Living Doors | World Behind the Veil

Living Doors

These mysterious doors have fascinated me since I was a child. There is nothing more mysterious than a door that should not be there. They appear at will; I suspect where they feel safe or needed. Exploring them can be quite the adventure and sometimes even dangerous!
— Prof. Gary Grey
These living doors can appear anywhere in the world in a human-made wall. The reason for their existence is unknown. Each door leads to a small space behind it that cannot be seen from back of the wall.

Appearance & Structure

I believe there are seventeen of these doors around the world. There might be more, but the doors I know don't talk about any that I have not met. And since they can simply move at will, it is impossible to find a door that does not wish to be found.
— Prof. Gary Grey
Each door has an outside and an inside. The door can mimic any kind of door with any kind of material, but they usually mimic a door that fits into their current location. A door can have a locking mechanism or not. The space behind the door can be as small as a broom closet or encompass an entire village. The space can change over time to accommodate visitors inside or fight them when they are not welcome. Sometimes the doors even accept permanent or temporary residents within their space.

Habitat & Distribution

The doors really saved my life. I was once on an investigation in an abandoned village. The village inhabited by a group of feral vampires who hunted me down the moment they realized I was there. I was on death's door and trapped in a small room. This is when suddenly the doors appeared all together to save me. This made me realize the doors were aware of me and somehow found me when I was in danger. It was the first and last time that I saw twelve of the doors appear in the same room.
— Prof. Gary Grey
  A door can appear on any wall anywhere in the world. There appears to be no limit in the distance a door can travel. The door is always only visible on one side of the wall. Sometimes many of the doors appear close to each other, but every door has their preferred settlement or region.

Perception / Sensory Capabilities

A living door has limited sensory capabilities on the outside. They can perceive a threat against them and then disappear to save themselves. This makes it basically impossible to destroy any of these doors.   On the inside, they are seemingly aware of everything that goes on. They can react to human communication and animal actions.
Unknown (no death recorded so far)
Average Height
1.7 - 2.5m
Average Weight
2 - 2'000 kg
at least 17
Walls around the World

Known Individuals

I've given a name to each door I have found. Sometimes I think the doors talk to each other about me. Because a door sometimes reacts to something that happened in another door's space. Though I never figured out how they do it.
— Prof. Gary Grey

William, the radio studio door (he / him)

A sound proof door with various stickers on it. The inside is a recording booth for a small radio station. There are always some 70s or 80s music playing. When a person is in the studio, he tries to match that person's music taste or lets them choose what to play. Once a visitor has entered the inside often enough and built some trust, he invites them for an interview. He then broadcasts the interview on a specific frequency to the outside world. William is home in New York City.
I think William trusts me the most. We always exchange the latest gossip about what the other doors are up to and what is going on in the world. I think he is not a big fan of politics as he always just plays loud music when it comes up.
— Prof. Gary Grey

WALDIS, the Swiss vault door (they / them)

I don't really understand what WALDIS deal is, but they seem to enjoy their retired live. My theory is that this door was in a bank destroyed during the second World War and skipped out just in time. I am still trying to convince WALDIS to return some of their treasures to the rightful owners.
— Prof. Gary Grey
A massive, high security bank vault door. Called WALDIS, as this is the name the manufacturer gave to the door. Very proud that they were never breached. Inside there is an actual vault with gold bars, jewellery and stacks of cash in Reichsmark. The door likes to travel to Bahamas and the Maldives to enjoy the sun, but is usually found in Zürich, London, Hongkong or New York City. Does not communicate with humans and rarely lets anyone inside.

Grumpy, old wooden door (she / her)

A door made of sturdy oak wood. She is carved with various ornaments and runes. The runes' meaning is no longer known. Nobody has visited her inside in a very long time. Appears in old abandoned cottages in Norway and Sweden.
I've sat before this door for many, many hours. I've talked to the door and tried to enter, but the door would never even move a little. The others call her Grumpy and don't really like to talk about her. Maybe someday I will find out more.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Carlos, the prison cell door (he / him)

This door is different. I call him Carlos, but he has never communicated with me. The inside is a depressing small cell that gives me a feeling of profound loneliness and claustrophobia. I've tried to remove and then bury the bones inside of the cell, but Carlos would lock me in until I would put the bones back down. I really need to find out who that person is but my research has not unearthed any information on it.
— Prof. Gary Grey
A heavy steel door with a small cell as the inside. Inside that cell is the skeleton of a human. The door appears in prisons around the world and rarely opens for anyone.

Zhōu Liu, the gambling den (he / him)

A pompous, two wings door with gold plating and bright neon signs advertising the gambling den inside. The door likes to hang out in Las Vegas, Macau, Monaco and other gambling cities. There are always a wide range of gamblers inside from all over the world losing and winning money.
A gamblers den. It is very alluring and an escape from reality. Once you enter it is very hard to leave. I think Liu only let me leave because the other doors told him to.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Fuso, the shōji door (she / her)

Fuso is very accommodating. Whenever I visit her I feel fully at peace with myself and the world. It is a shame that I can't simply stay there, but she gets rather cold when you take advantage of her hospitality for too long. I've never seen anyone else inside, so I believe she actually has multiple rooms that she can lead a visitor to.
— Prof. Gary Grey
A traditional shōji sliding door made of thick specialized paper and with a wooden frame. She can be found in Southern Japan. Her interior consists of a simple, warm room with a a futon and table. She often appears when someone is cold or exhausted on travels and needs a place to rest and have a warm meal. The kitchen is always stocked with fresh produce and meat. Nowadays she often invites the homeless to have a rest and is always happy to listen to her visitors.

