After history class was dismissed, I came up to Miss Elizabeth, wishing her well on her trip. She thanked me with a bright smile and I skipped out of the class. I raced up the stairs to drop off and pick up some things from my room, as well as feed Willow. But when I got to my room, Willow was no where in sight.
"Willow?" I checked under my bed, in my drawers, in every nook and cranny she could've squeezed herself into, but there was nothing.
I frowned and took a deep breath, trying to punt down my rising panic.
"Ok then...maybe she went exploring around the school. She couldn't've gone that far from the dorms."
I walked around the school for a few minutes, calling her name in my mind. I started walking toward the hallway of offices, when suddenly her meows exploded in my brain.
"HELP!!! THIS CRAZY DOG'S TRYING TO KILL ME!!!"
I jumped, which caused some students to look at me with eyebrows raised. Embarrassed, I kept my head down to hide my reddening face and walked quickly toward the offices.
"Calm down, Willow. Which office are you in?"
"THE ONE WITH THE CRAZY DOG IN IT!"
Miss Elizabeth had told me she had a dog, so when no one was looking, I slipped into her office. What I found was a golden retriever barking at a moving, meowing suitcase. I couldn't help but snort at the strange sight.
"THIS ISN'T FUNNY! GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
I walked over to the dog, a very beautiful dog, and calmed her down so she would stop scaring Willow. The dog, like most animals, sensed she could trust me and immediately stopped barking.
"Ok Willow, first you need to calm down." I put my hand against the paws pressing out of the cloth suitcase. The paws disappeared, and Willow stopped meowing. I heard a tiny huff from my cat and smiled.
"Ok, I'm calm. Now could you please get me out of here?
"I'll try, how did you even get into this?" I started feeling around the suitcase for a zipper or buckle.
"I was wandering around the school, minding my own business, when I caught scent of some good smelling food. I was hungry, and you hadn't gotten out of class yet, so I followed the scent and found this place. The scent I was smelling was dog food, ugh! But it smelled so good!"
I facepalmed, "Oh Willow, you ate it?"
"I regret nothing! It was good food! Anyway, then this mountain of a dog just appeared out of nowhere and started chasing me!! I thought I could hide in this suitcase until the brute lost interest, but instead, she pounced on the suitcase and locked me in!"
The dog growled softly, and I stroked her to calm her down.
"Don't insult her, Willow. She was probably just trying to protect her territory."
After investigating the suitcase more I found, to my dismay, that it seemed to be a personalized protective case where only the owner could open it. There was a smooth buckle that when I put my finger on it, glowed red and wouldn't budge.
"I think that this case can only be opened by the right fingerprint. Which is not good for us."
"Well, you're friends with Miss Elizabeth, couldn't you just ask her to open it so you can get me out?"
"I could, but-"
"Oh quick!! Someone's coming, hide!"
Panicking, I dove under Miss Elizabeth's desk. Soon, the door opened and I could hear the voices of Miss Elizabeth and Miss Emily coming into the room. They chatted for a bit, then Miss Emily said goodbye to Miss Elizabeth and left. Miss Elizabeth packed a few more things in a smaller bag, and then grabbed the suitcase and walked out!
"Lila!! Why am I moving?!"
Uh...well Miss Elizabeth kind of...took the suitcase.
"EEE! Well hurry up and follow!"
I had nothing else planned, so I sneaked out of Miss Elizabeth's room and indirectly followed her all the way to a platform where a submarine was waiting for her.
Oh no! She's getting on a submarine, there's no way I can follow her there!
"Can you catch her and ask her to set me free before she gets on?"
Are you kidding? She probably has some really top-secret stuff in there! If I ask her to open her suitcase because my cat is in there, she'll think I'm super sus! She'll never act the same around me again!
"That's a small price to pay for my freedom and safety!"
I'd think otherwise.
I peeked out from behind the bush I'd hid behind and saw that a small group of other people were also getting on the submarine. I took my only chance and scrambled to catch up with them. I managed to get in the middle of the group and start a friendly conversation with one of the girls. She was going to her home in Evercity where she'd gotten news that a family member had gotten very sick.
We got on the submarine and I chose a seat in the back shadows, where nobody could see me. I looked around and spied Miss Elizabeth's suitcase in a loft with other travel bags.
Ok, I'm on the submarine heading to who knows where, I can't open that suitcase without Miss Elizabeth's fingerprint, and if someone finds out I'm not supposed to be here I'm dead.
"Hoo boy." I breathed.
"You know, I could start meowing and cause a scene and then I would have to be let out."
Are you CRAZY? When they find out your my cat, they'll bombard me with questions! And if I told them that my cat got hungry, went to the wrong place, and got trapped in the suitcase by a dog, do you think they would believe me?
I shook my head, even though Willow couldn't see it.
That's not a chance I'm willing to take.
After about an hour of dropping people off, there was only me and Miss Elizabeth on the submarine. My clothes were soaked in sweat and in my head I kept imagining the worst possible outcome.
If I get sent back home, what will Jefferson think? What if he sees me as not worthy to be his apprentice anymore? What if I get sent back to the Grotto??
"Sheesh! Calm down, Lila! Jefferson can't live without you, I'm sure he won't send you back to homelessness. He isn't that crazy."
Yeah, you're right. I shouldn't worry that much. Ugh, I just wish you hadn't gone after that food, Willow!
Finally the train stopped and Miss Elizabeth got her suitcase and walked out. I waited five seconds and then slipped out the door before it closed. I looked around and found myself in an underground port. Miss Elizabeth was walking up a flight of steps leading to above ground. I ran up the steps as quietly as I could, keeping my eyes on Miss Elizabeth.
Unfortunately, because I wasn't look where I was going, I suddenly tripped on a step and went sprawling onto the landing.
"AH! Wha- Lila? What are you doing here?"
I looked up at Miss Elizabeth standing over me, I could see a glint of suspicion in her eyes. And that broke my last thread of emotion control.
Tears streamed down my cheeks, and as I did my best to pick myself up off the ground I sobbed out an answer.
"M-my cat went into your office a-and your dog trapped her in your s-suitcase. I-I couldn't open it s-so I followed you to the submarine and snuck o-on. I-I couldn't just ask you to open y-your suitcase because if you had secret p-papers or something in there i-it wouldn't looked really s-suspicious. But now I can't go back and you still think I'm sus and I'm gonna be expelled!"