In Which I Learn Some Things I Didn't Want to Know
"To begin with," Jimmy began, "this house can only be seen by kids under the age of eighteen."
"I guess this place can keep you occupied until you can vote," I added jokingly.
"If you are in the house when you turn eighteen, you can still see everything and nothing will change," Jimmy continued, probably not getting my comment, being from Jamaica. "However, if you are in line to get in when you turn eighteen, the house will seem to disappear. You'll also forget everything you know related to the house."
"Better write it down then," I suggested.
"You can write it down and tape it to your forehead, but the paper, or whatever you wrote on, will disappear regardless," Alex said. This place was really starting to creep me out now.
"In this house, you get your own room," Jimmy went on. "I assume you've gotten yours?" I shook my head. He shrugged. "You can get anything you could ever imagine. There are food machines and drink machines that you just speak the name of the food or drink and it will give you exactly what you asked for. They all have exact voice recognition. I don't know how it works, but it's good!"
"Are there machines where I can get other weapons like my Waltor 4000?" I asked with more than a hint of mischievousness and a hopeful twinkle in my eye.
"Probably, but it would be locked away somewhere because they wouldn't want any weapons in the hands of the kids here," Jared answered much to my dismay. "You are the only Ghostbuster around. The other kids might play with some AK-47's and start shooting people. Maybe."
"First of all, I am NOT A GHOSTBUSTER! Second of all, why wouldn't all kids want to come here?" I said. "There's no school, no parents, no limits on playing video games, no one to force you to eat your vegetables. It's a paradise!"
"You do not know?" William gasped in utter disbelief.
"Know what? Since I don't know what, I probably don't. Unless you want the answer to the meaning of life and the universe. It's forty-two. And two plus two is fish. And one plus one is window. And---"
"QUIET ALREADY!" Tommy screamed, louder than I ever thought a little kid like him could ever scream. "He means knowing about the Aquafarons."
"Who's that?" I asked.
"They are sacred aquatic creatures that live in this house," Alex informed me. "The Aquafarons were once human children. They lived in this house for about three months and became Aquafarons."
My jaw dropped so far it hurt. And if I hadn't been exposed to weird supernatural and otherworldly radiation and the such, it would surely have unhinged. Just to add to my shock and disbelief, I went into major flashback mode.
"I don't know everything about it, but I can tell you some things. I know that this place is a shelter for abused and orphaned children or children just bored with their lives. In order to gain entry, you must look into something---I'm not sure what, exactly yet---and turn your eyes green. Inside the house, you get everything you could possibly want.
"But there is a real purpose to the house besides shelter. I have heard that once you enter, you never leave, at least not…human."
That was exactly what Roy had said to me while we were waiting in line to get in. It made sense now. This place was probably some sort of demented child-transforming facility that lures children in by offering anything any child would ever want. And knowing these kinds of things, the process is probably started by turning your eyes green. Which would mean that I was also going through the same transformation, so slowly that it was totally unnoticeable. I didn't think I'd be getting out human; it was most definitely already too late.
"Are you okay, mon?" Jimmy asked, sounding very concerned. I opened my eyes, which I had not known were even closed in the first place, and looked up.
"Yeah," I said dumbly. I guess I had passed out when I had my flashback of Roy's explanation. I shook my head violently to get myself back into reality. "Yeah, I'm good. Please continue. I assume you haven't forgotten where you were in your explanations; I couldn't have been out cold that long."
"I remember completely," Jimmy assured me, then continued. "The Aquafarons are worshipped by all creatures that aren't from this world. Things from our world do not because only children know about them, and the children cannot speak of the Aquafarons to anyone outside of this house or they will turn to dust." The consequences for involving what goes on in this funhouse were beginning to sound really stupid to me. Just to add to my irritation, I was feeling very excluded from the knowledge valuable information; the existence of these Aquafaron-human children things had been unknown to me, even after capturing and interrogating supernatural beings for years.
