Warlock woke to the sound of bedsprings protesting. He stretched, yawned, and investigated. Clawing his way up, he emerged through the gap between the headboard and the pillows. There he found Redhair and Eyebrows. He greeted Redhair in his usual way, by poking her with his nose.
Redhair seemed uninterested in playing Pillowcase or Tickletummy or even Flying Fuzzet at the moment. She was playing some game Warlock didn't know with Eyebrows, so the ferret joined in. He climbed atop the pillows and jumped.
Eyebrows reacted in a most unfriendly fashion. He grabbed Warlock by the scruff of the neck and, speaking in a very low rumbly voice, carried Warlock into the hallway and shut the door. If one thing bothered Warlock more than an empty water bowl, it was a closed door. Closed doors meant he could not see what was on the other side and offended his innate sense of curiosity. All the doors on the second floor were closed, much to his chagrin. Fortunately, he knew that if he pushed with his nose, sometimes a door would open. He tried the girl's room first.
Slippers was asleep so Warlock paid a visit to the giant stuffed panda, always fun to climb. Once he reached the summit, he surveyed the room. The bed looked reachable, so he tensed and leaped. He missed, per always, by a good two ferret-lengths. Undeterred (or just dim), he tried again with the same result. He contemplated a third attempt, but was distracted by his mortal enemy, the stuffed ferret named Evil Twin Maria. Warlock pounced and wrestled her into submission. Flush with victory, he took her by the scruff and carried her in his mouth to the closet. He left her there to contemplate the error of her ways.
Warlock stood on his hind legs and clawed at the bottom of a dry cleaning bag for awhile, then lay down for a short nap in a shoebox, first dislodging one shoe to give himself enough room.
He awoke thirsty and a bit peckish. That meant he had to go to the Food Room. He removed an insole from the shoe so he would have something to chew on during the long trip and half strolled half tumbled down the flight of stairs. He drank, ate, drank some more, then took a piece of ferret chow from his food bowl, which crunched quite pleasingly between his tiny pointy teeth, and stored it under the throw rug for later.
He sauntered into the big room, his furry body aquiver with delight. There had been pizza in this room, he knew, and pizza meant cardboard. Warlock loved cardboard! He loved most kinds of paper, especially the pieces TVBoy kept in his pants, but cardboard was the chewiest. Hugging the floor, the mighty hunter inched forward, stalking his prey. He found it, but not where he expected. The box rested on the low table next to the futoncouch. Warlock didn't care for the futoncouch, because it had no cushions to burrow under. Still, it was easy to climb, especially when unfolded like now. He pulled himself up, intending to jump from there to the table, but there was someone already up there: Brownskin. He walked across her and jumped towards his goal.
Mmmmm! Grease stained cardboard. Nothing better in the world. He tried to nose it open, but instead it slid to the floor. He stood on the ferret-sized blackbox beside the lamp, contemplating his next move. As he got off, one of his paws depressed a button. He froze at the voice which suddenly filled the otherwise silent room.
"You have … fourteen … new messages. Message one received Saturday 6:12 pm." A different voice took over. "Gloria? Doris Lefcourt, dear. I just heard about the fire and Martha and I want to tell you how very sorry we are. If there's anything we can do – beep!"
A humongous brown hand pressed the same button and the voice stopped. Warlock sniffed the hand, which smelled of… pizzabox! He'd forgotten pizzabox. Warlock poised to leap to the floor, but the hand caught him first. Brownskin cooed and petted him, which he tolerated for a good three seconds before starting to squirm. Pizzabox! Not cuddle, pizzabox! Brownkin set him down within pouncing distance. He pushed at the corner and it skidded onto the hardwood floor. Warlock followed, pushed again, and the box skittered further away. He was about to try again when he noticed Brownskin getting off the futoncouch. He eyed the box. It was not going anywhere, and given a choice between a box and a pair of moving feet, there was no contest.
Warlock followed Brownskin towards the stairs, but she paused before Wheels' door. She turned the knob and opened it, but before Warlock could insinuate himself past her she caught him again. She held him up to her face, whispered something unintelligible, kissed his nose and gently set him down in the hall. Another closed door. Grrr!
Faced with this insurmountable obstacle, he took another nap.
Later, Warlock found new homes for the three orphaned pieces of pizzacrust in the pizzabox. One he left in the middle of the Food Room floor, the second under the big and dangerous reclining chair, and the third he deposited for safekeeping in Brownskin's sneakershoe, but only after removing the padded insole. Satisfied with a job well done, Warlock fought his way down the right leg of Brownskin's discarded jeanspants and went to sleep for the rest of the night.