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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 90) Force

Viktor continues to watch through the gap between the door and wall and can hear their voices, but in no way can he make out exactly what they are saying. He hears the word passageway and sees them open a portion of the bookshelf and step inside, as if going under the building. After several seconds of quietness from the other room, Viktor begins to think of how he is going to leave the house without being noticed, but he also wonders if he should simply step out and say hello.

“No, that would scare the living daylights out of her.” He mumbles as he looks toward the wall. “Oh you have got to be kidding me.” He says happily after noticing what has appeared next to him.

There, on the wall, with the living room on the other side, is a door. Just like the other mystery doors that have appeared and it too does not match up with the decor of this little place. Besides that, if it was just a regular entrance, it would simply open up to the living room. He can hear the young woman coming back across the room so he gently pops the mystery door open and steps inside. Instantly, as soon as the door pulls shut, he finds himself outside and on the path where this entire dream started, except now it is incredibly dark outside.

“What the? Why?” Viktor questions with disappointment as he turns to see if he can simply step back through the opening.

Standing here on this long dark path, Viktor sees no other option available but to walk the length of it all over again. The doorway from the cottage that he just stepped through is nowhere to be found and all around him is darkness full of nocturnal nature. To his left is a small structure with a dim light on it and he does not recall seeing this before.

“I was preoccupied with the older woman on my first go.” He explains to himself.

Just as Viktor begins to take his first step in the direction of the little rangers hut, he hears footsteps behind him and they are coming his way.

The air around him has changed and he feels very nervous and somewhat intimidated by the figure he sees down the path. Quietly slipping into the small grove of trees, he kneels down to allow the person to pass without them noticing him. Anger is encroaching on Viktor and it is not because of himself. No, this feeling is like a force field around the man on the path and with it, he emits a fierce determination.

“Oh no, I think that is the man I saw when I was behind the mirror of the cabinet.” Viktor says in his mind. “He is the guy who was standing at the window, pounding on the glass. The same guy who was at the front door, breaking it down and causing that poor girl to scream like I’ve never heard in my life.” He thinks to himself as he watches this tall man pass by. “I have to get to the little cabin before him, but how?”

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 89) Real Life

“So I’ve made it here,” Viktor says to himself in his dream. “It definitely took me longer this time, that path was gruesome!” He laughs. “Not sure what that was all about but I bet I’ll find out soon enough.”

As he steps up to the door of the cottage, he slowly reaches out to turn the handle to enter when there is a loud rustling in the woods to his left. As he stops and turns to see what or who is making all the noise, he sees a man who is very large in size, swiftly walking toward him. The only logical thing to do is enter the dwelling as quickly as possible and lock the door, which is exactly what Viktor does.

Once inside, Viktor continues to back up until he nearly falls over several logs that have been neatly stacked on the floor near the fireplace. One is loose and topples onto the hardwood flooring but he does not attempt to fix it. He is very unsure about what is happening and is trying to think of what he will do if the man comes crashing in. He stands frozen in place but nothing happens. All is quiet until he hears voices reverberating from the kitchen.

Peering around the corner, he sees the young woman he continues to run into during his nighttime travels. He truly believes this to be the girl named Sam from the dream blog yet this big older man keeps calling her Nadja. The conversation between she and the man is very cordial and she allows this visitor to come inside the cottage.

Viktor runs to the bedroom that is to the left of the front entrance to the cabin. As he slips around the corner of the door, he pulls it away from the wall just enough for him to hide behind and view this interaction. Peeking out through the space between the door hinges, he watches as the two individuals walk across the main room, only pausing as the older man takes a chair from the fireplace and places the back of it under the doorknob of the front door.

“Lucky they didn’t do that before I forced my way in.” Viktor thinks to himself.

After a few words, they proceed to the bedroom on the other side of the cottage. Oddly, the young woman stops at the stack of logs and picks up the one Viktor disturbed on his frantic arrival.

“What? It’s as if I’m really here interacting with them, but it’s a dream right?” Viktor murmurs to himself. “So are we sharing the same dream or am I actually interacting with real life?”

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 88) Bright

Nadja steps down into the concrete room with its bright white painted walls. From here, there is a tunnel large enough to stand up in and wide enough for two people to walk side by side through. The floor is dirt but the walls are part stone and dirt with wood and metal posts supporting the top and sides.

“I do need to warn you though, with the heavy rains these past few years, veins of tunnels from the underground cave system have opened up, so you have to be careful not to find yourself going the wrong way or falling.” Carl says with sincerity. “Just keep the lights on and you should not have any problems.”

“If you only told me about this, I would have never believed you.” She smiles as she flips the next switch, which lights the next long section of the tunnel.

“I still find it odd that Aunt Josephine went through so much trouble in order to have a secret way out of the cottage.” Nadja looks at Carl in a questioning manner.

