The first thing Jack realizes when he steps out into the hall of the White House is that he doesn’t think he’s ever been to this time before. You can tell that sort of thing, if you’ve been to a different decade than the one you’re supposed to live in.
It’s a buzzing deep in your chest, and the sensation of a deja vu that builds up and then fades, swept off on the wind. Jack scrambles to catch up with Bruce, who’s already marching down the halls like he owns the White House.
Jack says, “I don’t know where we are? The Room isn’t telling my anything.”
“That’s probably because Tabby told me all about our job already! I know exactly where we are and what we’re supposed to do!” Bruce puffs up, clearly proud of himself.
Jack clacks his beak together, just once. “Alright. What are we supposed to do?”
Two steps, while the words sink in, and then Bruce nearly trips over his own paws. He skids around, toe nails sliding on linoleum, and nearly barrels into Jack full force. “Oh no!”
Jack scrambles backwards, wings flapping and feathers going everywhere. He lets out a gobbling squawk, nearly toppling over sideways in the rush. “What? What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I don’t remember,” says Jack. His ears are flat against his skull, and his tail tucked down, right between his hind legs. Everything about his posture just screams that he thinks he’s about to get in a lot of trouble. “Tabby told me exactly what we needed to do! And I was supposed to tell you! But then I was waiting and thinking about other things while I waited, and you showed up, and I was so excited to see you that I forgot to tell you! And now I don’t remember it at all!”
This is actually a very large problem. Not knowing what their job is means that they’re going to have to work very, very hard to try and figure it out…and then solve it. And they might not have enough to do that before the problem gets way out of hand.
But for some reason, Jack can’t bring himself to be angry.
Instead, he does his best to straighten out his feathers, fluffing himself up and shaking himself out. Then he gives the dog a very small peck on the head, just above the nose.
Bruce pulls back, sputtering. “What was that for?”
“Being upset over a silly thing,” says Jack. “It’s okay. I’m sure we can figure out what our job is together.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author