Chapter eleven – part one
I’m sorry for the shortness of this chapter, guys. My game has been kinda wacky since I’ve been playing around with berry skins, and just this chapter has taken me about sixteen crashes to write. xD Also, Nikola’s skin was one of the things that went out of control, so I had to temporarily change it. I hope to find his real skin again soon (GODS that sounds creepy.) and change it back, since I don’t really like his current skin. xD
Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy!
I’d brought Nikola his drink, after which I’d told the two of them to stay where they were. I’d left them in that room, keeping an eye on them through the transparent door while sitting down on a crate and trying to figure out what to do next. And now, at least twenty minutes later, my mind was still empty.
I had absolutely no clue what to do.
The boy, Nikola, didn’t seem to mind. He was eyeing me in the same way that I was eyeing him, keeping his little sister behind him to make sure she’d be safe. During those twenty minutes I’d sat on the crate, they just stood there, doing nothing. It was kind of unsettling, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason why.
I could clearly feel the shape of my cellphone in my pocket. It was almost screaming to be taken out. One phone call to the Colonel and he’d send troops over here to apprehend the children and neutralize the threat… but were they really a threat? No matter how I looked at them, they seemed like harmless children. And yet, and yet… the vibe they gave off wasn’t that of a child. It was… different, somehow. But at least it wasn’t the vibe of bloodlust in the air, which had to mean that they really were harmless… right?
Maybe I could talk to them. Find out where they came from, and what they had been doing in that abandoned basement. The thought of asking about their parents came up in my mind, but I pushed it away. They probably didn’t have parents. Or did they? Those monsters we’d been hunting down- did they have parents?
It was hard to imagine.
I decided to throw that chain of thoughts aside and focused on Nikola, who hadn’t moved around at all, save for an occasional glance at his sister. He probably had the answers to many of my questions. But he had also clearly resisted me every time I’d asked him something.
Maybe I needed to gain his trust first?
That seemed to be the best option. And seeing how protective he was of his sister, taking care of her was probably the best way to get him to cooperate with me. The red-haired girl seemed bored, blankly staring into the distance, just like her brother was when he wasn’t looking at me.
Perhaps I could give her something to play with.
I nodded to myself and rose up from the dusty crate, brushing off the back of my pants before walking back into the ex-bedroom.
‘Nikola. Your sister looks bored. Shall I look for something that she can play with?’
He frowned, looking at me as if I’d said something incomprehensible. I saw him slowly move in front of the girl, like he’d been constantly doing in my presence.
‘You know, just to keep her entertained. I know how difficult toddlers can be when they’re bored.’
He still had that frown on his face. Nikola looked like a child that was trying to understand something new, and at the same time, he didn’t look like a child at all. It was quite fascinating.
‘What does “play” mean?’
‘What are you saying? Just playing, like all children do. Don’t tell me you don’t know how to play.’
I’d said it with a smile, but when he continued to look at me with that puzzled look on his face, that smile quickly faded. And then it suddenly hit me.
He really didn’t know what I was talking about. This boy, or whatever it was, truly did not know what it meant to play, to have fun. How could that be? Didn’t all children know how to play? I’d known it from the beginning, and so had my brothers and sisters. Did that mean that those two weren’t children, after all?
Without as much as a second word, I turned around and left the room. My eyes scanned the living area and made me walk towards my parent’s old bedroom, where the entrance to the baby room had been.
Toys. I was looking for toys. Why, I didn’t even know myself, but it bothered me greatly. The way he had frowned when I mentioned playing. As if he’d never done it before.
The crates in the old bedroom were filled with something heavy and placed in my way, but I put my back in it and pushed them out of the way without much effort. Now the way to the nursery was free and, without giving it another thought, I walked inside.
What followed was a crashing train full of memories. I saw my mom, placing a bouncing Ciel in his highchair for a meal while I watched from behind. I saw myself as a toddler, being potty trained and fighting with Ivan over a bottle. I saw my father, teaching me how to play on the baby xylophone with the patience of an angel.
I violently shook my head, trying to get my mind back in the current world. Slowly, the room as it was now came into my vision again. The crib was gone, together with the paintings on the walls and the potty, as well as almost all of the stuffed toys.
