“If I don’t come back within ten minutes, I want you to call for help. But I think I should be okay. Just wait outside the door for me, alright? Just stay put…”
Those last words of rang in Champion's ears, as he stared endlessly at the door in front of him. His friend and him, Pablo, had planned to visit their science teacher, Mr. Eco, for tutoring after school, to make up for almost a year’s worth of pranks and goofing off in class. Mr. Eco considered the two of them his worst students, and their terrible grades only fed to the fire. It was on the last day of April, a week away from the start of testing, that the boys finally decided to get their act together. Of course, Mr. Eco questioned them, but he always told his students that he’d never deny them a second chance, and unfortunately, that rule applied to everyone.
“You can come on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but that’s it. I can only deal with the two of you to a certain extent,” Mr.Eco had told them.
The two of them arrived late, as usual, but when they reached his classroom that afternoon, it was empty. All that was left was the messy arrangement of out pushed chairs, and the jumbled up equations on the whiteboard. They shrugged and were ready to head back home until they heard a sound coming from the end of the hallway, where the supply closet was. They walked outside the classroom and saw light spilling out from the cracked door, then a low humming noise gradually got louder.
This made Pablo curious. He explained to Champion that he’d go in and investigate, and if he saw something crazy he’d come right back out. Champion was skeptical, but didn’t want to show it, so he agreed to stay behind and be the lookout. But he deeply regretted that now. He lifted his arm and checked his watch for the time.
It’s been ten minutes. He debated on whether or not he should get someone.
“If I don’t come back within ten minutes, I want you to call for help…”
Champion bit his lip. An anxious feeling took over him as he began to worry about his friend. He wondered what could possibly be taking him so long. I mean, for god’s sake, it’s just a supply closet!
He impatiently shifted from one foot to the other, trying to distract himself from staring at the door. But the low humming sound came back. It echoed throughout the corridor. It gave him the chills.
“That’s it,” Champion muttered, "I’m going in.”
He opened the door, and suddenly, the lights flickered off. His nearly leaped out of his chest. He checked the hallway for any signs of life, but no one was there. He turned back around and found nothing inside but a mop, a broom, some cleaning supplies, and a box full of damp, smelly rags. Champion cringed in disgust.
“That’s... just gross.”
He then closed the door, and opened it again. That’s when he noticed something odd. All of the cleaning supplies were gone, and there was nothing but an eternal void, and darkness. Champion peered closer in the vast space, watching as the walls were twisting into a sparkling center, a center that was brighter than the sun. And then he felt an indescribable amount of pain in his chest as if a knife had pierced through it. He cried in agony, hoping it would go away, but it grew stronger and stronger. And the center grew brighter and brighter, until he closed his eyes.
Then he opened them.
He stood underneath what had seemed to be a spotlight, surrounded by darkness and a deafening silence. He stared at his faint shadow that appeared on the floor, making sure that another one wasn’t present beside his. His mind was moving a mile a minute, thoughts of confusion and fear almost consumed his sanity. For a second, he had thought he was dreaming.
“Where do you want to go?” someone said in a hushed voice. Every syllable it pronounced resonated throughout the atmosphere.
Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead. His hands were tightly clenched in fear, and his eyes darted around, in search of the source of the voice. He took a deep breath before speaking.
“Who are you? he asked. His lips began to quiver.
“You are in the Realm of Eternity!” the voice continued. "Humans do not belong here!”
The more Champion listened, he began to realize that it sounded like multiple beings, supernatural beings maybe. His heart skipped a beat at the thought.
“Are there more of you?” he said.
“We are the three Spirits of Consistency! We are able to hold the entire universe in the palms of our hands! We control all societies throughout all time. We govern, we create, we decide. We make sure that there is no conflict, and that peace is forever present. That task is easy to perform without the messy works of humans. Humans do not belong here!”
Champion trembled at those last words. All he had intended to do was find Pablo so they could look for Mr. Eco together. But now, he was glad he at least had a clue as to how Pablo disappeared.
“Where do you wish to go, human?” they asked him.
Champion had no idea how to reply to that question, and it had seemed as if the Spirits of Consistency knew that when they answered for him.
“There is more out there than just your world. There are many different worlds that exist. And we are giving you the opportunity to explore one of those many.”
Suddenly, Champion’s fear began to melt away and was replaced with curiosity. He frowned. “Different worlds?”
“Different periods of time. Different periods in space. Places that are greater than what you’ve ever experienced. Your life will be forever changed. We can see it.”
“... Well... I think I’d rather just go home,” he said, but really, he was unsure.
“Would you really? Or are you just holding back?”
He didn’t answer, nor thought about it. He just spaced out for a moment, in attempt to grasp a comforting feeling. But that never happened. And so that’s what led to his decision.
A wall of water appeared in front of him, and something in his mind moved him to walk towards it. He gently touched the surface, a droplet of the wet substance floated upwards, and then he began to walk upside down, leaving behind the dark void, flying throughout the galaxy. A sheet of shimmering stars filled in the vast space and large collections of glowing ribbons and gases were like eye candy. Champion, unsure of what was happening, zoomed past all of them, but went slow enough to where he could admire them from afar. He had never seen anything so beautiful. Not too far from him, a bright blue star was present, and as he grew closer, a large planet came into view. Its thin atmosphere was blue, and right on top of it was a tall, bright crystal tower that glistened in blue and green. He could see tiny civilizations down on the Earth, and the gorgeous lights that came from what had seemed to be cities. He was so excited as to what he was witnessing, he wanted to land and meet them all. But something else began to take place. The cities were fading, and the lights were falling dim.
Champion burst out from within the closet and ran right into Pablo’s chest. They both collapsed on the floor, Pablo braking Champion’s fall.
“Ow Champ! What the heck? Get off of me!” Pablo cried.
He pushed him off his chest and brushed off his pants. But Champion’s eyes were still bugged, searching for the beautiful universe that he had just seen. He had a feeling that memory was going away, but he wanted to enjoy it for just a second longer.
He pulled Pablo by the collar of his shirt, panting. “Dude! You won’t believe what I just saw!”
“Let go of me!” Pablo demanded. He snatched his shirt back. "Why were you in there for so long? It’s a supply closet for crying out loud! One room!”
Champion grew confused. "What a minute... what happened?”
“You seriously don’t remember?”
He shook his head no.
“You told me that you’d go in there to see if Mr. Eco was inside! You said it yourself! Remember? Because we heard that weird humming noise.”
“I thought it was you who said that.”
“No,” Pablo said slowly, as if Champion were supposed to already know this, "you said that.”
“So you’re telling me that you never went inside of this closet?”
“Oh man. You really have gone mad. Don’t worry, buddy. It’s going to be alright. I’ll help you.”
Champion grabbed the ends of his dark hair in frustration. “Stop! I’m not going crazy. I know what I saw. How long was I in there?”
Pablo considered his answer. “Like… five minutes.”
That made Champion feel light headed. “But... it felt like I was in there for hours...”
He looked back at the supply closet, longing to return to his unforgettable experience. But then something gave him a spark of hope for the future, that it wouldn’t be long before he saw it again. He then recalled what the Spirits of Consistency had told him when they first encountered.
“Your life will be forever changed.”