It is time to close this chapter and with the ending of Doors To Mirrors, this is my final post.
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 216) Complete

“Hey wake up!” Another passenger on the bus says as he shakes Viktor from his sleep. “We are at the airport and I didn’t think you wanted to ride this thing all the way back.

“Oh, yeah. . . thank you.” Replies Viktor as he stands up from his seat and steps off the bus and then mumbles to himself. “So how did you spend your vacation Vik?” Viktor says in a mocking manner of his boss. “Oh yeah Travis, you’ll get a real kick out of this one.” He snickers to himself as he walks up to the ticket counter.

“Flights have been delayed about thirty minutes.” The woman at the booth says as if she cannot bear to say this phrase one more time. “You might as well have a second cup of coffee for the day.”

Viktor tips his head back in frustration and looks up at the time on the clock. As he turns to meander his way to the airport restaurant, there in front of him is Nadja. She is grinning with a wide smile as she quickly walks toward him.

“I have a job offer for you.” She says as she stops in front of him now trying to be more serious.

“Do you now.” Viktor replies trying to be even more serious than her and this makes her grin.

“Please stay.” She says in a soft tone, her eyes focused and sincere as she takes hold of his hand. “I need a good manager. Someone who can propose sales ideas, assist in structure changes, keep a small factory booming with product and to be there to share a bottle or two of wine with.”

Viktor stands there quietly, trying not to laugh at Nadja’s dry humor. Looking at the young woman from his dreams, he feels at ease in her presence. He knew she needed his help, but never imagined things would have turned out as they did.

“I am serious Viktor, we can do this.” She touches his face gently before they fall into a passionate kiss.

Time seems to have stopped and the voices around them muffle as if the world belongs only to them. People passing by do not seem to notice the warmth of their embrace and first kiss. To Viktor, this is a wish come true, the realization of a premonition and a new life path with the young woman of his dreams.

Nadja feels at home in Viktor’s arms, his lips pressed against hers and the warmth of his touch serene. Only minutes after he boarded the bus to leave the village, she knew in her heart, she made the wrong decision in sending him away.

“Only once in a lifetime is the perfect connection made.” Her aunt Josephine stated on more than one occasion. “You will know it because together your hearts will fill full. There will be a sense of ease with one another, an understanding with absolute respect and a passion that does not compare to any other. It never fades.” Nadja remembers her aunt smiling. “Once you find this incredibly special person, be true to your heart and love with every part of your being.”

“So what made you change your mind?” Viktor questions as he and Nadja hold their close embrace.

“The hole you instantly left in my heart.” She responds softly and Viktor pulls her even closer.

“How does it feel now?” He questions.

“Complete,” She replies, “absolutely complete.”

“Viktor?” She whispers. “Pinch me so I know I’m not dreaming.”

“No,” Viktor replies softly. “I’m afraid to.”


The End

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 215) Forward

As the sun begins to rise from behind the eastern mountain range, it is time for Viktor to board the bus for the airport. The sign on the factor door stays in the closed position and any workers arriving for the day have been asked to return home. With his bag across his shoulder, Viktor stands with Nadja in the darkened room full of barrels of soap and lotion.

“I’m proud of you.” Viktor whispers in Nadja’s ear as he gives her a hug, she does not reply. “I wish I could stay, I would, if you wanted me to.” He says while looking into her eyes.

“I need to learn to be alone.” Nadja says as she looks down and backs away a step.

“Wrecked again.” Viktor says, trying to get her to smile, and she does.

“Thank you, for everything Viktor.” She smiles as she leans up and kisses his cheek. “Somehow, I think you gave me a little bit more strength.”

“Well I like to share, what can I say?” He grins. “I have to go or I’ll mess up the entire trip but if you want me to stay. . .”

Nadja places her finger across his lips to shush his words and he nods his head yes.

“I understand.” He says softly. “Bye Nadja, I’ll see you in my dreams.”

The bus ride seems like a long drawn out nightmare smelling of old leather, oil and odd vibrations from the road. Looking out the window Viktor holds back his own tears as he watches the small village, this place of nightly trips, disappear from view as the road curves around a forest. Again, he wonders why. What was this for? What did he gain other than an adventure during his vacation that was more exciting than playing video games all day or listening to his neighbors slam their apartment doors.

“What a waste of time.” He mumbles as he reaches into his pocket for his phone. “And I lost my damn phone!” He grumbles as the last two night’s lack of sleep begins to catch up with him.

