Teg pulls the door knob out of the ceiling just in time. He hears Alex screaming along with Boon and a loud crash.
He forgot they can’t fly.
He looks down at where they could be and saw that they landed on the king size post bed which is now without its posts. It couldn’t hold Alex and Boon weight.
‘Ow,’ Alex lands squarely on Boon. Boon is facing the bed and is flat against the mattress and the posts. ‘Can you please be more specific with where we will land next time, Teg?’
‘Sorry Alex. I forget that you both don’t fly. It was the only open space I can stab the door knob with. We were in a hurry so I can’t promise to have better judgements when we are trying to run away from flesh eating mobs.’
Alex nods in agreement. ‘You’re right,’ she says as she gets off Boon’s back, ‘it’s better to get away than to complain, I just got a bit scared. Flying’s not really my thing – got heights problem.’ Teg nods towards her, amused.
John and Martha bursts into the room, armed with a baseball bat and a broom, screaming like they were ready for war.
‘Woah! It’s just us!’ Alex says as they came into the room, screaming.
‘Miss Alexandria!’ Martha and John shout in unison.
‘It’s just us! Sorry about the bed, we didn’t know we were going to come in that way.’
‘You scared all of us alright. It’s been a while since we got that kind of commotion. We kind of gotten used to Fortesque checking up on things like that,’ Martha confides.
‘Mother here is still quite paranoid so please do pardon her. I am still learning how to get things done around here but I am pleased to let you all know that we have been looking after Maison de la Mer as we were instructed and there has been no disturbances for the last ten months.’
‘There have been no disturbances, Miss Alex.’ Martha repeats.
‘What do you mean, ten months?’
‘You were all gone for ten months.’
‘Ten?’ Alex looks around to look at Teg and Boon. ‘Explain.’
‘Time must have passed when we were in Annwn,’ Boon says, ‘But I can’t be certain. It was the first time I’ve ever been in there.’ Boon looks at Teg in turn. Boon and Alex look at Teg, waiting for an explanation.
‘Ten months, Teg.’
‘But that can’t be right. We were gone just for a few days. And that never happens even if you enter Annwn. Although that is the first time a Balance entered Annwn.’
‘That means time passes more quickly when we enter Annwn? That’s not good, not good at all,’ Alex says as she starts to pace around the room. ‘What if we stayed there longer? It would have been years!’
‘It may have but you didn’t stay very long.’ Teg replies.
‘I’m never going back there again. That just freaked me out,’ Alex says, looking worried. ‘We’ll be back later, Martha, John.’
‘Yes, Miss Alexandria,’ John says bowing, ‘We’ll make arrangements to tidy up the room.’
‘Thank you, John. It was nice seeing you both. We shall catch up with you both later. Your…er, can we have a moment, please?’
‘Yes of course Miss Alexandria,’ John says as he and Martha bows and turn to leave.
‘Oh John, before I forget…’ John turns back his attention to Alex. ‘Please call me Alex or Miss Alex, if you prefer – just like Martha. I feel like my name is too long to say all the time.’
‘Of course Miss Alex. If you insist’ John bows and exits the room, closing the door behind him.
Alex listens and waits until she could not hear their footsteps.
‘We must go see my parents,’ Alex tells Teg.
‘What?’ Boon and Teg turn their attention to her, ‘Do you think they are in some kind of trouble?’ Boon says, concerned.
‘No, I’m the one in trouble! Ten months! I’m beyond shocked! Teg, please, we have to see my folks,’ she begs him.
Teg takes out the door knob from his pouch and punches the nearest plain wall. ‘You just have to say it and I will do it, Alex,’ Teg says, smiling.
An outline of a door appeared and the flower of life lined the door’s wooden panels.
‘It is safe locked,’ Alex says as she studies the details. ‘At least I don’t have to worry so much about my folks.’
Teg opens the door and Alex looks into her old room, looking the same as they left it. As Alex and Boon go through the door, Boon suddenly started sniffing.
‘Someone was here.’ Boon says, whispering. Alex and Teg look at him, wide eyed.
‘No, no, no, no! This flat is supposed to be spell locked, this whole building,’ Alex tells him, starting to panic.
‘No, it’s a different scent. It’s not Chaos. It smells like…’
‘Lulu?’ Alex says. Boon and Teg watches her as she starts sniffing the air. ‘She smells like, something like fresh air? What the heck was she doing here? She’s not an anti hero, is she? She didn’t do anything to my folks coz I swear, I’m going to cut her up! No offense Boon.’
‘None taken,’ Boon says as he continues to sniff the air. ‘She did not do anything to your parents, I’m sure of it but I can’t be certain what she was doing here. I guess we have to ask your parents.’ Just as Boon finishes talking, the door of the room bursts open suddenly and five cats storms into the room, along with two worried looking parents.
