After the cops left, I locked up the house tight and checked all the rooms again. Nothing was missing - except my family! I couldn't imagine going to sleep now and considered calling the cops back. Then I thought about calling one of my older siblings and dismissed both notions. What if I was making too much out of nothing? They were vampires for crying out loud - creatures of the night and all that. It was still a couple hours until sunrise; I'd give them until morning.
I'd just decided this when my eye landed on a reflection from the floor. I bent over and examined a the few coins - definitely foreign - and the small key like device. "What the...?" I picked up the key first and nearly fell back as I was assaulted with a crystal clean mental image.
All I could do was watch them playing with those creepy dolls from behind some sort of glass window. Wherever they were they seemed to be sealed up tight but not in danger...for now.
The vision - if that's what it was - stopped almost as suddenly as it had started. I scooped up the coins and examined them closely - French of some sort it looked like. Hadn't they adopted the Euro years ago? I cursed my own inability to pay attention in Economics!
I shoved the coins and the key into my pocket and pulled on a jacket and my jeans. I probably should a whole host of other people first but I called Derik and ran next door where he was already waiting for me with open arms.
I related everything that had happened since he'd dropped me over a few hours ago and as the take continued he looked more and more concerned. "And you haven't called your brothers and sisters...or I don't know, the cops?"
"What am I supposed to tell them? There was no sign of forced entry, our car is gone, as far as I know they went for a drive and decided to stay overnight somewhere." I said. Even to my ears this sounded stupid. He was right - I should be calling people. But something about this made me nervous and my fingers just wouldn't dial the numbers. "I know it sounds crazy..."
"No...it's your family." he said quickly. "Come on, let's go outside so we don't wake up my mom."
Even though it was well beyond curfew, we walked along quietly for awhile until we came to one of the many little parks in town. I took his hand and walked with him toward an empty patch of grass. "Derik...there's something I need to tell you and you're gonna think I'm crazy..."
"You can tell me anything Luna." Derik said softly, placing his hand on mine. "Wow, I never noticed how much your skin shimmers under the moon. It's beautiful..."
"It's a full moon, see?" I said pointing up into the clear sky. That was a rarity in Twinbrook, fog and clouds covered the town most of the time, day or night.
"So it is." he smiled at me. "So what did you want to tell me?"
"Um, I think I may..." I cut myself off and dug into my pockets, pulling out the coins. "These - do you recognize them?"
"They're coins..." he must have seen my roll my eyes because he picked one up and looked closer. "French?"
"See that's what I thought but the French have adopted the Euro for at least a decade now I think..." I said examining one myself. "And these aren't new either...I mean look at them!"
"I AM looking Luna, I just don't know anything about coins. Besides, what does this have to do with anything?" he was getting exasperated with me.
"Well how often does a thief carry around old French coins that are no longer in circulation..AND when I heard him cursing it was in some other language - I bed it was French..." I argued.
"Do you think the burglary and your family being gone are related?" Derik asked, clearly surprised by my leap. Of course HE hadn't seen the vision I did when I touched the key.
I jumped to my feet. "I'm going home. I should call...someone...thanks for this." I said quickly as pieces of an insane plan fell into place in my mind.
"Luna!" Derik called after me but I was already off and running - probably way faster than I should have been in front of a human but I didn't care.
I'd barely gotten away from Hermione the next morning. I don't know how she knew but I could tell by watching her twitch and fidget on the stoop that she knew. I threw the last of my clothes into the overstuffed backpack and opened my window. So I was three stories up - what's the use of being a vampire if you can't survive something like that? That's what I told myself as I let go of the window anyway and began to fall toward the earth. I landed with a thud but I was on my feet and alive. "That was not my best plan ever." I muttered and then took off at a run with Hermione still standing, unaware, on the front stoop.
I watched the small village form under the plane as we drew nearer and once again wondered why I picked here of all places. But there was something, something I couldn't explain, that drew me this place and I hoped it was connected to the vision. I hoped I was on the right track.
