Calibration 74: Chapter Two

William F. Aicher
3 min readSep 12, 2020
Photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash

Calibration 74 is a serial novel experiment, posted unedited as it is written. It is recommended you start at the beginning.

Chapter Two

Just like the hamster, there is no door. Or, at least when I woke up this morning the door could no longer be found. No longer be found by me. I could no longer find the door. The door and me and the door and nothing.

How do you interact with something that isn’t even there? What tense of a verb do you use to describe the interaction, when the interaction is nonexistent? The door. Me.



I don’t even have a basement. Not in this house. I’ve had a basement. Once upon a time. Back when time ticked and tocked the way a proper clock should. But that was then, and this is now, and I haven’t had a basement since at least three houses ago. Much less a magic door in the wall of a basement.

The basement of that last house, it was the dirty, crawling, spidery-mildewy kind. The kind where you conjure up words like cistern and stone and dead things probably walled in behind the stone.

That’s not the type of basement my light door is in though. Or was in. Or was imagined to be in.

Real or not, it existed in my mind. And isn’t that enough for something to be real? If you imagine a reality is that any different than perceiving reality? Maybe when those beams burst through the newly-formed cracks in the drywall, the door came into being in a place that lives inside my head and maybe isn’t real here but is absolutely real somewhere because the multiverse demands that all possibilities do exist.

The possibility of a purple pug pouncing playfully, preempting preposterous pointillism.

Just Ps. Nothing more. Nothing less. But like the numbers, they come, and they go.

Something is here and I saw it upon waking. From the corner of my eye, a glimpse of the other. One of those multiverses, perhaps. Swinging through the room in a flash of perception like a mote of dust.

Each and every mote, holding a universe. A speck. Like the one Horton tried so damned hard to save.


I am here. I’m absolutely not there.

Though in that other universe. In the other other universe. In the other other other universe. Ad inifinitum. I am there. But that me is not me. It is the me that I am not.

The doorbell rings and I hide beneath my covers, waiting for the man to go away.

And how do I know it’s a man? Because I choose for that to be my reality.

A mailman. Nothing more. Nothing less.

A male man.

Come to take the secrets I have stored in my box and send them out to the world for everyone to see them. To experience the knowledge I have discovered. But I’m not ready to share. Not yet. Maybe someday.

Probably noneday.

In the corner of my living room, a corner of the carpet has come up. Its nylon threads mock me with every tock of the clock, begging me to clutch its edge and tear it from the floor. Expose what’s beneath.

A door? A secret passageway?

To the basement?

This house has no basement.

There is no lock.

The clock has stopped.

Continue to Chapter Three.



William F. Aicher

Author of “philosophical” thrillers, sci-fi, horror, and sometimes the plain old bizarre. Buy my books on Amazon: