The first thing that Jamal felt after his fall was a dull throbbing coming from his head. He opened his eyes to see a blindingly bright light streaming down on him.
“Ho! He moved.” came a voice to his right.
“He did not!” came another.
“No, no, I see’s it, he’s moving.”
“You see it? How’s that? you’ve not got any eyes to see with.”
“Oh shut up, you're just giving yourself another chance to brag that the last feller who came around here painted eyes on your frame. You can’t use those to see anymore than you can turn your own handle.”
Jamal opened his eyes. He was in a somewhat large, circular space, with no roof. It was the bottom of that tunnel he had fallen through. Looking around, he saw that the light was coming from a crack far up in the wall. The walls around ten feet up from the floor were made from broken and battered wood, but above that it was only dirt and stone. Three doors stood Cut into the wooden walls around him, with a small trap door off the side. These doors seemed to be looking at him, though they had no eyes.
“There, see? Its eyes are opened.” One of the doors keyholes moved back and forth as a voice came out of it.
“Hello there, be you friend or foe?” another door spoke up. This door had a large knocker on it and was painted black. It had a distinctly British accent.
“Wha’?” Jamal said. Were these doors legit talking?
“Are you a friend or foe?” The first door spoke up again. “What are your intentions, traveler?
“Are you… who said that?” Jamal couldn’t believe that the doors were actually talking to him. “Who’s There?”
“It is I, the fairest door of them all.” the door farthest to the left puffed out his frame.
“Shut up, Hinge. I, and I alone, am the fanciest and obviously the most beautiful.” The center door with the knocker replied. Hinge, which was apparently the door's name, sighed.
“I am far more beautiful than both you and Porthole, Rapper.” Hinge retorted. “I am the one all travelers wish to go through.”
“Who is yall?” Jamal asked. This was straight up weird. “Where am I?”
“Aha, he’s awake.” said the door on the right, Porthole. “We be the doors three, masters of travel. You are in the world portal, an overlapping of several universes. Any door you choose will take you on an incredible journey.” Porthole seemed to jump at an opportunity. ”You seem like you would like what Hinge has. Why don’t you walk through him?”
“Don’t you throw me under the bus like that, do you even know how hard it is for me to move an entire person into another dimension? Rapper is the obvious choice. Isn’t he always bragging about how big he is? That must make it easier for him.”
Jamal stood. The doors, about to start fighting, froze and turned their attention back to him. ”Which one… how do i get back up? I don’t want to go on no adventure.”
The doors laughed like he had just shared the funniest joke in the world. One of them almost bent right off his hinges, he laughed so hard. “Get back up. Oh, thats a good one.”
“Hey!” Jamal yelled. “I’m not kidding. You better tell me how to get out of this dump fast, or i’ll give you a message you won’t forget.”
The doors halted, they laughed for a second, then went off again like they were high. “He’s actually threatening us, can you believe it? Hahaha… oh, thats really funny.”
“Oh, come on, what would you do to us, we’re made of wood!” Hinge said.
Jamal could generally keep his cool. He could walk off almost any insult. He had not, however, had practice ignoring doors. Losing control, he popped one of the doors right in the stomach, or their equivalent of one. To his surprise, it doubled over in pain, causing the other two doors to laugh even louder. He punched them too, leaving all of them bent over and wheezing.
“Now I’ll ask again, how do I get out of this hole.?”
Rapper, the one he had hit first replied. “You can’t just leave. The only way out is through.”
“That's a load of crap. There's gotta be a way. What on earth is going on?”
“You’ve found yourself in an adventure, Jamal.”
“How’d you know my name?” Jamal demanded.
“It's your adventure, Jamal. You're the main character. You're the reason we exist.”
“I… what in the world are you talking about? There's no way you were just cooped up here waiting for me for your whole life!” Jamal fought back the crazed lump in his throat. All this attention! It was too new and too bizarre to be true. “I’ve gotta be dreamin’.” Jamal said to himself. “Yeah, that's it. I fell in a hole, conked ma’ head, and I’m dreaming’ this bizarre crap up.”
“That's what they all say, I'm afraid.” said Hinge.
“Who? Who else have you seen? And how could you only be waiting for me if you’ve seen other people?” Jamal demanded.
“Others' stories are not your own.” was all they said.
Porthole leapt at the chance to throw another door under the bus. “Although, I can tell you that if you go through Rapper, your own story will be a heck of a time, let me tell you.”
“Why should i trust you?” Jamal asked.
The door grinned woodenly. “You shouldn’t. In fact you should so greatly mistrust me that I'm the worst possible choice for you to choose to go through. Choose one of the others.”
“Would you quit that! The boy’s confused enough as it is. He doesn’t need to hear you yapping about how you're the worst door, and just because you are the worst doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t go through you.”
Jamal walked to the other side of the room to get away from the bickering doors. As he leaned back across the wall his foot knocked something over. He bent down to examine and found that he had knocked open the small door. He looked through the door and saw that it led through a dark corridor, but he could smell grass and flowers, so he knew that it opened into sunshine soon. How it could open into the outdoors and in daylight despite his being deep underground and it being night, he had no idea.
The taller doors noticed he was examining the other door and called out. “Don’t go in there! You’ll never come out!” gasped Rapper.
“No, Stay out! Countless have gone before you and none have ever returned!”
“Really? well, I don’t have any plans to return either, crackers.” jamal crunched himself as small as he could go, but he still had trouble fitting through the small door. He head the other doors still crying out in protest, but here's one finally say something that he never wanted to hear again
“He’s getting away! Port-hole, release the hellhounds!” Jamal heard scratching coming from behind one of the doors, followed by a burst of heat and a howl. Looking behind him he saw a flash of flame and jaws the size of a watermelon. He crammed himself through the rest of the way and slammed the door shut behind him. Something massive slammed into the door as soon as it was shut.
He knew that it wouldn’t hold long against a beast of that size, but he stopped to get his bearings for a second. He figured that it couldn't hurt to rest while the beast was trapped. The sunlight was much brighter here, and he could see why. Just outside of the small cave he was in stood a field. He rushed over to it and stood blinded in the bright mid-day sun. The hellhound forgotten, he looked around. The field was full of sunflowers that reached to about his shoulder, and there wasn’t a building in sight. In the distance he could see a line of trees signaling a forest, but there weren’t any roads, farms, or even any foot paths. It was as if no human had ever stepped foot here before.
A small voice came from below him. Looking down, he saw that wack rabbit from the man-hole, the one he had seen right before he fell down and hit his head. It said, “Hello alice. We’ve been expecting you.”