By Vita Forest
Another dispatch from the myopic mouse aboard the good ship Possession.
The ship lurched and keeled heavily to starboard. Christabel’s eyes flew open. She was glad she had continued her precaution of strapping herself into her cosy bunk, otherwise she would surely have been thrown to the floor. There was a reason for putting such safeguards into her routine, even though at times it made her feel overly cautious.
There were sudden storms, sudden disturbances in the atmosphere, that meant the ship departed from its usual circular route as dictated by the length of chain and the anchor lodged in the ceiling. Sometimes the world turned topsy-turvy. Sometimes it was best to be prepared.
Christabel opened her coral and white polka dotted curtains and pressed her eyes to the porthole.
What was happening? Had they unwittingly floated into a maelstrom? Had a giant squid from the trembling, inky blackness of The Deep erupted to the surface of the sea and taken The Possession hostage in the rippling embrace of its eight arms? Had the anchor chain broken? Were they now adrift on the perilous sea?
Christabel’s eyes darted about but she could make out nothing. Her eyesight really was dreadful. She would have to go aloft with her eyeglass. She reached for her life jacket (conveniently located on a hook above her bed) and strapped it on over her cotton night gown. She slung her eyeglass in its case over her shoulder and grabbed the length of rope coiled and hanging neatly by the stairs, ready for such an emergency.
Christabel took one end of the rope and expertly secured it to the hook from which it had hung until mere seconds ago. The other end she tied to a convenient ring on her life jacket.
She was ready. It was time to leave the safety of her cabin and go Up There. Taking a deep breath, Christabel mounted the stairs even as she felt the ship settle.
What had happened?
She emerged onto the deck and looked around. There was not the white expanses of ocean and sky she was used to, they had moved. Raising the eyeglass to her eye, it all became clear. The ship was no longer anchored to the ceiling above The Table, it had sailed through The Kitchen Doorway and come to rest in The Kitchen.
Christabel was startled. She was now in The Kitchen, a room she had only glimpsed from the ceiling before! She could not have been more surprised if she had found herself in the Antarctic! And rather than being supported by the anchor and floating in an upright manner, the ship was keeling sharply to port and seemed to be suspended in a kind of frozen whirlpool.
Whatever was going on?
Suddenly there was an ear-splitting whirr which seemed to pierce into Christabel’s very brain. It sent her scurrying below deck again and huddling beneath her goose-feather quilt. The quilt did little to muffle to noise and Christabel shivered in terror.
Then all at once the noise stopped and she felt the ship sailing once more. The vessel swung as if cresting a huge wave, then it righted itself and took on a more familiar swinging motion. Had they returned to The Ceiling? Christabel crept up the stairs once more and peered up. The world looked white again. She tiptoed up on deck and raised the eyeglass.
She was back! Back on the ceiling! How relieved she felt as she spotted the sturdy anchor above her and felt the familiar gentle weaving motion of the ship!
Then she stopped. Not all was as it had been before. For there above them floated a new moon.
A new moon…
She tried to stay positive despite her fright. Perhaps it would aid in her calculations. Perhaps it would aid her navigation. It certainly seemed large enough to make a difference. And it was a full moon, not the strange rectangular being that had been there before.
Christabel felt her heart fluttering beneath her hand. It was all most perplexing. Perhaps she would ponder this strange series of events over a cup of peppermint tea. And after snapping her eyeglass back into its case, Christabel went below to do just that.