The intentionally smudged writing was also Latin, the word was again unmistakable. I nearly fell out of my chair! The whole demented situation suddenly made sense to me. I felt goose bumps on the back of my neck. The number of hexagons, the doorway, the change in Sam, I suddenly knew what it all meant. I had to stop it.

1

Sam was the one who initially stumbled upon the phenomena. We were working on a new lens for a digital projector when he noticed the unusual effect. It was the prism, a hexagon. When we exposed it to light and put the image up on the screen a shape became visible. It seemed to appear out of thin air.

“What the hell is it? A smudge on the lens or prism?” Sam asked.

I checked both. “It’s not a smudge” I replied.

“Let’s see if we can make the image bigger.”

I found I could enlarge the size of the object but I could not improve the image clarity. Even though it was out of focus, the shape was unmistakable. It was a door.

“Are we on drugs?” Sam asked.

“Not that I know of” was all I could muster.

“Then why in the hell do I see a door in this prism?”

I had no response. It was both scientifically and mathematically impossible but it was right in front of me. I had to admit, I was more than intrigued. Then I noticed something that brought a chill to my spine.

“Sam, there’s a sign on the door.”

He stared at me madly. His face flushed in crimson.

“The guys in Optical are pulling one over on us, zoom in on it. Read the sign so we can get this joke over with.”

2

Sam believed strongly in science. His mother and father were both bio-engineers. He had been the valedictorian of his college class. His mind just couldn’t accept any possibility other than a hoax.

As hard as we tried we could not make the sign legible enough to read.

“How can we improve the clarity?” I asked.

Sam got off his lab stool and began to pace the room. “Let’s get another prism and cut it.”

It seemed like a plausible solution but it turned out not to be the case.

We tried this solution for four straight days and got nowhere. Other jobs piled up around us but solving the mystery seemed to be our only goal. Finally when were about to throw in the towel Sam came up with the answer.

“You’re not going to believe this Scott.” He said with a giddy tone in his voice.

“If I put two cuts together the image becomes clearer.”

“What? That doesn’t make any sense. If anything it should be the opposite.”

Sam smiled fiendishly then demonstrated his discovery by putting two large hexagon diamonds together. The image became strangely clear. The sign on the door appeared to be written in an unknown language. Ultimately, it took three hexagons lined up in a row to read the sign.

3

The word was EXCIPIO and I stared at it dumbfounded. I studied ancient languages for two years in college. “It’s Latin. The sign says Welcome.”

“Are you sure?” Sam asked.

I nodded my head yes.

“This has got to be a hoax. We all know the Latin language arrived well before the technology used to create this!”

I nodded my head again in agreement. The discovery left a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

A hoax is what it appeared to be. Sam turned on the overhead project and made the image of the door even bigger.

4

“Geeze. It looks so real. I could just knock on it.”

Sam extended his hand which moved mysteriously beyond the screen and actually knocked on the door.

I gasped as Sam pulled his hand away like he’d just touched a hot stove.

“Did you see that?” Sam exclaimed.

His face was full of pleasure. He began to believe. The mystery had turned the man of science back into a kid again.

”What if it’s a doorway to another world, another dimension?”

We both stared at the door and then the handle started to move! Something in my gut told me this wasn’t right. I quickly shut the projector down deleting the image before the door could actually be opened.

”What did you do that for?” Sam asked.

”I just want to do a few more tests before we take this any further,” I replied shrugging my shoulders.

Sam was steamed. He looked like a child who had his favorite toy taken away.

”Turn it back on!” he demanded.

”No.” I replied, “Not until we can come up with a logical explanation for this.”

Sam let out a sigh. “Scott, we’ve known each other for over four years, right?”

I nodded.

”In all that time, have you ever seen me settle for an explanation other than a scientific one?”

I shook my head no.

”I’ve got this feeling, for the first time in my life, that science won’t explain this and I’m fine with that notion. I feel like a new man and I’m ready to move forward.”

I looked him in the eyes and crossed my arms. “I’m not. Something isn’t right about this door and until we find out what this is exactly, we’re not turning it back on.”

