Pete’s Portal

Pete stood by the portal, unsure what to do next. He had read about them and seen them in movies. He never thought though that they existed, surely they were science fiction. A shimmering rift. A fracture in space and time between this world and well, who knows what.

His day had started well, just like any other. Pete was up early walking his dogs walk, then work. He had been doing the afternoon shift at the petrol station for years now. It was OK he liked things the way they were. He had plenty of time for his dogs and didn’t have to watch rubbish TV on an evening with his wife. It wasn’t that they didn’t get on, well they just didn’t get on. He was well qualified but since leaving university just seemed to be drifting through life. It drove his wife mad, she wanted a man with more ambition.

Pete was alright about himself something would come up he knew it. Well actually it had, it well and truly had. Finding the wormhole was a complete accident. He had walked or gone running in the woodland at Temple Newsam on the edge of Leeds most of his life.

The woodland was wonderful not truly ancient but certainly hundreds of years old. Laid out in the 17th century by the famous English landscape gardener Lancelot Capability Brown. Mature Oak and Beech all around, Pete loved these summer walks under the lush green canopy with the sun drifting through to the woodland floor.

He knew the woodland paths well but had never strayed deeper into the trees. Bess his dog was just about to change all of that. She was a real livewire and occasionally headed off into woodland after rabbits, deer or chasing shadows. Today was no exception and while Pete was walking along the edge of a steep sided valley over she went.

“Bess come back,” was followed by many other imploring and expletive phrases. Pete stood and shouted from the top of the hill before deciding the only way was to reluctantly follow. She hadn’t lived with them long and the last thing he wanted was to lose her. Pete could here Bess barking a few hundred yards away in the valley bottom although she was completely unresponsive to his calls.

Along with his older and far steadier dog Dexter Pete scrambled the hundred feet or so downhill to the stream below. The water wasn’t deep at this time of year, ankle depth at most. He was finding his walk upstream through the unspoilt woodland quite pleasant. He and Dexter meandered through this watery woodland world. His anger at the young and impulsive Bess beginning to wane

At last he could see his young dog in the distance standing in the middle of the stream tail wagging wildly and barking for all she was worth. He stopped in his tracks trying to comprehend what he could see. Directly ahead of his dog covering the whole of the steep sided valley bottom, shimmering gently for all the world to see was Pete’s portal. There they were man and two dogs standing in a stream. It was a beautiful warm summers morning and Pete found himself staring at a portal to who knows where. The rift was a shimmering circle of air and light. It mirrored Pete and his companions set against the surrounding woodland. The whole thing was like one of those fairground trick mirrors distorting what you saw. The stream flowed from its base passed their feet and away into the woods behind them. There was nothing but empty woodland behind. Pete pondered what he should do next.

Once again Bess dictated the day’s events by running headlong into the portal. The little dog disappeared, gone it seemed from the here and now. Pete, felt he had no choice and with Dexter by his side off Pete popped into his early morning portal never to return.

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