It was too early in the day for tourists but those commuters making their way to the tube stations to get to work, produced mobile phones and began recording their latest upload to YouTube. Yet, even they couldn’t have imagined what was going to happen next.
Fandel’s car nosedived into the security crash barriers that had been erected around parliament and its hood crumpled as if made from tissue. Neanna shot from the hood and cart-wheeled through the air. Arching her back, the wings grew taught and she broke her fall, hovering just above the car. Fandel sat dazed and confused in the driver’s seat and rubbed his nose which was now gushing blood down the front of his clothes. The coppery scent of it wafted on the air, causing Neanna’s stomach to somersault with hunger. The impact of the crash had thrown Zach off the back seat and onto the floor. But still he laid and roared with uncontrollable laughter. Even as the boot of the car exploded, he laughed.
Hundreds of people were now gathered on the streets and roads around parliament. As they watched and filmed in amazement, two giant paws burst out of the boot of the car, tearing it open as if it were made of papier-mâché. The sound of metal being torn was followed by a deep throated growl, which made the spectators chests rattle as if they were standing too close to a speaker playing the base at full blast.
The boot of the car flew through the air, spinning like a Frisbee. Some of the onlookers ducked out of its way as it sliced into the doorways which led into the House of Commons. Then, others began to scream as the biggest wolf they had ever seen sprang from the boot of the car and landed on top of the vehicle.
In the distance the sounds of sirens could be heard as the police officers that guarded parliament called for urgent assistance.
William stood on top of the car and the roof began to crumble inwards under his weight. Arching his back, he roared into the morning sun and howled. Later that night on the evening news, those living in the East End of London claimed to have heard that howl.
Making a fist with his right paw, William punched it through the roof of the car and tore it open like a can of sardines. Chucking the roof to one side, he reached in and pulled Zach out.
The spectators screamed and wailed as the giant wolf pulled the handcuffed Zach from within the wrecked innards of the car.
‘Look! He’s going to kill him!’ one woman said at the top of her voice.
‘Somebody do something!’ a male shouted, gesturing towards the wolf with his umbrella.
‘Hang on!’ some one else shouted from nearby. ‘The kid thinks it’s funny. Look he’s laughing!’
Seeing this, those that hadn’t already begun to film this peculiar incident searched for their phones in their handbags or pockets. They too wanted an exclusive they could later sell to the highest bidder.
Without warning, William threw Zach into the air. He tumbled upwards and, just as he reached the peak of his accent, Neanna swooped down and snatched him out of the air. Neanna climbed upwards as she fought to hold on to her friend. The sun was almost up now and her skin began to smoke beneath its rays. Her whole being trembled as if she were freezing cold. Fearing that she may lose her grip on Zach, she corkscrewed up through the air and came to rest on the large hand of Big Ben. She glanced at the time. It read a quarter to seven.
William looked upwards and, seeing his friend’s precarious position on the face of Big Ben, he glanced back into the car to finish off Fandel. To his dismay the driver’s seat was empty – Fandel had gone.
The sirens were close now and William knew that those cops wouldn’t let him and his friends escape again. Bounding from the remains of Fandel’s car, William raced across Parliament Square, howling and barking at the crowds that had gathered. As he drew near to the tall clock, he leapt through the air, and unleashing his claws, he began to scale it to the top.
Neanna held on to Zach as he wriggled and laughed in her grasp. She was burning up now and her thirst was driving her insane. Maybe if she had something to drink, something to cool her throat, perhaps she wouldn’t feel so bad. Neanna held her friend in her arms and looked down at his neck. She then lent forward, and placing her lips about his throat she began to suck.
‘Neanna stop!’ William howled, as he reached them.
Her lips had formed a vacuum around Zach’s neck, and William could see the muscles in Neanna’s throat pumping up and down.
‘Let go of Zach!’ William barked, swiping at her with a huge paw.
Neanna broke the seal her lips had formed around Zach’s neck and looked at William.
‘Do you think I would kill our friend?’ she asked.
‘What were you doing if you weren’t drinking?’ William roared.
Neanna opened her hand and spat something into her open palm. William looked down and could see what looked like a thorn lying in the creases of her hand.
‘What’s that?’ William asked.
‘Poison,’ she said, looking away as she cradled Zach against her.
William looked down at the streets below and all the upturned faces, blue flashing lights and police officers.
‘How do we get out of this alive?’ William said.
‘Through that doorway I guess,’ Zach said, peering over the crook of Neanna’s elbow.
