Bob and Mary looked at the note that had come through the wall .
“How can it be in my handwriting?” asked Bob.
“After fifteen years, trust me, I know your handwriting. I know how it looks when you’re in a hurry, when you’re upset and even when you had to write left handed after you broke your right arm,” replied Mary. “Don’t ask me how, but this is definitely your handwriting.”
Bob stood and thought for a moment and then bolted upstairs. He returned a few minutes later with the video camera and handed it to Mary. He then headed to the garage, returning with a coil of rope. He unwound the rope across the floor and tied one end to the banister at the bottom of the stairway wrapping the other end around his waist twice.
“I want to tie this so it can’t tighten on me,” he told Mary. “However, I also want it to be secure.” Mary gave him a disapproving look. “I’ve got to see what’s going on here,” he told her. “If for no other reason than it will eat me alive if I don’t.
“Every time I’ve tried to touch the hole with anything else, it hasn’t let it pass. However, if I go through holding something, maybe that will work. On the other hand, I don’t want to get stuck…” He tried to think of an appropriate description, but failed. “I don’t want to get stuck – there, wherever there may be.
“I don’t want to freak the kids out, so I’m going to try this with just you here,” he told Mary. “If something seems wrong, pull me back. You may need the kids to help, but there’s no sense involving them if we don’t have to.”
“Are you sure about this?” Mary asked.
“Of course not,” replied Bob, “but seeing as no one else has ever experienced this, or if they did, never shared the knowledge as to how to handle it, we’re on our own. If you have a better idea, let me know.” Mary shook her head.
Bob took the video camera from Mary, turned it on and held it close to his body in his right hand, almost like carrying a football. He reached out with his left hand toward the wall, stopped and turned back toward Mary.
“I love you,” he said and kissed her on the forehead. “Wish me luck.” Before Mary could reply he turned back toward the wall and followed his left hand and arm through it. The last thing he heard was Mary screaming his name.
He was still in the living room, but Mary was gone. Instead, he heard the sound of running feet. He looked to see which of the kids was running through the house but whoever it was came up behind him.
“We only have a few seconds,” the voice behind him said in almost a stage whisper. Bob opened his mouth to talk, but the other person kept talking. “You need to go straight ahead where you’ll find another hole exactly like the one that you just passed through. You will meet someone who will probably shock you, but under no circumstances should you trust him. Do you understand? DO NOT TRUST HIM!
“Listen to me Bob, and this is important, you need to believe in yourself and your values more than you ever have before in your life. You’ll know what to do, but it’s not going to be easy – it may actually be harder than anything you’ve ever done. Follow your heart and DO NOT TRUST HIM!
“You’re going to need this,” the voice said, placing something in Bob’s hand and closing Bob’s fingers around it. “Don’t try to figure it out now, you’ll understand when the time is right. Keep it hidden, especially from him. Bob tried to turn to see who was talking.
“Sorry, it’s time to go!” The voice said and with one hand on Bob’s shoulder, the other in the small of his back and half led, half pushed him toward the wall. It looked like the same wall, but this one had no chalk outline of a door. Bob instinctively put his hand in front of him.
He was still in the living room.
“Pretty weird, huh?” Bob turned. The person who had spoken was sitting on the far end of the couch. The lamp on the end table was turned off, and since that end of the couch sat in the darkest part of the room, he couldn’t quite make out the person sitting there.
“Aren’t we slaves to our curiosity?” the voice asked, and moved to turn on the lamp.
On the couch, in the lamplight, Bob looked to see who was sitting on the couch.
It was Bob, himself sitting there.
“For clarity’s sake,” the other Bob offered, “why don’t you call me – Robert.”
To be continued