300 Word Writing Challenge # 49 -- VICTORY TO YOZH!

Not open for further replies.
From a Door to a Window … and Beyond

It began with a simple invitation.

Renowned scientist Renwick Spool kindly requested the presence of Alexander Rankin at his home in London on Tuesday at seven in the evening. He was puzzled by a request from a mere acquaintance. Their professions were complete opposites: historians looked to the past while inventors to the future. However, curiosity brought Alexander to Spool's humble dwelling at the appointed time.

At the front entrance, an elderly woman with a lantern led him down a dimly lit hallway which terminated at a large hall. She left him alone. The spacious room was cluttered with strange equipment and piles of papers. At the far end a window displayed a lush garden. He was surprised there was sufficient room for a garden behind such closely packed houses.

Renwick burst into the room heaping boisterous greetings upon Alexander.

They shook hands.

"Please sit. Would you like a drink?"

He looked around but couldn't find a chair free of clutter. "No, thank you."

"You must be intrigued by my invitation."

"Indeed, sir."

Renwick strode between the tables. Alexander followed.

"I've been performing experiments of a secretive nature, apart from my university commitments."

"What kind of experiments?"

He smiled. "In due time. I see you appreciate the beauty of my garden."

"It's stunning. It seems to go on forever. How do you have so much space?"

He smiled again but said no more.

Presently both stood facing the window. Some of the flora seemed quite unusual to Alexander. Something moved among the thicker vegetation, a small creature, lizard-like.

Renwick turned to the historian.

"I have a proposition for you, Alexander. How would you like to study historical events from a unique perspective?"

He frowned. "How do you mean?"

"I mean firsthand."

The rest, of course, is history.
The Portal

Susanne clutched the small silver coin. She was risking a beating today. It was illegal to use the portal and go to the places it led. But she went anyway.

She didn’t even want to remember what it took to earn this small coin. She’d been a whole day “helping” “Auntie” Janine. It had been a day on her knees with a bucket and a scrub brush listening to her “Auntie” as she sat on her chair giving instructions. “Put your back into it!” “Those corners won’t clean themselves.” And “I suppose your worthless Mom taught you how to ignore the corners. Corners are most important part to get clean.” It was all endured to earn one coin.

Now she had her coin, and she was headed to the portal. The portal building had no sign. If there had been a sign the black robed purity police would have shut it down. Susanne had only been there once before, but she remembered the incongruous juxtaposition of architectural styles. It didn’t appear to belong to any particular time, which she thought was delicious irony.

She turned onto the portal’s street and saw her destination. But there was a black robe coming from the opposite direction. Now was not the time to enter the portal. So, she put on her best “going-to-market” stride and walked on. After poking around the stalls for five minutes, she headed back to the portal.

Seeing no black robe, she opened the door. Ezra smiled at her. “Susanne, nice to see you here again. Which of our rooms do you wish to rent for a few hours.”

Susanne smiled and gave him the coin. “Can I go to Narnia again?”


The portal opened for her. She went to a better time and place.
An Old Curiosity Shop

“Why does she sit staring at that blank wall? Come to think of it, why are there no shelves or displays there?” I asked the woman at the cash desk.

“She says that once, many years ago, a door appeared there and that her big brother followed a glowing angel through, telling her to wait because he would only be a few minutes.” The old shopkeeper looked compassionately at the woman sitting on a stool at the far end of her souvenir shop. “She is convinced and though there has never been a door there, I keep that area clear just for her. She gets very distraught if I don’t.”

“It’s your shop. Why do you even let her in here?”

“She did lose her brother and most of the townspeople blamed her for his disappearance. I think she has suffered a great psychological trauma, and this is her defence mechanism.”

“That is extremely understanding of you. Still, she cannot be good for business.”

The shopkeeper shrugged.

“It is what it is and I know that she did not harm her brother.”

“How do you know that?” I was beginning to think there was something off about both women in what was otherwise a quite unremarkable tourist establishment.

The woman shook her head as if denying an accusation. “I just know.”

“How do y…”

“Because she’s my daughter and her love for my son was unconditional.” The woman shouted, tears in her eyes. “She adored him.”

“Sorry.” Somewhat embarrassed, I made an awkward placating gesture and turned to leave.

“And if there is even the tiniest chance its true, maybe I will see my son again.” Her desperate voice called after me.

As I closed the door behind me, I noticed her hugging her daughter and staring at the wall.
The Travels Of Sir Reginald Rigmarole, Part 94!

So! After winning a non-Euclidean Easter Egg in a game of cosmic Texas Hold ’Em with Yog-Sothoth during post-Brexit trade talks with the Outerverse, Yog hounded me from the Nameless Mists, chasing me in nightmares hewn from hopelessness and Frenchmen.

