The doors opened. Jim gasped. It was more beautiful than he could have imagined.
Inside, a fountain tinkled. The people holding the doors – young teens, yakking to each other between phone checks – walked in, and the doors swung closed again. But the magic had worked, and Jim was entranced.
He stepped forward, pushing on the door when he should have pulled. It made a “tock” noise, and refused to move further. Jim’s eyes widened, alarmed, before he saw the sign, telling him to pull. He pulled.
The door opened once more to that splendorous place. The small fountain, a few people sitting around it, coins dropped in its spray. On either side, shops lined the halls offering their wares, a bevy of delights and possibilities. Jim stood at the door as it closed behind him, awestruck once more. He breathed in place, delighted in it.
“Excuse me,” came a voice behind him. Jim started, and the door behind him, open once more, held a small, rotund man with a mustache and piggy eyes.
“Sorry,” Jim said, stepping aside. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
The man in the doorway grunted and walked past, clearly with a destination in mind.
Jim walked slowly forward, not sure what to do with himself in such a mighty kingdom. He looked to his left, where electronics buzzed and whirred, blared new entertainments or dazzled with old ones. To his right, enough clothing for a nation.
The smell of food wafted around, greasy, fattening, full of calories. Jim breathed it in and was overwhelmed. All the sights, smells, possibilities of this place, he couldn’t process it, and his brain shut down. Jim fainted, his last conscious thought of the beauties of humanity.