Why did she agree to come here?
“Come on,” Kate said hours ago. “It’ll be fun.”
Right. Her best friend invited her to a party and she’s been looking for an excuse to leave the house. This, though? This is what she agreed to? She sighs, opening the door to Kate’s room. Music blasts through the house. The sometimes irritating and sometimes enjoyable beat of rap makes the walls and floor vibrate.
She enters the bedroom, closing the door behind her. The music is quieter. The only bright side to this party is that it’s at Kate’s house. A place she knows well.
Kate’s room is spacious. She got lost the first few times she came here. She still does sometimes. It’s the size of a living room.
She walks slowly to one of the chairs. As she sits, the closet door behind her opens. She blinks at the cold wind that hits her. Goosebumps break out across her skin. What the hell?
The door closes. She should let Kate know. What the hell just happened?
She should… Something pulls on her.
The door. She should see what it is. No reason to alarm Kate, right?
She stands and approaches the closet. She shouldn’t do this, but the door calls to her. She can’t understand it, but it does.
She opens the closet door. Ignoring the cold air, she enters and…
She slips on ice. She reaches out desperately, grabbing a nearby rail before she falls on her butt. She slowly straightens and, still holding on, she climbs down the steps. She should turn back, but…
“And what would a mortal be doing in my realm?” The masculine voice wraps around her. Deep. Baritone, yet somehow louder than the cold, harsh wind.
“Why is it so cold in your realm?” she says.
“It’s winter,” he says. “It’s expected to be cold. What are you doing here? Why do you not have a coat?”
“I didn’t plan to come here.”
“Why did you then?”
“Not a good enough answer.”
“It’s the only one I have.” A moment of silence.
“How did you get here, mortal?”
“By accident,” she replies.
“Accident or not, you need to go back. This place is not for mortals.”
“Then why was I called here?”
“Because the realm has a tendency to call people here. Most simply ignore it. Go home, mortal. These are things beyond your control. Next time the realm calls to you, ignore it.”
She considers asking, but decides not to. The man seems nice, but the air around her is strange. It crackles with uncertainty. “Okay. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he says. She turns and climbs up the stairs. She finds the door again and enters Kate’s bedroom. She closes it behind her, glad for the warmth.
“Did you go through the closet door?”
She jumps at Kate’s voice.
“Yeah. It randomly opened.” She pauses. “I swear it called to me.”
Kate considers, looking at her friend. “How was it?”
She tells Kate about the other world. About the man who sent her back. “You should listen to him,” Kate says.
“That world seems strange.”
“I know,” she says.
“He told me to ignore it if it calls to me. I will. I’ll admit I’m curious.”
“I am, too, but we shouldn’t get involved in things like this. Magic is strange sometimes.” She nods, noticing the silence.
“Where is everyone?”
“They left,” Kate says.
“The party’s over. You’ve been gone for two hours,” she blinks, “two hours? It felt like no more than two minutes.”
“I know,” Kate says. “Anyway, do you want to stay over or do you want me to drive you home?”
“I don’t have anything with me.”
“Okay. Let’s go then.”
She follows Kate out of the house. She suppresses a sigh as they enter Kate’s vehicle. What a strange night.