Your character goes down to the basement to get something and notices the pale outline of a hidden door. They open it to find an elaborate labyrinth of tunnels.
I jog down the steps to the basement, cursing at myself for not having more than one long phone charger in the house.
I walk into my study when I see it.
It isn’t much on the dark walls, but there are faint lines about a foot above the headboard, like strands of pink chalk on the sidewalk.
I go to wipe the lines with my hand, reminding myself to talk to the kids about drawing on the wall.
But after a moderate sweep, nothing comes off or leaves anything visible on my hands.
I repeat the motion, more firm this time. Again, nothing.
I go to the bathroom and grab the guest washcloth, knowing my wife will be cross I’m not using the disposable paper towels.
After applying a small amount of warm water, I rub gently.
The design remains.
I pull back the bed (not an easy task in the small room) so I can get a closer look.
There are now additional markings that I don’t remember seeing a few moments ago. Could a kid have run down when I was in the bathroom and scribbled more?
I check the closet for any sign of those ruffians, but it’s only books that stare mutely back at me.
I’m perplexed, but having no caffeine means my brain is looking for a pattern not to be found.
Time for the magic eraser.
Or it would be, but there seems to be no need for it.
The lines are gone.
No, not gone.
Moved. They start at the ceiling, forking down and running black down the cheap doorframe at the entrance of the room.
Dark pools ooze onto the carpet, slowly creeping towards my socks.
The lightbulbs in the lamps and overhead fixture break and I’m in darkness.
There’s no light coming from the window well.
I walk forward slowly, arms out in front. I should be hitting the book shelves or the wall behind them, but maybe my orientation is just off.
I stop after 10 more paces. I’m starting to panic now.
I sit. The floor is cold. No longer carpet, but concrete.
The words echo in my head, but I don’t hear myself say them audibly.
A rush of air knocks me on my back, my elbows bearing the brunt but saving my head from bouncing off the unforgiving surface.
A hissing sound of air escaping and then a click.
Overhead fluorescent strip lights illuminate and run down a vast corridor.
The floor is thick clear plastic, and on the near wall I see myself reflected, a pale and confused figure.
My heart races as I feel myself drift downward.
I’m in an elevator.
The lights dim and I’m back in darkness.
I can hear the wind whistling through a single entry point somewhere ahead.
I stand up. Walking toward the source of sound that is my only identifying mark.
There is a light blue glow, and as I get closer, I see snow blowing through a hole about the size of a catchers mitt.
I put my face up to the opening, peering out with eyes only half open to avoid the burn of the icy elements.
I’m high up, looking down into a valley surrounded by a thicket of pine trees.
I blink, and the scene before me changes, blurring in an out of focus like the machine at an optometrist office.
I see my house from above at an arial angle.
I see stars lining the cosmos, light years long.
I see those familiar alien lines again encircling a single door in the valley. Glowing brighter and brighter.
I’m back in the basement room.
My kids are playing video games in the large open area close by.
They don’t understand my tears or my hugs, but they allow them all the same.
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