Once a year, a great cosmic event occurs, and the walls between worlds start to meld together. Travel between dimensions is entirely possible on this day, but individuals must make sure they are back before the day is over, or they will be stuck in the opposing world. Those on Earth dread this day as they are bombarded by nightmares from Hollow, whereas the Holites from Hollow celebrate the coming of Bea’tality. Each year the deity arrives with the spirits of animals, brought to the towns of Hollow to play with the Holites before they pass on to the next life.
The Earthlings load their guns as the Holites load the fireworks, both planets prepare for a long day, but only one prepares for fun. While it is true those on Earth gather and cower on this day, there are a select few from Earth who use this day to travel between worlds. They take inert crystals through the portal to Hollow, where they gain powers that may be utilized by the Holites. Earthlings use these crystals to bargain with Holites; they use them as a currency to purchase tours, weapons, drugs, and more.
Although this day began like any other before it, it would end in a way that has never, and will never happen again. And it all begins with one human.
June the 1st came around as a small group of friends got ready to go camping.
“Hey, Cameron, you have to hurry up, man; we are heading out now!”
“Yea, two seconds, and I will be there.” Cameron finished packing small gemstones into a bag crammed with warm clothes. “Don’t know why we are rushing. We have until the third,” Cameron muttered under his breath.
Cameron closed his bag and headed out to the car parked out front of his flat; there, his friends were waiting for him to arrive.
“Dude, hurry up; we need to get to the portal tree as early as possible; that way, we can sleep before going through so we last the entire day.”
“Yea, well, you can all suck my dick since I am driving, so next time you feel like hurrying me along, don’t, or I may take even longer.”
The bickering between friends lasted the entire time the car was being packed, still unaware of the events that were about to unfold. After some stalling and creative packing, their car was loaded, and they were on the road.
Cameron could not help but smile as he drove, “Guys, I can’t believe we are actually going to go through this portal. I hear they have a festival on this day for the whole day.”
“Come on, everyone knows that, but I heard that they do it because a deity of theirs brings the spirits of animals around for the Holites to play with.”
“I really don’t care what it is as long as the drugs they have there are as good as everyone said they were.”
Laughter erupted from the car as they sped up towards their location. Hours passed by with very little chatter to fill the silences.
“Hey, Cameron, why do we have to go so far out for this?”
“It is because we can’t use just any tree; it has to be either plagued or burnt by natural causes. If you find one that is both, I hear it makes the trip ten times smoother. I happened to be lucky enough to find one, which was both. That is why we are driving so far for this tree.”
Although the day was still fairly young, the forest Cameron drove through cast a long shadow across the whole car. The friends slowly ran out of words to exchange as they waited patiently for their driver to say those critical words.
“Wake up bitches, we are here.” Cameron yelled as they drove off the logging path to find a tree that had been struck by lightning, just over a year ago; at the base, the roots bulged with a virus that had made its way into the whole tree.
Cameron and his three friends all dragged their own tents from the car and started setting them up around the designated portal tree. By the time they managed to sort everything out, night fell, leaving the friends to fall asleep with only one more sleep till Hollow Day.
The entire group woke up early on Hollow’s Eve; already, the tree in front of them was changing. It had only been a few hours since they last looked at it, and already the bark had started changing to a sea of vile greens and black.
“Ok, so we do as we planned; first we go for a run, then we come back and work a little longer. After that, we sort our travel bags as a final thing to do before we take our final sleep.”
Everyone agreed and did just that; all day, they exercised to get sleepy earlier in the day. By the time it had reached mid-day, they were all on the ground exhausted, but they persisted and started sorting their bags for the day to come before sleeping once again.
“Ok, so what I heard from my guy was that we should take our own water since the water theirs will usually be spiked with something insane. Mandatory was as many crystals as you could get your hands on because once we pass through the portal, they can give the wielder powers. We will use those to buy stuff.”
“Wait, why don’t we just bring these powerful crystals back so we can have powers here?”
“Going through the portal is like a switch; we go through, and it turns on; we come back, and it turns off. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t; it would turn back into a mundane Earth crystal.”
Cameron discouraged talking so they could all fall asleep faster, making sure that they would be well-rested for the whole day of partying they were about to do.
Eleven thirty rolled around, and the whole group had a relatively healthy sleep. The tree was barely recognizable as they looked again. It was gnarled, twisted, and covered with large boils. The base of the tree had widened and cracked open; it was starting to look like an opening that they could walk through. Every single one of them grabbed their bags and stood in front of the tree, awaiting midnight.
As the hour turned, the front of the tree expelled a great heat, and the opening in the tree seemed to fall back to let a light shine through. One after another, they all walked through; Cameron went last. Although he was the most eager, he was also the most cautious of what he had heard of Hollow. He did not let it stop him; he followed only seconds after the rest of the last group; excited, he walked through with his eyes closed; he waited till he could hear the noises of Hollow before opening his eyes to the marvels around him.