A World in a Letter

Welcome to an adventure that will shortly be taking place in a world light-years away from this one. It is a mirror image of this world, only in another galaxy. However, one boy’s life is about to be changed in unimaginable ways. I know this because I created him. I know exactly what will happen to him before he knows it. I can see things before he sees them and hear things before he does. He doesn’t know about me, nor does anyone else. So I have constructed an adventure for him.
    The boy is quite possibly the most average looking child you could imagine, blonde hair, blue eyes, about your height. Every day he walks home from school, under the big bridge with its smooth walls and wide pavement. He enjoys that bit the most because he feels like he’s in a giant cave so he shouts and listens to the echoes bouncing around him. He gets home shortly after walking under the bridge and hangs his coat up on the banister, drops his bag by the front door and takes off his shoes before making something to eat. He then proceeds to watch television for the rest of the day, until his mother gets home, commanding him to do his homework.
    This has been my boy’s life for the last few years, until today. I can see him now getting ready to go to school. He’s walking out of the door with his uniform still hanging round his shoulders for his mother is very insistent that he is on time for school, and right she is. He’s on his way now, approaching his giant cave that he likes to shout into. Now, let me tell you about his adventure that he doesn’t know about yet. Unless I am mistaken, boys of his age, and indeed yours too, tend to enjoy doing things despite being warned not to. For example, if you saw a giant red button that read, ‘WARNING: EXPLOSIVE ACTIVITY IN THE AREA. DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON’ you would become very tempted to plunge your hand down on that button to see what would happen, wouldn’t you? Yes, I thought you would.
    So, in order to get my boy to go on his adventure, I need to create prompts, signs and messages that seem to be warning him off, but at the same time attracting him even more into disobeying them. Allow me to demonstrate my artistic skills. I am now standing in my boy’s cave looking at how bare and empty the walls are. I think a little redecoration is needed here. So I’m spray-painting the entire cave a shocking shade of lava red. What a dangerous colour it is, but it needs more. Some flames perhaps? Or jagged forks of lightning? And in amongst all the chaotic colours, the message that reads ‘George, do not open the letter…’
So the first step of the adventure plan is complete. I think my artwork looks pretty good for someone as old as me. Where’s that boy? There he is, sluggishly walking as he always does after a hard day at school. He looks terribly confused, but amazed at the same time at the sight of his newly decorated cave.
    “How did this happen?” He whispers to himself, “and when? I’ve been at school for six hours and someone’s done all this in that time? It’s impossible.”
I should probably take this time to mention that in order to get the art finished I had to stop time a little bit, well alright 3 days but no one noticed anything different apart from George so let’s keep it that way.
    “Don’t open the letter?” George reads to himself. “What letter? I didn’t get any letters today. It’s not even Friday yet.” He’s looking even more confused now but that’s understandable. He’s walking around his cave looking up and down at the endless sea of red fire and electric lightning storm.
    “It’s amazing. I wish I could go to a place like this.” He whispers again to himself this time with eyes as wide as dinner plates. He drags himself away from under the bridge nonetheless and continues his walk home, all the while thinking bout my message to not open the mysterious letter.
He walks up the drive to his house and steps inside. Phase two of my adventure plan is about to be complete. He hangs his coat up and dumps his bag by the door, whereupon he notices a pile of post that his mother hadn’t seen yet. He bends down to pick the pile up and checks for anything that’s addressed to him. As usual he suspects nothing because he never receives any post unless it’s Christmas or his birthday, until this very moment. He drops every letter apart from the one he is holding which reads in big, bold red letters,
George’s mouth falls open and his knees nearly cause him to collapse. He grabs the banister before sitting on the bottom stair. He gazes at the envelope in pure amazement while at the same time thinking should whether he should open it without asking mum or dad what it is.
    “This must be the letter I was warned about under the bridge!” he gasps to himself. “But who sent it to me? It must be the same person who painted the walls, either that or a very good friend of theirs. Who was it?”   
He abandons all thought and in a frenzy of excited confusion starts ripping the paper envelope and reveals its mystical and fantastical contents. It’s a small, folded up piece of paper, nothing exciting about that. George looks disappointed but starts unfolding the paper anyway. He notices it’s folded more than seven times. I thought that was impossible, he thinks to himself. Nevertheless once unfolded completely, George lays the paper flat on the living room floor since there’s little space left in the hallway.
    On the paper is a picture I painted of a metal door. Gun-metal blue it is. George touches the door. It’s cold and hard, just like a real one. He still looks terribly confused, which is still understandable, but he won’t give up. He’s persistent, just like his mother. He touches the door again and rubs its shiny metallic framework. The gleaming yellow handle is like a guiding, open hand, inviting George inside this other world beyond the metal door. George holds the handle with a cold and shaking hand. He’s turning it now, slowly and carefully. He pulls the door open slightly and a sudden gust of wind tries to suck him in. He lets go of the handle and sits back shaking even more. But still he can’t ignore the temptation to see beyond the metal frame in front of him. He takes the handle once more and pulls harder on the door, bracing himself for the force of the suction. Beyond the door he can see downwards into a pit of fire and thunderstorms, flames shooting up from a scorched, dusty floor, jagged rocks pointing at him like fingers, billows of smoke circling around the place. But it’s the sheer heat of the pit below him that stands out. George looks like he’s melting quite literally, and already his hand has become one with the door handle. His face starts dripping and his arms and legs are growing long and thin, like pieces of play dough that have been sausage-rolled too much. George is now a gooey pile of ooze that is slipping like a snake beyond the door. His clothes, his skin, his bones, his eyeballs and eyebrows all melt into a puddle of human goo, and here I stand at the bottom of the pit, looking up at George’s melted form sliding down, deeper into my dominion. I open my crooked mouth, breaking my jaw to open it wider, and allow mass of melted human to slither down my throat.

The End

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