2. The House on the Mountain
The town was very small, with one long main road that stretched for a few miles, with two intersections extended out towards the east and west. The rest of the roads were dirt, and spread out like spider legs to other homes, which were either large farmland and ranches, or very small, rectangular houses. The school was at the North end of the road. It was a brick-red building with a classic 1800s design, complete with the little white house, where a large, silver bell hung. A small cafe, with a neon, creamy-yellow coffee sign caught Taylor’s eye. She stared at that cafe the longest, watching it fade behind them as they departed.
After leaving the town, the concrete road became cracked, dry, and with multiple patches pasted onto it. Bumblebee slowed down, as to not tear up his axles. Taylor rolled down the window and watched the scenery speed by. Silver Springs was surrounded by lone, rocky clay boulder stacks, but strangely, as they moved toward the giant, snow-capped, mountain range, the scenery began to change. The dead, grain-yellow grass appeared to remain, except now there were skinny green pine and fur trees darting about the countryside.
What a peculiar ecosystem.
It seemed that Mt. Ninovan could have been part of the summit, but the Earth decided “no thank you.” As they approached the start of the mountain, the luscious green trees formed a forest, swallowing them up. The dry, dusty ground became more fertile, and covered with pine needles. Taylor could now smell its sweet fragrance and felt a strange sense of tranquility as they continued to approach the top.
At last, after driving nearly an hour, Bumblebee, Taylor, and their escort finally arrived at the house, where the red-haired hybrid was to stay. They drove into the steep, earthy driveway, where a large shed waited at the end. The first thing Taylor noticed was just how old and run down the house looked from the outside. It would seem nice enough, it it weren’t for the clouded, dusty windows, faded paint, overgrown weeds, and the big, orange, black, and white sign that said in bold letters.
Taylor had flashbacks to rough neighborhoods she sometimes had to drive through back in Michigan.
“Well Bumblebee, that shed looks large enough for you to stretch your legs” she announced.
“Well, that’s a relief” Bumblebee sighed.
Taylor gathered her things.
“If you don’t mind, Bee, I’d like to take a look inside the house before I start moving my luggage. Is it alright if we leave them in the shed temporarily?”
“Yeah, sure, just keep in mind, Optimus wants us to check in by the end of the day.”
With that said, the front passenger door opened, and Taylor stepped out. Bumblebee moved into the shed, and the door closed behind him.
Taylor cautiously approached the house and stepped onto the porch. A couple wood planks creaked as she walked on them. She observed the flooring and the beams. They looked a little worn, but still in fair condition. There were two rocking chairs on the right of the porch, dusty, and covered with spider webs. Taylor rolled up her sleeve, and wiped them away.
“Ouch!” she exclaimed as she forced her hand back.
On the middle phalanx of her finger, there was a splinter of wood halfway buried into it. Taylor winced. She took her fingernails and pulled it out.
“Okay, first order of business is to do some sanding. I hate splinters!” she hissed.
Next, she walked over to the front door. She took the old, bronze key out of her pocket, and slipped it into the door.
The door croaked as it creeped open. She peered inside. It was dark. Taylor walked in and looked for a switch on the wall. Once she found one, she removed the cobwebs around it and flipped it. The lights flickered a bit before coming on at full force. Taylor was in the living room. It was a vast, empty space, with a stairway on the left leading upstairs. On the right, in the middle of the side-wall, was a stone fireplace and wood mantle. The inside hearth was covered in soot, and had pieces of scrap paper and tiny burnt twigs covered in moss inside. Taylor made another mental note before proceeding to the back of the house, which was the kitchen and a bathroom. There was a wrap-around countertop, with one part placed in the border between the kitchen and living room. There was a small closet on the right that had a very old wooden broom with a red plastic bottom, and a blue bucket which had a huge piece broken off, making it unusable. There was a sink in the back of the kitchen, with had a window over it, looking into the backyard, which was rocky and didn’t have a lot of grass. Lastly, there was an old gas oven on the middle left of the counter. The bathroom didn’t have much of consequence. Just a simple white toilet and sink that desperately needed to be either replaced or seriously cleaned.