William and Neanna looked up. A few feet away, floating in the sky was a white wooden door, and it was open. On the other side there was sky.
Shaking all over, Neanna stood on the large hand of Big Ben. Holding Zach against her, she said, ‘let’s go home.’ She then swept through the doorway as William leapt after them.
They tumbled through the air as the doorway slammed shut above them with a deafening bang. They seemed to fall forever, the wind rushing past them, pulling at their hair and clothes. Even if Neanna still had her wings they wouldn’t have saved her. She was unconscious and her skin was smoldering like burning wax.
With a terrifying splash they hit the water, and disappeared beneath the thick, black waves of the Onyx Sea.
Tanner sat forward at his desk in his office on the third floor at New Scotland Yard. At first he thought that perhaps he was hearing things when his airwave radio started to spew frantic messages about a huge wolf on the rampage in Parliament Square. Pulling the radio from its charger, Tanner stood up. Pacing the room, he pressed the radio to his ear.
‘Alpha Bravo two-seven to control. We need urgent assistance at Parliament Square. We have a re-sighting of the hostiles.’
‘Where’s the boy?’ Tanner said into the radio.
The cop on the ground didn’t need to be reminded of Tanner’s call-sign to know it was him transmitting over the airwaves. Everyone and anyone that policed this part of London recognised his unmistakable, dry tone.
‘The hostiles have the boy sir,’ came the police officers’ reply as she watched William toss Zach up into the air for Neanna to catch.
Realising that the officer who had been instructed to guard the boy at the hospital had either fallen asleep on the job or gotten lazy, infuriated Tanner, and he rubbed the bridge of his nose. Now wasn’t the time for Tanner to chase this officer for a duty report. He would deal with him later. It didn’t matter what excuses the constable gave for this oversight; he would be spending the next six months washing out the filthiest cells in the most antiquated custody block he could find in London.
Tanner turned the volume knob of his radio to maximum and strained to make sense of the garbled, incoherent messages of the police officers on the ground.
‘The bat’s on the clock face!’ one of the officers screeched down the radio.
‘She’s got the boy! She’s got the boy!’ another one roared.
‘The wolf’s climbing Big Ben!’ A broken voice said.
Tanner snapped the radio onto his belt and pulled his coat from the stand in the corner of his office. It sounded as if the drama that was unfolding in Parliament Square could turn into a hostage situation and Tanner wanted to be there to take command from the very start. Without any direction from his senior officers, this was going to be his case and his case alone.
Just as Tanner was about to leave his office, a confused and startled voice blurted over of the radio:
‘A door has just appeared in the sky! Can somebody else confirm that a doorway has just appeared in the sky?’
‘Roger that two-four,’ came the voice of another confused and bewildered officer, ‘I can also see the doorway.’
Tanner froze. The word ‘Doorway’ rang in his ears and his heart began to race. He crossed back to his desk and sat down, steepling his fingers under his chin and closing his icy-cold eyes.
‘The hostiles have disappeared!’ a frantic cop yelled over the airwaves.
Tanner snatched the radio from his belt and breathed into it. ‘What about the boy?’ he said.
There was a hiss of static and then one brave officer updated their superintendent by saying in a breathless voice, ‘that’s a negative Sir…I repeat that’s a negative. We have lost the boy…we have lost the boy.’
‘Where did he go?’ Tanner asked.
Again there was silence, but this time it lasted longer. Then the police officer’s voice broke over the radio and said, ‘he went through the doorway Sir. I can confirm he disappeared through the doorway.’
Tanner placed the radio in the centre of his desk and keeping his eyes closed, he began to rub the bridge of his nose again.
In his mind’s eye he pictured the doorway. It stood before him, just out of reach. He stuck out his hand, but there wasn’t any handle or doorknob to take hold of. The doorway he was seeing looked more like the doors you would see leading into a saloon bar. As he stared at them, they began to open and close down the middle like a gaping wound.
Tanner opened his eyes and smiled. Hovering in the centre of his office just on the other side of his desk was his doorway. He smoothed his moustache with one strong hand and stood. He approached the saloon doors that swung open and closed as if caught in a breeze. Without hesitating, he pushed them both open and stepped into Endra.
It was good to be back, he thought to himself as he stood and looked out of the window. The town of Tux’s Main Street was deserted. Dec Tanner glanced over his shoulder as the saloon doors swung closed, and folded in on themselves as if they had been eaten by one another. This was followed by a tremendous bang.