Chapter Seven: The Box

Bing! TD rang the doorbell to Helen's house.

"Hola TD. ¿Cómo estás? How are you?" Helen's mom answer the door.

"Oh I'm fine, I'm just here for Martha, we'll be back in a few hours." TD explained. Helen popped around the corner, "Oh hi TD. I'll get Martha for you." She said and went up the stairs.

Once Martha and TD were about a block from Helen's house Martha finally asked, "TD what are you doing?" She sounded a bit annoyed.

"We're going to Cissy's house." TD answered simply.

"W- well, why are you taking me with you?" Martha asked

"You helped me figure out the mystery; it's elementary my dear Martha." TD the great detective said

"But she said to come alone!" Martha protested

"Fine," TD stopped, "you want to know why. I'm nervous… she just so…" but then TD kept walking "nevermind, you wouldn't understand. What am I doing anyway? Talking to a dog?" TD laughed spitefully.

"Aw come on TD," Martha said sweetly, "I'm glad you told me; and you know what I will go with you to Cissy's, as moral support. But I'm not coming inside ok?" The two agreed and walked the rest of the way without argument.

"You're late TD." was the first thing they heard when the two stepped onto Cissy's lawn. "However, I was expecting you to be even later so congratulations on defying my expectations." Was the second thing Cissy said.

"I-I'd better be going now, can't wait for um Brian Oceanzest to be on TV." Martha quickly fibbed and left as Cissy lead TD into her house.

When Martha arrived home Helen's mom was a bit surprised however Helen understood, and so Martha was fed her dinner and soon retired to her chair for the night. Not watching a second of Brian Oceanzest on the television.

Back at Cissy's place TD had just finished calling his dad and Cissy was just leading him up to her room.

"You know," she said as TD trailed behind her, "your catapulting to school idea wasn't that bad. But I've got one even better."

"Oh yeah what's that?" TD asked excitedly

"What if we ziplined to school!" Cissy proclaimed and she opened the door to her room. It wasn't quite as messy as TD's but just the same it was filled with drawings and diagrams and schematics of all sorts of ideas.

"That would be amazing!" TD exclaimed, "and you could have zip-busses too!" He pulled out his notepad and started sketching a bus style gondola attached to the line of a zipline. Cissy was impressed.

"That's perfect TD!" She pulled out her own drawings, they were of elaborate hydraulics, harness systems and station planning maps. "I had everything worked out, except for overcrowding." She took TD's paper and added it to the bulletin board of sketches. "But if we have zip busses that wouldn't be a problem!" The two 12 year olds talked for a long time about their inventions, so late that it was almost 9 o' clock, TD's curfew.

"Oh Cissy! I'm so sorry, I have to go. I-I can come back some other time? I think… maybe-"TD stuttered as he tried to soothe her.

"No." Cissy clasped his hand "I'm sorry but I didn't make you that mystery for nothing." She looked him right in the eye. "Don't turn into some sort of Cinderella on me, please. Ask your dad if you can stay the night." Cissy's shining eyes were all the courageous TD needed. He called up his dad and by some miracle chance he was allowed to stay.

Cissy's moms fed the two children a wonderful dinner and soon retired to their room to watch TV, leaving the two children to their own devices.

"There's one thing I haven't shown you yet." Cissy said as the two kids walked back up to Cissy's room. "Come in here," she said leading TD into what seemed like her closet.

"Um Cissy, that's your closet, don't you mean some other door?" TD asked, confused

"Come on." Cissy insisted. And for a moment TD thought he'd be going to Narnia or something of the sort. But, it was just a closet, a peculiar on at that, but still just a closet.

"Welcome to The Box." Cissy announced as she pulled a chain to turn on the singular lightbulb and then closed the door. There was just enough room for the two of them, and chairs for them to sit in too.

"What's that weird stuff on the walls?" TD asked, for indeed strange shapes of zigzagging foam lined the walls and door.

"That, my dear TD. Is why this is The Box and not just a closet. Foam in that shape absorbs more sound than any other commonly found object. So right now, the only person who can hear me, is you." Cissy smiled and TD did in turn. Cissy got up from her chair and locked the door.

"Everything said in The Box stays in The Box, I will tell no one and you will tell no one. Got it?"

"Got it." TD said. But Cissy was serious about this, just someone's word wasn't good enough for her; a pinky promise was put into effect and seemed to satisfy her.

"Now, we talk."

And indeed they did. They talked well into the night, about all sorts of things: the latest conspiracy about their teacher being an alien, who the biggest liars in the school were. If Martha was a secret agent like a certain turquoise platypus they saw on TV. And more. As TD dozed off in his sleeping bag that night he was sure that today had been the best day he'd ever had.

But he had no clue what was to come.