Sam didn’t like my answer and his face got very red. I honestly expected him to jump on the ground and throw a fit. This was not the man that I had worked the last four years with and I knew it.

Touching the door had somehow changed him.

”Give me one good reason why?” he finally asked.

”Well, for one, there’s another word on this sign besides Welcome but I can’t read it. It seems intentionally smudged.”

Sam stopped his tantrum and looked at me with a cocked eyebrow.

”Another word?” he asked.

”Yes, I took a couple of printouts of the door. I’m going to take them home tonight and see if I can figure out what it says. In the meantime, not a word of this to anyone. If we let this out now, we might find ourselves up to our asses with whatever is behind that door.”

Sam nodded but I could tell my little speech did not impress him. I went home that night hoping, literally praying, he wouldn’t go to upper management behind my back. I got home and fired up my computer. In no time I had the image of the door scanned and magnified over a thousand times. I spent the entire night clearing it up. In the wee hours of the morning, I FINALLY HAD IT!

5

The intentionally smudged writing was also Latin, the word was again unmistakable. I nearly fell out of my chair! The whole demented situation suddenly made sense to me. I felt goose bumps on the back of my neck. The number of hexagons, the doorway, the change in Sam, I suddenly knew what it all meant. I had to stop it.

I went quickly into my bedroom closet and pulled out my chrome-plated revolver. I got in my car and immediately went to work. I knew Sam had gone behind my back, I felt it in my bones.

When I opened the door to the lab I wasn’t surprised to see it full of suits and fellow professors.

The door was already projected on the screen and looking larger than life. Sam pulled the projector back until the image had filled the entire screen. The power plug was coming from another room so I couldn’t shut the projector down.

Sam was about to knock on the door again when I interceded. ”Wait! Don’t do it! You have no idea what you’re getting us into!”

Sam scoffed at me. ”I will not,” he screamed as he knocked on the door. ”This the chance of a lifetime! How often do we get to explore a phenomena that defies both logic and science?”

I looked at the door, the handle started to turn! I pulled my gun out and pointed it at Sam.

”Step away from the door!” I commanded.

6

The suits and professors, who at first had been intrigued, now turned to cower with fright. Guns have a way of altering any situation in a hurry.

Sam crossed his arms defiantly. “I’m not going anywhere!”

I did not want to shoot my friend.

“Sam! I read the smudged word, it’s says MALFACTOR, the Latin word for SINNER. The sign reads WELCOME SINNER!”

Sam wouldn’t budge. ”No I don’t believe it!”

The door started to open, cracks of darkness shot into the lab as the suits and professors began to murmur amongst themselves.

”Sam, you’re not putting two and two together.” I replied as calmly as I could. “The science is blinding you. A hexagon has six sides. We have three lined up in a row, that’s 666! We’ve discovered the doorway to hell! Now get your fucking ass out of the way before we can’t close it!”

I met his eyes and watched the recognition take place but it was too late. He turned away, ready to pull the screen up but the door was open. I watched in horror as a set of green hands came out of the darkness and began pulling people out of the room!

The word sinner was magically emblazoned on each person’s forehead. They cried out to the others as they were taken away, a last dich effort to repent.

A man in a business suit screamed, “I’ve been screwing my best friend’s wife for the past six years!”

A young woman in a lab coat cried, “I killed my neighbors daughter while babysitting when I was sixteen, they blamed it on sudden infant death syndrome!”

One by one they were taken until there was only a handful of us left. I was looking at Sam when the word sinner suddenly appeared on his forehead!

“Sorry pal.” said Sam. “There was this kid in college I guess you could call him my rival. I poisoned him when we were alone in the lab one night. Everyone thought it was an accident.”

I shook my head in disgust.

“Scott, you’ve got to understand. I had to be class valedictorian, both my parents were. I couldn’t let them down, you know how they are.”

Sam wanted to say more but the set of green hands pulled him away. The door swung open and I swear I saw actual demons moving towards our world. Thinking fast, I turned my gun on the projector and fired. The screen went white. I dropped my weapon and turned to those still left cowering in the room.

”Science is the Devil,” I said.

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