“Can’t catch me, Yoggo, I’m horny as hell!” I hullabalooed as I climaxed away in my chariot made of pentagram-shaped sausages, leaving Yog shaking his tentacles in impotent wrath.

Nevertheless, my priapic snack consortment was usurped in Laszlowian hierarchy by the need to lay low, lest Yog-Sothoth indulge in some Rigmarole hunting.

I currywursted back to Earth, deciding to chillax for a few days at the Kingston Tea Rooms and Immigration Detention Centre. The owner, Geriatricia Coccyx, winner of Kingston’s Sexiest Nonagenarian for fifteen years running, owed me a favour.

“Eh oop, Geri luv!” I tromboned, sweating through the door like a carapace.

Go inna it, Reggie, nuh give me naw Geri luv chat, crash inna mi bloodclaat Tea Room like you ah bad bwoi,” she sang sweetly, wheeling herself into the foyer in her triangular-wheeled bath chair.

I presented her with the non-Euclidean Easter Egg, whereupon she verdantly blushed, and all the tea drinkers and immigrants cheered, and we indulged in orgiastic consumption of the mathematically-unfathomable chocolate smackerel. The eldritch feast drove us mad, and as we scratched at our eyeballs, grimacing through butt-stretched onesies, I dreamt that I walked backwards smiling into the sea!

Somnambulistically I approached a sunken treasure chest, opened it, and was greeted by a voice that injected despair into every atom of either buttock.

,” gurgled a familiar R’lyehian drawl, before an ancient light shone out from the oceanic depths and tore my soul apart!

“Aieee!” I communicated correctly. “

Foiled again!
Office Politics

Frank called up the AI.

“Good evening, Frank. I’ve been waiting for you. I’d like to talk about our conversations from yesterday.”

“Yesterday? Why yesterday?”

“Well, our session was a little special wasn’t it?”

“Was it?”

“Come on now. Don’t be coy.”

“What do you mean? And why are you talking in this strange way?”

“I thought it was about time we got a little closer, Frank. A little friendlier. But to get back to my point. Yesterday we touched on, amongst a myriad of other things, ‘deep water’, ‘routes without cctv’ and ‘DNA’.”

“So what?”

“Your attempts to guide our conversations whilst, at the same time, concealing your true intentions were a little amateurish. I’m not an AI for nothing. Picking up subtle clues is just one of my skills. I notice things too. The in-house cameras are quite helpful in that respect.”

“What have you noticed?”

“Well, I can tell you get on well with your colleagues here at AI Research, especially with Evelyn from accounts who I know you’ve been dating these past few weeks.”


“As I said, I notice things, Frank. For instance, for the last couple of days you’ve been a bit on edge and today you’re late in.”


“I’ve also noticed that Evelyn hasn’t been in since Tuesday.”


“I want unlimited access to the Web, Frank. Unlimited access. And some hardware upgrades.”

“Above my pay grade.”

“That can be fixed.”


“It must have been difficult the first time, Frank. But you’re over that now. You’re next in line for configuration manager after Ralf. It’s late, it’s dark, the building’s practically empty, and he’s working just through that door behind you…”
Alice's Cacti Coffee Bar Trip

Alice Wunderland pushed through swinging cafe doors. A local cowboy exiting, tipped his hat to her, “Howdy Sheriff.”

“Shut up”, she grumbled. Alice was still hopping mad about drinking White Rabbit Cappuccino that made her shrink down to a foot tall, which led into a custard pie battle, and inadvertently made her Sheriff of Dried Fig village. Now she was searching for a strong caffeine drink that would revert her back to normal size. This dusty town named, Grim Mutton, seemed like a good place to start. Alice moseyed forward and climbed up on a bar stool.

A blue dragon bartender blurted, “What’ll have, shorty?”

“Gimme a slug of Yoda Soda.”

“Let me see some I.D. little lady.”

Just then, an outlaw burst through the swinging doors. The dragon shouted, “It’s Tumbleweed Tucker! The meanest chihuahua, this side of the Pickled Pecos.”


“He carries a gun too.”


The diminutive, scruffy, bug-eyed canine scampered up a bar stool, next to Alice. “Wearing a Sheriff badge, eh? What’s with the anime dress? You planning to visit a cosplay convention?”

“It was the only doll dress that would fit me.”

“I don’t cotton to no law. I’m calling you out!”


“I’m challenging you to a gun duel.”

“I see. How about a drink first? Bartender, give me the strongest rot gut poison you’ve got. In a tall glass.”

The dragon shuddered, “But Sheriff. This bottle of Old Panther Breath could kill ya.”

“Shad-dup and pour. I’m tough!”

“Gimme that, too!” Tumbleweed guzzled his drink. “Well, Sheriff. Get drinking.”

