Like Mystic, the Robinette house overlooks a branch of the Atlantic Ocean. Originally constructed in 1926 on half an acre of land, purportedly with bootlegger money and extensively renovated when Bert and Gilda Robinette purchased it in 1980, the house consists of two stories, with an attic and full basement. Contractors had gutted the ground floor, tearing out non-load-bearing walls to create an open plan. A large bedroom and wheelchair accessible bathroom were set aside for Tully. It was also with Tully in mind that a redwood deck, complete with ramps, was added along three sides of the house. The second floor has a master suite and three smaller, albeit quite spacious, bedrooms, and the attic – at one time intended as a sewing room – now serves mainly as storage. The basement, partly furnished, has Poker and Ping-Pong tables, as well as a combination laundry room and workshop. All told, the interior of the house is around seventy-five hundred square feet.
That is a lot of house.
The deepest part of the Robinette house is twelve feet above sea level. Under a sofa in the rec-room are several mechanical pencils with teeth marks in the soft rubber grips, a tube of Oreos (partially consumed), a copy of Uncanny X-Men 298 (also partially consumed), and a single leather moccasin.
Shortly after 12:21 am on August 1 (at the same time Lex said "What do you know about pain?"), 1750 miles NNW of the Milwaukee Depth, eight point six feet below the surface of Noank, Connecticut, at the very bottom of the Robinette basement, something stirred. Something very young, very small, and very, very fuzzy turned over in his nest of pilfered items, and wondered if what he had sensed was a dream. Twice before, he had felt similar disruptions in the quiet above him. Once was minutes ago, when he heard the door to the deck sliding open. The second time had been soon after, just moments before (at least insofar as this creature measured time), when the door closed. He was sure that people were moving around upstairs. Perhaps one of them would give him a treat.
The sole inhabitant of the Robinette basement poked his head from under the couch. Silently, he crossed the linoleum floor and climbed the stairs. He detected muffled voices behind a closed door, and scratched at it, demanding entry. No one came, however, so the creature went into the large room. He sniffed an unattended boot in a corner by the closet. The boot smelled like the nice man with the tasty eyebrows, and he stuck most of his body inside looking for him. Disappointed, he backed out, and resumed patrol. Once Warlock was sure that there were no people around who could give him something chewy and sweet, he returned to the boot. He tasted the leather, found it to his liking, and gripped it in his tiny pointy teeth. Moving backwards, tail held high, he dragged the loot towards his lair.
Ka-thunk. Ka-thunk. Ka-thunk.
Once down in the basement, Warlock lost interest in his prize. He went into a corner, evacuated on the floor adjacent to a plastic box filled with ferret-friendly litter, and lay sphinx-like on a dark green throw rug. Light would come, he knew, and with it people. Once they began to move about he would rouse himself. Then the surface world would once again know the full force of his presence. And give him treats.