave. When my back was to the well, a mysterious shine from behind me lit up the grass. I spun and my eyes were wide eyed at the light illuminating from within the well. I felt myself gravitated to it.
I came to the edge and peered into the water shimmering like a glowing emerald just like Simon said. It was dazzling and hypnotizing. It was as though it was beckoning to me. I lost all sense and dove into it. When I was submerged in water, I swam to the surface and climbed out. It was astounding! Men and women were walking on golden streets.
Then an amazing bird that fully resembled a phoenix soared over me! There were also buildings. But rather than cement, they were constructed of glowing flat stones that made up the shining vertical surfaces.
The surrounding forest area was full of life. Kinds of birds I never saw flew from branch to branch. It was like a tropical zoo. I even saw deer! I wandered forward to the otherworldly place and onto the golden street. I bumped into a man in a white robe. “I’m sorry,” the person said. “From your clothes, I judge you came from the other Earth like that other visitor who came here.”
“Is this New Earth?”
“It is,” he replied. “I’m Nathan. You’ve been expected.”
“Excuse me?” I said bewildered.
“Follow me Jared.”
“You know my name!”
“Everything will be explained,” Nathan said cordially.
I forced myself to hold my tongue. I was full of wonder and curiosity and I was anxious to go wherever I was being led. I was brought into one of the glowing buildings through a corridor of green marble. At the end was an illustrious golden door with a bronze cross on it.
“That symbol is on my Earth as well,” I said with fascination. “It’s supposed to represent God.”
“Indeed it is.” Nathan knocked on the door and it heaved open on its own. The room was large and made completely of silver. At the other end of the chamber a man in a white robe was sitting on a throne.
“Come Jared,” the man said with an echo that reverberated in the room.
I approached the man on the throne sheepishly at first, but the peace and joy in his eyes disarmed any fear or hesitation. He was childlike.
I looked to Nathan who just smiled and nodded.
It was easy to come to the being as I quickly neared him. “Are you God?” I said with wide eyes.
The one before me laughed. “Ha, ha, ha! Do you think God would look so plain? Does this look like Heaven? I am not. I am a Celestial Judge. There are many like me who govern around the world in God’s name. My servant Nathan knew your name because I told it to him. God told me of your arrival through spiritual means.”
“Why am I here?” I asked.
“You are one of the chosen ones who have been selected to experience this joyful place. Nevertheless, you cannot stay here. Think of it as gift.”
“How long can I stay?”
“You may stay for three hours. My servant Nathan will show you around. Go in peace.”
Nathan put a hand on my shoulder. “Come. Let’s not waste time,” he said gently.
I was led out of the silver room and back outside. My guide led me to an immense fountain of pure crystal that spouted water literally shimmering with white light.
“Dip your hand in it,” Nathan said.
I did so and a cool, effervescent twinge washed through me like I was being energized with pure goodness. It was like life force was surging up my arm and through my body. I withdrew it and took a deep sigh.
“There is more to experience,” Nathan said.
I was then brought to the base of a tall tower like a huge lighthouse. I passed Nathan and entered it on my own. Nathan and I ascended a spiraling a staircase until we came to the top of a circular balcony border.
“Do you see that white mosaic of a dove at the edge of the balcony?” my guide said pointing to the ground. “Stand on it.”
I did so and in a flash of white light I was on the surface of a stretch of grassy land. I was dampened from cool white mist.
“I will show you something truly amazing.”
He guided me with his hand to a staircase of glowing amber. I walked down the short stairway and was in perpetual awe at what I saw – the island…it was floating high in the sky! I had a bird’s eye view of a network of main lands, natural and engineered bridges joining islands, lagoons and more.
“Come now, I will show you the Grand Cathedral. It is the most exceptional place here,” I was instructed.
I walked to where I had first appeared; an identical mosaic was at my feet. In another flash of light I was at the top of the tower.
“Amazing!” I wondered. “When do I see that…cathedral you mentioned?”
“Just wait.” Nathan said.
