Prompt: Write a short story about a man who discovers a magical portal
There was a knock at the door. Bob, a forty-year-old accountant, ignored it. He was in the middle of organizing his old toys from when he was a kid, trying to figure out which ones he could get his kids and grandkids for Christmas. After a few minutes, the knocking became more persistent and persistent until Bob finally got up, crossed the room to the door, and opened it. There on his doorstep was a small, old woman. She looked so frail and frail that Bob didn’t think she could have possibly made it all the way from his doorstep to the center of town on her own. She must have been homeless, Bob thought to himself as he tried to ignore her and close the door.
He decided to give her a break and went back to his toy sorting. After a few minutes, he decided to go and check on the old woman. He found her sitting on the steps, staring at the sidewalk. Bob sat down next to her and asked if she was okay. She didn’t answer for a moment, and then she said, “There’s a portal here, Bob. A portal to a magical world.”
Bob was skeptical. He’d heard that kind of thing before. But the old woman seemed so sincere, and her eyes were so bright, and Bob was a sucker for a good story, so he decided to check out her story. He got up and went to the kitchen, grabbed a pen and a piece of paper, and then came back to the old woman. She was still sitting on the steps, but she had her eyes closed and she looked so peaceful that Bob didn’t want to disturb her.
Bob started to write down what the old woman was telling him. A portal to a magical world? He had to check this out. He got back on the phone with his wife and explained that he was going to be out for a few hours and might be a little late coming home. He gave her the address and instructions on how to get to the portal.
As he was finishing up his call, he heard a loud noise coming from the old woman. He went over to see that she was shaking, and her eyes had turned white. Bob instinctually tried to help her, but she snapped at him, “Don’t touch me, you fool! This is just a test!”
And with that, she lifted her shirt and revealed a brand new, tattoo-free black chest. Bob was dumbfounded. He had never seen anything like that before. And then it hit him. This was no portal, no magical world. This was just an old woman with a fake tattoo.