Absolute Horror Wiki

I Am the Doorway is a short story by Stephen King, first published in the March 1971 issue of Cavalier magazine, and later collected in King's 1978 collection Night Shift.


This story relates a crippled ex-astronaut's account of the terrifying change he undergoes after being exposed to an extraterrestrial mutagen during a space mission to Venus (similar to the cancelled Manned Venus Flyby). He begins the story with his hands bandaged, and complains of terrible itching both after the mission and current. The change takes the form of numerous tiny eyeballs that break out on his fingertips. These eyeballs act as the titular "doorway" for an alien species, allowing it to see into our homeworld; only the eyeballs are imperfect windows, and distort everything that the aliens see into horrifying monstrosities which, the man perceives, it fears and hates intensely.

Soon, the alien presence is not only able to see through this doorway, but take control of the man's shattered body, using him to commit terrible murders. In a desperate attempt to maintain his humanity, he douses his hands in kerosene and sets them on flames, only to find out that once the doorway has opened, it cannot be so easily closed. He manages to make the alien presence go away for nearly seven years. But after the eyes reappear on his chest, he reveals that he plans to kill himself with a shotgun to prevent the alien being from committing any more horrors.