“Repeat it back to me, now,” instructed Kara.
“Left once, right six times, left two times,” said Xavier with a sigh. “I told you, I got it.”
“I know you do, but I have to be sure. It’s one of those things, so thank you for indulging me.”
“It’s something that sticks with you, Mom. I mean, if you get it wrong you’ll probably die.”
“Which is also why I worry and want to make sure. OK, so here’s your key. Once you go through, have fun and be safe.”
“My baby’s first trip to the Magic Realm. It’s a big day.” She handed him his packed bag and tidied his silver hair. She fought back a tear as her teenage son playfully waved her hand away.
“I’ll be back in a week, Mom.”
He hugged her and she squeezed him back as hard as she could. He inserted the key and made the appropriate turns. Kara watched him closely to make sure the count was right. The door in their attic opened and a splash of purple light washed over them. He stepped through and the door closed behind him with a click.
She took a deep breath, feeling the emptiness of the house without her family. She exhaled and inserted her own key into the door. She turned it 22 times to the right, 25 times to the left, then 22 times again to the right. The door opened and Kara smiled.
“Time to have some fun.”