The problem with small starts, of course, is that they make it difficult to find a larger start. Mr. Reciprocity doesn’t say as much, but he’s really hoping to find something that might point them in a better direction. The amount of Presidential Pets who wear collars is absolutely staggering.
His brother doesn’t seem very concerned, though. Even as they walk through the twisted, broken, and seemingly endless halls, Mr. Protection never breaks stride. His ears never flick back. He pauses, eventually, outside of a very large, closed door. “This is it.”
“What’s it, brother?” Mr. Reciprocity stops beside Mr. Protection.
Mr. Protection says, “this door. We need in this room. I’m sure of that like I’ve never been sure of anything.”
“A strong feeling.”
“Then we need to find a way in,” says Mr. Reciprocity. He learned a very long time ago never to doubt his brother’s feelings. “Maybe the next room will have a hole.”
Mr. Protection says, “if it doesn’t have a hole, perhaps we can make one.”
Mr. Reciprocity says, “it’s certainly worth a try, brother.”
The problem, as the two opossum’s quickly learn, is that the broken, distorted White House has very long halls. It takes what feels like hours before they find the next door, which is held open with a large wooden crate. White signs have been plastered on all four sides of the crate.
Mr. Protection asks, “can you read what they say?”
Mr. Reciprocity squints. Opossums have very poor eyesight. They tend to have very poor hearing, as well, which is part of why the two brothers are always seemingly shouting. It makes tasks like this very difficult.
You can’t smell out letters, after all.
“I think,” starts Mr. Reciprocity, only to pause and shuffle a little closer to the crate. “I think it must be some sort of pet food, brother. Cat or dog, but I can’t tell for sure.”
“Another clue, then,” says Mr. Protection. “We’re looking for a cat or a dog. Probably an old one, like us.”
“I think you must be right,” says Mr. Reciprocity. “Now, let’s get into this room, why don’t we?”
Together, Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection push the crate out of the way. They manage to scurry into the room right before the door swings shut behind them, sealing them inside.
The room is large, impossibly so. It seems to take up the same length as the hall that they just walked through, with very sparse bits of furniture. A desk rests against one far wall, and another door rests at the far end of the room-hall.
“I think we found our way in,” says Mr. Reciprocity.
Mr. Protection gives a heavy sigh. “I suppose this means we’d best start walking, brother. Again.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author