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

Paul had always been fascinated by the mystical. As a child, he would visit mountaintops and watch the sunsets, dreaming of what lay beyond.

One day, Paul discovered a portal hidden in the woods near his home. He steps through, and is immediately sucked into a bright, colorful world.

He walks for hours, encountering strange creatures and mysterious structures. Eventually, he comes to a large, circular door. He reaches for the handle, but it turns to ice in his hand. He turns to run back the way he came, but the door slams shut, trapping him inside the portal.

Paul is lost in a never-ending cycle of exploring and being enchanted, unable to leave the magical world. He spends days, weeks, and even months lost in the portal, but he eventually grows tired and frustrated.

One day, he happens to glance out the window and sees that it’s snowing outside. He wonders how long it will be before he can return home. As he looks out the window, he sees a figure standing in the snow, watching him. It’s a woman with hair the color of flames, and a kindness in her eyes that makes him feel at ease.

The woman steps forward and opens the door, letting Paul back into the real world. He smiles and thanks her, knowing that she was the one who kept him safe and let him return home.