It’ s almost three days before Caesar and Cleopatra are called to the Room. A door appears pressed against the side of the pasture fence. Gleeful to finally have a chance at cheering Caesar up, she announces with a whinny, “come on, Caesar! Let’s go! The Room is calling on us!”
Caesar is just as upset as he had been when they last talked. With his ears back and his head down, he suggests, “maybe it just wants you to go, Cleo. Did you ever think of that?”
“We’re both Presidential Pets,” insists Cleopatra. “And if the Room had just been calling me, the door would have appeared inside of my stall. It’s done that before – for both of us – and you know it. The only reason the door is here in the pasture is because it wants us both. Now come on, you dreary donkey, and let’s get a hoof on!”
Cleopatra waits until Caesar has sulked his way into the Room before going in herself. It lets out into a long tunnel. The tunnel can either be very long or very short, depending where in the time stream you are and where you’re trying to go. It’s lit up with very bright fluorescent blue lights along the floor. That’s new!
Trying to get some enthusiasm going in her friend, Cleopatra tells him, “look how cool this is! I’ve never seen lights like that in here. Do you think the Room is going to get an upgrade too?”
Caesar gives a disinterested flick of his ears. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
He doesn’t actually sound curious about it, which is a bit of a disappointment. She feels really bad for Caesar. Having a down day is bad enough, but the other horse appears to be having a down week. And outside of hoping that this new job will fix it, Cleopatra isn’t sure what she’s going to be able to do to help.
They get to the end of the hallway. Caesar gives a sigh so big that it makes his flanks heave and his velveteen lips flap noisily. Then he steps through the second door and into the Room. Cleopatra hesitates, but just for a moment. She looks up at the endless expanse of black above her.
“If you can hear me – or, well, that’s silly. I guess I know you can hear me.
But I really am trying to help Caesar out. Do you think maybe you could give me a hand with that?” Cleopatra asks. “I’m starting to worry. I’ve never seen him this sad for so long. Not even when he hurt his leg a few years back trying to cow kick the fence.”
The Room, of course, doesn’t answer. It doesn’t have a voice of its own and relies on the Original Presidential Pets to try and figure out what’s being said. All the same, Cleopatra feels a new sense of confidence settle over her.
Positive that the Room has heard her plea and agreed to help, she goes through the second door and into the main part of the Room.
Katelynn E Koontz – Author