04 - Now You See Me

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Mount Burdock District - The Slippery Abyss

The taxi pulled onto the last bend on the cliff of the Slippery Abyss. Amelia peered out of the window at the old, nearly worn out castle that sat on the edge of the cliff. 

The slim, round towers piercing the sky were the first you'd see of the castle. The towers were six in number, spread across the two-sided castle, and connected by massive granite walls. The windows were scattered randomly across the face of the castle, and the crowing birds flying about the towers reminded her of dungeons and dragons. She noticed the massive brass gates as they went past it. It was the only visible way in, but a castle as old as this must have its secrets.  

They pulled into the parking lot and Jo settled their fare. As they stepped out of the taxi, she gasped in wonder, nudging Amelia with a giggle.

"This is awesome," Jo whispered to Amelia. 

Amelia nodded. It was awesome. Up close, the castle wasn't as old as she thought. The garden in the middle of the driveway was green with life with the enticing smell of flowers, and the vegetation in front of the heavily decorated entrance was the delicious breath of spring. She wondered about the seclusion of the castle from the heart of Rebrook. Several of the districts were the same, secluded and allowed only a select breed. It posed very fascinating questions. 

"Good evening ma'am," the middle-aged man greeted with a polite smile. He was a minute, with a heavy mustache. His black tuxedo was perfectly tailored to his fit. "Invitations please," Amelia handed theirs to him. 

"Enjoy your evening ma'am," he said after inspecting their invitation. They smiled to him and followed the rolled out red carpet into a large ballroom.  

The castle had clearly withstood the test of time. The rocks of the walls were aged, and vines and plants were growing inside the cracks, but the interior was the complete opposite. 

"Whoa," Jo murmured. 

Amelia looked about the room with a curious scowl. It was all an erroneous misdirection. She half laughed to herself, looking about the well-lit, beautifully large ballroom. It's an illusion, Julieta's voice with the wind. A horrendous outside to distract from whatever was in here. She looked about the room, with intent. She'd heard Julieta's voice a moment ago. 

The faces fascinated her. Either Joe didn't pay close enough attention or she was seeing things. They were dissimulated, half of them. They were more than they appeared to be. Past the ballroom to the very end of the hall, her sight traveled past the crowded room to a black-haired woman dressed in a black dress, seated on a chair like a throne. Lady Croft, she heard in her head.  

"Come on, let's get something to drink," Jo took her arm and led her to the bar. Amelia slipped onto a stool with a smile. She wasn't used to being on this side of the bar. "Two martinis," Jo ordered. The bartender nodded to them and got busy. "So?"

"It's a nice party," Amelia replied. "Do you have any idea what it's for?"

"Who cares? It's a party. Drink, mingle, have fun," Jo shrugged. "We've got to return to our boring lives after." Amelia smiled at her. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck raise and took a deep calming breath. He was here, she could feel him-her stalker. She turned to the room, towards the pull that tormented her. He wasn't hiding in the shadows this time. He was standing there, hands thrust in pockets, in a perfectly fitted grey tuxedo. He was deep in conversation with a blonde lady. His piercing silver eyes, set well within their sockets raised to hers and held. She felt her pupils dilate the more she stared. His eyes were soft, soothing and beckoning.

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