Step 1: Story 2

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In the closet of your new home is a portal through space and time. You accidentally travel to Mars

Scifi, Reedsy

Note: we do not relate this to anyone, anything that happened, or anything from my past/present/future.

Take note, the short planning step is shown below, then my thoughts about it.

                Bob figured he could finish the layout in the lounge, afterwards he would step into his room. He glances at where the couches have been placed for now, he figures we can put the mirror into the wall right here.
                He places it against the wall next to where he wants to put it, grabs the hammer, he hammers a few nails in high pins to the wall. He lifts the mirror and sticks it on. With a moments pause he looks at himself. His brown hair close to the length he should cut it all off soon, his eyes a bright blue mixed with green. Most days it’s Grey, it seems as if it isn’t today’s colour.
                He glances around the room, there’s one last task to do here. Plug the TV in, the interest comes from the fact he’d chosen the far side for where he placed it. The plug point there open, the wires alone, he sees the point doesn’t have a plug at the moment. By the door, at least there’s another plug point here, so he grabs an extension cord to put it in there. He runs it to the TV, he hadn’t checked the power as he bought the house last week.
                He clicks the switch to check, the fuzzy grey shows no signal, that’s still fine. The power works, so Bob’s hopeful the cables he could use can draw power.
                He surveys the lounge again, as it happens, he sees a few more fixes he should do here, and he figures he would continue as he gets the chance to sort the plug out later today. He figures he should finish it all this weekend.
                With a glance into the rooms as he heads along the corridor he considers whatever each room might need. He sees a few tasks he should still get to in each. It wasn’t even late enough for lunch, it’s a great Saturday morning.
                He gets to the other end in the corridor, he walks into his room. He has a single task to do here in the room. He’d slept here over the last 3 days, so he’d made the effort to make sure it was all spaced out correct. All the usual items he uses in the spots where he wanted to have them. Bed, chairs, tables, you name it. His eyes get hooked onto his clothes bag, the dark blue solid cover bag right next to the bed.
                Bob lets a grin cover his face, there’s one last task for him in his room. The empty cupboard will be the new home for his clothes.
                He moves forward, grabs the case, with one motion drags it to right next to by the cupboard. He pulls the cupboard wide open, pulls his bag closer in, opens it.
                He considers the fact the cupboard has a double door section to hang clothes in, a single door to lie other clothes out in. He’s careful, he begins to organize the clothes into pikes for each side. He figures he might need to move a few clothes off the hangers in his collection. At least they still had their hangers he had used before in them.
                With it all sorted, he figured he would hang them all in to learn if it’s large enough. It seems his prediction for the sizes in the main bedroom were near correct. He leans over to grab the first hanger, he sticks it on the far side. It’s now or never, he feels he must try his best to finish it now.
                After a few moments he finishes it off, second last smart shirt, last smart shirt. His gaze drifts along the space here, there’s enough for tons more clothes. There’s a large space still available…
                There’s a button right behind the rack here on the right side. It’s obvious, as he came in to the house the estate agent rushed to show him all the rooms. She had wanted to make sure he would buy it. They’d looked close at the cupboard in the second room, there wasn’t a button in there. Toward the end, as they arrived in the main room it was a fast glance into the cupboards, they looked the exact same.
                Bob takes a moment to study the button. It’s a simple switch, it doesn’t seem to show where it connects at all. He can’t pick out any wire from there to anywhere else, at all. After a short time spent to consider if he should, he figures he should flick the switch to learn what it’s for. It shouldn’t be dangerous at all, the other items in the house have been safe?
                He flicks the switch, in an instant stumbles backwards to fall into a seated position, as he flicked it the back wall in the cupboard comes to life. Not like a light, it looks like it might open a door to somewhere it seems similar to a desert. Since he’s seated right in front by the cupboard doors, he sees over a small hill which appears right there, there’s a bright blue sky.
                Bob sits there for a few moments longer. His heart beat started to race, so he started to gasp to get air faster. He considers whatever he can do, this isn’t the outcome he’d expected. He stands, turns the switch on again, it happens in an instant, the same as the moment he turned it off, so he tries again. On, off. It happens in an instant, it might mean he controls it himself.
                He leaves it off, then rushes to take all the hanging clothing down. It feels like only a few seconds have passed, the cupboard is empty now. It only take a little time for him to catch his breath, he regains his composure.
                Bob grabs his phone, who is better for him to ask than Thomas? Thomas is a physicist, he should be able to share anything about this switch, Bob is at least hopeful. He starts calling.
                “Hello, Thomas speaking, how can I help you?”
                “Hey Thom, it’s Bob here, how’re you doing?”
                They quickly go through the usual phone call chivalry to be courteous amongst friends.
                “So, if the move is going so well for you, what do I owe the pleasure of receiving this call for?” Thomas sounds confused, since all he heard so far was the new house was really awesome.
                “I can’t really think of how to put this, you know when we talked last weekend it had seemed the two bedrooms had the same 3 door cupboards, right?”
                “Yeah, so the cupboards aren’t the same?”
                “They looked the same, today I was packing my clothes in the main bedroom cupboard. I got all the hanging clothes in, the space left is amazing. I saw a button in the cupboard.”
                “I’m glad to hear it looked so similar, but what does the button do?”
                Bob waited a moment, he tries his best to think of a way to describe what he saw. “I… Suppose… I… Don’t know, actually… Could I swap us to a WhatsApp video call?”
                “Sure,” was the immediate response.
                After a moment or two they had the video call going.
