There it stood, not a stone’s throw away from my hiding place, painfully recognizable, even to untrained eyes. In the midst of this old forest, the twin trees reached upwards a distance before gently bowing toward one another, meeting in a perfect peaked archway, looking for all the worlds like the Doorway it was. My heart burned to reach it, but my safety was confined to the invisible boundary; any deviation would betray me.
Crisp leaves conveyed telltale warnings of men approaching. Tattered and desperate, they knew not the consequences of serving their masters. Each left his own dark smear of red upon one of the two trees before vanishing. Such was the cost when the rules were not followed. Absently I fingered my scar. Once, I had traveled in that manner, but the messengers would die with open wounds.
Reaching a final decision, I forsook my protection, striding forward to stand before the archway. In that moment, breathing the life around me, I felt the truth imbued in the wood. A step forward.