When I created the very first door, it was not as elaborate as the three colorful designs currently humming away in the back of my basement lab. The first door was smaller and not meant for people to walk through. In fact, it was so small and thin, the most that could pass through was a small book or, maybe, a mouse.

My first test was to send a message to my future self. I had not figured out how to designate locations yet, so the page would have to be sent in it’s place but skipping to a different time.

The door was mounted on a metal block the size of a shoebox. I had pulled it from the side of Molly’s doll house. It was the perfect size and , frankly, I never saw the kid playing with it anyway, so I didn’t think she would miss it. The block was solid and surrounded by fab-wire and super-transmutational-electro-magneto-hyper-plasma-time-space-warping-mini-coils.

I opened the little door. Just beyond the frame was the aluminum sheen of the metal box. I closed the door, pressed the corners until I heard it click and then turned on the power. The silvery color of box changed hue several times as the system powered up.

Blue… Purple… Red… Green…

The mini-coils started to hum. I knew it was time. I opened the door and, this time, the silvery surface of the box was replaced by a dark void. I held the letter in front of the void and, gently, guided it through the door being careful not to touch the frame. (I remember thinking Molly would be a great help. She was always beating me at the game OPERATION and this procedure was very much like playing a round of OPERATION. The difference being in OPERATION, the patient’s nose lit up and the game buzzed. In this case, the patient was a time machine and it would not just buzz if I touched the frame… it would blow up… the whole neighborhood.)

90% of the paper was through door when I felt a tug from the other side. I let go and winced when a bright flash exploded from the other side of the door. I fell backwards onto the floor. When I got up I saw that the machine had powered down to a steady hum.

I waited for a response. If my other self, in the future, had received the letter, he would have written a response on that same paper and sent it back through the door.

I waited all night.

I checked the box every day and there was no indication that anything was delivering itself from the future.

I left the box in the dark corner of the basement and, after a few months of watching it blink at me, I covered it with a tarp and pretty much forgot about it as I moved on to other designs and experiments.

That was several years ago.

This morning, Molly was in the basement looking for Spring decorations for the windows when she pulled a tarp away from a table and saw the blinking box.

“What’s this thing?” She asked.

“Just another failed experiment,” I said without looking up from my work.

“Why is the blue light flashing like that?”

I looked up. All of the breathe escaped from my lungs. I couldn’t respond beyond a gasp. I pushed my chair back and stumbled to the box. My right leg had fallen asleep so I almost fell into the desk.

“What’s wrong, Uncle Buster?”

I turned the box around and showed her the door. It was glowing.

“Hey… Isn’t that the door to my doll house?”

I pried the door open and saw the letter floating just beyond the frame. I took a pair of tweezers from my utility belt and gently plucked it from inside the box.

“Just like that game Operat…” Molly begAn to say when a bright flash of energy burst from inside the box. For a moment, I thought I touched the frame.

I took a few deep breaths and examined Molly for a moment to make sure she was okay.

Molly watched as I opened the letter. “Who is it from?”

“It’s supposed to be from me… In the future,” I said but my face revealed that it was not.

“Uncle Buster… who is the letter from?”

“He says hello…”

“Hello?”

“Yes… Hello.”

Molly reached out for the letter. I handed it to her. “There has to be more than that,” she said.

“There is,” I replied and watched as she focused on the words printed in the center of the page.

“Hello,” she read aloud. “If you’re wondering who has taken over your basement laboratory, you should travel to the coordinates written below…” Molly glanced at the complex string of numbers and letters printed at the bottom of the page and then continued. “Your family will be home soon. You should get her before they do. You really should. Don’t forget the key.” Molly wiped a bead of sweat from her brow and then read the signature at the bottom of the page, just above the coordinates. “Sincerely, S.”

I tapped a series of numbers into the locking pad on the side compartment of my work desk. The door beeped and hissed as it opened. From inside the compartment I retrieved the brass key and stuffed it in my pocket.

“What’s that for? Is that the key S mentioned in the letter?”

“It is,” I said marching to the three doors. I swiped my hand across levers and slapped buttons along the way and listened for the familiar hum as the doors powered up.

“I’m going with you,” said Molly.

At this point, I knew not to argue with Molly.

“Okay… let’s go.”

I pulled open the door and stared into the void for a moment and then that moment was gone.

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