PUZZLES AND DOORS TO FALL THROUGH THE FLOOR
Up in the Victorian Bathroom Boudoir, Dianne, Auntie Joanna and John felt as though they were being watched. That was because they were. Mildred peered through a peephole behind the sign on the door. ‘I am here to collect your trays. Can you push them towards the door and I will collect them. No funny moves!’ she said.
‘How long do you intend to keep us here?’ asked John.
‘Until the stink has been successfully dispatched worldwide,’ Mildred replied still peering at them from the other side of the door.
‘I really need the toilet,’ said Dianne.
‘Well there are eight to choose from,’ Mildred replied in an amused tone. ‘Seven are in plain sight.’
Dianne frowned, ‘I am not using the ornamental toilets,’ she replied.
‘Well then use the other one,’ Mildred said.
‘What other one?’ John asked glancing around the room.
‘I will show you – it is an illusion. Now if there are any false moves you will be in TROUBLE. I will bring the Wafters in with me and they can stink you out if you do anything out of line. You hear?’
The group of adults nodded, they didn’t need to be stinked again. One stink-out was enough to put anyone off.
Mildred opened the door so it was just a crack, ten Wafters drifted through the small space and floated up to the ceiling. Dianne, Auntie Joanna and John all watched them rise up above them. Mildred, clutching her nose guard, trudged across the room to an area of curtain. She drew it back to reveal a painting on the wall. She then traced her hand down the frame, tapped it and a door handle emerged. She turned the door handle and opened the door to reveal a hidden water closet and shower room.
‘Oh I like that!’ said Dianne with surprise.
John frowned, how come his tapping hadn’t revealed that?
Auntie Joanna glanced around the room, as she thought – the room was not what it seemed. She knew it!
‘Well I suggest that you take your turns now because it is time for you to turn in. I will arrange the sofas into beds for you. I recommend that each of you sleep in your own bed on this occasion. There are pyjamas for you all. Sorry they are all blue and white stripes but that is all we have. The Wafters will sort out your bedding,’ Mildred gestured for the remaining Wafters to bring in the soft duvets, sheets and pillows and turn the sofas into beds.
‘Mildred, where is Bertie?’ Dianne asked watching the Wafters drift about.
‘He is finalising the food for the celebration and making some pong-punch,’ she said making her way back towards the door.
‘Nice…’ said John imagining what such a concoction must taste like.
‘Oh it’s not a joke punch. We will make sure it tastes nice. We just want to play with the pong theme because we want all of Sebastian’s efforts to be celebrated,’ she said with a grin. The Wafters re-arranged the sofas, put on the fresh sheets and laid out the pillows and duvets.
Auntie Joanna studied Mildred, something still did not add up. The Waftness Pump House was filled with illusions. Sebastian had been imprisoned yet could walk out at any time. What made the situation bizarre was that he wasn’t aware that he could just leave. Then there was the fact that Mildred and Bertie were involved in celebrating the Great Stink. Something about the whole situation smelled wrong. What had she missed?
A moment later Dianne and Auntie Joanna noticed Mildred had her nose mask on and the Whiley Wafters blew a series of huge raspberries. John was the first to smell the monstrosity and fell to the ground, quickly followed by Dianne. Auntie Joanna covered her nose with her scarf. It was not enough. The room spun and she stumbled over to her bed and fell onto it. The last thing she remembered was a loud ‘Thwaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrpppp!’ sound, a series of giggles and Mildred saying, ‘Not too much now – tomorrow is a big birthday celebration. They need to be ready for the big stink release and… the day that Sebastian finally takes his revenge. We need to make sure Waftness is fully prepared so we can only release the smells and no-one can get in. This will be the ultimate fortress and protection from the stink.’ Mildred almost hugged herself. ‘I just can’t wait!’
Mildred appeared pleased with herself, the adults were passed out and everything was set up according to plan. She felt a twinge of excitement. The world had no idea what was due.