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The Parallel Universe

The Portal Home: A Tale of Survival and Gratitude in The Parallel Universe

By RiparianPublished about a year ago 5 min read
The Parallel Universe
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

In a flash, everything changed.

One moment, Lily was walking down the street, enjoying the sunny day and humming to herself. The next, she found herself standing in a completely different world.

At first, she didn't notice anything unusual. The street looked the same, the buildings were familiar, and the people milling around were all strangers. But as she took a closer look, she realized that everything was just slightly different.

The cars were a different color, the sky was a different shade of blue, and the buildings had different names on them. Even the people looked slightly different - a little taller, a little shorter, with different hairstyles or clothing choices.

Lily rubbed her eyes, hoping that it was just a trick of the light. But when she opened them again, the world was still the same. She tried to calm herself down, to rationalize what was happening. Maybe she had hit her head and was hallucinating. Maybe she had somehow ended up on a movie set.

But the longer she stood there, the more she realized that this was not a movie set, or a dream, or anything she could explain away. This was a parallel universe, a world that was just like her own, but slightly off. And she was stuck here, with no idea how to get back.

Panic set in, and Lily started to hyperventilate. She tried to remind herself to breathe, to stay calm, but it was no use. She was lost, alone, and utterly confused. And she had no idea how to get home.

She started to wander around, hoping to find some clue as to what was going on. But the more she walked, the more lost she became. The streets seemed to twist and turn in ways she didn't recognize, and the landmarks she knew were gone.

She saw people walking by, and she tried to approach them, to ask for help. But every time she did, they looked at her like she was crazy, or like they didn't understand her. She realized that she must look like a stranger here, too, and that no one would be able to help her.

Days turned into weeks, and Lily found herself struggling to survive in this strange world. She scavenged for food and water, slept in alleyways and abandoned buildings, and avoided the people who seemed dangerous or unpredictable.

At first, she tried to stay hopeful, to believe that she would find her way back home. But as time went on, she started to lose that hope. She realized that she might be stuck here forever, that she might never see her family or her home again.

But then, one day, she stumbled across something that changed everything.

She was walking through a park, trying to find a place to rest, when she saw a woman sitting on a bench. The woman was reading a book, and she looked up as Lily approached.

Lily hesitated, unsure if she should approach this stranger. But something about the woman's eyes, her expression, made her feel safe. So she took a deep breath and walked over.

"Hi," she said, her voice shaking a little. "I'm lost. I don't know how to get back to my world."

The woman smiled kindly. "I know," she said. "I've been waiting for you."

Lily blinked, confused. "What do you mean?"

The woman closed her book and stood up. "I'm not from this world either," she said. "I'm from yours."

Lily felt a rush of emotion. Relief, hope, confusion, and a little bit of fear. "What do you mean?" she asked again.

The woman reached out and took Lily's hand. "Come with me," she said. "I'll explain everything."

Lily hesitated for a moment, unsure if she could trust this woman. But something in her eyes, in the way she spoke, made her believe that she was telling the truth.

So she let the woman lead her out of the park and down a street she didn't recognize. They walked in silence for a few minutes, until they came to a small, nondescript building.

The woman led her inside and up a flight of stairs, to a door at the end of a hallway. She opened the door and motioned for Lily to come inside.

Lily stepped into a small room, filled with strange machines and devices she didn't understand. There were wires and screens and blinking lights, and the air was filled with a low humming sound.

The woman motioned for her to sit down in a chair in front of one of the machines. "This is a portal," she said. "It can take you back to your own world."

Lily stared at the machine, feeling a mix of hope and fear. "How does it work?" she asked.

The woman smiled. "It's complicated," she said. "But all you need to do is sit still and let it do its work."

Lily took a deep breath and sat down in the chair. The woman moved around her, adjusting the machines and pressing buttons on a control panel.

The humming sound grew louder, and Lily felt a strange sensation in her body. It was like she was being pulled in different directions, like her molecules were being rearranged.

She closed her eyes and tried to breathe, to stay calm. The sensation grew stronger, until it was almost overwhelming.

And then, suddenly, it was over. She opened her eyes and found herself back in her own world.

At first, she didn't believe it. She thought it might be another trick of the parallel universe, another illusion or hallucination.

But then she looked around and saw the familiar buildings, the familiar people, the familiar sky. She saw her own reflection in a window, and she knew that she was really back.

Tears of relief and joy flooded her eyes, and she let out a sob of gratitude. She didn't know who the woman was, or how she had found her, or how she had built the portal. But she knew that she had saved her life, and that she was forever grateful.

She stood up and turned to thank the woman, but she was gone. The room was empty, the machines silent. There was no sign that anyone had ever been there.

Lily felt a pang of sadness, wondering who the woman was, and where she had gone. But she knew that she had to focus on the present, on the fact that she was back home, safe and sound.

She took a deep breath and walked out of the building, feeling a sense of relief and gratitude that she knew would stay with her forever. She had survived the parallel universe, and she had made it back to her own world.

And she knew that she would never forget the experience, or the kindness of the woman who had helped her through it.

Short StoryYoung AdultSci FiMysteryFantasyFan FictionAdventure

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