“Oh! Oh! He’s going!” Hal was exploding.
“And what are you going to do about that?” Blair asked matter-of-factly.
Hal opened his mouth to make a snappy reply, but paused as the fuzz around his cheeks began turning a dark shade of red. Blair leaned back in his chair. “I don’t suppose you would want to join him?”
“NO!” Hal and Brandon both shouted in unison. They stopped for a moment to look at each other, and then Hal said, “You know what?” Then, as if he were accepting a challenge, “I will.”
“I’m such a blockhead!” Hal cursed as he packed his things for the trip. They were sitting in a taxi, on their way to meet Blair back at the tower. They had to stop off at Hal’s house to bring some supplies. “I can’t believe I agreed to this!”
Brandon gave him a sarcastic ‘thanks a lot’ nod. This is going to be a great trip, thought Brandon, I’m walking into a creepy portal with a human-hating creature that’s being a snob. “What did you even pack?” he asked.
“A loaf of bread, a telescope, a tent, and some special plant fertilizer,” Hal replied. “Do you have anything useful?”
“I brought a couple blankets, a flashlight, and that weird cube thing that we had on our way to the tower,” Brandon said.
“What cube thing?” Hal questioned, rummaging through Brandon’s small backpack. He came up with a grey striped cube that had a button in the top. Brandon snatched it from Hal’s stick-arms. “Remember how dangerous this thing is?” He reminded Hal. “You said it yourself! And you saw what it did to that tree.”
It was hard to forget. During their journey together to Blair’s tower, Brandon had pressed the button on the top of the metal cube and a blast had come out of it and split a tree in half.
The two shuffled out of the small taxi. “Thanks, Jan!” Brandon said to their driver. The dark blue monster waved back at them, and forced a smile even if he was cramped and crumpled in the tiny vehicle.
Blair greeted them and patted them on the back. “Take these,” He said, handing them a satin pouch about the size of your hand, and a large glass disk. “This one will let you talk to me for one hour of the day. This little pouch should only be opened when you’re trapped. You’re probably going to need it.”
“We’re going to be trapped? We’re going to need it?” Brandon asked, hesitantly accepting the items and putting them in his pack.
“Oh yeah,” Blair replied. “You’re gonna need a lot more than you have, but I’m sure you can improvise.”
“That’s really comforting,” Brandon sighed.