He feels empty, alone and frustrated with himself. The time spent with Nadja was interesting and fun, and they understood each other well, as if they had been friends for years. Now his heart aches for the friendship lost. He feels the distance and travel time between them will eat away at any connection they may have. Leaning his head back to rest between the window and the seat, he begins to drift in and out of a dream.

“Courage.” A woman’s voice says softly.

“Excuse me?” Viktor questions as he steps out from a grove of trees into the sunlight.

“She showed a lot of courage. Don’t you think?” Josephine says with a smile as her hair glistens with sunshine.

“Yes, it took a lot to do that, shooting Aaron I mean.” Viktor says. “That is what we are talking about, yes? You know, I do wonder where she got the gun.”

“It was mine, I taught her how to use it.” Carl says as he takes hold of Josephine’s hand and pats Viktor on the back with the other. “I really like you.” Carl grins.

“You are together, this is wonderful!” Viktor says with true emotion.

This encounter fascinates him, if it is true. Are these two soul mates really truly together forever as they wished to be? Is the afterlife simply another step, another level of existence?

“I do not understand why I was involved, I did nothing and I’m walking away empty-handed.” Viktor says as Josephine places her hand on his cheek. “You did more than you think my dear. You are a fascinating man who has yet to realize his own potential. Keep moving forward for around every turn is a new realization.”


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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 214) Intruder

“Does Aaron know about this room?” Viktor asks.

“No, he doesn’t know anything about the factory.” She replies as she watches Viktor walk to the window to peer out.

“Except where it is, apparently.” Viktor adds. “The police are down there, they probably got him.

It is now that the horrific sound of a single gunshot echoes as if traveling for miles. Viktor looks at Nadja as she backs away from the locked door. More yelling can be heard followed by a crashing sound as if the door to the building has been kicked in.

“Okay, that does not sound right.” Viktor whispers to Nadja as he pulls her to the back corner of the small apartment.

The officer on the train had asked him if he knew how to use a gun, but never handed him one, which Viktor now realizes was a mistake.

“We need something we can use as a weapon.” Viktor looks next to where they are standing, but then hears talking near the bottom of the spiral staircase. I have to see what is going on, stay here.”

“No! Don’t go out there!” Nadja tugs at his arm.

“It’s okay, I recognize one of the officers voices.” Viktor says with a believable tone, even though he knows this is not true. “Bolt the door behind me.” He whispers as he looks into Nadja’s eyes.

Stepping out onto the metal catwalk that runs the length of the factory, he places his footing carefully to make as little noise as possible, but this still alerts the officers.

“Stop!” One of them commands.

“It’s me, Viktor.” He says cautiously. “What’s going on?” He questions as he looks down at the officers standing on the factory floor.

“We have an intruder, step back into the room.” The officer commands.

Just as Viktor turns to follow the orders given, movement to his left catches his eye. Somehow, Aaron has managed to make his way to the catwalk. He is now only a few feet away from the door to the apartment.

“Stop where you are, both of you!” Yells one of the officers as he moves closer to where Viktor and Aaron are standing. “Put your hands up where I can see them!”

Aaron begins to slowly walk closer to the door and again the officer yells out.

“I said stop and put your hands up!” He commands.

Aaron dashes to the door of the apartment as gunshots are fired from below and Viktor takes cover as close to the wall as possible. With the door swinging open, it completely obstructs Viktor’s view of the walkway. With a sudden loud ringing jolt, Aaron falls back against the catwalk railing causing it to shake back and forth knocking Viktor to his knees.

“Nadja!” Viktor yells as he tries to gain his footing.

Aaron falls down, face first onto the metal walkway and does not make another move. Rushing up the staircase, with guns drawn and pointed at Aaron, the officers make a slow approach.

Viktor stays on his knees as they pass by him and the first officer near Aaron watches him for movement. Slowly pushing the door all the way open, Nadja is there, her arms straight out in front of her with a pistol in her hand. The second officer steps behind the first and gently pulls the gun from her fingers as she turns and looks at Viktor. A flood of tears begin to roll down her cheeks as she steps in his direction. Viktor stands and meets her halfway as he takes her in his arms.

“He is dead.” The officer kneeling down near Aaron’s body says to the group.


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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 213) Voices

Standing atop the hill, Viktor finds himself in that all too familiar place of cobblestone roads and tall colorful buildings. The weather is warm, steamy like a muggy summer night. No moon is shining and the stars seem shy as the dark sky looms above him.

“I know this place well.” Viktor says to himself. “It is a bit off-season though.”