                Thom was sitting on his new couch at home, he looked intrigued already, he shared “alright, I’m ready. Show it all to Me.” he was sitting hunched forward to have his phone close for him to see.
                “So,” Bob moved the video around as he showed everything, “you can see here there aren’t cables in the layered cupboard… This is the hanging cupboard…”
                “Yeah, those seem quite normal…”
                With a pause for dramatic effect, Bob then closed in on the button, “the button…”
                He kept the camera close, he didn’t say anything else. You could tell he was waiting for Thom.
                After a few moments more he heard, “and… What does it do?” Thom sounded as if his excitement was disappearing.
                “I didn’t think this through,” Bob let out a light giggle, “sorry, I just showed the boring stuff…” he got as far as he could back with his phone, then stretched his arm to flick the switch.
                With a step further backwards Bob just waited. He knew he could this time. That wouldn’t be a problem at all.
                After roughly a minute Thom realised what he should ask, “where is that…?”
                “My main bedroom cupboard” Bob let out a g
Giggle. “Yes, I don’t know where the portal goes to… Well, I don’t even know if it is a portal now that I think of it…”
                Thom laughed a bit, the joke wasn’t too bad it seemed. “Just thinking of that, a portal? Can you even go through it?”
                Bob was curious, but it also intimidated him. “Well, let me just try my finger… I don’t know if it’s even safe…”
                “Oh dear, yes, rather be safe… Uh… Maybe you should throw something through it first…?”
                Looking around, Bob didn’t really want to lose anything. He glanced at the pile of shirts, he suddenly has an idea, the one suit shirt that was missing a button. If he loses it he doesn’t have to worry does he?
                He gets it from the pile of shirts, “this is what I can try with, I need to fix it anyway.” He shows off the missing button.
                “That should be ready to fix,” Thomas sounded apprehensive, “is throwing it away worth it?”
                Bob showed the pile of clothes with hangers, “I have 25 to 30 more… So I feel that wouldn’t matter, to be honest…”
                “That makes more sense then, alright let’s see…” Thom sounded reassured.
                Bob got closer, “alright, can you see everything here?”
                “Yes, go for it.”
                Bob started to count down, “3… 2… 1…” then threw the shirt at the back of the cupboard.
                Both of them were shocked. The shirt kept its momentum, it slowly fell to the ground. Gravity must be lower whoever that goes… It is more understandable, it should be classed as a portal.
                “So… Wherever that is should be lower gravity…” Thom is the first to speak. He sounds confused, yet intrigued.
                “Yes…” Bob can’t think of what to say, he sticks his hand through.
                “Don’t… Wait…” Thom was too late, bobs hand had already gone through. “What are you doing?”
                “I don’t know,” Bob withdrew his hand. “I wasn’t thinking… I didn’t feel a thing… The wall isn’t there at all…”
                “Maybe it is safe to go through…” Thom sounded as if he didn’t trust anything he thought at the moment.
                “Well, I figure I should go to get my shirt as the last test…” Bob looks at what he has nearby to try make sure it can be safe. “We should contact science institutions to come take a look.”
                “I don’t think we should chance…” Thom had gasped, he lost the video in an instant.
                That was all Bob had heard, the phone instantly lost the signal. The video call had ended. Bob was gasping, taking in each breath was a mighty heave with his lungs. It didn’t feel like breathing at all.
                He took a second to glance at his shirt which had settled on the ground. His next hefty breath he began to feel shaky, dizziness settled on him. Stumbling over he panicked and looked back.
                Looking this way there were two half-moons in the sky. This can’t be earth, not at all. The portal is still there, definitely open. He wanted to giggle, his body wouldn’t let him.
                Without thinking further he stepped back through. Why had he decided to walk through at all…
                “… There Bob… Are you there… Please tell me…” Thom sounded stressed, he didn’t like this at all.
                Bob was gasping for the air, “Sorry, I wasn’t… Thinking at all… I went through… It wasn’t earth… I don’t know… Where that is…”
                He had clearly lost signal by going through the portal. He heaved over and over, his breath slowly getting better again. Where did he go to?
                Thom eventually brought the conversation back,” so, what did you see there?”
                Bob thought for a few moments, “I saw sandy, Rocky, mountains. There were 2 moons. I don’t know where that could be…?”
                “Two moons…” Thom paused for a few moments, “could it be Mars perhaps? You sounded out of breath…”
                “Yes,” it was dawning on Bob. “Actually, it looked similar to the last images we received of the two moons during the day from Mars.”
                “So the atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide” Thom sounded half worried, half amazed. “You might be the first man that has been to Mars…”
                “Well… It might be Mars… I’m not sure where that is at all…” how could Bob ever take a proper look at that?
                “Well, quickly take a look here,” Thom shared.
                Bob looked closely at what Thom was showing it was a view on a computer screen through the video. Bob had forgotten it was a video call already.
                The two moons were the same as what he had just seen, but were a few days different to the moon cycle when he saw them.
                “I’ve just been the first man to join the women on Mars…” Bobs jaw dropped.

Short Story 2

Plan a Small Plot

This is the plan I thought up, then used:

  • Bob had just moved in yesterday.
  • He is still planning where things go
  • Clothes into the master bedroom
  • See a switch in confusing space in the main cupboard
  • Flicks it
  • It looks like it is a portal somewhere sandy
  • Calls Thomas
  • The discuss it, what can it be?
  • They figure he should try it out
  • He steps through, breathing extremely hard, phone signal immediately died
  • Glancing arround and looking at the sky, this must be Mars
  • They had just started colonising Mars
  • So we know high co2 and how things look here in the surface
  • Steps back through the portal
  • Calls Thomas again
  • Explains what was seen, felt, where it seems to be

You will note, above, there were spelling and grammar errors. That isn’t a problem, the importance was knowing a plot idea.

My Thoughts

The first draft is 2158 words. That took roughly 3 hours, so roughly 719 words an hour.