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The portal (short story)

I was then actually ready to hit the button. Well I’ve had hit the button so many times before but there was always something wrong. This time though it would work. Just like the last one. But lo and behold, it did work. A thin film appeared in the ring. It actually looked like a soap bubble. I hesitated a bit and then stuck my finger through. In retrospect I should have poked through with an inanimate object but you know, excitement.

It felt warm, and humid; wet even. I pulled my finger quickly back. It smelled flowery, in a comforting way. My second attempt revealed that it was probably raining on the other side. A warm, heavy rain. I imagined dense tropical forests and the rain falling through the tall trees on thick flat leaves and then to the ground, before it would be sucked up by the millions of root tips to begin it’s never-ending cycle once again. I made a cup with my hand and brought some of the precious water back, to taste it. I was rather disappointed as it tasted like, erm, tap water. Nowhere to be found were the flowery scents and grassy taste I expected. Maybe, I pondered, the portal led somewhere high above the foliage and the water was fresh, straight from the clouds.

After some careful deliberation I decided it’s time to try going in, head on. My nose pierced the thin film first. Eyes closed, I felt the flowery scent overwhelm me. Slowly, I inched forward and when I felt the humid atmosphere over my eyelids I slowly opened my eyes. The world was white. My eyes had to adjust to the light and fend off the large rain drops. I saw a pink, leathery surface, covered in a frothy substance. It looked soft like human skin. Just as the picture in my eyes started getting clearer, I realized. I recognized the white tiles, I grasped why the soapy, flowery smell was so familiar. I tried to return to the lab as fast as I could, but I wasn’t quick enough. The poor woman saw me and let out a scream. A scream so loud, so terrified, I’ll never forget.