No one could recall when last the door had been opened. Lifetimes, some said. Centuries, claimed others. There were those in fact who stated, with an air of quiet authority, that it never had been, that it had always remained closed. All agreed that no one alive had opened the door, or had known of anyone who had. All they knew was the stories their parents told, which their parents had told them, back through time where the collective memory became misted and cloudy.
Philosophers would often argue about the door, launching into great disquisitions on their theories surrounding why the door had or had not to have been opened. There were even those who said that the door should be opened, for stories were nothing more than stories, and the true nature of the door could only be discerned by seeing what lay behind it. None of them, of course, volunteered to bear witness to what was beyond that terrible threshold, even those who professed to believe that nothing was there to be found.
Most, though, did not give in to such foolish and idle thinking. The stories told were so uniformly terrible, and all so similar, that there simply had to be some truth to what was said. It could not be otherwise, no matter what some radical thinkers might claim. Most importantly, no one wanted to be the one to discover they were in fact true, for the horrors described were so awful there could be no encountering them without a life being changed irrevocably.
Though no one would dare to so much as approach the door, to say nothing of putting a hand upon the handle, or even pretending to turn it, there came a time when the leading citizens of the day determined that someone needed to be set to watch it, to ensure that no one made the mistake of opening it. Two men were set to the task, both of them considered to be honest and upstanding, the finest among them. One took the daylight hours and one took the night.
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