What Goes On Behind Door #2
On a sunny morning, deep in the heart of the countryside of Meridell, a very sleepy Gelert fell out of his bed and onto the floor, tangled in his blankets. His eyes opened and he sat up, rubbing his sore back. He heard a knock at the door, and realised he hadn't been dreaming after all.
"Hey, Bill, you ok in there?" came a voice from the other side of the door. BowserBill stood up and went over to the door and opened it, smiling sheepishly into the confused face of the Ogrin who gazed right back at him. NovemberHuxley was a good fellow after all, Bill thought to himself.
"Yeah, I'm ok. I fell out of my bed is all." Bill yawned and scratched his ears, then turned back to his mussed bedclothes. Huxley nodded, then smoothed down the dark green fur that circled his throat. He blinked his wide hazel eyes at the glare of the sun that streamed into the room, then stepped into the hallway once again, then hesitated and turned back to his brother, who was now straightening the bedclothes and smoothing them down neatly.
"Hey, did you forget what's going on today?" Huxley asked Bill. Bill looked at him, and then nodded. He knew, all right. His stomach flipped over at the thought, but Bill kept his voice steady and his nerves calm. He focused on tucking the corners of the bedclothes, and spoke to Huxley in a firm, easy voice.
"Yeah, I remember. I'm going off to stay with our cousins for a month. I hope it'll be fun." He finished smoothing the quilt, then turned to face Huxley again. "I'll miss you a lot. It's only for a month, though, so it won't be too bad." Bill thought about his Haunted Woods family as he spoke. He'd visited on occasion in the past, yet he'd never gone to stay for any great length of time with them. He thought of the sunny UnaRae, the silent Zadar, and the witty Silla, and then focused on patting the pillows a final time.
Huxley considered this, as well. His cousins were a good lot. Bill would have a great time, no doubt. The Haunted Woods was known to be a wonderful place, even if it was full of ghosts, witches, and the ever-hungry Esophagor, whatever he was. Huxley mumbled something about going to get his breakfast and went on his way to the kitchen. He pulled out a chair and poured himself a bowl of wheat flakes. It was going to be a different house for a month, he thought to himself as he ate. Bill joined his family at the table a minute or so later, and everyone ate in silence.
After breakfast was over, and after all the dishes were washed, rinsed, and put away, the little family made their way to the Neopian Pound, where a strange door would transport Bill from the old home to the new. No one really knew how the transporter door worked. It was something of a mystery in Neopia. A Robot Hissi ran the thing, and no one knew much about him, either. Or her. It was difficult to know for certain. The transporter door's operations were a closely guarded secret, but whatever the secret behind the door, apparently it worked.
Bill stood waiting whilst XenaBethany, his younger sister, spoke with the Hissi and handed over the transporter fees. Beth bounced over to the others once everything was arranged. Bill had always admired the agility of Blumaroos like Beth. She smiled at him. Beth knew he was nervous, so she smiled reassurance to him. Bill calmed down. He glanced at the Hissi, who was going over to a small panel and pressing some buttons. It was almost time to go.
Beth turned to Bill, then said, "It's all set! The Hissi is doing something on that panel over there, but once he's done, all you need to do is enter the door. After that, wait for a green light. It's red until the transfer is complete. Kind of weird, but if it works, I guess that's all that counts!" She gave Bill a hug. "Have a great time, big brother! We'll miss you!" She smiled at him again, and Bill read the confidence in Beth's beady black eyes. He turned next to Huxley.
Huxley extended a paw. "Well, be safe and have fun! Our cousins are awesome, you know. See you in a month, I guess!"
Bill nodded, then glanced over at their other brother, Weeto. He gazed at Bill with those hectic yellow eyes, though they gave a false impression of the real mutant Xweetok that was hidden beneath the surface. Weeto said nothing, only waved goodbye. Bill nodded, waved back, then turned to the door in front of him, which had just opened. It was time to find out how this thing worked.
He stepped over the threshold and the door shut behind him. The light turned red, and now all Bill had to do was wait. There was no sound that Bill could detect, no feeling any sense of movement, only that simple red light. The transporter door was a true engineering marvel, Bill mused as he waited. Here he was, using it for the first time ever. His dark blue coat with its pattern of yellow stars seemed darker in the glare of the red light. It was hard to see in the room, or know what was going on that made Door #2 do its magic.
Suddenly, the light above the door turned green. It opened. Bill looked around, shrugged, and exited the little room. At first the light hurt his eyes, then everything gradually became normal. Nothing seemed different, at least he thought at first. The Robot Hissi stood next to the door, and nodded at him as he exited.
"You are expected," the Hissi said in a metallic voice. It waved one wing at the group of pets waiting near the exit. They were not his family in Meridell. Instead, there were his cousins from the Haunted Woods! It was like a miracle! Bill said nothing, only raised a brow at the Hissi, who merely laughed a tinny laugh and waved him off. Bill went over to his cousins. Bill wondered if it was the same Hissi from before he went into the door. It was impossible to say.
"Bill! Hi there! Oh, we're all so glad to see you! Welcome!" UnaRae was always a sweet cousin, and Bill knew she was genuinely glad to see him.
He smiled into the beaming face of the Koi who waved to him, nodded at the gruffer countenance of CaturbulanceZadar, and lastly into the bulging eyes of Silla. Silla nodded to Bill and then gave Zadar a nudge. The silent Kyrii glanced at her, waiting.
"Don't you think you should open the door so we can go home for lunch? Poor Bill must be starving and I know I am, too!"
Zadar grunted and shook his head, then turned to the door and held it open with a massive clawed paw.
Silla turned and winked. "I've got my ways of dealing with this jolly blue giant, so if you need anything, come to me first!" The Techo chuckled to herself, and Zadar rolled his eyes, but remained silent.
Now that the worst was behind him, Bill grinned and followed his cousins, then turned back once more to the marvellous transporter door, which he would see again in a month. "Rest assured, I'll be back," he said quietly beneath his breath, then stepped outside into the bright sunshine, and took off for a fun, relaxing, month-long visit with his Haunted Woods family.