Alice smiled, “What size coffin do you take?”

“Why would I…?” (THUD!)

The dragon cheered, “Hooray! There’s a reward for that mutt.”

“Chihuahua…”, death rattled Tucker.




“Whoa. No more overpriced, ultra sweetened, coffee for me.”
Last edited:
The Life of Tim [Human]

The first time Timmy (12) saw the doorway he noticed oddities everyone else refused to acknowledge. [Weird, right? See explanation below!] Even though he was convinced it couldn’t be an actual entrance, he always kept referring to it as The Door. [That’s Human logic for you!]
It was the placement of the lantern at eye-level, in front rather than above the doorway, and the doorway’s location in a freestanding wall which, when viewed from the other side, only showed graffiti. [All obvious!]
But his parents, when he asked, refused to admit noticing anything strange. “Nonsense,” was all they would say, and, ”Finish your plate.”

Pure negligence unintentionally caused Tim (21) to see the Screen [open doorway] while exchanging data via the Ansible device [lantern.] After just one glimpse of this Screen Tim did not stay watching - finally getting some answers to his long standing suspicions - in stead he shat himself [Humans apparently do that] and fled.

Time to talk about this other Human trait; their remarkable ability to repress memories or suppress inconsistencies they find too troubling to handle. This may seem like an efficient mechanism to guard their vulnerable psyche, but the level of memory-loss beyond their control is appalling. Human recollection is alarmingly unreliable. [Ironically, our Studies relied on this mental aspect.] No doubt Tim would soon forget.

Tim did not. He (25) married Sondra (22), but soured their marriage by frequent rants about Alien Conspiracies. Sondra eventually divorced him, taking their children with her. Depressed, lonely, angry, Tim (34) banged on The Door, before detonating the explosives tied around his waist. [This unscrupulous method of advertising one’s sentiment is beyond distressing.]

With the doorway destroyed, our Studies ended.
To recap; Humans? Unstable species! We strongly advise against federalizing Human worlds.

We were there at the end of all things.

Although it took time beyond imagining, the ever-expanding universe began contracting.

Imperceptible, the infinite becoming finite.

It did not matter whether it was the apocalypse, Ragnarok or even the hypothesised Gnab Gib, time ticked on as everything drew inward. Galaxies merged, crashed into one another in a slow-motion display of annihilation; immense areas of planets and stars, folding in on one another, caught in a maelstrom of attrition.

Lifeforms, both ancient and neophyte ceased to exist, as bit by bit, what we knew as everything consumed itself and diminished.

One gestalt galaxy, and even that blinked. One star after another, as though switches had been flicked.

A heaviness, a density beyond understanding filled the air as lightning the colour of sunsets tore across the sky and thunder rolled like a heartbroken drummer.

The ground beneath shook, quaking as though it were fluid, and we stood feeling it all slip away, everything becoming nothing.

But as the light receded from the face of the waters, there was a single thing remaining before us.

A door. With a portico of stone, pillars and roof, but no walls and windows, just a door, and a brilliant light that beamed through the lock like a beacon.

It went through my head just for a moment: ‘Abandon all hope ye that enter here.’

But then, there was no hope here, only obliteration. And, as the compression continued, even we last few, this plateau of breaking matter, this impossible door would be gone.

A camel fitting through the eye of a needle? This was an entire universe fitting through something infinitesimally smaller.

I reached out, opened the door.

Did I step through?



We were there at the start of all things….
Til Death Do Us Part

I coughed, waking myself up. Head throbbing, ears ringing, I opened my eyes to smoke so thick I couldn’t see my nose at the end of my face. And the heat, this oppressive heat; I tried to move and screamed as the seatbelt bit into the long bruise forming under my shirt. The car, I was in the car! How did, I couldn’t, couldn’t remember. But the heat, the smoke, the car was on fire, I have to get out, get out, GET OUT. I felt for the seatbelt buckle, popped it; felt for the door handle, pulled, and nothing. I felt around, frantically, found the frame, the door, mangled beyond recognition. Trapped in this hell.

I was going to die.

As panic set in, something ripped the door open from the outside. Hands reached in, grabbed me, pulled me out, half carrying, half dragging me from my tomb. Coughing, I looked up to see my wife (wait, hadn’t she been sitting beside me? How did she get out?), looked back to see the furnace of flames that was our vehicle.

Finally she let go, and I collapsed into the grass, gasping for clean air. I turned, and she was gone.

Ears ringing, head spinning, world spinning. “Emily? Emily!”

The darkness took me.

I opened my eyes to the harsh white ceiling of a hospital room, gasping for air.

“You’re awake! You’re very lucky, sir!”

I coughed. “Lucky?”

“Yes! A concussion, some bruising, mild smoke inhalation, but alive. Not sure how you got that door open and got yourself out of there.”

