“Oh, bloody ‘ell.”
That was my reaction as my arm went straight through the wall like wet paper. Only a few days in this house, and already I ruined it. What would Sicily say when she found out? She had reserved this house especially for me, even though I was new to this neighborhood. It was the most gorgeous array of Victorian-era rooms, accented by velvet couches, marble tables, and glass cabinets holding delicate china sets. In fact, the only thing I had found fault with it was the wallpaper on the south side of the kitchen, a rather dreary brown with buttery yellow flowers, so I had thought to paint over it with a handsome green. The slightest pressure of the paintbrush and through the wall my hand went, as if the wall were saying, “How dare you think you could improve on perfection! You spoiled the magic of this house!”
I stared in disbelief for a minute, my mind racing. Sicily was out shopping with her mother—I still had a good hour or so before she would come by to visit me—but there was no manner in which I could disguise this hole. Pulling my arm back, more of the wall crumbled away, leaving a hole as large as a window. Looking past the hole, I noticed there was something out the other side. Having not inspected behind the house—so far I had only come in and out from the front—I cautiously leaned forwards and poked my head out.
A fish swam past my face.
I jumped back, shocked. When I regained my composure, I looked through the hole again, seeing the massive orange fish swimming lazily in front of me. I warily reached my hand forwards, and it hit an invisible convex wall—glass. Peering into the strange sphere, I spotted a small castle, with a garden of brightly colored plants, which the fish now hid behind, having realized I was there. Relieved there was a barrier between me and the couch-sized fish, I squeezed out through the hole, scooting carefully along the glass wall until I was in a wider space in which I could step back and get a better look.
“What a curious neighborhood this is,” I mused. “But it will be nice to have a quiet, clean neighbor…”
Not to be said of my other neighbor, who made us aware of his presence by pouncing at the glass sphere and driving his giant white paw into the water of the fish’s domain. I nearly fainted, as this creature was twenty times bigger than I, leviathan tail swishing side to side, wickedly pointed ears perked forwards, and devilish golden eyes locked on intently as it thrashed to get its prey.
Then it spotted me, twitching its whiskers curiously.
Running is not a good option for a doll with porcelain legs, nor is jumping off the edge of a table. Bloody ‘ell, I should have just stayed in the house…