The Courtyard

The door opened onto a courtyard, which was not strange in itself except her house did not have one. The door she opened should have led to the basement. She closed then reopened the door: the courtyard was still there, sunlit and warm, water splashed in a bowl shaped fountain. She put her foot tentatively through, prodding the ground with her toe, expecting to fall forward through an illusion, but she didn’t; the flagstones were solid, more solid than she felt. Just as she stepped in, her small daughter awoke and cried out. She retreated but left the door open.