She continued to follow the stream, thinking, meanwhile, about where this mysterious door could be. The woods were expansive and deep, and it would take days to scour them all.

So she closed her eyes, spun around, and pointed in a direction, letting fate decide. When she opened them, she saw she was to go due east.

The brambles tore at her legs as she climbed up the river bank through bushes, searching for a path. The soft dirt scratched between her toes and she squirmed as she stepped in a pile of decomposing leaves and what felt like droppings from some animal.

She wandered for about an hour, shoving branches aside and watching carefully for foxes or boars. The raspberry voice hadn't returned to give her guidance, so she assumed she was going the right direction.

Ahead of her, she could make out a clearing, where the sun filtered through the thick foliage. She walked towards it, stopping short as she saw a tree at the edge of the clearing with a peculiar looking trunk.

The shape of a circular door was carved into it, the thin outline inlaid with silver. A fancifully designed depiction of the solar system surrounded script she couldn't read in the center of the door. It stretched from the roots to about five feet above her head.

And there was a keyhole.

She reached into her pocket and found the scrap metal. She tried to fit it into the keyhole, but it was definitely the wrong size. As she shoved it into the lock, it melted in her hands and fell to the ground, reforming in the shape of a large, ornamental key.

The key was light in her hand as she slid it into the lock and turned it.

The End

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