The story is about a lawman and a nurse. It starts at a portal to another dimension. The story climaxes with a failure.
"Come on! We're late!" Madeline's voice rasped on Glen's last nerve. Vacation was supposed to be relaxing, right? Then why was he more stressed right now than just before a raid on an occupied meth house? Glen picked up his pace a fraction, but was still falling behind his wife's frantic pace. The terminal was deserted this time of the morning, and unfortunately there was no way they would be getting separated. She looked over her shoulder at him, and gave him the same exasperated face she gave to patients who disregarded her medical advice because she was "just a nurse". He had seen it thousands of times, and it used to be amusing to him. Now, it was another straw on the proverbial camel's back, though it was not yet broken. Not yet. The emotionless voice over the PA system announced that portal 64B would be closing in five minutes.
"That's us! We're going to miss it, and then we will have to wait another solar cycle before it opens again! Let's go!" Glen picked up his pace. The thought of having to wait in the terminal with his wife for another solar cycle enough to encourage him. They reached the end of the moving sidewalk, and turned down the corridor leading to portal 64B. The odd metallic scent of inter-dimensional travel was strong in the air as they passed other portals, some open and admitting passengers. Others were closed, the silvery blue fog of the closed wormhole entrance moving hypnotically. Passengers lounged here and there, looking bored and nervous at the same time as travellers have looked for millennia. He turned his attention back to the slim figure of his wife walking a half-dozen paces ahead. She was still stunning, her brown hair cut short and her figure still trim. But he had a hard time recapturing the excitement her beauty used to give him. He wondered again, as he had many times over the past few months why that should be. Before he could properly get very far into that line of thought, a dim overhead sign indicated that they had reached portal 64B. A bored agent was already gathering up all of the portal passes and preparing to leave.
"Wait!" His wife shrieked. The agent jumped, dropping the sheaf of passes on the floor. His face registered annoyance, but Madeline was as blind to that as she ever was to Glen's annoyance. She walked up and shoved their portal passes in the man's face, actually walking on the dropped passes as she did so. Glen arrived just as the poor man was about to explode, and without a word bent down and began picking up the passes.
"Sorry man, she is really excited to get on with vacation." Madeline looked down at him with the beginnings of a sneer. He ignored her, and just kept picking up the passes. The man looked back and forth from the portal passes in Madeline's hand to Glen kneeling on the floor and a look of understanding seemed to dawn on his face. His face became a mask, and he nodded to Madeline with a perfectly polite and friendly smile.
"Yes ma'am, you made it just in time. Please place your luggage on the luggage belt, and step this way." He gestured towards the portal with one hand, while taking the passes from her with the other. As she stepped towards the portal, Glen retrieved the last few passes from the floor and stood up straightening them as he and the portal agent stood watching her drop her bags on the conveyor belt and walk through the round doorway.
Glen handed the sheaf of portal passes to the agent, who shook his head and smiled wryly. As soon as Madeline's form had melted into the swirling inter-dimensional fog he chuckled.
"You know, if you want, I could accidentally send you to a completely different dimension." Glen smiled, and actually pondered it for a few seconds, before shaking his head.
"Nah, she would track me down, and then where would I be?" The agent nodded knowingly. "I understand man. Try and enjoy your trip." Glen nodded and stepped up to the luggage conveyor. He placed his bag on it, and walked through the round doorway where his wife had just disappeared.
The agent shook his head, straightened the pile of passes in his hand and walked away, not noticing the flashing red light on the control panel.
To Be Continued...
© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved