Sarah Dunn, a thirty-five-year-old teacher, sat on the examining table as the doctor explained her situation. “Sarah, I know why you’ve been feeling so awful lately. The tests show that you have a degenerative muscle disease. I have to be blunt. The weakness is going to increase. Eventually, probably in a year, the weakness will make it difficult for you to do ordinary tasks. There are medications to slow the process, and exercise will help. Here is the name of a specialist who treats people with your problem,” he said and gave her a business card. “Call him. I wish you well, Sarah,” he said and left.”
A year went by, and Sarah’s condition became worse. She had to quit her job because she couldn’t drive any longer, and she became a semi invalid confined to her wheel chair and bed. Her sister moved in with her to help her, and a visiting nurse checked on her four times a week. At night, she lay in bed thinking about her dilemma. “I can’t go on like this. I’m getting worse. I’m close to being unable to take care of my basic needs. How long will it be before I’ll have to go to a nursing home,” she sobbed. “I’d rather die,” she mumbled and tears ran down her cheeks. “Why is this happening to me?” she sobbed. “Please, God, let me die.”
“You don’t have to die,” a voice said, and she looked toward her full-length mirror at a handsome man who was about 35 years-old.
“Am I dreaming? Of course, I’m dreaming. This disease is affecting my brain.”
As she stared at the man, who wore all white, he stepped out, smiled, went to her, and sat on the bed. “Sarah, if I frightened you, I apologize.”
“Well, it isn’t every day that a man comes out of my mirror. You can’t blame me for being shocked. Christ, who are you? What are you?”
“I am a friend. I’m here to help you get through your ordeal. My name is Kar.”
“I don’t understand, Kar. How did you know about my problem?”
“In my world, I have the gift of insight and awareness. In other words, my mind captured your image. I know it’s confusing and difficult to believe, but just accept me. I will help you.”
“How can you help me?”
“Are you in pain?”
“Yes. My arms and legs hurt.”
He waved his hand over her arms and legs. “How’s that?”
“My God, the pain is gone. How did you do that?”
“I have certain powers, a gift, that allow me to perform certain acts. Relieving your pain was one. Unfortunately in your case, the relief is temporary. But when the pain returns, I will give you some relief, again.”
She looked into his eyes and smiled. “It’s difficult not to trust him. He’s so gentle and caring,” she thought. “For some reason, I’m very comfortable with you,” she said smiling.
“I feel the same about you.”
“Tell me about your world. Tell me how my mirror became a door from your world to mine.”
“We are an advanced civilization. We do not have the diseases that plague you, like the disease that is making you so sick. My dear, I cannot give you an accurate picture of my world. You would have to see it and become a part of it to know it. How did your mirror become a door that allowed me to go from my world to yours? We have the ability to move from ours to yours through portals that we create. Your mirror was a portal, and I…”
“Help me. Can’t breathe,” Sarah gasped holding her chest, and Kar waved his hand over her and she relaxed and breathed normally. “Thank you. I thought I was going to die.”
“I know, Sarah. If I hadn’t been here, you would have died. Sarah, you are getting worse. Soon, I will not be able to help you, and you will die.”
“Well, we all have to die sometime. It’s just the pain that comes before death that I fear.”
“Sarah, you can avoid pain and death.”
“By coming with me to my world. Once you enter my world, you will be free of disease.”
“What a choice. Stay here and die, or go to your world, an unknown, and live. How do I know that I won’t regret choosing death over your world?”
“Trust me. In my world, you will have a new beginning.”
“A new beginning. I would love a new beginning? Alright, suppose I go with you, and I don’t like your world. Can I just walk back through the mirror into my bedroom?”
“No. Once we go through the portal, there will be no turning back.”
“Okay, what could be worse than staying here and becoming a vegetable? Help me out of bed. Take my hand.”
He took her hand and walked her to the mirror. “You’re sure, Sarah?
“Okay,” he said and they went through.
Immediately upon entering Kar’s world, he waved his hand and each was covered in a fur tunic, pants, boots, and hat, and two primitive spears and a knife appeared on the ground in front of each. “What is this place? Where are we? Except for mountains in the distance, I don’t see anything but an endless expanse of barren, flat land. And it’s freezing. Is this your world?” she asked angrily.
“I hope you will forgive me for misleading you. You see, I felt I had to because I need you. Yes, this is my world, as yours was hundreds of thousands of years ago. As far as I know, we are the only people here. I was alone, and I decided to try to find someone to share my life with me. Via portals, I visited many places and saw many women. You were the only one I connected with. If I had told you the truth, would you have come?”
She looked into his eyes. “Yes.”
“I’m so happy,” he said smiling. Now, our journey begins. We might need weapons, so pick up a spear and knife, and let’s be on our way,” he said, and they walked side by side into the icy wilderness.
Bio:While teaching speech and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College. After retiring, he wrote short stories, novellas, and plays. Several of his stories were published in on-line magazines, and others were published in print anthologies.