The Passage

“That’s very interesting.” John rubbed at a spot on the wall where Rachel had said, in a dream so vivid she had mistook it for reality, she had crawled through a little doorway into a cavity. It bothered him—he had the sense that there must be something there, that is that there should be something there, and now that there demonstrably wasn’t he felt like something was lacking. He needed to satisfy himself with some analysis but any eluded him—he wasn’t the kind of guy that analysed dreams, certainly not others, but Rachel’s worried face and certainty at what she had experienced had him digging deep.

“It’s alright, sweetie, he said,” pushing himself to his feet, “go back to bed, everything will be okay.”

“But I’m scared, Daddy!” she protested.

Scared of what? a part of him wondered. Scared of something coming through? Of entering the little door and not coming out again? But he knew what she was scared of. It was fear of being wrong, of the universe being right about this thing, and she being wrong—he felt it too. Why shouldn’t there be a little passage there? Perhaps he was on the faulty side of a diverging pathway. Perhaps it was that the little door and its contents were being generated, albeit at a lower level than the certifiable things around him—it symbolised something, yes, but it was an idea that was expected to shimmy itself to the surface, our surface, and assume realness. That was what was happening, and even as he tucked his daughter in he felt the presence of that idea, its nascent outline in their heads gathering strength as something solid. When he had turned out the lights John quietly returned to the spot in the corner near the wardrobe where his daughter, and now he, interpreted the phantom space to be. He felt at the dry, textured paint. Rachel watched from bed, quiet, trusting in her father but still afraid.

“I rebuke you in Jesus’ name,” John announced, though under his breath. On the other side of things, somewhere, something pushed back, and John’s lip curled. In Rachel’s dream the door was receding, closing over, resonating lower and lower in descending frequencies until it decayed and became smoke and memory again. Smoke and memory and content of some other charm—something that would bother another John and Rachel in another home, where they would not sleep but wake in horror at the understanding that something was different, entirely beyond their consent or understanding. That something from the beginning of time to now had rolled out like a wrinkle in a carpet and finally arrived.

Thanks for checking out my short story.

Did I tell you I wrote a novel? You can read it here for free, or get it for your e-reader on iBooks, Amazon or Kobo. Or you can just say you read the book, and donate five bucks down below. Go on.

Gabriel Muoio


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