8. Beyond The Blue Doors

8. Beyond The Blue Doors

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



By the time the stragglers, which mainly consisted of the elderly, those on their last legs so to speak, had reached us, we had gathered round the thing that called itself Paltry to be told a lot of history in very short time in its almost creaking voice.

In almost beautifully modulated speech, Paltry told us that there had been two machines like himself, two machines that had been programmed (that was a new word to me) to guide the army of worshippers (another new word, but apparently it meant we who lived in Paradise Hell) to a safe place where we could wait in safety until there was peace on Earth.

What was this Earth?

And what was peace?

It was the surgeon who spoke for us as he went as close to Paltry as he could and spoke directly to it. He couldn’t see anything resembling a human ear so he directed his speech generally in its direction, hoping that whatever detected sound was in range of his voice. It seemed that it was.

You are speaking of our long dead ancestors,” he told it, “when you mention those who originally came this way. Why, even your twin machine lies dead or asleep some way back along the path. Iy has, indeed, been a long time, beyond our counting

Paltry was quiet for a moment when he was told that, and then, with an awkward jerk that spoke of many years of idleness, it started trundling the way we had come.

I will see that it is well with my twin,” it said sombrely, “for there were never any spare parts manufactured for us, and that bodes ill for any longevity we may crave. Please await my return.”

We waited there as instructed. What else could we do? We had, it seemed, come to a dead end and the only possible way we could go was back the way we had come, and that seemed to be an unwelcome thought to more than me.

Then, and this made me and just about everyone else jump almost out of our skins, the blue-coloured wall that marked the end of our route started to creak as slowly it moved and showed that it was no permanent wall at all but a huge door that was juddering and jerking and struggling to open.

Who or what was forcing its movement and eventually opened it wide enough for people like ourselves to squeeze through was a puzzle because we couldn’t see anyone or anything that could possible be gifted with the power to operate machinery or even move itself. There was only that huge blue door, and that was still juddering as if attempting to open wider still.

Then a noise began. It was a bit like speech, but distorted so that when it hit our ears it was beyond interpretation, but it rumbled on as if it contained within it the elements of sense. It was, I thought, the kind of noise that might be made if a cracked recording of human speech was played on a machine too slowly, maybe at half speed. The distortion stripped out any sense that it might have originally contained.

After what seemed ages it stopped, and there we were, all of us, gazing at an open door and almost being assaulted by total silence.

Come on,” decided Timmy, “I’ve done enough hanging around. Let’s go forward! The door’s obviously opened for a reason.

Holding me by one hand he led me through that door and into a shadowy space beyond it. I’ve often thought that Paradise Hell was ancient with our hovels hewn out of ancient stone and everything covered with a film of dust where our feet didn’t disturb it, dust that spoke of untold ages, but this place was both ancient and beautifu at the same timel. There was the dust but there was also an array of shining and very beautiful things the like of which I’ve never seen before.

Slowly, furtively, we entered what seemed like a magical world. There were artefacts gleaming like nothing I had seen before had gleamed, things that I was later to learn had long ago been wrought by skilled craftsmen from rare and precious metals, plates and urns that had been crafted by people from before the birth of time itself, though even in my ignorance I know that’s plainly impossible.

Yet the dark and otherwise dingy place was deserted save for ourselves, and when we shuffled along our feet disturbed layers of dust that must have taken goodness-knows how long to accumulate.

This is going to be the end of me,” mumbled the surgeon Simon, and I could tell by the strained expression on his face that the amount of walking we had been obliged to do had all but crippled him.

Come here,” invited Timmy, “let me help you.”

And he did. The surgeon was certainly old according to the lifespans of our people, but he was also no light-weight, but Timmy manfully struggled along with him, half lifting him and speaking calmly to him, keeping him going.

It was just as well that it was but a short distance to the next door, another great blue thing that blocked our way until like a reluctant beast it started creaking open.

We would have passed through it in order to explore what lay beyond it and maybe seek a little time to rest our weary muscles. You must realise that none of us had used our legs for so much walking as we’d done of late except for the pedallers, and they were men and boys, But as for us women, not even since our births, and the exercise was sorely testing even the fittest of us. But the light that shone through that dull blue door was beyond anything that any one of us had seen before, and that more than tired legs made us pause and gasp.

It was radiant and painful to eyes that have been always kept in the shadows of Paradise Hell.

We stood there, blinking, and unnoticed by any of us a figure appeared before us as if out of thin air. Clad in a tiny and most revealing bright pink frock that revealed that she had long and shapely legs, and with long shining hair to die for, it smiled warmly at us.

Welcome,” it said warmly in a beautiful female voice, “welcome friends from the old times, welcome to Paradise: you are loved.”

© Peter Rogerson 21.02.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on February 21, 2021
Last Updated on February 21, 2021
Tags: underground, destination, doors


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..