Slowly he begins to walk down the hill, the soap factory in easy sight since he knows exactly where it is now. A hot wind blows through the alleyways between the buildings causing the hanging signs of the shops to sway and squeak. There is tension here unlike he has felt before and it worries him.

“So what does this all mean?” He questions to his dream self as he looks around suspicious of everything that moves.

Up to the right is the shop with the lavender door and as he enters the building and steps inside, he finds himself looking through a massive mirror. It is two stories high and several feet wide, tall enough to see the tops of trees and wide enough to lose sight in both directions.

“Vast possibilities.” Viktor says in a mumble. “A mirror or window this size can only mean that. Apparently I am doing some soul-searching.” He snickers. “Tell me something I don’t know.”

The image he is witness to is of the woods near the cottage just before dawn. Twinkling glimmers of dew appear to dance about and there is a peacefulness emitting from the view.

“I’m not sure what it is I am supposed to gain from this.” Viktor says in a frustrated manner. “Show me where Aaron is, that would be helpful.”

The mirror begins to darken and the twilight scene from the mountain fades away to a deep gray haze. Flashing through this murky mystery are the colorful lights atop a police car. The vehicle is not visible, only a hint of the lights can penetrate this deep coating across the mirror.

“That’s it, show me where he is.” Viktor whispers.

Suddenly Josephine’s face appears larger than life as she yells, “Look behind you!”

With a loud pop Viktor and Nadja both sit straight up from their sleeping positions upon the bed!

“What was that?” Nadja questions in a shaky voice.

“I don’t know.” Viktor is trembling slightly from the stressful dream and abrupt awakening.

“Are you okay?” Nadja questions as she stares at the closed door of the room.

“I was dreaming,” he starts to say but is interrupted by yelling voices from somewhere outside.

“Oh god, it has to be Aaron.” Nadja leaps off the bed and runs over to the door quickly bolting its lock.


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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 212) Secure

“It’s past dinnertime and we are closing up the shop soon.” Regina says as she sets two to-go boxes on the small dining table of the apartment. “I thought you might like something to eat.”

“That is very thoughtful of you, thank you.” Nadja says as she stands.

“There is a police officer at the front door, I think he is standing watch for the night. Are you two in danger?” Regina questions and it is obvious she is not aware of the Aaron factor.

“It is just a precaution.” Nadja says quickly. “No need to worry.”

“Oh. . . okay then.” Regina says with suspicion. “I will see you in the morning then. Have a good night.”

“You too.” Nadja and Viktor reply together.

“I feel like we have lost the entire day.” Nadja says as she begins to unpack the food.

“It’s not exactly how I pictured our last few hours together, that’s for sure.” Viktor replies as he places straws in the drink cups.

“Oh? So how did you think our last day would have been?” Nadja grins as she sits down.

“I was thinking it would be more of a stroll in the woods, wine near the fire, stolen kisses here and there.” Viktor says with a grin and as he sits down across from her, they make eye contact. “After all, you are the beautiful girl from my dreams.”

“Now you are making me blush.” Nadja smiles as she leans across the table and kisses him. “There has to be a time for us, Viktor. I just do not believe now is it.”

Looking back at her food, she works very hard at controlling her tears. It angers her that she is in this position of fear and that it is affecting what may very well be a beautiful relationship with Viktor. Her mind and heart seem to be hard and cold and as much as she hates to hurt Viktor, she knows for him, it is the best thing to do. He does not need to be the one picking up the pieces for her. No, this is a lesson she must accomplish by herself, even if it means she is alone the rest of her life.

As night approaches and the conversation slows, Nadja and Viktor sit back on the bed, pillows propped up on the headboard creating a thick and comfortable relaxed position. The room is aglow with the light from Nadja’s laptop as they look up the flight schedules and print off the information Viktor will need for his trip. Their stressful day catches up with them and before long they soon fall asleep, the laptop at their feet, Nadja’s head resting on Viktor’s chest, his arm secure around her.


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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 211) Confidence

“I know we were supposed to be closed and stay home for the day, but once the snow started melting away, I knew we better get those doors open for business.” States Regina as she pulls Nadja to her for a hug. “I can’t believe he is gone.” She says at a whisper.

“I know and thank you for everything you do, Regina.” Nadja says with an understanding but forced smile.

Nadja knows the staff will be worried about the company and if their job is secure. It will be her duty to keep the confidence level up and make sure the soap factory is as robust as ever. Nadja thinks of what the voice of her aunt stated in her dream, “Let your true senses guide you. You have all the control you need my brilliant shining starlight, follow your heart.”

