Sarah was set upon bringing as many of her contraptions in the trunk as she possibly could. I on the other hand chose to pack light, hoping that we would soon be back to stay.
“Augustine, would you please put some water through the filter?” Sarah asked.
“Already did that.” I answered from the basement. “And where is your eccentric compass?”
“The compass is with me,” she answered.
Climbing up the stairs, I noticed three travel trunks in front of the door. Sighing at this cumbersome sight I turned to Sarah with a look of disappointment.
Sarah turned to me, staring at the travel trunks. “One is our clothing and essentials; the second is my projects.”
“And the third?”
Sarah stood in silence for a moment before answering. “For- my other projects?”
“Are you intentionally attempting to sink our boat?”
I walked over to the travel bags and attempted to lift one of the trunks.
“Look! I can barely pick it up!” I exclaimed.
“But I really want to test a couple of-“
“Pick the essentials Sarah.” I interrupted.
Sarah took the two travel trunks and sat down on the divan sorting through what she would take and what she would leave. Disappointment was evident in her every move.
Staring down at Sarah’s gloomy face, I felt a pang of guilt.
“Let’s take a break and play a game.” I suggested.
“I don’t feel like playing a game,” she murmured.
“Is that so?” I playfully picked up a peculiar pistol which shot water.
Quickly I aimed the water pistol at Sarah’s face, and sprayed her with cold water. Sarah jolted back against the sofa, attempting to block the water.
“You are going to be sorry you started this!” Sarah uttered as she sprinted towards the counter, where the second pistol laid.
My malicious smirked had ceased as she pointed the pistol at my direction, but oddly the pistol did not work.
Sarah halted, staring at the corner with pursed lips. A moment of silence engulfed the room, before I hastily pointed the pistol at Sarah once more, persistently dousing her with water.
Desperately, Sarah rushed to her makeshift water pipe over the kitchen sink, attempting to fill her pistol with water.
I took this opportunity to spray Sarah with as much water as I could. Soon my water pistol was out of ammunition, so I hastily ran out of the house.
“Coward!” Sarah shouted as she re-filled her pistol.
Rushing towards the lighthouse, I quickly knelt at the water’s edge, to fill my pistol with water. I remember Sarah telling me not to fill it with sea water, since the salt would corrode the gears. I hesitated, contemplating if I should take the risk. My good common sense ultimately won the argument.
Cautiously I approached the door but thought that it would be wiser to enter through the back window.
Entering the house, my senses were on high alert. Every corner I approached turned would cause my heart to pound faster. My stealthy advance was made more challenging by the size of the humble cottage.
Approaching the door of the basement I felt a sense of victory, and hastily descended the stairs. As I was refilling my water pistol, I felt cold brass behind my head.
“You’re quite awful at this,” Sarah boasted.
“It was obvious that you wouldn’t make the same mistake twice; that would make you an idiot. So, the only other source of filtered water would be down in the basement; hence I win, and you’re a fool.”
I sighed in disappointment while cold water began to drip from the back of my head.
“Well, to you it might seem like a battle won, but I on the other hand, have won the war,”
I quickly turned around, grabbing her glasses, and spaying her with water.
Sarah gasped and with eyes wide open began to frantically search about.
“Augustine!” her voice cracked as she put her arms out.
I stared at Sarah, whilst she groped about in circles with her hands out and eyes widened. Utterly bewildered by this, I instinctively reached out to grab her hand. Sarah screeched, jolting back into a corner gasping in terror.
Gazing down at her glasses which I held in my hand, I quickly approached her, and carefully returned her glasses to her face.
Immediately Sarah calmed. For the briefest of seconds, she glanced up at me, maintaining eye contact before quickly looking away.
“Don’t- do that” she shuddered.
“All I did was remove your glasses, I -“
Sarah abruptly rose and went upstairs.
“Sarah?” I called out to her, but she continued walking away. “Sarah!”
I persistently followed behind her insisting on her providence for answers.
“What just happened?” I exclaimed as she returned to her sorting.
“Nothing, I just- don’t like it.” Sarah replied whilst staring down at her machines.
“You don’t like what? Me taking your dust spectacles?”
“I don’t like not seeing you.”
Stunned by her confession, I remained silent for several seconds before saying quietly, “I’m sorry Sarah, I simply wasn’t thinking. I got carried away.”
“Could you pass me the box?” Sarah asked wearily.
Hastily I brought her the box and sat beside her.
Sarah closed her eyes, as she tightened the screws which held the gears in place.
I stared at her and her collection of dust spectacles. “Which was the first one?” I asked.
“The first one you made?”
“Ah, the goggles. It was actually my father who made them, but it was my idea.” Sarah uttered as she set aside the tools and put the glasses on her face.
“I already told you this. You asked the same question almost every time I open this box.” Sarah said, as she closed the box. “Here, put it back.”
“I was only trying to make conversation,”
The sting of her comment was impossible to hide.
“It gets a bit boring after the twelfth time.” Sarah added.
“Maybe to you, perhaps I enjoy the story of your idea for the ‘peering glass.’” I teased whilst putting the box back on its place.
“How much longer will you make fun of me for that…” Sarah faintly asked, a smirk showing at the corner of her smile.
“Forever,” I returned the smile.
“You had better feed Fitz something before he eats the house.” Sarah uttered.
As I prepared Fitz meal, I noticed that Sarah had surprisingly packed only half of the travel trunks with her extravagant contraptions. Fitz and I ate a quick dinner, while Sarah made herself one of her liquid meals. Although I had grown accustomed to these disgusting meals, I had never grown to like them.
The incident in the basement continued to plague my mind. Dozens of questions circled around in my mind as I looked at the leather travel trunks which rested by the front door.
“Sarah, have you ever thought about your expectations?” I inquired.
“Your expectations of the world?” I clarified.
“What about them?” Sarah asked.
“Well, perhaps they might be a bit unreasonable?”
“Why would you think that?” Sarah asked in a serious tone.
“I’m simply telling you that they might be higher than you’d like them to be.”
“I can assure you that they aren’t.” Sarah uttered.
“Perhaps the world might let you down. London isn’t as alluring as some might presume.”
“All I want, is to see it. I expect only that it must be better than here.” Sarah answered as she turned her back to me.
“And if it’s not?” I asked.
Sarah halted in front of the steps, slightly turning her head towards me. “Anything is better than here.”
Ascending the steps, I sighed, giving Fitz another bone.
“You aren’t as complicated, are you?” I asked Fitz.
Fitz strolled away, bringing back the rusty copper box with the two buttons and lever. Faintly I smiled at him whilst setting up the track and two brass horses. Staring down at Fitz, with his paw above the green button, I faintly smirked.