III. Carter and Parker Join the Adventure
The next thing William remembered was hearing a soft voice. Like the sound of a small bird, cooing. At first, he thought it was his sister’s voice and he became a little angry. She should not be in his bedroom! But when he opened his eyes he didn’t recognize his surroundings. Mainly because it was too dark to tell where he was at. He opened his mouth and started to yell but a paw quickly covered it.
“Are you crazy?” Nevele asked.
William was disappointed to see the creature. He had hoped his adventure was nothing more than a dream. But here he was, standing in a dark place with his annoying new friend.
“Where are we?” William asked pushing the paw away.
“I still need a dog collar before I can go home,” Nevele whispered quickly. “Now, be quiet. I don’t want to have to take two of you back.” He looked at William. “I mean, one is a novelty. Two would just be a nuisance. Now, shh.”
But William was tired. He didn’t want to be quiet. In fact, he wanted to make some noise. A lot of noise crying and calling for his dad. So he started to do just that.
The paw covered his mouth again. “Shh, I just need the dog collar then we can go home,” Nevele neglected to mention it was his home they would go to. Not William’s. It didn’t matter. William was done playing this game and wriggled free. While doing so he bumped the door.
They heard some kind of gibberish.
“Shh,” Nevele instructed again. “If that door opens we are caught.”
That quieted William down. He was pretty sure he didn’t want to be caught by whatever hideous beast was on the other side of the door. Nevele was bad enough. He couldn’t understand the gibberish from whatever hideous beast was speaking on the other side of the other side of the door but he was pretty sure it meant no good.
The night became very still. The two hideaways and whatever was on the other side of the door. Nothing moved. Complete stillness.
After a few minutes, Nevele whispered, “You wait here. I’m going to get the dog collar. Not a sound or you will wake the monster again.”
William nodded and watched as his friend quietly opened the door and slipped out. As scared as William felt to be left alone he thought of what his dad had said. If you introduce yourself then you will have nothing to be scared of. It had worked before with Nevele. Maybe he should try it again? He slipped out of the door like Nevele had done and realized they had been standing in a closet. He was now in a bedroom. Not his though. It wasn’t his parents’ room either. Or his sister’s. Where was he?
There were two beds in the room and his attention was drawn to a lump on one of them. It expanded and contracted in a rhythmic pattern. He approached it slowly and realized it was the bed covers hiding someone or something. This was where the cooing came from. “The monster,” he said slowly and was about to retreat back into the closet. But he remembered his dad’s advice and became brave. He walked to the side of the bed, took a deep breath, and tossed back the covers.
It was…a little girl with curly blond hair. She blinked at him.
“Hi,” he forced himself, “I’m William.”
She did not introduce herself. Instead, she began to cry.
He stumbled backward and tripped on a toy causing him to fall down. As he went down, he bumped the other bed. A boy sleeping in it sat upright. “Who are you?” He demanded.
“I’m…” William said standing up again. He looked from one bed to the other and really just wanted to be home again.
At that moment, Nevele ran back into the room. “What have you done?” He asked nervously.
The boy from the other bed went to his sister’s bed and calmed her down. He looked at Nevele. “What are you?” He asked.
Nevele became indignant. “What am I?” He asked. “How rude!” He rubbed his paws together and paced back and forth. “Of all the rotten luck,” he mumbled. “What am I to do? I can’t bring three back. No, no. This is a catastrophe. Why do bad things always happen to me? Why, oh why?”
William’s bottom lip started to quiver. He wanted to go home.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Nevele said and walked up to him. “This is all your fault, you know,” he shook his paw at him. “I have no choice, you all have to come with me,” he said decisively.
“We are not going anywhere,” the boy standing by his sister said.
William recognized him. He realized he had been in this room before. He was at his neighbor’s house. “Carter?” William asked.
The boy looked at him and nodded. “William? Is that you?”
William nodded relieved. He was just at his neighbor’s house in Carter’s room with his sister Parker. “I want to go home,” he said hopefully.
“Well, we are all going to get that wish right now,” Nevele said and stepped closer to William. “It’s time for all of us to go home.” And then everything went dark. Again.