I was doing the laundry. Again. I had become quite a machine at it, always feeling thrills of excitement when I was around my precious old, green, somehow magical dryer.
But I hadn't been able to go back yet. It had been two weeks since my last adventure had ended, and now all I could think about was getting back to the Pirates of the Caribbean world to see Jack again.
My sisters had been suffering, too. (If you haven't seen At World's End yet, stop reading!!) Alison, upon witnessing the death of James, would probably burst into tears if it weren't for Michelle whispering hurriedly that that can't have happened, considering what had happened when we were there, which was completely different.
Even so, Alison, and Michelle (who had endured much pain seeing Will being killed and remaining faithful to Elizabeth), despite the explanation that there was no way that that could have actually happened, just weren't the same from that day on. Mom, of course, just assumed it was because of the anniversary of our dad's death.
After Michelle and Alison returned to college to spend the remainder of the summer with their friends, somehow still able to face the bleak concept of continuing on with normal school life, I was obsessively waiting for the time to come to finally return. But I never seemed to get a chance to have 30 minutes alone so my mother would have no idea that I was in a different world for 30 days--or minutes, depending on how you look at it.
But today was the day. Today, my mother was driving downtown for a job interview--a drive that took about 30 minutes, which gave me plenty of time to raise hell with Jack.
Too bad that's not where I ended up going.
So anyway, there I was doing the laundry, eager for my mother to leave so I could spend some time alone with the dryer. I now knew, thanks to Michelle, who had told us what had happened when she had killed herself in the Pirates world and came back, that it only transported me when I had a white load in there and then opened it while it was going to put another article of clothing in there.
What I didn't know was that as the article of clothing changed, so did the world I would be transported to.
"How do I look?" Mom asked breathlessly for the frillionth time as I shoved wet white clothes into the dryer, barely able to contain my excitement.
"Very professional," I replied automatically, not even looking at her. "You'll do fine."
"Hopefully...although this should only be temporary...I'd hate to make that commute every day..." Biting her lip, my mother pawed through her purse for her keys. "If we're lucky, I'll have that new job closer to here by your birthday.
Oh, yeah, my birthday's coming up! I thought vaguely. The thought of turning 16 had barely crossed my mind, seeing how I was a little preoccupied with the portal in the laundry room.
I grunted as I stood up to heave more wet whites from the washer into the dryer, while still being careful to leave a shirt in there to use for later. A pretty big mistake, I guess.
"We really should get a new dryer..." Mom mused, watching my struggle as I bent down to shove the clothes in there.
"NO!" I yelled, standing up and spinning to face her, not realizing how strongly I had reacted until seeing the shocked look on her face.
"Uhh...you know, dryers are so damn expensive these days," I said awkwardly, my face reddening. "Why throw this one out when it works just fine?"
Smiling widely to convince my mother that I wasn't obsessed with the old green dryer, I gave it a friendly pat on the top. I guess I overdid it, though--the force of my blow made one hinge of the open door rattle dangerously.
As I grimaced at the thing, my mother, clearly having no time for my oddities, said, "Right, well, I'd better go--wish me luck! Oh, and don't forget to send the Netflix movies back!"
"Yeah, got it." What had they been again? The Brothers Grimm--God, I loved that movie--and something else...oh, well, not important.
And with that, Mom left. I waited to hear her car leave the driveway before I reacted.
As I shoved even more clothes into my dryer hurriedly, I began to wish I had dressed better--sure, I usually managed to get Pirate-suitable clothes there, but somehow I didn't think my cutoff jean shorts and black tank top would go over to well there.
Oh, well, I thought, taking the wet white T-shirt that remained in my hands. I could change, but what would I wear? And I don't want to wait anymore; I just want to GO!
I slammed the door of the dryer and turned it on. As it chugged to life, I took a deep breath, looking at the wet shirt in my--
Screw the Netflix! GO!
So I opened the dryer, shoved the shirt in, and with lingering thoughts of the movie I hadn't sent back, I was pulled through my dryer to the now almost-familiar blinding light and deafening whooshing.
Yeah, I only THOUGHT I was going back to the Pirates world. What a sucker I am.