4. Back home

Addy paced up and down his bedroom. His brain was running in overdrive, going over all the things that had happened that afternoon, again and again, like a broken record. He could not think of anything else. Kay and Pracheta, who were sitting on the bed, did not help matters at all by continuously and volubly discussing every second they had spent in their shared ‘experience,’ for want of a better word. “Didn’t he look like a Roo, sitting there on his tail as pretty as you please?” a grinning Kay was saying. Addy frowned. Her Australiaisms had suddenly increased, he noted. The little adventure seemed to have made her excited instead of terrorized which would have been more natural. Pracheta, who had been terrified, now under Kay’s influence (and also the fact that they were safely home) seemed to also have bounced back with a bang. She was literally bouncing on the bed discussing the sights they had seen and the snake man and his words.

“Oh, will you stop wearing down the floor and sit down for a bit?” said Kay to Addy. His frown became a scowl and he stopped his pacing and sat down on the only chair in the room. “What are you both gushing about?” he demanded. “Any one would think we just had a good time at a theme park, not had a harrowing experience, the way you both are going on about it,” he said. “You don’t seem to realize we are on the razor’s edge here. What are we going to do? How do we get out of doing the task?” Kay looked at him teasingly and said, “You were moaning yesterday about how bored you were with your job. Now is your chance, Addy. Nothing can get more exciting than this, don’t you think?” Addy gritted his teeth. He had changed his mind. Boring was good. Boring meant he still had years to live. He even wouldn’t mind going on a field trip like they had sent him on last year, where he was out in the hot sun at an excavation site which was suspected to be a 12th century town. However, after a couple of months of sifting painstakingly through the dirt all day, everyday, they had to admit there wasn’t anything there. The only finds were a few very broken pieces of pottery that did not give a clue to the people who might have lived there.

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