Michael rushed down the stairs.
"We have a problem!" he screamed as he ran into the kitchen. His older brother looked up from his newspaper, but turned away again, uninterested. His father glanced up from his plate and said,
"Are you referring to the pillar of fire? Because that was the solution to last week's problem." Michael shook his head vigorously and pointed back up the stairs,
"Nonononono! There's a....."
He never finished his sentence because the house caved into itself as it was sucked through a portal.
Michael attempted to yell, but even as he did so, the noise was sucked from his throat and sent through the portal. He tried to hold on the the couch, but failed, his fingers losing their grip as he and the couch swirled into the abyss.
Joanna groaned as her younger sister, Grace, caught up to her directly after school. Her long brown hair was flying, and her baby blue eyes were as big and round as saucers.
"Jo, you need to listen, we have a serious problem!"
"And it's another Tuesday, what’s your point?”
"But it's not just any-old Tuesday! Athletics is bad enough, I know, but this is waaaaay worse."
Joanna raised an eyebrow. "Worse? Worse then having to stand out in a field doing long jumps and high jumps when you're the worst in your class, and you could be reading a book? How much worse could a Tuesday get?"
Grace shook her head vehemently. "It's soooo much worse. The community is making an inspection today, and if they do, they might find the Clubhouse."
Jo grabbed her sister's arm. "Yikes! You're right. Quick, we need to hide Adeline."
"Aaand, we have a problem. " Max poked his head down from the opening in the ceiling, his tousled and dirty hair hanging down, and his clothes in disarray.
"No, you have a problem, I have an idiot who keeps getting us into one." - that was Lou, calmly walking into the room with a cup of double espresso. "You had better sort that out, before they catch us snooping again."
"Ok, first of all, this was your idea; and second, last time we got caught, it was so not my fault" Max said, scowling at her and swatting at her head. She ducked past his hand and handed the coffee to the dishevelled, half-asleep girl sitting at the table.
" Wake up, Bea, it's time we got this show on the road." Beatrice groaned and accepted the drink, bleary-eyed.
"Wha..?" Max was still comically upside down. " What do you think I've been trying to do for the last hour? I -" He stopped and disappeared into the ceiling only to reappear a moment later, with a look of horror on his dirty face. "There's someone here."
Sam pushed open the door to the basement gingerly.
"Uh - Mark - we might have a slight problem..." his uncertain words trailed off as his older brother spun around from where he was sitting.
"And what might that be, Sammy boy?" Mark rose, the stool falling over behind him as he advanced menacingly towards Sam. Sam tried to be as passive as he could - he still couldn't tell the difference between his brother's playful and serious moods - and he felt his hand fall from the doorknob.
"The, y'know, the toads outside, that's really the problem. The main one that is. Right now, anyway."
"Oh is that what you call a problem" Mark chuckled, his demeanour changing in an instant, "I call that a solution!"
Sam relaxed, but then realised what his brother had said in the pit of his stomach.
"And how are they a solution exactly?" Sam exclaimed, out of more nervousness than rage, "How will they stop them from investigating?"
"Well, Sam, these aren't any normal toads, but rather venomous glow toads imported from Siberia. They won't dare to investigate."
"Sure, Mark, great plan. But..."
Sam studied his hands in horror, remembering his encounter with one just before.