Prompt: Write a short story about a man who discovers a magical portal

Warren ran the last mile to work, breathing hard and sweating in the Virginia heat. He had no time for foolishness. But as he rounded the final turn, he saw it. A portal, just as he had seen in his dreams. He had to know what was on the other side.

He ran through the portal, expecting to find himself in a fantastical world. But instead, he was in his own backyard. Relief mixed with disappointment as he realized this was not the magical place he had been searching for.

But then, as he turned to leave, he saw something else. A green light, flickering in the distance. Curiosity got the better of him and he started toward the light. As he got closer, he realized it was a fire, and someone was burning something.

He crept closer, trying not to make any noise. He could see it was a human being, tied to a stake. The person was screaming, but Warren couldn’t hear them over the sound of the fire. He felt a cold sweat on his forehead as he realized what he was seeing. This was not a dream. Somebody was actually being sacrificed in his backyard.

He ran back to the portal, desperation overwhelming him. He had to get out of there. He could never, ever let that happen again.