“Josie was a unique woman.” Carl starts and then pauses to collect his emotions. “If the woman had a flaw, and I don’t think she did, it would be a strong desire for safety. She had dreams about something happening in the cottage, an attack or break-in of some sort. She said it was never really clear to her.” He states as he looks toward the first section of the tunnel. “As you go through, she even has mirrors placed to allow a view of what might be behind the next turn. In the dim light you can darn well scare yourself to death seeing your own reflection!” Carl laughs loudly as he holds his hand over his heart. “Damn well gave myself a heart attack the first time I walked through!”

“I will try to remember that.” Nadja laughs but then backs the conversation up. “I never knew she had dreams about being attacked in the cottage.” Nadja says in a worried tone.

“No no, don’t you worry about it. Nothing like that ever came to be, thankfully. I just think when you live alone and you’re not a big burly man,” Carl points to himself and grins, “you cannot help but think of the what-ifs.”

“Yes, that is definitely true.” Nadja agrees softly and then she smiles. “This will make for an interesting side note as I write in my journal tonight.”

“Ha! Yes indeed it will!” Carl laughs.

“Alright young lady, I am taking the tunnel home, it’s getting too darn cold out there and the sun has set.” Carl says as he looks around the room one last time. “I’ll hit the switches as I pass through the sections so you won’t have a huge electric bill.” He grins. “That aunt of yours, she was something else wasn’t she?”

“Yes, Carl. That she was.” Nadja says as she gives him a hug. “You be careful.”

“You do the same and you know you can call me anytime, in case you need me. Okay?” He says firmly as he looks her directly in the eyes as she nods yes. “Alright then, I’m off. Just swing the cabinet back and latch that hook and you’ll be safe and sound. Oh, do not hesitate to use this tunnel if needed. It will at least get you to the halfway point of my cabin and the train station. Goodnight Nadja, sleep well.”

“Goodnight Carl and thank you again.” Nadja grins.

She can hear Carl whistling happily as he begins his walk home and she climbs back up the ladder. Latching the secret door shut, Nadja shivers. The farther Carl gets from the cottage, the more abnormal the echoing tune becomes.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 87) Snug

This intrigues Nadja for she never knew, even after all these years, that some underground tunnel was here. It almost bothers her a bit that aunt Josephine never shared this secret with her, but then again there was no reason to. Following Carl around the corner of the kitchen to cross through the living room, he stops and takes a wooden chair from its place next to the fireplace and jams the back of it under the handle of the front door.

“There, now we have both the front and the back locked up snug.” He grins.

Nadja notices the stack of wood that she brought in for the fireplace has been disturbed which she finds odd. It causes her to give it a second glance but she just assumes the logs shifted and fell. She picks up the rogue log and places it back on the top of the stack, then continues to follow Carl into her aunt’s bedroom.

It is funny to her how this big man dwarfs the tiny rooms of the cottage, yet he fits in so perfectly as well. Nadja observes him as he goes over to the right side of her aunt’s bedroom to the wall that backs up against the kitchen. The many bookshelves and inset units of cabinets in this quaint dwelling are a bit deceiving for Carl unhooks what looks like a simple lock on a cabinet door and the bottom half quietly swings open. He steps down onto a ladder and pushes a switch on the wall, which brightens the room below.

“No way, you have got to be kidding me.” Nadja says as she steps closer to the opening and looks down at Carl.

“Come on down here Nadja. You should see it for what it is, never know when you may want to use it.” He laughs. “It is definitely a great way to travel when there is a deep snowfall on the ground up above.” Carl says happily. “In fact, I’ve used it for that very reason many times. It stays rather cozy too with an average year round temperature, much like a cave.”

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 86) Comforting

“Alright, let’s give this place a thorough check so I won’t be up all night worried sick about you.” Carl says as he opens the door and steps inside the cottage.

Turning all of the lights on, everything appears to be in its proper place and all doors and windows are sealed tight. Carl heads toward the back of the house to the door that leads outside from the kitchen.

“Before it starts to get completely dark, I want to check the outside perimeter. I’ll be back in a minute or two.” He says just before he pulls the door shut behind him.

With the chilly air moving in from the north, the cottage feels cool and damp so Nadja works on getting a fire started in the fireplace. By the time Carl comes back inside, the little house feels toasty and comforting. He stands near the fireplace holding his hands out to warm them.

“Well Nadja dear, I do not see anything that would tell me someone has been snooping around. There are no tracks, footprints, or broken twigs that would indicate you have a peeping tom.” Carl laughs. “I’m wondering if maybe you were so upset that possibly you saw Aaron walk past and then he turned around and walked by again to respond to me.”

“Well, maybe.” Nadja replies, but she does not fully believe this to be the case. “I have been very tired lately. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me.”

