IV. Nevele’s Territory
When William opened his eyes again he knew two things. One, he was not in another dark closet. Far from it. He saw vibrant colors everywhere. Many he never knew existed. And two, he definitely was not home again. Not his home anyway. He sighed as he realized he was in Nevele’s territory. Now what?
At least he was comforted in the fact he wasn’t alone. Carter and Parker were with him. Little Parker looked like he felt. Scared and on the verge of crying. Back when he and Nevele were in standing in Carter and Parker’s closet he mistook her whimpering as a monster. He blushed a little at the thought and decided he wouldn’t share that information with anyone.
Carter spoke first. “Where are we?”
William looked around and shrugged his shoulders. “Not home.” He sighed again. Instinctively, he looked at Carter for some kind of guidance or, at the very least, comfort. Carter was a year-and-a-half older so he should know what to do. He should know how to get them to their homes.
But Carter didn’t say anything.
A creature peeked around a large boulder like object and blinked. “What do we have here?” It asked nervously.
William looked at the strange looking creature. It didn’t look like Nevele, it had its own distinct shape. If it could be called a shape. It looked more like a blob and when it moved it resembled a spilled drink. It just kind of oozed toward the three children.
William stepped back behind Carter as it inched closer.
“Are these,” it sized them up and down, “children?”
A collective gasp was heard and William noticed other creatures moving toward them.
“Who is responsible for this?” The blob demanded.
Nevele stepped forward. “What was I supposed to do?” He asked defensively. “The children saw me and according to The Great Proclamation of ‘92 I could not leave them behind. They had to come.”
The blob stared at Nevele and since it didn’t really have a distinct head the whole body shook. “Nevele,” it said slowly, “what have you done? This is not good. Not good at all.”
William sensed this blob creature might be their ticket home and therefore, a friend. “Hi,” he said stepping forward, “I’m…”
“Don’t tell me,” a blue creature said stepping toward him. “You look like a…” he put a hand to his forehead and looked at William head to toe. “A Billy!” The way he said his words reminded William of his friend Eduardo. At least, it sure sounded like Eduardo’s grandpa.
“William,” William finished his introduction.
“Oh,” the blue creature said sadly. “I’m usually spot on when it comes to guessing names.”
The blob nodded. “He really is.”
“This is Carter and Parker. We just want to go home.” William said and looked around at the crowd of creatures now gawking at them
The blob stared at him. After blinking its eyes a couple of times it said softly, “That’s not up to me.”
Another creature came close and wrapped an arm around each of the three children. It still had three arms to spare and used one to hold back the blob. “There, there,” she (her voice reminded William of his mom’s) said soothingly. “I’m sure you do want to go home. The poor dears.” She glared at Nevele.
“What?” He asked. “It isn’t my fault. I was only following protocol.”
William could tell the six-armed creature was less than impressed with Nevele’s answer. “Why don’t you come and sit down while we wait. You poor things are probably exhausted.” They sat down as instructed even though William wanted to run away. He wanted to run to home if he only knew how to get there.
“My name is Eno,” the creature said.
William was feeling a bit uncomfortable with all the stares.
“What are we waiting for?” Carter asked.
“For her,” Eno explained.
The creature that tried to guess William’s name approached again with a smile. “My name is Sod.” His accent thick just like Eduardo’s grandpa. William liked the way he talked and smiled.
A round of awes and gasps were heard from the spectators. A tiny creature with a long pointy tail whispered to the bigger creature next to it. “The little ones are so cute! Amazing they grow into such odd looking beasts.”
Sod pulled a couple of smaller creatures forward. “These are my responsibilities, Sert and Ortauc. I’d guess they are probably close to your age.”
William relaxed. His dad was right, introducing yourself was a good way to not be afraid anymore. He could be friends with Sert and Ortauc. They could come and play at his house. His house. He wasn’t afraid but he still wanted to go home.
The blob came closer again. “Everyone is introducing themselves I might as well, too. I’m Neetneves.”
William scrunched his nose. Hopefully no one was expecting him to actually remember all these weird names.
Just then a small commotion could be heard from the crowd. Eno scanned the crowd. “She’s coming.”
“Who is coming?” Carter asked standing up.
William also stood up and watched as the crowd made room for something drawing closer. A creature with a long, slender neck and a narrow face stepped into view. It blinked its one large eye at them and said, “Oh no.”
With that, the crowd erupted in noise and commotion as three burly creatures each grabbed one of the children and put some kind of hood over them. They were carried away from the crowd. At least, that’s what William assumed since the noise of the crowd died down.
Maybe they were being transported home? That was his hope anyway.