and The Quest To See
Chapter 2 - Henry Falls Apart
'Alright Henry! Why are you sneaking around my bedroom at two o'clock in
the morning, and this better be good!' Priscilla snapped, her torch
trained on her brother.
'Sis I... Sis!...' Henry's eyes were seeping tears, big tears that
rolled down his pale cheeks and immediately Priscilla had the motherly
urge to clasp him to her and ward off whatever was troubling him.
'What is it Henry? Bad dream? Sleep-walking? Are you still in pain from
your spleen? Look, Harry's here with us. He wants to know what's wrong,
don't you Harry?'
Harry gave a sympathetic little whine as Priscilla drew Henry to her bed
and sat him down. 'Come on little Brother, I've never seen you like this
before. Snap out of it. You're awake and we've got you safe.'
'I wish I wasn't awake, that it's all a bad dream, that I was asleep...
'Tell me what's wrong Henry? How do you think I can help you if you
don't say? I'll get Dad and Mum...'
'No! No! Don't do that! Don't do anything! Not Them! Not Louis or Gran
or anybody else. This is about us Cilla! It's all just about us...
Suddenly Henry was sobbing on Priscilla's shoulder and holding on like
'At fifteen, Priscilla was not quite ready for such an event but she did
what she could and hugged her younger brother reassuringly.
'Henry, calm down. You're always such a clown. Tell me about it. I'll
help. You know that. Whatever it is, I'll help.'
'You can't help Cilla,' Henry said, pulling away from her. 'You're part
of it. You and me. We're the ones that need help, and no-one can do
that! It's just you and me.'
'Henry! If you don't get your act together and stop this crazy talk I
will go and wake Mum and Dad!' Priscilla hissed. 'Now spit it out!'
'Sis I... I want to tell you, but I don't want to as well.'
'Because it's going to be a shock and make you as confused and upset as
'I can't get much more confused than I am right...'
Granny Black's snoring, ending in a short snuffling burst and a mutter
of unintelligible grunts overwhelmed her words.
Henry wiped his pyjama sleeve across his eyes and stopped snivelling.
For a few moments he looked around the room as if only realizing where
'Sis? Why am I in your bedroom?'
'Henry? Are you faking this? What are you playing at?'
'Not playing at anything,' he answered, detaching himself and sliding
off her bed. 'Bad dream, just a bad dream Sis, got to go back to bed.
Sorry I woke you up, I'm O.K. now. Alright?' He rubbed at his eyes again
'Yep.' He tried hard to smile. 'See you in the morning. Night-night.'
As Henry shuffled slowly back down to his own bedroom Priscilla switched
off her torch and whispered, 'Do you buy a "bad dream" Harry?'
There came a 'plump' sound on her bed as Harry landed and mooched his
way up to the crook of her arm. 'Nope. Your little Brother has a big
issue brewing inside him. Whatever it is, he's suddenly decided to keep
it to himself and I'm guessing it's to protect you.'
'What indeed? But, he said it was only between you and him. Not anybody
else, including mother, father, grandmother, brother. What does he know
or think he knows?'
'Haven't a clue.' Priscilla whispered, wrapping an arm around Harry.
'Yep?' said Harry, burrowing in.
'Stay with me please.'
'Sure thing. I like sleeping with girls.'
Priscilla managed a giggle. 'You're a very naughty boy, but I'm being
'I understand. You need comforting and another mind, and I can sing you
'Try it and you'll hit the floor faster than you got up.'
'Like, what now?'
'Your a boy dog right?'
'Mmm, when it suits me.'
'And you've got all the working bits and pieces...'
'Now you're getting personal, anyway you bath me. You know I've got all
the usual credentials.'
'Would it be a "boy" thing? You know...'
'Mmm, can't remember when my bark broke or when the pennies dropped, if
you take my meaning, but nah. He said it was to do with you as well and
I'm betting that you wouldn't be too interested in Henry's erm... er...
personal development, or how you'd be traumatized if he turned out to be
Gay which, by the way, he isn't.'
'How do you know?'
'We had this conversation a couple of years ago. Girlie magazines,
'Oh yeah, forgot. I bet Mollie digs them out when she's cleaning...'
'Yep. Then re-stashes them. She wouldn't like Henry to know she knows.'
'Because...yowoo!' Harry yawned.
'Phew! You need more vegetables in your diet and some kind of night-time
gargle.' said Priscilla, turning her head away.
'I'm a dog. What do you want me to do? Floss?'
'I'll get you some teeth-cleaning biscuits.'
'Get the chicken-flavoured ones.'
'Sure, sure. What were you saying? I can't believe this. I'm in my bed
in the middle of the night having a conversation with a dog, who's
really an alien, about my kid brother's sexual habits.'
'Because... As I was saying... It's all perfectly natural. It's what
developing human males do.'
Harry did his best impersonation of a sigh. 'Louis is just more subtle.
Don't you girls have magazines?'
'Well yes, but mostly they're filled with stuff about girls...'
'And how to attract boys?'
'"Sort of" is a cop-out. Anyway, your magazines still manage to slip in
articles and pictures of young men looking... Whatsit? Hunky? Sounds
like a brand of dog food to me.'
'That's Chunky, idiot.'
'Oh yeah, I knew that. Anyways, it's getting late and a guy has to have
his beauty sleep. No bad fur-days fur me.'
He hitched himself into a position that brought his head level with
'I'm on my back, so if I snore just nudge me.'
'You pee the bed and its outside for good.'
'Me? Pee! Jeepers! How quickly you forget that I am actually a superior
being from a far-off planet...'
'Who, as a great cover, leaves messages all around the garden for us
stupid humans to pick up and get rid of.'
'I try to be neat.'
'Why weren't you a cat? Cats dig and bury.'
'They're not loyal.'
'But they are tidy.'
'How did I get myself into this? I'm just here giving you comfort...'
'And doing it on your back...'
'That's supposed to be soothing for you...'
'And relaxing for you.'
'You know where the Doggy-Door downstairs is if you need it.'
'Maybe Henry has a Doggy-Door for his problem?'
'Maybe he's having an early, like youthful, life crisis. Sort of before
fourteen? Maybe the school? Teachers we both have? He's crushing on
'It's past three in the morning, shaddup!'
Chapter 3 next