As if reading her like a book, Carl looks at her with squinting eyes knowing good and well she is not being completely honest. It is obvious to him she is worried.

“The offer still stands, if I need to take you into town or if you’d rather stay at my place, I can fix up a pretty comfortable sofa for you.” Carl says as he turns to warm his hands a bit longer.

“No, I think I will be okay, you have made me feel much better.” She replies.

“Just to be safe, let’s prop chairs under the door handles to create another lock of sorts. It will just be another barrier to break down if anyone does try to get inside.” Carl takes one of the chairs from the kitchen table and props it under the back door of the cottage. “Before you go to bed tonight, put the other chair under the handle of the front door.” Carl pauses with a scowl as if he is confused. “Oh! I almost forgot.” He says with urgency. “The passageway! I need to show you where it is!”

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 85) Agreed

“Your aunt had it dug out many years ago. With her wealth and all, she wanted to know she could escape unharmed if anyone ever broke into her home.” Carl continues to speak as they walk along the path. “I told her she was nuts, which she agreed to.” Carl laughs at the humor they shared. “She had it done, contracted out, the thing is long as hell but well-lit and comes out right back there at the forest rangers hut, which as you know is halfway to my cabin.” He laughs but then looks around once again in a paranoid fashion. “I’m sorry young lady, but I don’t feel right about leaving you up here alone.”

“Carl, I have to learn to be brave and take care of myself, I have to follow in my aunts shoes.” Nadja states as she tucks loose strands of hair behind her right ear. “But then I called you at the first thought of being followed.” She looks down.

“You don’t have to prove anything to me.” Carl replies.

“No, but I have to prove it to myself.” Nadja says as she fiddles in her pocket for the key. “I know I saw a man walk up the path before Aaron, I’m hoping he is not connected somehow and has continued to move on.”

“Well, if he was ahead of Aaron he was way up there because I never saw him.” Carl says as they round the last bend in the path, enter the fenced in garden, and approach the front door of the cottage.

All of this confuses Nadja for the other man walked past the hut just seconds before Aaron. It was almost as if they were traveling together. How could he have been on the path unnoticed? In her mind, she is telling herself that he was simply looking around or hiking, but the path ends here at the cottage. So where did he go? He would have had to double back which meant they would have run into him at some point, or he is following animal paths that branch out into the woods in all directions.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 84) Check

Carl stands on the path in view of the rangers hut for several minutes until he sees Aaron follow the curve of the trail and walk out of sight. Only now does he acknowledge Nadja as she stands up behind the woodpiles to greet him. Placing his finger to his lips, Carl motions for her to be quiet and to stay put. Several more minutes pass before he walks in her direction.

“Oh thank you so much, I knew something was wrong and it is the worst thing possible.” Nadja says softly as she walks around the woodpile and gives Carl a hug.

“So he is the jerk you are trying to stay away from.” Carl says as fact while they walk toward the opening to the path. “I could see right through his ploy to be nice. I need to contact the authorities so we can keep an eye on him.”

“Who was the other man though, the one who walked down the path before him?” Nadja questions as she leans out around the thick plant growth and looks in the direction of the cottage.

“What other man? I didn’t see anyone but him.” Carl states a bit puzzled. “Would you feel more comfortable staying in town? You are more than welcomed at my place as well but it’s a man’s house, not all neat and tidy like Josie’s.” Carl looks down at his hands to avoid eye contact.

Nadja knows how difficult it must be to have the memories of her aunt flooding back into Carl’s mind every time he walks the path. No matter the time of day, there is going to be something that will trigger his thoughts. He works in the factory they both delved their lives into. He rides the train into town alone, eats alone, and watches the sunset alone. Nadja can see the tears in his tired eyes as the sun begins to settle deeper and the night sky approaches.

“I will walk you to the cottage if that is what you wish to do. We can check things out and make sure you are barricaded inside.” Carl looks around to make sure they are alone. “I need to show you the passageway as well.” He grins as they start walking up the path.

“Passageway, what passageway? Nadja questions as she rattles her own thoughts for knowledge of this.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 83) Directing

Both men are of the same height. Carl may actually be a slight bit taller than Aaron and in no manner does Carl seem intimidated by Aaron’s equally strong and much younger presence.

“Is it such a crime for a man to walk along this path? What do you have hidden up there, gold?” Aaron asks in a charming way as he follows this question with a laugh. “I just want to take a few pictures of this amazing view, maybe pitch a tent and spend one night in this peaceful place.”

Nadja knows Aaron is plotting his moves to befriend Carl so he can continue up the mountain to the cottage. She has witnessed it time and time again where he manages to sweeten his demeanor until the individual he is talking to gives in. She knows this first hand, for he would do this with her, in one form or another, almost every single day.

