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Unfortunate Portal

BY AL M.

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This incident happened to my younger brother back in October, 1981. It was an incident that left him mentally impaired to this day. We don't know exactly what happened. Before that day, my brother was full of life, very outgoing, friendly, and talkative. The person you see now is a quiet, withdrawn, nervous soul; a shadow of his former self.

Today he lives with my mom because it's hard for him to concentrate and perform simple chores like dressing himself properly. I miss my brother -- the brother I use to know.

What occurred that day long ago is something out of the ordinary. We were visiting our cousins down in Atwater, California. My brother, cousin, and I went out exploring behind the house. We headed toward an old single-story abandoned brick building that was used at one time for storing equipment. It was a long building that was divided into four rooms, with no windows in any of the rooms, only one door in each of the rooms, which were separated from the others by an interior brick wall.

The doors were unlocked so we checked out each room to see what we was in them. Turns out all the rooms were empty. My brother was having fun as usual, making up stories about ghosts and drawing pictures on the walls with chalk.

Later on, I told him to go back to the first room. It seems I misplaced my comb; I couldn't find it. I can still see him walking down toward the front of the building. Like I said, it was long and it took him a while before he got to the front and entered the first room.

As we waited for my brother, my cousin and I sat down on some grass next to a ditch away from the building. That's when my comb fell out of my shirt pocket! I yelled to my brother that I found my comb and to come join us. There was no reply.

After around ten minutes had passed, I called out to him again. Still, there was no reply. This time the both of us called out to him! Still nothing, so we started walking back toward the brick building.

Suddenly, to my amazement, my brother emerges from the last room! There was no way he could have entered that room without me seeing him! I remember he was crying with a confused look on his face. Then he collasped to the ground. I was so scared I didn't know what to do.

My cousin and I went over and picked him up. I asked him what happened; I asked him how he got to the last room. He went into a sort of a mild seizure and said something about a hole -- a hole on the floor that was getting bigger -- and a hole in the wall!

As he was saying this, he was shaking and crying uncontrollably! I tried to calm him down. Then he went silent, he became still, with a faraway stare in his eyes and that was it!

From then on, he became this reclusive, isolated person. We took my brother back to my cousin's house and tried to explain what happened. My mother was very upset. My cousin and I went back to the building and checked out the rooms. We found nothing unusual. I miss my brother.

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