There it was -- the Portal Door. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near the South Wing but there was something…

The glow that shone from every crevice, it seemed to tug at my heart, begging me to come closer… and I obeyed, like a moth to a flame.

As I drew nearer, Grampa’s words of warning echoed through my head: “Don’t go through the portal, Alice. It leads only to bad luck and nightmares.”

Every part of my conscience was screaming at me to turn back, to heed Grampa’s warning, but my feet kept moving forward, following the magnetic tug of the door.

 Now I was an inch from the door. I gripped the bronze handle, the metal cool beneath my fingertips.

“Bad luck and nightmares.”

 I hesitated for half a second, I almost turned back. But then, the pull of the door overcame me, and I wrenched open the heavy red oak door. And gasped.

 Strong whirls of air poured out over me, and the bluish glow that had trickled out from the cracks in the door now filled the entire aperture. It looked like a tube, an endless tube that went on for an eternity, an infinity, just a long glowing hose of nothingness.

 At that moment, something utterly bizarre happened. Everything in my life that was gloomy, miserable, cheerless and infuriating began to play in my head, like a slideshow of self-pity. The more sad things filled my head, the more my senses were buried. Soon, I had no control over what my body did. I wallowed in my pity party, and it was not until the radiance surrounded me did I realize that I had jumped into the hose.

 Still not quite myself, I embraced the oblivion, knowing, or at least thinking, that it was best to escape the sad life I had led so far, and to go on sliding down a tube for infinity.

 On that happy thought, I completely let go, and fell asleep.