I collected my stuff from the overhead bins of the small plane and could have sworn I saw Derik out of the corner of my eye but when I turned, there was just a large balding man giving me the stink eye because I was taking too long. "Sorry." I muttered. Still, the whole trip to the hostel I felt like I was being followed and kept turning to look - much to the cab driver's annoyance.
Of course he was standing there when I stepped out of the cab. I thought he was a figment of my imagination at first - like all the other times. "What are you doing here?!" I hissed at him.
"Well, I was worried and I saw you run off from your house so I followed you. You're a REALLY fast runner by the way." Derik said with a goofy smile on his face.
"You're not charming your way out of this. You need to get back on that plane and go home now. This is BAD." I protested.
"Look, if you're here, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere!" Derik yelled back as the grin disappeared. I rolled my eyes and let out a heavy sigh but stopped arguing - for now. I'd just have to lose him later.
Even though I had the business of finding my family to get to, I didn't really know where to start and my vampire intuition seemed to be stalled for the moment so Derik and I walked around the village for awhile not saying much. "Wait a sec." Derik said before darting off. I tried calling after him but he ignored me. He emerged a few minutes later with his hand behind his back.
They were lovely - and obviously just picked from the sprawling fields of wild flowers - I rewarded him with the first smile since we'd landed. "Thank you." I said. The sweet smell of some sort of Cafe blew our way and we were both looking rather starved suddenly. "Food?"
"Food!" Derik agreed, slipping his hand in mine. We walked together, following the smell of sugar, cinnamon, fresh bread, coffee, and a dozen other scents until we found the source.
"Hey Luna - they're talking about some museum...we should go there. Maybe they have a coin collection or something you can compare your coins to." he suggested.
"Good idea." I said. I didn't think it would lead us to much but it was worth a shot given that I had no other plan. We finished our food and took our leave of the cafe after asking for directions to the museum in question. To my great relief the owner of the cafe spoke English well enough or we may have been wandering the countryside all afternoon.
For a French Museum, there were an awful lot of Egyptian and Chinese relics on display. "Weird..." I said just as Derik swung a pillow around to make contact with my head. "Derik! I don't think..." he was moving in for another strike so I grabbed a pillow off the bed to defend myself.
After a couple guests and a museum attendant gave us the stink eye, we, somewhat sheepishly, returned to pillows to the bed for whence they came and hurried on giggling.
We nearly tripped over the red rope that was erected around two large sarcophagi. "Wow!" I said staring up and the darker looking of the two. "That's..."
"Pure evil." Derik supplied from behind me.
"I don't know about THAT." I said. I glanced up and down the hall and then climbed over the red velvet rope.
"What are you doing?! Luna!" Derik hissed at me, now looking around frantically. "There's a rope for a reason!"
"Says the guy who started a pillow fight in the middle of the museum." I said with a grin. I looked back at the sarcophagus and ran my fingers along the edges delicately. On the side I noticed a small keyhole and frowned. Did sarcophagi normally have keys? I fished out the key from my pocket and it slid easily into the hole. With a light click on the inside, the door yielded to my touch.
I could barely see inside but I started to step inside and realized the floor didn't feel like it should. I stooped and ran my hand along it until I found a latch. I could hear Derik calling me softly but I just couldn't help myself. I threw open the trap door and peered down into the near darkness. There was a soft flickering glow coming from within. Without looking at him, I motioned Derik over before slipping down into the narrow passage until my feet landed on a flight of stairs. Considering we were on the second floor of museum, it seemed like this must be leading between the walls of two rooms or something. The stairs descended for sometime - way more than one modern floor and I looked back a couple times to make sure Derik was still following me.
Finally the stairs landed on a packed dirt floor and we were able to spread out a bit. There was dust and cobwebs covering practically every surface of the cavern. There was a pile of rubble blocking what may have been a doorway and no other exits other than the stairs we came down. "What is this place?"
