It only appeared during the twilight hours in winter. Nobody had managed to open it in a million-million years according to the churches that had sprung up outside the city walls. Nobody would be able to open it but the Most Holy. Sam didn’t pay much heed to the churches. There were only four of them now, and they had each built their own gigantic, monastic cathedrals; each one was built larger than the last. But the cathedrals and the devout worship of the followers that lived inside them didn’t open the blue door in her Nan’s lifetime, and so far it remained unopened in her and her mother’s lifetimes as well.
Sam personally thought that maybe the Ordinem Scientiarum probably had the right idea. The blue door was just a product of atmospheric pressures and moonlight, like the Auroras. Her mother thought the scientists were just as clueless about the door as the priests were. According to her mum, the door would open for someone who truly understood it, but it wouldn’t open for people who pretended to understand it and spread around their foolishness like a dog rolling in shit. Sam would never say it directly to her mum, but thought that she could do with some of her own advice about spreading foolishness.
The door always had an allure that drew everyone from the city to go see it at least once each year. Those with the most leisure time would plan an entire day with an elaborate picnic feast as close to the door as they could get. It didn’t matter that during the day the door would often be nothing more than an ethereal shimmer of the air, barely visible against the winter sky. The more devout followers of the churches preferred to visit during dusk, when, as they claimed, the power of the door was in full sway.
Sam used to go with her mother during the winter festival. But they never really got close enough to the door for her liking. When she was younger she was convinced that maybe she would be the one that was able to open the door, if only she could get close enough. When she got a little older, her mother finally would let her go to visit it on her own. She’d go up at least ten times during the duration of its appearance each winter. Bundled up in her heaviest clothes she attempt to push through the crowd to try and reach the door, slowly pushed back, never quite being able to pass the throng that surrounded it. Eventually she figured out that if she went in the middle of night nobody would be at the door. And from that point on, each year she would sneak out well past midnight to attempt to open the door on her own.
Over time, Sams multiple nightly visits to the blue door gradually diminished. Now she would only visit it once each winter. Her preferred time was the first good snowfall of true winter. And so it was that she found herself on this particular night trudging all the way across town to the gate, left open whenever the blue door appeared. Her shoes crunching through the undisturbed crust. Her footprints leaving a testament of her pilgrimage. She passed by the darkened windows of shops and underneath the lampposts guiding her way. Out through the gates and up the hill toward the blue door she marched steadily as she had on many occasions before. Her cheeks taking on a rosy tinge and the tip of her nose going numb with the winter chill.
As she came up over the final crest to the toward she took a moment to appreciate its majesty. At least three times the height of the tallest man in town the door stood. Delicate carvings decorated each panel of the door, looking much like engravings on silver against the dark night sky. Two handles on either side of the crack in the middle stood out much lower than a normal size door would have them placed. Sam removed her gloves, stuffing them in the pockets of her coat and tentatively reached out for the handles.
She paused briefly before her hands reached the handles and braced herself. She continued her reach and just as her hands had done every visit prior to this one, they passed right through the door to the other side. Through the door they appeared to be nubilous, barely visibile beyond the light. Sam sighed, pulling her hands back and returning them to the warmth of her gloves. She began her long trek back to her home and her waiting bed thinking to herself- Maybe next year.
Apropos of: This Image Prompt