#2 Secret Rooms

Ever since she was little, Lara had the ability to find things that others could not find, and to find directions and roads that did not exist.

When she was only three years old, she managed to find a brand new shiny toy behind the couch of the house. No one remembered putting it there, and no one in the family had even the budget to do buy it. It was a mystery that no one bothered to solve a week later.

Nonetheless, she kept finding toys, and later in school, she would find shortcuts from class to class that were not there previously. While second nature to her, others had trouble understanding it.

"How did you find the shortcuts?" someone would ask, and she would take them through an empty hallway that somehow opened up by the door of whatever classroom she was headed to. Alone, however, no one could find those hallways.

When Lara got her driver's license, and a GPS, it would often not work and she would get frustrated because it would give her wrong directions or it would not find the street she was on.

"I drove right down Franklin Road and the damned thing could not find it!" The problem was, there was no Franklin Road in the city, "But it leads right from the highway to my work."

She walked through one of her shortcut hallways in the office where she worked years later. This time, however, she stopped by one of the doors there in the mysterious disappearing hallway.

"It's funny, in all the years," she said to herself, "In my shortcuts, I've never seen a person, or a car, and I have never entered one of these doors."

When she walked in, she found herself in an enormous warehouse, much larger than the building where she worked. It had boxes full of toys, full of papers, and other items. There were couches and chairs, and all kinds of objects.

She walked back out into the hallway, wondering what was behind the other doors. Behind one door, she found a factory that provided her with endless food. Another door supplied her with a beautiful view of mountains somewhere far in the East.

The more doors she opened, the stranger things she found. From historical places, to starship bases in the future, even seeing alien things.

"What is this place?" she asked herself, realizing that her hallway extended with hundreds of doors when she exited one door.

Finally, she opened a door that looked different than any of the others. It was stark black with no handle. She gently pushed it open and found impenetrable darkness.

She took a step forward to see the floor light up.

"I wonder what's in here," she said, "Maybe I'm inside a cave."

At those words, she heard a gentle distant rumble of an underground river and the dripping of water from far away above her. The floor felt slightly slippery.

"Maybe I'm out on a moon, and the sun is just about to cross the-" she could not finish a sentence before a star appeared lifting itself above the horizon.

"Where am I?" she asked, expecting an answer. A ghostly figure appeared in front of her, in the shape of herself, "This is the Universe made up of your shortcuts. A Universe made up to your liking and expectations."