The Ministry of Doors and Thresholds: An Introduction

After the Direction and Contiguity Crisis (DCC) that occurred back in the days when the moon was still one, many things changed. There are many stories surrounding the events that led and eventually resulted into this cataclysmic happening, all of which are true and all of which miss the point entirely. What happened was this: during the 187th Convention of Wizards, Al-Beings and Other Entities from Beyond and Below (CWABOEBB), a discussion erupted as to the particulars of the compelling of a widely used, commonly known and pretty much menial spell. Although these conventions were ripe with these kind of disputes, an unavoidable thing when some of the most powerful, vain and generally mad beings in existence gather in the same space, this one got the attention of most al-beings and creatures with magical inclinations. Typically, such absurd conflicts would be mediated in a quick, flashy, and overly dramatic way, with lots of hand-waving, curse muttering and pseudo-magical rabble that would often result in one or more of the parties involved turned to dust. This time, however, the dispute was deserving of attention, for it was much more than a simple display of power or an excuse for a wizard to show off his brand new (and often stolen) spells. This time, the discussion was as apparently serious as it was real.

Varserius, the first wizard to be born from a red llama and an al-being with kiwi ancestry, truly believed that the spell that every student, master and sovereign of the arcane used to turn the pages of their spell books should be compelled with a final stroke to the left, since that was the natural flow of all things, as his mother had shown him when she used to clean the dirt of his fur with gentle, left-oriented strokes of the tongue. Although this gained him the sympathy of many adepts of the ephemeral arts, this declaration also earned him the instant hatred of another, up until that moment fellow powerful wizard.

Karbus, an al-being whose mastery over flightless birds and camelids of crimson fur[1] knew no match, was disgustingly offended by such outrageous claim, since it was a matter of common sense that all things cosmically flowed to what, in all languages and forms of communication was understood and conceived as right. The al-being’s radically opposed and refreshing perspective quickly took root among young and twilight wizards, and conflict rapidly ensued.

While the wasteful notion of turning the pages of your spell book with the Page Turner spell was left behind many iterations ago in favour of the most cosmically economic action of using your hands to carry out simple tasks such as turning pages, back in the day, when the end of all things was not yet within sight, wasting cosmos with careless indifference was what distinguished great wizards from petty reality benders. This, coupled with the fact that arcane practitioners are by definition prone to fleeting logics and philosophies of the absurd, led to the most massive confrontation of cosmic weavers of all recorded history.

Spells, dead and alive, were flung in all directions, real and imagined. For every wizard that compelled his spells into existence to the left, there was another who did so to the right, so that the whole magical community was interlocked, for a few glorious and absolutely unnecessary moments, in a magnificent display of misplaced talent and wasted potential. Hust, renowned cosmo-historian and excellent baker, describes the events as follows: “It was the most beautiful thing one could hope to conceive as well as the most stupid.”

Exactly half of the wizarding community was bent on annihilating the other, and for a brilliant instant, both sides were successful. In a display of self-sentience and self-censure never to be recorded again, the cosmos, tired of the tugging and stretching of mutually nullifying and diametrically opposed spells, did the only thing it could do to prevent permanent deterioration of the laws of causality and ended itself[2].

Although for the most part the measure was successful, (most wizards and al-beings were erased from history and existence itself, thus preventing the conflict from ever happening[3]), the cosmos was invariably changed in the process. Most of this changes are related to the practice of compelling, or more commonly known as magic. A great number of wizards and nearly all al-beings lost the capacity to compel events into existence and had to relearn how to do things for themselves, which led to a golden age of materialistic philosophies and a betterment of the relationships with the physical world. Another, less known consequence of this cosmic act of self-preservation was the absolute miss match between direction, causality and contiguity that involved walking through any kind of structure, physical or conceptual, that had more than one distinguishable side. That is to say, doors and thresholds. As a result, one moment you could find yourself returning to the bedroom after a morning shower in the bathroom, only to find yourself walking into your neighbour’s or some other random place in the spheres.

All of a sudden, the entire universe had become an intricate labyrinth of doors and thresholds connecting everywhere with everywhere, so that the concept of distance soon crumbled and vanished, wreaking havoc in the minds of scholars and laymen alike. Without warning, stepping into your living room had become an act of unforeseen and sometimes fatal consequences. Waiting in a corner of your room did not help, however, since every single threshold in the house was now an invitation connecting your safe-most space with the unknown perils of the outside.

In an attempt to fix the situation, a group of wizards, al-beings and arcane practitioners that had survived the self-inflicted eschaton of the cosmos decided to mend what little causality remained in the spheres and funded the Ministry of Doors and Thresholds[4]. So, their quest to relink the sides of every door, gate and threshold began.

Although, thanks to them, nowadays walking through a door entails no more risks than making sure that there is no one coming from the other side, there are still some reports of malfunctioning doors leading to wrong places or very puzzled strangers (and sometimes other things) breaking inadvertently into other people’s homes. Should you encounter one of these doors, please inform the Ministry with all due haste. If you happen to see a shadow darkening the threshold, please, close your eyes immediately and do not open them, regardless of what you may feel or hear.

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[1] The claims that Varserius and Karbus could have been siblings is still a source of debate.

[2] Some theorists of compelling believe that this may have happened before. For more information, see “Compelling and the Limp: Why the World  is goin to end (yet again)”

[3] The information about the crisis of Direction and Contiguity included here has been obtained through various methods of crypto-induction.

[4] The original name was much longer: Ministry of Doors, Gates, Windows, Portholes, Keyholes, Thresholds and General Spaces.

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