April 21, 1875

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The door was new.

Crafted from dark wood and bound in bright steel, it stood in the far corner of the room. From behind it came the sounds of someone humming, and it was a distinctly disturbing noise.

Mostly because the door was in one of my empty bedrooms.

Now, I admit, I haven’t been in that room in some years, but I distinctly recall that there was no extra door.

I tend to remember those things.

I stood there for some time, listening to the stranger beyond the door before I crossed the room and gave a solid knock on the door. The humming stopped, and then a strong voice called out in Japanese, “Come in, Duncan.”

With a sigh, I opened the door and stepped into a room that I know neither my father nor myself had ever built.

Seated a short distance away was an old man. He smiled at me, nodded, and motioned for me to sit.

I did so.

“You’re wondering what business I have in your home?”

“Thought crossed my mind,” I answered.

He chuckled. “Our worlds have intertwined, Duncan. I was as surprised as you to find the doorway in my home.” He motioned behind me, and when I glanced over my shoulder, I saw a plain door similar to the others in my home.

I looked back at him. “How long has it been here?”

“It comes and goes,” he responded, “but let us say that I was here when you killed your mother.”

I raised an eyebrow, and he smiled.

“Quite some time.”

I nodded in agreement. “What are you doing here?”

“I am writing,” he answered.

“And what are you writing?”

“The history of the world,” the old man stated.

I frowned. “All of it?”

He nodded.

“From when to when?”

“From its beginning to its end.”

I considered his statement.

“You’re wondering if you will be here for the end.”

“Hm, a bit.”

“Do you wish to know?” he asked.

I smiled and shook my head. “Where’s the fun in that?”

The man laughed. “There is no fun. Would you care for some tea, Duncan?”

“I would,” I said, “and I’d like to hear some of what you’ve written.”

He smiled. “Of course.”

In the strange and peaceful room, he called for tea and began to tell me the history of the world.

#horror #fear

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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