Author : Henry Peter Gribbin

In the far corner of a basement laundry room of an apartment building a portal to another dimension was located. One of the tenants, a young redhead with bright green eyes by the name of Maureen, had a strong feeling that something wasn’t quite right about this room every time she did a load of wash. One day she found what she was looking for. In the corner of her eye she saw a flicker of movement. She went over to the corner and behind the water heater she stuck her hand out. It disappeared. She could still feel it so she stuck her shoulder and eventually her whole body through. She appeared on the other side, but the other side of what? Everything felt the same but everything felt different. She went upstairs and went outside. It was her building and her street, but then again it wasn’t. The street she had known for years was a bustling avenue full of cars and trucks. This street was bustling with bicyclists and pedestrians. She decided to take a walk. The air smelled fresh and clean. Fast food establishments and taverns were replaced by bookstores and vegan restaurants.

Maureen discovered she was very thirsty. She found a corner store which she entered. She could find no soda or for that matter no cigarettes, candy bars, potato chips or any form of fast food one was used to seeing in a corner store. She did find a glass bottle of cold water, but when to tried to purchase it the sales clerk returned her money. “No funny money here, Miss,” he said. The bill felt right but the face wasn’t right. He could see she was perplexed, so since the store was empty at the time he has a chat with the young woman. His name was Eric, and he was not just the clerk but the owner.

To make a long story short Eric and Maureen went into business together. After appearing in her world how could he not believe her story. They made a bundle together. While people in his world were generally healthy and ate all the right foods, when they had the chance to smoke cigarettes or gorge themselves on chips and cookies they jumped at the chance. Three times a week Maureen would slip back to the other side and return with goodies. They sold at Eric’s store at a very steep price. Since she couldn’t spend the money she earned in her old world she made her home in Eric’s.

Maureen quickly made the transition to her new world. A big corporation made a deal with her and Eric. They were going to mass produce the items that Maureen was bringing over from the other side. Unfortunately for Maureen, the portal closed while she was on her way back with one last haul. But don’t fret for Maureen. She is a very resourceful young woman and one day she may find another portal. Let’s hope it is to the same dimension.