“This factory will continue on and be stronger than before. You have nothing to worry about, okay Regina? We will get through this together.” Nadja says in a reassuring manner that somewhat surprises herself.

With tears welling up in her eyes, Regina hugs Nadja once again and then quickly leaves the room.

“Nicely done.” Viktor says in a positive manner yet at a whisper.

“Thank you.” Nadja replies as she starts up the staircase to the small room. “This is the way to the apartment.” She motions for him to follow.

Each step on the spiral staircase makes a metallic sound under their feet as they round their way to the second floor. Once inside the apartment, they both set their belongings next to the door and take a seat on the bed.

“The factory is bigger than I imagined, but then again, each time I visited in my dreams, I was only in the little shop out front.” Viktor says with a laugh.

“Should we inspect the wall that exposed the hidden door that brought you to me?” Nadja grins as she makes an attempt to be upbeat.

“Nah, I’m pretty sure that is just a doorway for my dreaming self.” Viktor looks down at the floor. “I guess I will be leaving tomorrow around eight.”

“That does not leave us with much time, does it.” Nadja says with a low tone. “I will miss you.”

“If I could, I would stay. Aside from all the Aaron stuff, I really like it here. . . with you.” Viktor says as he places himself in what he considers a vulnerable position.

“As much as I would like that too, I have to learn to go this road alone.” Nadja says as she looks at her hands. “I need to learn to live my own life.” She looks up at him. “Sometimes I wonder if I truly know who I am.”

“Well, I know who you are,” Viktor smiles, “and you are very likable if not downright lovable.” He nudges her with his elbow and they both laugh.

Regina interrupts this conversation by knocking at the apartment door. She brings in two boxes from one of the local restaurants.

ex 211

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 210) Uncertainty

“Do you plan to stay around the area much longer?” The officer questions Viktor.

“Unfortunately no. I have to fly out tomorrow, I think sometime around noon. I lost my phone and need to check with the bus station too, I can’t remember the time the bus leaves.” Viktor replies. “Why do you ask?”

“I was just curious.” The officer states quietly as the train begins to move. “I was hoping you might know how to handle a gun.”

“I’m sure I can figure it out.” Viktor replies. “I can really kick some ass in video games.” He says in a joking manner to lighten the mood, but the officer simply nods his head and motions for Viktor to go back to his seat.

“Oh, sir?” The officer says quickly. “The bus leaves at eight o’clock tomorrow.”

“Okay, thank you.” Viktor replies.

The clacking of the wheels upon the rails lulls Nadja into the sleeping world. A veil of gray hovers over her as she begins to hear voices echoing in from all around.

“Hello?” She questions as she walks through this strange mist like substance. “Who is there?”

Swirls begin to form in the gray matter yet all things remain concealed to her. She begins to realize this dense fog is a reflection of her current situation. Deception, confusion and uncertainty are all represented here and she feels as if she has lost her direction in life.

“I am interpreting this dream as I’m in it.” She says to herself. “I know I am lost.” She mumbles as she places her hands out in front of her hoping to feel something, anything.

“Oh dear girl, you will find your way.” Says the familiar voice of her aunt. “Close your eyes and let your true senses guide you.” Her tone is sweet and calm. “You have all the control you need my brilliant shining starlight, follow your heart.”

Abruptly she is shaken awake as the train comes to a forceful stop at the village station.

“Are you okay?” Viktor questions as he puts his arm around her.

“Yes, I think.” Nadja replies quickly wondering how badly she jolted awake.

“Okay, we had the building searched and all is clear. My partner and I will take you there now.” The police officer says in a polite manner. “Do you have everything you need?”

“Yes, we should be fine for a day or two.” Nadja looks up at Viktor.

Since the horrific weather that was predicted did not exactly cause the halt to business as expected, the village is bustling with energy under the late afternoon sun. Shoppers are out and about carrying loaded bags, deliveries are being made at the various shops, and the soap factory is no different. As soon as Nadja walks through the back door of the factory, workers greet her with hugs and tears. They made the decision to come in and open the business, and only recently were they told of the events taking place on the mountain.


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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 209) A Word

Just before arriving at the depot, several officers meet Nadja and Viktor on the path as they are out scouring the area for Aaron. Two of them give Nadja their condolences for they were good friends with Carl and know how close he and Nadja were. As they round the bend, it is quite a scene at the train station, where many police and forest ranger vehicles sit idle after making a quick arrival. Stepping up onto the porch of the building, another officer quickly greets them.

