The unopened door, part 12

I felt confident in my hard-won knowledge of the house and its mysterious ways. Now that I knew the path inward, I felt certain I would be able to master its strange magic, with the power to arrive and depart whenever I might wish.

I walked confidently to the path over at the side of the house. I looked forward to once again traversing its magical stones — for I now understood that this was no mere mortal abode.

Yet I now found the path transformed. The formerly perfect alignment of the stones had been altered beyond all recognition. Where once they had fit one to another like the intricate pieces of a well-wrought puzzle, now there were jagged gaps. All here was randomness, without the slightest hint of rhyme or reason.

Quickly I hastened to the garden, for I was eager to reenter through the little side door and be reunited with my bride. Yet the garden was not to be found!

Surely there must be some error. Perhaps the path had split in two, and I, unawares, had veered away from the house. Yet by and by I came to the rear corner of the house. What madness was this?

Stifling a growing sense of panic, I turned the corner and continued around. There were brambles and stray tree limbs in my way at every step, yet impatiently I pushed through these obstacles. At long last I came to a familiar sight. My blood ran cold as I realized I was back at the front of the house. I had arrived where I had started — at the unopened door!

This was indeed a strange occurrence. Yet what happened next was even stranger.

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