When Pauline Wayne gets back to the Room, she’s expecting a quick congratulations and a way back home. Instead, she finds that there’s no one else around, and one of the doggy doors is lit with a strange, purple light.
“Hello?” Pauline Wayne takes her time, walking through the Room. Cornwallis doesn’t always move as fast as a young pup, and she wants to make sure that he has time to show up.
Except he doesn’t show up.
There’s just Pauline Wayne, and there’s the doggy door.
“Alright,” says Pauline Wayne, to the Room. “I’ll go through one more. But then I want to go home, do you hear me? I don’t want to be stuck out here for any longer. Just this one more problem, and then you need to get someone else to come handle your messes, alright?”
There’s no answer this time, either.
Still, Pauline Wayne goes through the doggy door. It leads into a tunnel. The tunnel has very bright purple tiles. That’s something Pauline Wayne has never, ever seen before.
“Alright,” she tells the Room. “You’ve got my attention.”
The hallway stretches out both forever and for no time at all. At the opposite end, there’s another doggy door. This one has no light on it. Pauline Wayne stands around, waiting, before deciding that she’s not much in a waiting mood. The cow turns and gives the doggy door a firm kick with one back hoof.
It cracks, like lightning. Then it bursts to life. A bright, neon green light rings it.
“About time,” says Pauline Wayne, with a huff. “I thought you were going to make me wait forever. Now, I don’t want to be playing any more games. We’re going to get through this straight and simple, you hear me? Straight and simple, and then I get to go home and have my grass.”
As has been the trend, there’s still no answer. Pauline Wayne goes through the doggy door anyway. It lets her out in the middle of a field, in the middle of the rain storm. Where ever she’s at, it must be close to winter, because it’s a cold rain. Heavy black clouds blot out the sky.
There is nothing, for as far as Pauline Wayne can see.
Behind her, the light of the doggy door goes out. Even kicking it won’t bring it back this time. Pauline Wayne looks up, squinting into the sky.
“Really? You couldn’t even put me closer?”
It’s just her.
All alone, hungry, and very, very wet.
Needless to say, Pauline Wayne is currently not a very happy cow.
Katelynn E Koontz – Author