"What about Lady Water?" I inquired. "Who is she? You mentioned her very briefly earlier."
"Lady Water's a sea goddess," Tommy informed me. "She runs the house. She's a very nice lady, and kind of pretty, too. We can all make appointments to see her and talk to her about our feelings, or anything else we feel like! I like talking to her about my progress in my Legend of Zelda game. She actually knows many things about it!" Weird sea goddess, I thought to myself. I think I'll have to talk some sense into her. She sounds like she belongs in some sort of mentally ill homeless shelter headmistress that thinks she's some sort of water deity.
"Is that it?" I asked hopefully.
"That is about it," Jimmy said.
"Now if you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I must go see what the heck Margaret is up to." I left the table when we all said our good-byes and see-you-soons, and I began to walk up the stairs. When I reached the first step from the top, I froze. I heard a voice that was probably Margaret's. Then I heard a voice I didn't recognize. It was a man's voice. A very accusing man's voice. A police officer's voice. I put my ear to the door to hear better.
"We followed Walt here," the officer was saying. "We saw him enter this house. Where are you hiding him?"
"Why on Earth would we hide him?" Margaret questioned back. "We don't hide people here. This is a homeless shelter."
"The place is too small to be a homeless shelter, and there are no registered homeless shelters on Anthony Lane Road."
"Please leave, sir," another voice said politely. It was probably the entrance hall attendant.
"I'd like to see the person in charge here," the officer ordered, paying no attention to the attendant's request.
"She is not available at the moment."
"Have her make herself available. This is a serious matter. Walt pushed an innocent man off a stage. Mr. Tyoo was sent to the hospital with at least fifteen bone injuries. Secondly, Walt ran away from the police."
"That man, 'Will B. Tyoo,' is actually Sage," Margaret protested.
"What proof do you have?" the officer said. I had some proof, but these officers would not buy it; they would be too stupid to get my point. The living proof was "Will B, Tyoo's" injuries. If you fall off a stage that is ten feet in the air, no matter how you fall, you can't break that many bones. You might break three at most. Sage clearly changed the shape of his bones to be broken.
Margaret was speechless. She wasn't able to figure it out.
"Leave," another voice said coolly. Or maybe it was the attendant's voice. It sounded like her voice and another woman's voice in one. It couldn't have been Margaret speaking with her. Besides, who could actually talk at the exact same time with the exact same words as someone else?
I heard footsteps. They seemed to be getting farther away. It must have been the officer.
"Margaret!" the attendant exclaimed, sounding normal again. "You came back!"
"I felt it was time. Besides, Walt deserves to know about this place. I kept it from him all these years. Plus, I left here fifty years ago. I missed working here." How old is that attendant? I don't think she's twenty like she looks. And what the hell is Margaret talking about? She WORKED here?
"That's so sweet of you! Lady Water should be glad to have you back!" I heard more footsteps walking away. The attendant left to go back to her post.
"You can come out now, Walt," Margaret said in a low voice. "Yes, I know you're right behind the door." I have yet to understand how the heck she does that.
I opened the door without hesitation. I stared at her furiously. "Why didn't you tell me about this place? Why did you never mention the fact that you ever worked here? WHY?"
"I have my reasons," she replied calmly. "Now come. I believe there is a room for you now. Follow me." We left the entrance hall and entered the foyer. We began to ascend the main staircase. I was about to get my own room here. Where I would be staying for three months. Until I become an Aquafaron. And no longer human.
The main purpose of this chapter was to reveal more about the house that Walt takes place in.
I'm sorry this took so long to finish and publish! I had so many other things going on like the release of new video games, major essays for school, etc. Thank you so much for being so patient!
Walt is one of my best characterized characters in my opinion! You can tell he is a weird blend of sarcastic and stubborn, and curious and knowledgable. You got to love Walt! He reminds me of myself.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between the characters and events in this story and real people, alive or dead, and real events are either used fictitiously or are entirely coincidental.