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Rated: E · Novel · Sci-fi · #2256117
Things were not as they seemed.
2nd place co-win Chapter 1 contest. Editor's choice, 8/4/21, Action/Adventure Newsletter. 496 wc entry into August's "Chapter One: Prompt: A closed door standing on its own in an empty field.

“It’s a door.” Jeffery was flummoxed. He was a mild mannered, ordinary looking man. The moment was extraordinary. “I hired you as an architect to build me a house. Where’s the rest of it?”

The man standing next to Jeffery was the exact stereotype of every nerdy egghead. Myopic eyes behind bottle thick glasses looked back at him. “I took it as a challenge when you asked me to make your new home blend in, right?” Henry Wallace sounded proud. “No cost barred. This didn’t come cheap.”

“That door certainly looks cheap to me. Where’d you dig it up and how fast can you bury it there?” Jeffery stared at his friend. All he’d been trying to do was help the aspiring builder and self proclaimed world changing architect out. The man spent much too much time and money in his basement inventing impossible things along with his friends on the Internet. This was the man’s first sale.

“I left the door in place so you’d know how to get in and out until you got your bearings. It goes after that. Think of the security you’ll possess with a completely invisible house.”

“You mean, there are really rooms behind that door? How will I know where I am in there and how to use stuff? I won’t know where the kitchen sink is.” Jeffery felt like the emperor with the invisible new clothes. What kind of put on was this?

“To all appearances, everything looks normal inside. Only the outside has a new reflective technique, software driven, built right into the house walls, windows and roof. Amazing, isn’t it? This will be a game changer in architectural design.”

The two watched as a bird winged by, flying through where the house should be. Jeffery’s eyebrows rose in question. “Explain that.”

“Smart house. Environmentally friendly. You said you were a nature lover so I made it part of the plan.” Henry Wallace leaned against the rock solid door frame. “The house is only solid on the inside. Anything coming at you from the outside, except through your open front door, doesn’t even know anything is there.”

“Huh? I got to see this.” Science as far out as this sounded like magic. Jeffery walked around the door in a complete circle. The sights, sounds and feel of where he moved matched the grassy lot around him.

A lightbulb went on inside Jeffery’s head. If this were true, he could plant a wilderness outside for his beloved wild critters and plants while living right with them, both undisturbed. “All right, Scotty. Beam me up.”

“There’s just one little problem,” Henry Wallace began, refusing to budge out of the doorway. “I've got two of my friends inside making sure you don't open one of the inside doors. The recreation room has a mind of its own. Weird stuff is appearing in and out of thin air.”

“Weird stuff? Like what?” As if, what was going on wasn’t weird enough. How could this get any more weird than it was?

As if in answer, Henry Wallace's two friends barged out, escaping amid wild hysterical cries. The door, left open, shivered from an awakened sound of screeching horror.

"Stand still. Motion must attract it." Henry Wallace froze in place, only his lips moving as Jeffery sprang for forward to close the door.
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