"I have no idea.." I said. I noticed a well used but solid pick ax sitting against the wall and frowned. Why would it be there? I picked it up and began to swing it down on the rocks but Derik caught my arm and took the pick ax from me. Manly. I tried not to roll my eyes - we'd be through faster if he left it to me but I wouldn't say that or try to explain it.
Sometime later, we pushed the last of the rocks away and had to jump back as the doorway swung open of it's own accord. I looked at Derik and he met my gaze with wide eyes. "We could go back..." I offered, thinking mostly of getting him out of here. If I could just lose him, I could find out where this led without possibly putting him in danger.
"Where you go, I go remember?" he said.
"Idiot." I said under my breath but I smiled at his bravery.
We made it through a couple more rooms before we found ourselves back in the main room we'd come down the stairs into. The door we'd opened was closed and the rubble had returned to block it again. "What the...?" Derik asked.
The door behind us shut with a loud crunch of stone against stone and we were left with the option of ascending the stairs back into the museum or clearing the rubble again. "Let's just go back to the hostel..." I said sadly. For a few hours I thought I'd been onto something. It couldn't be just chance that the person who broke into my house had dropped the key that fit that sarcophogus, that key that had given me a vision! Reluctantly we traipsed back up the stairs and out into the now darkened museum.
It was pitch dark inside and out - I hadn't realized just how long we'd been down there!
With no light and no idea who to call, we started back toward town and I soon lost track of Derik - this time unintentionally. I looked around frantically for him, feeling truly afraid for the first time in ages. I was moving so quickly searching for him that I almost didn't see the shadow of a woman walking ahead. "Hey! Lady!" I called out into the night.
She didn't turn around.
I frowned and tried calling out again but she just kept going. I was watching her go when I felt the my skin crawl like I wasn't alone. "Derik?" I asked quietly, not like he'd be able to hear me.
I closed my eyes and took a steadying breath. I heard the click just as I detected the familiar scent of another vampire. When I turned around I could hear the rustle of the grass and leaves as he ran off but could just barely make out his form against the dark night sky.
"Damnit!" I shouted, my voice piercing the still night air. "Derik!"
"What?" he asked, strolling up to me as if he hadn't been missing at all.
"What?! Where have you been?" I thundered at him.
"I was like ten feet that way!" he said defensively. I narrowed my eyes at him and looked toward where he pointed in a perfectly open field. I would have seen him there. What the hell was going on?!
"Let's go." I took his hand firmly in mine - not a romantic gesture so much as fear of losing track of him when there was at least one full grown vampire around.
We got back to the hostel and I waited until Derik was crashed out in his room before I slipped out of my own, this time equipped with a flash light. I ran at full speed back to the museum, intent on finding my way through that hidden tomb - or whatever it was!
I was staring at the sarcophagus when she seemed to materialize before me. I looked her over twice before my eyes locked on hers.
"Don't bring the human back down there - you are one of us and are welcome but he is not. You were lucky today." she said.
"Lucky? What do you mean?" I asked but she'd disappeared almost as quickly as she'd appeared. Who were these people?!
"Luna?" A familiar voice hissed at me in the darkness. "Hey Luna where are you?"
"Derik!" I hissed back, rolling my eyes. "You seriously need to get over this stalker mentality," I said as I followed the sound of his breathing. "It's bad for your health." I added under my breath.
"Oh how nice, you brought a snack." a deeper, more sinister voice said. It seemed to be in the air all around me and I ran faster toward Derik's voice. I stumbled around the corner and saw Derik crouched on the ground, his eyes wide. There was no visible threat but terror played across his face.
"Derik!" I asked trying to run toward him. Something hard and solid met my skull at that moment and I remember thinking it made a sick crack as I crumbled to the ground in a broken heap.
Stealthy you are not
Least he has a shirt on this time - That's Derik's father, he likes to walk around topless :P
Derik is a bit...insane