Max, the office door (he / him)

A white office building with a nameplate on it which says Max on it and room number 245. Max can be found in any office building around the world. However, on the inside, he is not just a single office, but a labyrinth of cubicles, doors, hallways and more rooms. Each room features a stock standard interior.
Max seems to be depressed. He answers any inquiry I have, but lacks any kind of enthusiasm. He is usually difficult to track down as he moves around a lot. Occasionally some new interns from his resident office building get lost inside for a few hours.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Cellar door (they / them)

Whenever I find this door, it is in a family home. The family deposits some stuff in the cellar and then the door leaves with it after a while. This cellar is filled with random junk from all over the world and seems to always have space for more.
— Prof. Gary Grey
A simple door that mimics the cellar door of any house it is currently in. Inside is usually a copy of the real cellar but a lot of old junk is lying around does not communicate and can be found from all over the world.

Bennet, manor door (he / him)

A door which leads into a large manor. The manor is home to artists who can live in one of the many rooms to create their art. Karl, the caretaker, ensures everyone finds their place and has been friends with Bennet for many years.
A very fascinating door. He is rather large and can be found in many places. Usually, he seeks struggling artists who need a home or a studio. The manor provides food, shelter and supplies. Artists often spend a few months or sometimes even years in the manor until they are successful or give up. I've met many very interesting people in this place. And although I've talked to the caretaker many times, Bennet himself does not speak to me directly.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Castle gates with a drawbridge (they / them)

One of the biggest open spaces within a door. It is still an inside as you can't actually get out of this space in any other place than the gate. The inhabitants distrust any visitors, but are usually friendly enough. Just don't stay too long. I've tried to wander straight into one direction to measure how far the space goes, but at some point I just arrived back at the village and lost track of my measurements.
— Prof. Gary Grey
A large gate with a drawbridge. They can usually be found in the walls of castle ruins in France or Germany. Behind the gate is a small castle with surrounding lands. There is a river and a small forest. A small group of people have made their homes here.

Kelly, the fun door (she / her)

This door is always out of place. Unlike any of the other doors, which usually try to fit in with their surroundings. It is very colourful and always attention grabbing. This theme continues in the inside, which is constantly morphing into something new.
Entering Kelly's space feels like an acid trip. It is fun to explore, but can be very disorienting and many who have entered will probably question themselves and their lives once they leave. Most people realize that the 5 minutes they were in the door were really five days and get starving.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Sam, the broom closet door (he / him)

A good natured door that has always the cleaning supplies you never knew you needed in an emergency. Being friends with Sam has really helped me out in a few situations when a spilled something or something similar.
— Prof. Gary Grey
Sam always looks like the broom closet he is currently mimicking, except that there are always better and more cleaning supplies present than in the real thing.

Donald, the bunker (he / him)

This door leads to a nuclear bunker that is fully furbished. There are enough supplies to last for months and weapons to arm a small army.
I only went inside once. And I was almost shot by the person who was living inside. The others say Donald is a bid too paranoid for his own good.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Marion, the security door (she / her)

I have tried answering the questions, but I was not allowed inside so far. I've tried asking questions instead of answering them. That is how I learned her name is Marion, but she does not want to let me inside.
— Prof. Gary Grey
A locked door with a touch screen attached. The screen asks various questions to anyone who wishes to enter the inside space. There is no door handle to open the door with. Most people miss the door as she perfectly melds with whatever wall it is in.

Cave Door (they / them)

A large stone door that is impossible to open by others. It stands open sometimes. On the inside, it is a cave and cavern system with parts of it under water. The subterranean space seems to be very large and extend for many, many kilometers in any direction.
Haven't really found a name for this one and the others don't really know about them either. The inside seems to be pretty vast and houses many creatures and plants. I will have to spend more time exploring this one. I haven't really figured out when the door opens itself up.
— Prof. Gary Grey

Izabela, the twin sister door (she / her)

I do not know what is up with Izabela. She seems to be angry at me. Unfortunately, she does not seem to tell me why that is. And her brother is no help, as he doesn't want to go behind her back. He definitely seems to be intimidated by her. Fuso suggested it might be because I went through her insides without asking for her permission, but apologizing for this has not yet been successful.
— Prof. Gary Grey
This door is decorated with colourful lettering spelling her name and is painted pink. The inside appears in stark contrast to this "girly" door and stereotypically would be attributed to be lived in by a male teenager instead. There is a large gaming setup, a lot of Lego and some Captain Marvel sheets on the bed.

Jan, the twin brother door (he / him)

Jan is painted in blue and features the lettering for his name in black. The interior is a bedroom with a desk and some sports equipment.
Jan is a very polite door and easy to hold a conversation with. He will answer questions as long as you bring information about the outside world in return. He communicates with the computer in his room.
— Prof. Gary Grey


Author's Notes

Inspired by my dad and Dani, the gender-queer street from Doom Patrol.

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Oct 3, 2021 15:20 by Ononomad

I love this so much! How did Prof. Gary Grey communicate with them?

Oct 3, 2021 15:53

Ah I though I might have to better explain this. Basically the doors use communication media to communicate. William would be communicating by using recorded voices on the radio he picked up. Marine is the only door that can communicate with the outside via the touchpad where she can add text.   This is why doors like the cave or Carlos can't communicate with the Professor directly at all and might have no interest in doing so anyway.   This is where Jan and William come in who know about the other doors and talk to the Professor about them. At least when he asks questions about them.   How doors can talk to each other is really a mystery.

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!
Oct 3, 2021 23:36 by Ononomad

Very cool...I'm imagining William's conversation being a rapid continuous edit of found words and lines in songs complete with static breaks and weird 50's advertising voice over bits.

Oct 13, 2021 15:28 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is such a cool concept. I like that some of the doors are much more open (not a pun) than others, and that there are still some that are a complete mystery to the professor. :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Oct 13, 2021 16:19

Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing them :)

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!