“I need to get them safely into town.” The officer with Nadja and Viktor states to the other man. “Keep me posted on the events as they unfold. We have to get this guy.” The officer says to his colleague.

The station smells of wet wood and cigarette smoke and Nadja is beginning to feel the effects of the morning. She sits on a bench near the tracks and leans back with her head against the wall.

“It’s catching up with you, isn’t it?” The escorting officer questions in a low tone as he looks at his watch.

“Yes, I believe it is.” She replies as she looks at Viktor and reaches for his hand.

Giving her hand a gentle reassuring squeeze, Viktor looks up the tracks wondering when the next train will arrive. As if reading his mind, the officer explains the schedule shows it is due to arrive in about ten minutes. Just as he says this, another person of authority pulls the officer aside for a hushed conversation.

“There is a small apartment inside the soap factory where we can stay.” Nadja says to Viktor without opening her eyes. “Are you sure you have to leave tomorrow?” She asks as she leans up to look at him.

“If I plan to keep my job and pay my bills, yes. . . unfortunately.” He replies and thoughts begin to race about in his mind.

“What was the purpose of this trip?” He wonders. “Yes, he helped Nadja the best he could, but what did he gain? Why does it seem as if they will now part ways and never speak again?”

Soon the whistle of the approaching train sounds in a clear tone and within seconds of it stopping, Nadja, Viktor and two police officers board.

“It won’t be long now Nadja until you and your friend here are safe and sound in town.” The officer says with a smile. “Are you planning to stay at the hotel or the factory?” He questions.

“I just assumed we would stay at the factory, in the small apartment.” She replies softly.

“Okay, I’ll have someone go by and secure the area since we still haven’t pinned down the goon we are after.” The officer says as if disgusted. “But we will get him, one way or another.” He says with authority, he then leans in close to Viktor. “Can I have a word with you for a moment?” The officer mumbles.

“Uh, sure.” Viktor replies. “I’ll be back in a second.” He says to Nadja before joining the officer at the front of the railcar.


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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 208) Hatred

The officer clicks the radio on his sleeve and begins talking. He issues an alert to the other officials in the area that he needs assistance.

“Backup officers will be arriving soon, I need you both to stay put.” He says in a serious tone as he follows the faint dirt tracks back to the living room.

“This means Aaron is still alive.” Nadja says in a low whisper.

Viktor does not speak a word. He continues standing while Nadja sits down on the corner of her aunt’s bed. He wonders if this makes her happy or sad. Is there still a piece of her that wants Aaron in her life, even after all of the horrible events that have taken place? Toxic relationships are like that, a few of his friends live with their battles and the acid continues to eat away at them.

“What are you thinking?” Nadja questions as she looks up at Viktor.

“Nothing really, I just hope they find him so you can live peacefully.” Viktor replies.

He does not want to hang his heart out on the line and say how he truly feels. If he had his way, he would stay here, either on this mountain or in the village below, just to be near her, to learn more about her, and to see where this friendship takes them. Reality shows that long distance relationships do not last and if he leaves now, he knows this will be the end. One thing he does realize as fact though his flight leaves midday tomorrow. He remembers from his itinerary, he must board the bus in the early morning hours to make it to the airport on time. Today and tonight is all the time they will have left together.

Nadja is in deep thought as well. Her mind takes her to Carl, such a kind man, thoughtful and loving, a man no longer living because of Aaron’s arrogance.

“I hate him.” She says aloud, Viktor looks in her direction. “I always wanted to get to the point that I no longer had good thoughts about him. A time when I could care less about where he is or what he is doing.” Nadja’s voice is strong. “I am there. He finally pushed me to this point. I am void of any emotion for him other than hatred.”

“Don’t let that hatred become an addiction though, that too can harden your soul.” Viktor says as he looks out at the living room just as the officer steps into sight.

“He has been spotted near the train station.” The officer states firmly as many voices of individuals communicating with the police station cause a static on his radio. “Gather what you need. Until he is locked up, it is not safe to stay here.”

Once Viktor and Nadja have packed up, they lock the doorway to the underground room as well as the doors to the cottage.

“I noticed a hole cut in the glass of the window of the kitchen, I made a note to have that repaired.” The officer states as they begin the walk along the snow melted and muddy trail. “It made for an easy entry into the place.”

Viktor does not try to explain that he was already aware of this. The last thing he wants to do is try to explain to a logical thinking man that he dreams of current and future events. Even worse, that he too found the hole and chose not to tell Nadja. That alone would make him appear dishonest and he never wants this to be a word used in association with him. Together the three of them continue down the path in silence.


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