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

Josephine had always been a curious child. She loved to ask her parents about the unexplained, the unexplainable. So when she was 11 and found a large, circular portal in her backyard, she knew she had to investigate.

The portal was surrounded by a white light, and through it Josephine could see an otherworldly landscape. There were castles and towers, rolling green hills, and vast oceans. Astonished, she stepped through the portal.

When she returned home, Josephine couldn’t stop talking about her discovery. She showed her friends the portal, and they all agreed that it was definitely real.

Soon, the kids in Josephine’s neighborhood were clamoring to see the portal for themselves. Dozens of them would crowd around it each night, trying to peek through the light and glimpse the otherworldly world beyond.

Josephine was happy to share her discovery, and she enjoyed watching her friends explore the unseen world. But one day, she looked through the portal and didn’t see the familiar landscape she had grown to love.

Instead, she saw a dark and sinister land. The castles and towers were black and crumbling, the hills were steep and barren, and the oceans were a murky green.

Josephine was shocked by the vision, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. She warned her friends about the portal, but they didn’t believe her.

The next night, when Josephine looked through the portal, she saw the same dark vision again. The fear was etched on her face, and she knew she had to get rid of the portal.

She told her friends, and they helped her take the portal apart. They poured water over it and burned candles near it, hoping to rid the area of the dark magic.

But the portal could never be destroyed. It was a part of Josephine’s world now, a part of her life that she would never be able to forget.