It begins with a strange door out of place. You don’t even see it at first. It’s just a shadow in the corner of your eye after you’ve passed it. One day after realizing what you see, you stop, but as soon as you do, it’s gone.
You shake your head and laugh before continuing with your day. It happens again a few hours later but this time when you stop it’s still there. For a moment, you just stand there in front of the door, but then curiosity overcomes you and you open it only to find your own reflection.
You laugh and wonder why someone would place a mirror behind a door. How stupid. You close the door and go about your day, but your mind never really leaves the thought of the door. Why was it there? What was its point?
A few days later, you see the door again. At first, you don’t even pause, but the curiosity makes you turn around. Once again, you open the door to find just the same mirror. This happens a few more times. Finally, just as you’re about to give up, you notice it.
It’s not much, but it’s enough to keep you opening that door, just a few shadows in the mirror. You look behind you but nothing is there. It gets boring after a while, and you really consider ignoring the door the next time. Then you begin to hear the voices. None of them are clear, a slight buzz or ringing at the most. Yet, once again you’re lured back to the door for more.
Not long after the shadows begin to take actual shape and the voices begin to make sense. It gets easier with more concentration. Finally, one day you find the door in place of your coat closet, on the way to work. You open it expecting more hushed voices and vague shadows in a mirror, but what you see surprises you. There is no longer a mirror. You can’t see yourself at all. Instead, you see people behind the door. The sight of them frightens you enough to slam it shut. Yet, they never even looked at you.
Once again, you begin to ignore the door for a few days. Finally, after almost a week you break down, open the door, and step inside. You’ve never done that before, and you’re not sure why you started now. Now that you’ve crossed their threshold, they begin to notice you.
A few of them welcome you and ask how you are. Of course, you’re shy and a little scared, but they take their time and adjust to your actions. Finally, you realize you’re being silly and begin to talk with them. They seem like nice people, and you begin to wonder why you were rudely cautious before. They tell you how they don’t get visitors often, and they tend to get lonely with just each other. You begin to feel a little sorry for them.
At some point, a question occurs to you. After internal debate you decide to ask someone, “Who are you guys, and how did you get here?”
The man closest to you chuckles and says, “We are the Syelims, and we came here the same way you did. Through the Rorrim Doorway.”
“Oh,” you say.
After a while of more talking, you realize you’ve been here too long. You’re late for work by now, and have to go, but you promise them you’ll return. That’s when things begin to change. They tell you, that you can’t leave. You laugh and begin to search for the door, but you can’t find it.
That’s when you notice something different about the people. Something that makes you ask yourself, ‘How were they talking to me?’ Because, now that you really look at them, you notice that they don’t have a mouth or nose. In fact, their bodies are completely lacking in human feature. The only similarities are the two eyes, but even that is a cruelly dissimilar sight. They are simply long slits at the top of its skull, with a black abyss beneath them. Their naked and repulsively gangly bodies are covered in stretched red splotchy skin.
‘How could I not have noticed this before?’ you think to yourself.
A thought passes through your mind that is not your own, ‘You’re ours now’. You start to scream, but you can’t. Your mouth, it won’t open. Why won’t it open? Open your mouth and scream! You have to, someone will hear you and come and get you. They’ll realize you’re missing and see the door. Someone will save you from these things.
One of the creatures begins to walk. No, it begins to crawl. Its gangly legs twitch and writhe, as it gets closer to you. You’re in too much shock to move, even when it’s only inches from you. Once it’s there, it begins to laugh, but without a mouth, the sound echoes through your mind. It’s the most horrifying noise you’ve ever heard.
You turn and run, and thankfully, they don’t follow. Finally, you find another door. You look around cautiously before opening it. Disappointment and fear resonates through you as you see another creature behind the door. You collapse to the ground in defeat. The creature seems to kneel to the ground as well. You stare at it, and in return, you feel its similar glare.
The creature cocks its head to the side and its gray head begins to rip apart to reveal a set of horrific jagged teeth. ‘So, it does have a mouth; it’s just not for speaking’, you think tediously. At first, you’re sure it’s your death, but the creature does not move. You realize it’s smiling at you. For some reason, this comforts you, but you wonder why it hasn’t said anything to you yet. So, you get up, only for the creature to mimic you. You try to give it a complex look, but its black eyes just stare back at you blankly. Every once in a while its stretched skin flashes over the slits, as if it were blinking.
You start to back away, and once again, it mimics you. That’s when you slam the door. For a moment, you are confused. Why was it doing that? Was it some kind of torture? You sigh internally and reopen the door. Once again, you stare at it, and it at you. More creatures begin to accumulate around the creature.
All of them now wear the same cruel grin that the first one wore. You close your eyes for a minute and slowly open them to see the creature doing the same thing. The creatures in the doorway seem to be laughing silently as if there was some joke you didn’t understand. Their stares become too much, so you turn around only to find the same creatures standing behind you.
A memory of the first time you opened the door, what seems like ages ago, flits through your mind, as you look back at the doorway. A look of fear flashes through the black eye-slits of the creature, before returning to a cold look of cruelty. The smile widens as you give in.
Maybe living with them won’t be so bad. Despite how they look, you know they won’t hurt you. You are one of theirs now.
Sometime later, hours or days, maybe even years later, the door opens on its own. Someone steps through the doorway. It’s a new Syelim. She seems shy. You decide to greet her and make her feel welcome. It’s nice to see a new face. You hope she stays. Oh yes, that would be nice.