‘My Alex!’ Alex’s mom runs and embraces her and her Dad embraces them both. Her parents are crying and Alex couldn’t help but cry with them. They let go of Alex and Alex’s mom hits her on the arm.
‘Ow, Mom! What was that for?’
‘You were gone for ten months! Ten months without a phone call, text, email – you have no excuse, young lady. This is the digital age and I made sure I know how to do those things so you have no excuse not to keep in touch with us!’
‘Mom, Dad, I’m so glad to see you too and I am sorry I did not keep in touch. But can I please have something to eat?’
They around on the table with Boon surrounded by the cats, all grown up and fat. Ariel sat on Alex’s lap as Alex is reeling with jealously at Boon. Teg is cooking while her parents are just watching her.
‘What?’ Alex asks her parents. ‘Do I look older?’
‘No, you look more wiser. I didn’t think it would be possible,’ Alex’s Dad teases.
‘Thanks Dad,’ she smiles. ‘I miss you too and Mom.’
‘Well, it’s a long story. It felt like a few days to me, more or less three weeks but I did not expect ten months. You won’t believe where I went and what we went through. I want to but maybe some things are better off not known, just to be safe. I hope you both understand.’
Teg places dishes before Alex and her parents. ‘Breakfast is served!’
‘Mom, Dad, did anyone come here? While we were gone? I’m not talking about your friends though,’ Alex asks casually.
‘Yes, actually there was.’ Alex’s Dad replies as he helps himself with the scrambled eggs.
‘Did you know this person?’
‘Of course we did,’ her mother replies, buttering her toast, ‘she helped Hera do the spell locking.’
‘What? Huh? I thought Terra was the one who helped Hera?’
‘Yes, but there was a young lady who helped her before that. We didn’t ask many questions. She was introduced to us and that was all we know about her.’
‘Was her name Lulu?’ Alex asks, Boon looks on, at the edge of his seat.
‘Yes, that’s her name. She was looking for you guys and I remember Aunt Hera telling me to trust her, if she ever comes back. We didn’t think she’d ever come back though.’
‘But she found this flat. How can she not find us?’ Alex asks Boon and Teg.
‘She was the one who helped spell locked this flat and probably the rest of the other places you have been living in but not the Maison de la Mer.’ Teg concludes.
‘That makes more sense. But if Aunt Hera knew about her, why did she have to look for Terra and not just ask Lulu to help her out instead?’
‘Our timeline is a mess. And it doesn’t make sense that she’s hiding all this time from your Tellūs and Terra.’
‘Why don’t you ask her yourself?’ Alex’s mom asks her.
‘But we don’t know where she is.’ Boon replies.
‘She told us.’ Alex’s Dad tells them, as he wipes his mouth, already finished with his meal.
‘Huh?’ Alex, Boon and Teg say in unison.
‘She says she’ll be in Corvus.’
‘Do any of you two know where that is?’ Boon and Teg shakes their head. ‘Well, that makes sense. Maybe she just said that to get us off her trail.’
‘No, she told us to tell you three that she will be in Corvus.’
Alex, Boon and Teg look confused.
‘She wants us to find her?’ Teg says, finally.
‘That’s what she said,’ Alex’s Dad tells him.
‘Okay. I guess we’re going to have to find this place in order to get some…order.’ Alex says carefully. She still feels it’d be best if her parents not know too many things. She will have to have a word with Lulu when they do find her about getting her parents involved.
‘We have to go now. We can’t stay,’ Boon tells her.
‘I know. I wish it doesn’t get more difficult to leave though,’ she confides as she wolfs down her breakfast.
‘Mom, Dad.’ Alex stands up from the table, ‘we have to go.’
‘Yes, we know,’ Alex’s Dad says. ‘No need to say goodbye, just go. We will see you later.’
Alex stands there for a minute, deciding whether or not to hug her parents before she leaves.
‘Go.’ Her mom tells her this time.
‘Okay. I’ll see you guys later.’ Alex quickly goes to her room, followed by Boon & Teg who nods to her parents.
‘I hope you enjoy the breakfast!’ Teg says as he flies away towards the room.
‘Let’s go.’ Alex tells them as Teg closes the door of her room.
‘To where?’ Boon says as he watches Teg pull out the door knob.
‘I don’t know, to be honest. Can we open the door to places where we’re supposed to be right now?’ she asks Teg.
‘Yes, it’s possible,’ he says as he stabs the wall with the door knob. He opens the door and all they can see is a white blinding light.
‘Are you guys ready?’ Alex asks, breathing out loud as if she’s getting ready to jump off a plane.
‘Always.’ Teg replies.
‘Come on, Boon,’ Alex says as she holds Boon’s hand. ‘Where is your sense of adventure?’ and she pulls him towards the door, quickly followed by Teg who closes the door behind him.
And then, the door fades away.
(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)