Portals, Portals Everywhere… #writephoto

‘It’s a portal to a parallel universe.’

‘Don’t be bloody daft. It’s a random heap of large stones.’

‘So how did it get here?’

‘Don’t know, do I? Some Amazon delivery chimp dumped them cos he couldn’t be bothered to lug them any farther.’

Sheryl ran a hand over the surface. ‘It’s warm.’

‘It’s in the sun.’

‘Yes, but it’s specially warm.’

‘Maybe it’s running a temperature.’

‘Now that’s just silly. It’s inanimate.’

‘So you say. But are you sure? You throw around these wacky notions of portals with no evidence yet immediately poo-poo my rock virus theory.’ Gerald pressed his ear to the stone recently stroked by Sheryl. ‘Its breathing is a bit rough, you know.’ He stood back and placed his hands on the sides. ‘It sounds a bit gravelly.’

Sheryl sniffed and walked round to the far side. ‘I know it’s a portal because this is the knocker.’

Gerald followed her. ‘What is the knocker?’

‘This.’ She pointed at a small extrusion from the otherwise smooth surface.’

Gerald peered at it. ‘How is that a knocker? It’s part of the stone’s surface.’

She looked at him, her eyes wide. ‘That’s just camouflage. If it looked like a knocker every time someone came up here, they’d be hammering away. You’d hate that, wouldn’t you?’

‘Well, naturally if any Tom Dick or Harriet took it on themselves to knock on my front door for no reason, I’d be a bit miffed.’

‘You’d be more than miffed. Remember what you did to that Jehovah’s Witness?’

‘I was having a bad day and they were very understanding.’

‘The point is, though, if you’d come here and seen what looked like a knocker on an otherwise common or garden stony outcrop, you’d have a little tap.’

Gerald tentatively touched the lump. ‘More likely I’d hunt around for the guy with the camera trying to film me. I’d think it a hoax.’

‘Ok but if it wasn’t and it was your front door…’

‘That’s just being redundantly hypothetical. If I was stupid enough to put my portal here with a knocker for visitors without having researched how the locals might view it, I’d deserve all I got by way of random knocking.’

‘Why do you think someone put the portal here?’

‘I… because… look, this is ridiculous. If this is a portal, someone or thing put it there. It didn’t just emerge.’

‘You’re an expert in moor-based portal technology, are you?’

‘There is no portal.’ Gerald had to fight to stop himself stamping his foot.

‘But if there was, you think… you assume some entity, something sentient must have put it there?’

‘It had to be installed. It’s just a fancy-dan name for a door… or maybe a gate. Doors and gates don’t, you know evolve.’

‘But,’ Sheryl held up a hand to forestall the next objection; silenced Gerald folded his arms as a non-verbal way of communicating his scepticism, ‘working on the assumption this is a portal to a parallel world, then why couldn’t furniture and structures evolve? Here’s an assumption for you: we haven’t advanced to the stage where we can instal portals to parallel universes so who or what is behind this portal might well have a very different concept of biology.’

‘Is the “behind” in that last sentence literal or figurative?’

‘There is only one way to find out.’ Sheryl put her hand back on the stone abutment. ‘Shall I knock?’

Gerald’s hands slipped to his side. ‘How do you know all this?’

‘You’re beginning to believe?’

‘Noooo. But how can a Christian Scientist from Colchester know about portals on a Derbyshire moor?’

‘Only one way to find out. I…’ Sheryl began to pull at the nobble of rock when several things happened. First the view through the boulders disappeared to be replaced by a broiling firmament of purples and cerises. Second some gaseous formation appeared from within the tumult. Third Gerald had a series of small incapacitating but non-fatal seizures and slipped to the ground, drooling noiselessly. And finally Sheryl put her arm across her face in a defensive gesture.

The gaseous formation, whose name is better understood in Welsh leaned towards her, the two limb shaped clouds apparently mimicking someone – or thing – drying the ends of said limbs. ‘Look, sweetie,’ the thing’s intonation was clear if rather sibilant, ‘either knock the sodding thing or bugger off. Emmerdale is just about to start and the reception is bad enough through a multi-dimensional portal at the best of times without you two blocking the line of sight.’

‘I… what happens? You know if I knock?’

The cloud became translucent as it turned back towards the startling cosmos that filled Sheryl’s vision and shouted, ‘What are we offering anyone knocking this week? Turned into stone or egregious if oddly arousing experimentation?’

A voice like a clap of thunder but with better syllables filled Sheryl’s head, ‘That was last week. It’s a superpower of their choice.’

The thing enveloped Sheryl drawing her forward. ‘Your lucky day. You coming in or what?’

This was written in response to this week’s #writephoto prompt.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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16 Responses to Portals, Portals Everywhere… #writephoto

  1. Ritu says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. barbtaub says:

    What superpower would you choose? Mine would be to look at a pile of dirty laundry with my laser-vision and ZAP! it would be washed, ironed, and neatly hung in my closet—resized to fit my lockdown-acquired additional hip inches, of course.

    I can dream…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    A tad unfair. Last time I was gassed, I only got an angular, psychedelic crocodile.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. arlingwoman says:

    You never know when you’re going to stumble into a parallel universe. I’m in one at least biweekly, mostly to do with work…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. willowdot21 says:

    I am completely at home with parallel universes, I enter one at least once a week visiting your blog 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I know you’d hand out random curses if you were a portal phantom.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Otherworldly #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  8. Lisa Coleman says:

    One wish – to blast everything COVID-19 until all the particles evaporated and life could get back to some semblance of normal. Note: normal is subjective. 🙂


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