Minecraft Votable Moderator minemaniac posted a writing prompt “What would you do if you found this in real life?” and the image above. This was my submission.
It had been another slow news day at the Gearcraft Offices. Mojang was silent yet again, no Minecon announcement to reveal. Dinnerbone_ was still keeping silent about snapshots, and all of the posts on /r/Minecraft were dull. With nothing to write about, and lacking the inspiration for an editorial, I logged off my computer, turned out the lights, and locked the door behind me. The dull, slate-grey sky loomed above, and the ground was damp beneath my feet. Winter was coming early this year, and it had been raining all morning.
I began my usual route home – stopping at the post office to check for parcels, then walking across town. As I was walking through the forested lane of the botanical gardens that make up a part of the journey, I saw an eerie purple glow through the leaves. Centuries old, the oaks around me stood large, blocking the sky above and much of the land to the sides. Intrigued, I squeezed through a gap in the thickets, and beheld a strange structure in the distance.
The purple glow surrounded that structure, which appeared to be a frame of some kind. Having recently reread a favorite childhood book “The Last Battle” by C.S Lewis (The last in the Narnia series), I was at once reminded of the doorframe there, and wondered if this were something similar. Yet the world was not ending. As I drew closer, I heard unearthly groans and shrieks from that portal, and saw the writhing surface of the portal. At once I understood.
This was a Portal of the Nether kind. Stepping through would take me to a hellish world of red. And yet, it was a story – something to write about. A Gearcraft Exclusive, like that interview with AntVenom. I took out my camera, which I’d been carrying with me, and began to take pictures. Then, I stepped through.
I stepped through, and onto stone that was at once both firm and crumbly. Red to the eye, it crumbled when I attempted to pick it up. I heard a shriek above, and saw a Ghast moving towards me. Looking for my bow, I realised that I had come through in reality, not in a game. I had nothing except my camera and laptop. Yet the Ghast ignored me. It flew right above, flailing tentacles barely out of reach. Perhaps since I wasn’t there in the game, the Ghast didn’t see me.
I moved away from the portal, taking pictures, while trying in vain to pick up netherrack. Pigmen moved around, grunting to themselves, and lava bubbled below. Being the intrepid journalist that I was, I moved further. Yet I didn’t want to leave the portal behind. It was my only escape. Moreover, I didn’t know how long the Ghasts would ignore me for. Taking chances in the Nether is always bad, but with my life at risk, I decided it would be prudent to stay safe.
Wondering how long I’d spent in the Nether, I looked at my watch. The numbers were changing constantly, faster than I could comprehend. Apparently the Nether’s strange effects on clocks affected digital watches as well. This I documented too. When I returned to the office tomorrow, I wanted to write about this, in detail, and I wanted proof.
At that point, my instinct for self-preservation overruled my need for the scoop, so I ran back to the portal, hoping to get out quickly. Not looking where I put my feet, I landed in a patch of muddy brown sand, which appeared to be made of faces. Jumping out, I heard mutterings from the sand, including some very impolite phrases, none of which need be repeated here.
Finally, I reached the Portal. In my curiosity, I had strayed further that originally intended. I leapt through.
I leapt though, and was standing back on the grass, in the gardens, by the trees. The soles of my shoes were red, and my camera’s low battery light was on. The Portal disappeared before my eyes, and not a mark was left on the ground.
With that, my adventure was over. Trudging home, I though of different ways to tell my story, particularly as the Portal was gone, so I effectively had no proof. Eventually, I settled upon what you just read, and began to work on another article. Such is life.