Downhill Racers

…Meanwhile in her second floor bedroom, Aliss Elizabeth was getting the same kinds of questions from Ginny. They were sitting on the floor at the low end of the room. Whu was curled up in his cave, resting contentedly.

“Well I don’t know either, Ginny. It all started after Dad brought Whu home. It happened at Mom’s too. Dad said it stopped here when Mom took me and Whu to her condo. Now we’re back here and it’s going on again. I keep asking Whu about it and he just keeps talking about real balance. Don’t you, Whu?”

Balance inside you. No tilt if balanced.

As if to prove his point, Whu walked easily across the tilted floor and flopped down beside her. Ginny was gaping incredulously, totally entranced.

“He talked!  I heard him talk.”

“Of course he talks,” said Aliss Elizabeth matter of factly. “I’ve been telling you all along he talks.”

“But I thought you meant sorta talked, dog talk. Not real talk that we can hear.”

“Well, it’s real talk, Ginny. But I don’t think grown-ups can hear him. Mom couldn’t. Dad doesn’t hear him.”

“Whu, are you making the house tilt?” Ginny had to know for herself.

Not do it. You do it. Whu help.

“What do you mean, I do it? I’m not doing anything.” Ginny never took the blame for anything, and she certainly didn’t want this one pinned on her either.

Not just you. You and Aliss Elizabeth. Aliss Elizabeth and father. Can do just by self, but harder. Much harder.

“You mean we’re making the house tilt? Aliss Elizabeth and me? Why didn’t it tilt before you came?” When her mother was not nearby, Ginny was a very persistent girl.

True. Is you, was you. Whu make difference now. Make you see.

Ginny and Aliss Elizabeth looked at each other, confused. See what, they each were thinking, and Whu didn’t seem ready to make it any clearer.

“So what are you doing, and what are we doing, Whu?” asked Ginny.

Whu make equations expand. Every Whet do that. Same as on Wheir.

“Whet? Wheir? What’s he talking about?”

“I told you. He’s a Whet. He comes from Wheir. And I don’t know where that is.” Aliss Elizabeth was impatient with her friend.

“So what’s this equation stuff? The same kind of equations Herr Doctor is always talking about?” Ginny wanted to know everything. Aliss Elizabeth really liked that about Ginny.

“Dad says that equations are how you explain how things work. But I’ve never seen one do anything. Neither of Ginny’s parents were scientists like Herr Doctor, so Aliss Elizabeth knew things that she didn’t.

“What do you do to those equations thingy’s, Whu?” Ginny didn’t take long to get comfortable talking to him.

Your equations simpler than ours. Too simple. Less terms, less parts. Near me, more parts. Take more than gravity for balance.

“What parts, Whu?” Ginny was hard to slow down.


With that, Whu apparently decided he’d done enough explaining, for he curled back up and shut his eyes. The girls tried to get him to say more, but he seemed oblivious to them. Finally they gave up and began looking for something else to do...