Swamped Chapter 15 Page 20

You don’t have time to deal with this.

Maybe it’s a tunneler or a rat trying to poke its way through; but those boards are sturdy. They’ll hold while you check that all your equipment is intact. You can tell pest control about it later.

You start rummaging through your closet. Everything seems in order; you really should get a lock for it, though. You don’t want people poking through your things.

The knocking’s getting more intense. And, for that matter, more… regular. Knock. Pause. Knock knock knock. Pause. Knock knock knock knock knock. Repeat.

An animal wouldn’t be able to grasp a pattern like that. Someone’s down there.

Good thing you keep plenty of tools in your room, even if you’re technically not supposed to. You reach into your closet and pull out a hammer. You loosen one of the boards with the back of its head, and try to get a look into the hole.

You can’t, really, but it loosens things up enough that you can hear the swearing.

“Who’s down there?” you call down.

“It’s Clancy! Get me out of here!”

Bah, what a pain. Well, you’ve already started pulling up the boards, so you might as well finish. You open up the hole and pull Clancy out. He seems relieved.

“Thanks. I was really worried for a moment there. Saw a huge tunneler! I didn’t even know they could get that big!”

You’re not really listening to him. Your thoughts are on what you’re going to do to cover this hole again. Repair squad’s not going to be happy if they have to board it up again, and you’ve already taken more time than you intended. How can you block the hole up quickly?

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Just shove a side-table over it

that’s squib-squad thinkin’. you’re tom eighth, inventor extraordinaire, and you believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right and signing your name on it after