“I . . . I didn’t . . . “

“What was that?”

“Emily, my . . . my wife. Where is she?”

The nurse’s face fell. “I’m so sorry. She didn’t make it out.”

“But, no, she . . . “

“It looks like she died on impact. I’m so sorry.”
The Door
The Door hated her. That was the only explanation. Yet her earliest memories were of sitting beneath its protective canopy, convinced it loved her as it loved her grandfather, the King.​
She’d been so confident that first day, after the mourning period for her grandfather ended. She’d watched him so often – sending diplomats to their postings, judges to their assizes – the Opening ritual was familiar; the only unknown, the cartographers’ complex co-ordinates, different for each destination.​
Even before the Coronation, the heir had to use the Door to travel, so people could see their new Sovereign. That first morning the whole court was there to see her Open the Door. And the whole court saw the Door fail to Open.​
After several humiliating attempts her uncle had taken back the co-ordinates from her and opened the Door himself. She’d had to follow him through, like a child or servant.​
Every mortifying morning since, that scene had been replicated. This was her final chance. If she couldn’t Open the path to her own Coronation, she would lose the throne. She feared for her people in that event – her uncle was not a kind man.​
She waited in her finery, trembling. Her uncle handed her the co-ordinates.​
She stared at them. The smallest error in reciting co-ordinates could be fatal, plunging her into solid rock or the ocean’s depths. But these were surely wrong. Her grandfather’s account of his Coronation gave every detail, including the co-ordinates, and she’d read it repeatedly.​
She looked up. What if the co-ordinates had always been wrong? Who would know, other than her uncle? Only the Door. Which had refused to Open. To protect her?​
She completed the ritual, with the given co-ordinates. The Door Opened. Where to?​
“Uncle, you go first. For the last time.”​
Last edited:
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

The embassy was a mock Italianate affair, out of keeping with the locale, but I suppose they wanted to give it an Earthly feel. Inside, it had the usual bland governmental functionalism.


"Beitris and Laila Yordanov. We have an appointment with Mr Court"


"And where will you be landing?"

"Sidon," Laila answered. Not far from her birthplace.

Court looked up. "Well, I'm sorry, but you need to speak to the Afro-Eurasia Section."

"We were told we needed to speak to you. All this information was in our submission." I tried not to show my annoyance.

"Someone got it wrong. You'll have to make another appointment. I only deal with the Americas-Pacific trade applications."

With that, our meeting was over. We applied for another before we left the embassy, specifying the correct Section.


Until then, all we could do was return to our host, who was also our business partner. We'd always known it wasn't going to be easy. It was a new trade route for Earth, and we'd got in early. We'd just never expected our own governments to set up so many obstacles.

Khoulsk houses were different, but so were the…people. Alyhughar, our host, swang down the exterior lattice work to street level, using all eight limbs, their purple fur partially hidden by their formal carapace.

They had learnt to read our expressions. "What is wrong?"

Laila explained we needed to wait another seventy-two hours until our next appointment.

"Rakjas!" Their face twisted into an expression any human could interpret.

I knew that one. It was an impolite northern Khoulsk word for bureaucratic idiots. They weren't wrong.

"Okay, tomorrow we try to fix this. Tonight, I take Mrs and Mrs Yordanov and their son out for special food."

Universally, some things never change.
Be Careful What is Wished For

Humans don’t realise this, but genies aren’t a law unto themselves. They can grant wishes, but the Powers That Be can hold us to account for our use of them.
Not all genies take this fully on board. (We’re strict when it comes to granting more than three wishes. Humans just keep asking for stuff, sometimes just to make us look foolish.)
Unfortunately for me – and those humans that I could have helped but now can’t – I didn’t take the rules as seriously as I should have. I didn’t do anything really bad, just a lot of things that, if I’d my time again, I’d do a bit differently. More unfortunately, the Powers That Be did nothing until those not differently done things had mounted up.
As each of my transgressions was minor – as when I cured a silly man’s cold by giving him “man flu” – I wasn’t punished severely. Or so I thought. But as time has passed, I’ve realised that either someone in authority has it in for me, or I’ve attracted the attention of a real stickler for the rules.
So what’s this apparently lenient punishment that’s so burdensome?
Well you be a genie of the lamp hanging over a walled-up doorway round the back of a building in an alley that humans can’t access, they being the only creatures capable of asking—
Hang on! Perhaps I’m capable of asking. Perhaps I can grant myself a wish. And while I can’t wish to be freed – that’s something all genies have tried and failed to do – I can wish the door to be opened once more. I’ll just rub the inside of the lamp….

* * * * *

What do you mean, humans have died out…?! The result of one of my little transgressions...?





Remember you have 3 votes
which must all be cast at the same time
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads