This couldn’t be real, she thought. She stepped in, unsure of what would happen when she entered the room. The door swung shut behind her with a decisive click. Spinning around, Catherine saw that the door was no longer there. In its place was a thicket of dark trees, their moss-covered branches hanging low to the ground.
Catherine didn’t know what to do. She took a few tentative steps, thinking that surely she would wake up and find herself laying on her lumpy mattress at home, but with each step she took the dream began to seem more real. Her feet were really walking on spongy earth, she was really smelling lush tropical plants. She was really hearing the foreign sounds of birds calling in the distance. She was really here.
Catherine walked a little further in. She saw a curious tree in front of her. It was round and squat, looking almost like a toadstool, but the bark was rough and thick. The top of the tree was covered in a heavy draping of green and purple moss and a pungent smell became clear the closer she got to it. The most curious part, however, was that there was a round little door in the center of the trunk. It blended well into the trunk, so it was not clearly visible from a distance, but she could see it now. In the center of the door was an ornately carved brass door knob with a tiny key hole underneath.
“Use your second key, dear,” a voice rasped directly behind her, making Catherine jump. She turned to see an ancient-looking man with long white hair and beard, leaning frailey on a knotted cane.
“Who are you?” she cried.
The old man stood there for a moment longer before responding, swaying slightly on his cane.
“I believe you already know who I am,” he finally responded, nodding with a knowing expression on his face.
“I most certainly do not,” Catherine retorted, but then paused. Slowly she began feeling something like a swirling tingle pass through her chest and into her head.
“I am one of the three Ancient Origins, the sage of What Could Be,” he almost hissed, coughing slightly on his last word.
A shiver ran down Catherine’s spine. Somehow she knew already.
“I am he who enters your thoughts when you wonder what could have been, or ponder on the if only’s.”
“Why am I here?” Catherine stammered, stepping back a little from the old man.
“You are here on a quest. You must use your keys to determine your fate. Your keys are in your hands, and your hands alone.”
With his final statement, the man began to fade away, as if made of smoke.
“But wait! What am I to do?” Catherine cried out.
She stood there alone again, the remaining two keys in her hands, looking at the mysterious door in the tree.
Check back tomorrow to see what she does!