In a flash of a second, the train door was gone.
No one noticed.
Or maybe they did. It would have been hard to tell, because the door was back so quickly she never even reacted herself. She was still focused on the open book in her hands, strategically placed in front of her face to avoid making eye contact with strangers. Anyone watching might have thought that she missed it as well. But the corner of her left eye absorbed everything it could, taking it in to process later. Through the doorway were not the inner workings of the subway system, but an entirely different area that looked to be bathed in amber light. She picked up hills and the ideas of faint music, but by that time they had reached a legitimate stop, and she might have confused it with musicians from just beyond the platform.
For a while, she carried around the memory, half expecting someone from another world to pop out of a sewer grate one day, in crotchety need of directions to someplace or other. After a time though, she let it go. Life was not a Douglas Adams novel, and even if it was, most of those characters met ridiculous demises for the sake of allegories.
* * * * * *
The two boys leaned forward eagerly as the air shimmered before them. They fell back in surprise as, with a rush and roar, they found themselves nearly on the interior of a huge metal tube, filled with rows of people. The first to recover made a pinching motion with his fingers, and the tube was sent away.
“You opened it in the wrong place!” his friend complained.
“Well, at least no one noticed,” said the first boy. “No trouble done.”
“I don’t know,” the second pushed. “I think a girl caught us out. There was a weird look on her face.”
“Girls always have weird looks on their faces. You think too much. Besides, one person seeing anything doesn’t make much of a difference.”
They packed in their things and left the spot on the hill.