In a previous post I wrote of Dr. Bard's first glimpse of the world beyond the garnet door.##
Few records have been found as to what he saw on his first brief visit. We know he walked through the door, took a couple of bewildered steps forward, then backed out the door, and shut it behind himself. His first real adventure began upon re-opening the door, and stepping through a second time. (The reader must remember that this was before Dr. Bard learned to control the door, so the 'other side' was a seemingly random place and time.)
From his brief notes concerning the first quick journey through the garnet door, the 'first world' that Dr Bard stepped into was at least earth-like; not so the second trip. Dr Bard's explains in his diary:
"When I opened the door the second time, a slight breeze blew upon my face from the other side. The air was cool. There was a sweet, slightly metallic odor. Just minutes before, on my first brief entry through the door, the air had the scent of tropical dampness.
"The sensations of smell were soon forgotten, for what I saw with my eyes was surely the most outstanding thing any man has ever seen. It was so beyond any other experience that I now have trouble recording it in a way that a reader might understand.
"The sky. What a marvelous sight. Light was coming from the entire expanse above me at an even intensity; reminiscent of an overcast day, but brighter and with no hint as to where to sun might lie. The sky rising from the horizon directly in front of me was a luminous pale peach color. As I continued looking heavenward, the tint of the sky gradually changed, until, when I looked behind me, the sky was a bright, turquoise color.
"I was able to look back through the door from which I had entered. The wooded area beyond the door could be seen, and appeared as a flat, out-of-place painting. The greens, browns and azure sky of the forest clashed with this pale, pastel world that now framed the door.
"At the blinking of a eye, and without the slightest sound, the door closed. I say it closed, since one moment the door was opened, the next moment I was staring at the back of the door. So quick was the transformation, it was if I had been mistaken that the door had been ajar. Once closed, this opposite side of the door was an exact replica of the side from which I had entered, down to the last detail.
"At this point I felt that somehow the door was affecting my wits; that what I was experiencing was a concoction of my own mind, prompted by the mysterious garnet door."
(Years later, Dr Bard made an entry at this point in the diary "I still wonder if all the worlds, and times and experiences through the door would not be better explained as the ramblings of an unsound mind.")
Back to diary:
"As my mind adjusted to the wonder of this new world, I was able to take in more details of it's absolute wonder. I say 'new world' for this place, if real, could not possibly exist on Earth; that I was certain of.
"From the distant horizon, where sky met land, all the way back to where I was standing, a pale white haze lay where one would expect solid ground. The effect was similar to morning fog crouching in a shallow valley. Looking down I realized that my legs were buried knee-high in the fog. The ground, which I could not see for the fog, felt not so much like solid ground, but yielding and spongy. Occasionally I could feel the ground contract and shudder beneath my feet. I had the sense of standing on a living being.
"When I first entered the world I saw dark objects in the sky that I took as large birds. I now realized that this first assumption was impossible, for the objects were floating in the sky, rather than flying. The lighter than aether objects drifted slowly on unseen currents.
"Looking to my left, one of the creatures was quite close to where I was standing, and drifting closer. I do not know how it could have taken me this long to notice it, for it was immense. For sake of a better comparison, the creature resembled a gigantic black jellyfish suspended in the air. Below it's black, slightly flattened body, translucent tentacles of all sizes tested the air.
"As it came closer to where I was standing, it eclipsed nearly a third of the sky. I say the creatures drifted, although once through the door there was not the slightest breeze that I could detect. The billowy creature would dip down until the tip of it's longest tentacles would disappear in the fog blanketing the ground. The tentacles probing into the fog seem to move with more purpose. I noticed that, not long after the ground below my feet began a mild tremor, a slight shudder would emanate up through the tentacles and into the dark body of the hovering creature. Was it feeding? Communicating? One could only guess.
"I do not know how long I stood and watched the graceful creature as it slowly passed in front of me. I saw no indications that it noticed my presence. I later came to realize that if it had sensed me, it would have more than likely viewed me as a small insect; the difference in our size rendering me insignificant.
"So wondrous was this world, that only then - for the first time - did I give heed to my predicament; once closed, could I return through the door, and safely back to the familiar world I had departed?
"The structure of the door still stood beside me. I walked over to the door, and apprehensively opened it. To my relief, I was able to walk right back into the woods from whence I came. Once back through the door, I was startled by the volume and variety of familiar sounds in the woods. The sound rushed upon me instantly as I crossed the threshold of the door. How different from the eerie silence I had just left. I do not recall hearing the slightest sound while in the other world."
~End of diary entry.
As was mentioned at the onset, Dr. Bard eventually gained more control over his travels through the door. This wondrous land of silent floating giants, however, was one of the few places he was never able to find and visit again.
Some have speculated that the 'floating jellyfish world' only existed in Dr Bard's mind, similar to Dr Bard's infamous 'trip to nowhere'. This, they argue was the reason he was never able to return to the world. It is unlikely, however, that the story, with it's minute, other-worldly details could have been gleaned from the mind of someone living in the late 1800's.
## This previous post was actually the very first occurrence of our Dr. Bard. I have been running on less sleep than I need as I struggle to keep Dr Bard from fading into nothingness. This nearly happened here. Eventually he will have a large enough story, and be in enough people's memory that I will not have to constantly write him into existence.