Soon in the distance, I saw a shape flying in our direction. “What is that thing coming toward us?”
“It is the vessel in which we will traverse to the cathedral stronghold.”
It would have been equally astounding to see such a sight. But I had come to expect the unexpected at this point. I was still amazed though.
When the floating ship made it to the tower, Nathan and I were welcomed on board by a cheerful man. “What is your name out-worlder?” he asked me.
“The Grand Cathedral is an astounding site to those who first see it.”
Many things were going through my mind: how old was this place? Did people die here? Were there laws or even a need for laws? Were Celestial Judges chosen or were they instituted as immortals beings from long ago?
“What is the rest of New Earth like? Are there other cultures and customs like on my Earth?” I asked Nathan.
“Well, there are no religious sects on New Earth. The whole world is under one God. But, there are variances in architecture. In where you would call Asia, buildings mimic what you find that region on your Earth.”
The flying vessel lowered, and soon we were at the base of a ten foot tall double door made of burning gold as if in a refinery. Four images were etched onto the door surfaces. They depicted for heads of creatures: a lion, an eagle, a man and a bull.
I stepped closer to the door but Nathan blocked me. “Only those who are pure may enter. If you tried to enter on your own you would be incinerated.”
My eyes widened and I gave a deep swallow. “How then do I enter?”
Nathan took out a scroll and gave it to me. “This parchment of permission was written by the Celestial Judge. Present it before the door.”
I took the scroll and approached the door. Suddenly all four images spoke in loud unison. “What unclean being dares to enter the Grand Cathedral?”
My heart throbbed and I trembled.
“Show them the scroll!” Nathan exclaimed.
I fumbled to open the sealed parchment and faced the writing towards the door. The eyes of the faces lit up and beams shot out upon me. “Enter, you who are protected by the Sovereign One.”
The beams disappeared. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath and I exhaled deeply. I wiped a bead of sweat off my temple. The doors opened and pure white light streamed out. It was so beautiful I shed tears. My sight adjusted to the brightness and beheld colors I never saw before: ones I can’t describe. It all emanated from the sides of what could be described as an eye of a storm.
I looked up and the eye rise high as I could see. And in the grand height I saw what had to be angelic beings. One of them had three wings. Others were in shinning white robes and they circled around the eye.
“How do I reach those glorious beings?” I asked staring up.
“That leads to the third heaven where the Almighty dwells. Even I am not permitted to venture there – that is until I ascend.”
“What is that?”
“When my spirit leaves my body and inhabits a heavenly one.”
“I envy you,” I mused.
“Why? Even you can ascend.”
“How?” I blurted dot like a boisterous child.
“In your present unclean state you cannot. But His Majesty has made a way to be cleansed and ascend. On your Earth he has delivered His Word which shows the way to reconciliation and the path to ascension and peace.”
“His Word…” I uttered. “I think I know what you’re talking about.”
“Good. With that said it is time to return to your Earth. There is a well portal close to the cathedral. Time to leave.”
I wanted to stay, but I was happy that I was allowed to experience what I did. I followed Nathan out of the structure and was led to a well that glowed with an azure light.
“Until we meet again, goodbye Jared.”
I smiled and nodded. “Goodbye Nathan.”
I hopped in the well water. When I resurfaced, I was back in the park and it was still twilight. I stumbled over the well edge and landed on my back.
Two teenagers waked up to me. “Mister, are you okay?” said one of them in jeans and a sweater.
I chuckled. “I’m more than fine.” I shivered and stood up. I still had my car keys on me. I strolled to my BMW and drove home. After a hot shower and a nice night’s sleep, I arrived the next day to work.
Since my experience, I was preoccupied with the vivid recollections of New-Earth. I was sad I could not share about my time in that glorious place. Surely I would have been admitted to a psych ward like Simon Shrouder.
I was lost in thought and it must have been apparent on my expression because people kept asking what was on my mind.
“You seem to have your head in the clouds Jared,” Walt said.
I spoke a few spot on conclusive words. “If only you knew Walt, if only you knew.”