By Gary McGath
Copyright 2008 by Gary McGath. All rights reserved.
This is a work of fan fiction. All trademarks, references to published works of fiction, and allusions to familiar characters are for purposes of entertainment or satire only. This is not a commercial work and is not offered for sale.
Summer was a miserable time for Hugh Packard. His foster parents, the Luddleys, wouldn't let him near any high-tech equipment. All the wonderful toys that had been available to him at Bugwarts School of Computing and Programming were out of his reach. The Programmer's Printer, which made anything it printed come true, was hidden away in a room on the secret thirteenth floor. No one else knew about it except Rom Wysiwyg and Hermioport Hacker.
When Hugh had mentioned his real last name -- Lovecraft -- to Mr.Luddley, the man nearly exploded with rage. "Don't ever use that name in this house!" he had roared. But it was because of that name, and the heritage it implied, that Hugh could do so much with the Programmer's Printer. Lord Petitmol had killed Hermioport with his death ray, but after Cthulhu crushed him, Hugh was able to re-animate her with a few lines from the printer. She was now a zombie, and less talkative than before. On the whole, it was an improvement.
August finally came to an end. Mr. Luddley had decided he just wasn't going to let Hugh go back to that disgusting tech, and confined Hugh to his room on the second floor. It was the day the Bugwarts Express would fly off, but Hugh couldn't leave; the Luddleys had locked his room from the outside and were keeping careful watch downstairs.
As he moped in his room, Hugh suddenly heard the blast of an auto horn right outside his window. He looked and saw a car, apparently floating in the air. He ran to the window. In the passenger's seat was his classmate and best friend Rom Wysiwyg, laughing at Hugh's surprise. With him were two older boys and a younger girl. He recognized the driver as Rom's older brother, Linus, and his twin brother Unix was in the back with the girl, who had the same red hair as the others. The car was indeed parked in mid-air.
Hugh opened the window carefully and quietly. Rom said through the open car window, "Hop in, Hugh! We're taking you to Bugwarts!"
"Huh? What is this car?"
"It's a Ford Prefect, equipped with a Plot Device Drive for flying. Like it?"
"It's great! But this 'hopping in' --" Hugh took a nervous look down the gap between the car and the house, to the pavement below.
"Don't worry, we'll get you in safely!" said Linus. "You'll be fully supported!"
Hugh had doubts about the quality of their support, but the alternative was staying with the Luddleys all winter, so he risked it. Linus maneuvered the car as close as he could to the window, and Unix rolled down the large window. Hugh climbed up onto the window sill, crouched, and stepped through the car window. For a moment he thought he'd fall over backwards, but Unix grabbed him and pulled him in.
They flew off, gaining altitude to avoid being seen. Rom introduced the girl as his younger sister Genie, who was starting her first year at Bugwarts. She gave him a shy smile.
On a cloud they saw a nondescript man wearing a bathrobe, with his thumb extended. "Sorry, no hitchhikers!" Linus shouted as they went by.