by Rajan Khanna
The door in the men's washroom leads to a secret world. Head past the stink of piss and shit, a smell you may one day come to regard fondly, and straight for the second stall from the right. Ignore the grunts of the man in the stall next to you. The door won't creak when it closes; it will fit smoothly into the frame.
The tag is on the wall, a stick-figure silhouette framed by a rectangle. It looks like a cross between a primitive cave painting and a European sign. The stage is set. Your heart beats like a rabbit's on speed. The anticipation crackles. You inhale deeply, activate the tag, then turn and open the door.
For a sickeningly-sweet instant, you are not. Your body tingles and fizzles away. Everything that you are becomes as intangible and tenuous as a cloud of smoke on a windy day. Revel in
the moment, the nonbeing, before the tether snaps and you are vomited back into the universe.
I hate that part.
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"Doors" is roughly 4800 words.
Rajan Khanna is a fiction writer, blogger, narrator, and graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers' Workshop. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Shimmer, Basement Stories, Steampunk Tales, Abyss & Apex, and The Way of the Wizard, among others. He writes about genre television and fiction for Tor.com and about beer and wine at FermentedAdventures.com. His podcast narrations can be heard at Podcastle, StarShipSofa, and Lightspeed Magazine. Rajan lives in Brooklyn, where he's a member of the NYC-based Altered Fluid writing group.