“Looks like I’ve got a lot of cleaning to do” Taylor thought to herself.
She proceeded back into the living room, and to the stairway. The railing was actually in decent shape compared to the rest of the house. However, the stairs had a broken step on the way up.
“Geez, how long was this place in neglect?”
The upstairs had two rooms and a full bathroom. The master bedroom was equally as spacious as the living room, with the extra room and bathroom on the right. The bathroom had a large, clawfoot tub with a small toilet and sink.
“Not much of a master bath.”
Back in the bedroom, there was a large window on the back wall of the house, where there was a cushion seat, and a built-in trunk underneath. The cushion was torn however, and it looked like rats had eaten through it. Taylor shuttered at the thought of rats crawling up through her new bedroom in the dead of night. Last but not least, there was a fairly large cabinet-style closet on the left of the room. Taylor took a deep breath and sighed.
“Well, looks like I have my work cut out for me” she stated aloud.
After putting her luggage down, Taylor exited the house and back down the porch stairs. She walked towards the back of the house. It was strange how her backyard ended with a mountain wall.
“I hope there won’t be any landslides” she thought.
The yard was unkept, though the grass wasn’t very high. It pretty much looked at though the wild woods were literally on her doorstep. The clouds were drifting over above her, hiding the sun as she continued walking until she found the side door of the shed. She leaned her ear towards it, and could hear music coming from inside. She smiled, and opened the door. Bumblebee was back in robot mode, standing up straight and stretching.
“Man! I’m still getting used to that long drive!” he exclaimed.
He turned around to address his friend.
“You’re not going to make me do that all the time, are you?”
Taylor shrugged. “Depends. I would hope not. Though, an hour and a half isn’t nearly as bad as other trips.”
Bumblebee made a face at her. “Speak for yourself. You weren’t the one driving!”
Taylor laughed. She looked over and saw the radio the Witwicky’s has agreed to give Bumblebee, now on the floor and playing tunes.
“We staked out on a mission to find our inner peace
Make it everlasting so nothing’s incomplete
It’s easy being with you, sacred simplicity
As long as we’re together, there’s no place I’d rather be.”
“That’s a good song” Taylor commented.
Bumblebee looked over at the radio and replied with a smile, “Yes it is.”
Taylor observed the garage. It was vast, and large, almost as big as the house. It even had a ladder leading up to a balcony on the top! The rest of the first floor however, was empty, except for dust and more cobwebs.
“Man, it’s almost like you have your own house in here! The military sure spoiled us giving us this place!”
Bumblebee nodded in agreement. “Yeah, with a little paint and cleaning, this could be very cozy. But, I’d still prefer being at the base. It could get lonely in here.”
Taylor chuckled. “Well, I’ll try to make sure that won’t happen.”
Then, Taylor remembered they needed to check into the base before sundown.
“So, how exactly do we get to the base? I mean, I know it’s in the mountain, but I didn’t see any possible entrance unless it’s further up the mountain.”
Bumblebee suddenly grinned, mischievously. “Actually, that’s the cool part. Come see.”
Bumblebee stepped over to the back of the garage, and lifted a crate that was oddly placed on the wall out of reach for pretty much everyone except an Autobot. There was a switch hidden behind it. He pulled it. The ground beneath them started to rumble. A huge, square shape began forming in the wall, beginning to give way. Taylor’s mouth hung open in awe as it halted.
It was a tunnel.
Small, iron lanterns inside the tunnel sparked to life, lighting the way for a smoothly paved road that weaved upwards.
“So that’s why no one has been allowed to live up here!” Taylor announced, “This property was a secret entrance!”
“Yeah! Captain Lennox said that the only visible entrance to the base is behind the mountain, only large planes carry supplies and equipment and land on a small runway.”
“This just keeps getting better and better!” Taylor thought in wonder.
Then, Bumblebee said, “you ready?”
The hybrid looked over to her guardian and grinned.
“Aw, yeah! Let’s roll!”