“I have to agree with you, the view is magnificent, but it belongs to me.” Carl states firmly. “Plus, I cannot buy into a story about pitching a tent to a man dressed in suit pants, a wool overcoat, and is not carrying a backpack or even a bottle of water with him.” Carl replies as he steps to the side and holds his hand out directing Aaron to return in the direction in which he came from.

Silently, Nadja grins for she has never witnessed someone actually getting the upper hand on Aaron in such a way. Carl has noticed everything wrong with this situation and pointed it out quite clearly. No wonder Aunt Josephine was so smitten by him. He is very kind yet handles business and confrontations in a sharp and controlled manner. It is with amazement that she watches Aaron nod his head in understanding. Yet, he grins with the typical arrogance she has come to recognize so well.

“I can’t pull the wool over your eyes now can I?” Aaron states as he holds out his hand for a handshake.

“I’ve been around a long time and I’ve seen just about all there is to see so no, it takes a lot to get past me.” Carl replies as he quickly shakes Aaron’s hand and again gestures for Aaron to leave.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 82) Property

Nadja has been watching the time on her silenced cell phone as she waits for Carl to arrive. The wind has become much colder than it was when she first took shelter from the path. She has been peeking through the stacks of logs this entire time and has yet to see Aaron or Carl pass by. She just knew it had to be Aaron she heard on the path behind her but if that were true, she wonders where he could be now. Does he know she is hiding? Did he see her step off the path?

“I hear something.” She whispers to herself as she peers through the neatly stacked wood.

Looking down at her phone she realizes whomever is making the sound cannot be Carl, it will be another ten minutes before he will have had time to get here. Clear and distinct steps are getting closer and closer as her heart begins to beat faster. The sound of shoes hitting the gravel echoes off the silence in the air and then he appears. It is a brief two seconds as she watches the man pass from right to left.

“That is not Aaron.” Nadja says with much relief.

She smiles as she relaxes and leans her back up against the wall of the hut. Closing her eyes for several, seconds she gathers her emotions and calms herself down with full deep breaths.

“Maybe the man who walked past is just a hiker.” She deduces as she stands up and brushes dirt and leaves from her pants. “I hope Carl will not be too angry with me for calling him, I feel silly now.” She mumbles to herself as she begins to step around the woodpile.

At this moment, she hears Carl yell something as he comes up the trail and then her worst fear appears as Aaron steps into view. She rushes back behind the stacks of wood just as Aaron turns his back to the little hut and her in order to respond to Carl’s request.

“What can I help you with?” Aaron questions as if Carl is the one in the wrong.

“This is private property, my property, and I want to know what you are up to.” Carl states as he now enters the clearing where Aaron is standing.

“I was just going for a little hike, sorry but I did not see any signs posted that said I could not enter this beautiful area.” Aaron states in a calm tone as he tugs at the plaid scarf wrapped around his neck.

“Well I will be sure to get more signs out immediately so there will not be another misunderstanding.” Replies Carl. “In the meantime I will have to ask you to leave.” He states firmly.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 81) Wisdom

“Hello, young man.” The older woman says as Viktor approaches.

Here in the daylight her features are more defined and even though he somehow knows she is beyond the age of fifty or sixty years, she looks as if she is only forty. Her skin is smooth and her eyes all-knowing and full of wisdom.

“Hello again.” Viktor replies as he stops in front of her.

“I like the way you hold yourself young man, very confident yet compassionate.” She says to him as she smiles.

“Well thank you.” Viktor replies.

He has worked very hard to become the confident person she recognizes in him. The fact that she picked up on this part of his demeanor makes him feel proud of who he is, but it also embarrasses him for some reason.

“Am I heading the right way? To the cabin I mean.” He questions.

“To me, it is a cottage.” She corrects him. “And yes, you are heading the right direction.” She tips her head slightly as she glances at the long path behind her. “Keep your eyes open, remember the way, and no matter what, do not stop for anything. Do you understand?”

A bit suspicious of her directions, Viktor looks up and down the path expecting something to happen. Another cold blast of air circles around them causing him to shiver yet the woman does not seem to notice and oddly, not one hair on her head moves with the wind. He knows this is a dream but it is very strange to see the trees and dust responding to the elements yet this woman seems to be immune to it all.

“Why didn’t. . .” Viktor starts to say but the woman places her cold hand over his lips as she looks behind him.

“You need to go, right now.” She whispers to Viktor as she looks him in the eyes.

“Okay, but. . .” He starts to say and again is put in his place by this woman.

“Do not hesitate and do not stop.” She says again. “And no matter what, remember the way.”

The woman then walks toward the side of the path and steps into the woods, disappearing before his eyes. He looks back at the place he walked from but does not see anyone or anything that would be cause for him to hurry. However, he feels it is necessary to follow the command of this mysterious woman. He turns and continues to walk the twisting path and as directed, begins moving at a rather quick pace.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
StorySmitten Paperbacks and ebooks are available at:
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