Portal

We hear “eerie hurdy-gurdy music” in darkness, then the sound of an elephant trumpeting, as Olmsted, “a distinguished-looking old man,” appears out of the fog in Portal.  The time is 1903 and the place is a house on an island in Maine.  Olmsted tells us that his associate, Vaux (pronounced to rhyme with “flocks”), has been found floating in Gravesend Bay.  Olmsted is convinced he was murdered, like Harry, Eliot, and Downing because they knew a secret.  Now he, Olmsted, has been kidnapped and taken to an island off the coast of Maine.  He says that when he and Vaux designed Central Park they made twenty gates, each at the exact location of a portal to another dimension, a series of labyrinths within labyrinths, gateways to inter-dimensional travel confounding all current understanding of time and space.  Those who have been murdered knew of these secret portals and the lords of the dark subterranean labyrinth live among us to protect the portals.  Olmsted says that the ego, what he imagines is himself, is only a surface beneath which is a hell of other hidden dimensions, “world upon world we cannot consciously, rationally know, which nevertheless determine how we behave and what we do and what we feel, who we love, who we hate, what we fear . . . .”  He says that perhaps he is mad, after all, and asks if we hear a sound, perhaps a door opening, a portal to another dimension.  He says the portal is before him and he hopes soon to have the courage to walk through it.

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