There was one thing that was still there, however. At the far end of the room, tucked away in a corner and covered in dust, was the little xylophone from my memories. The wood had paled and although the painting on the iron bars seemed intact, I could see grey at the corners and rust had completely tainted its backside.
But it was a toy. Our toy.
I picked it up, a smile on my face. This had to be good enough. I looked around for the drumstick for a few seconds, before finding it in the other corner of the room. I picked that up as well and walked back to the bedroom, finally placing the toy on the ground in front of the vampire girl.
‘Go on, try it,’ I encouraged her. ‘It’s okay.’
She looked at me, at the toy, and then back to me with a look on her face that was just as puzzled as the look on the face of her big brother.
‘What is that?’ he asked, cautiously.
‘It’s a xylophone. A small one, at least. It’s supposed to make music, but it’s old, so it might not sound that great.’
He looked down at the little instrument, suspicion and curiosity fighting to get the upper hand in his eyes.
‘How do you use it?’
I smiled and pointed at the drumstick, that by now the vampire girl had picked up.
‘You hold that and hit the little coloured bars with it. Go on, let her give it a try.’
Nikola hesitated for a second, and then turned his head to his little sister. A short nod gave her the insurance she needed: it was okay, it was safe to try out. Slowly, she lifted the wooden drumstick and then, with a face full of stubborn toddler-determination, she brought the stick down and hit the bars with it.
A single, slightly false tone rose up from the colored bar that she’d struck. A look of pure surprise crossed her face, and she instantly reached out to Nikola, grabbing hold of his dark trousers.
I looked aside at the little male vampire. His expression was, like the girls’, that of surprise and wonder. This had to be the first time they’d heard music play. The thought sounded so strange in my mind, and yet I knew that it was true.
And then her mouth turned into a smile.
It was the most adorable thing I’d ever seen. Her eyes were sparkling, literally, with excitement about the new discovery that she’d made. The smile made her whole face light up, and suddenly I’d lost the image of a little vampire and instead pictured a small angel, a little angel with red hair and orange eyes.
And it fit her perfectly.
‘What do you think?’ I asked Nikola. ‘Not bad, right? That’s playing. Have you ever done something like this before?’
He shook his head, while keeping his eyes on the xylophone. The little redhead was now continuously hitting it, producing different tones with each strike. She was still silent, but the huge grin on her face said enough.
‘I’ll leave you to it,’ I nodded while turning around, content that my plan had worked. With short, swift steps I walked away, until Nikola’s voice called me back.
‘What is it?’ I asked, careful to keep my voice friendly.
‘Her name. It’s Selene.’
I couldn’t help it. Just for a little bit, a warm glow spread inside of me and I felt my mouth turning into a smile.
‘Thank you, Nikola. I’m happy you told me that.’ He still looked like he had something to say to me. This time I waited patiently, giving him time to form the words.
‘Could… you show us more? Of how to play?’
My smile became wider.
‘If that’s what you want… yes. I will.’
His eyes lit up in a way that reminded me of Christmas when I was still a child, when we saw the presents underneath the tree. It was truly adorable. He smiled at me for the first time, before turning around to go sit with his sister.
And then, as if it had waited for the worst possible moment, my cellphone began to buzz. I jumped from surprise and quickly exited the room, walking all the way around the crates in the living quarters before finally taking the machine out of my pocket.
It was the Colonel.
Why? Why now? My fingers turned white from clutching the little device so tightly. Did I have to pick up? What reason could he have for calling me? Did he know what was going on? Did he know about them?
No, wait, that wasn’t possible. No-one knew where I was. It was probably a call for another mission, or a new briefing, even though I was supposed to be on temporary leave. But I couldn’t go back to the base, not now, not while all this was going on. I didn’t want to leave those two behind. They were important. I knew they were, even though I wasn’t sure as to why.
And they needed me.
I was not going to leave this place.
Just like that, my decision had been made. I grabbed the key to the backyard, went outside and walked right over to what had been a tiny swimming pool a few years back. Now the blue walls were green from algae, the water looked murky and smelled horrible and plants had started to grow their way inside.
I firmly pressed the power button, before stepping forward and letting go of the device. With a small splash, the phone sunk down to the bottom. I watched as the screen flashed, flashed again, and then it died from the water overload. A single bubble rose to the surface. And then it was silent.
I walked back inside.
Again, I’m sorry for the short chapter. It was supposed to be longer and much more detailed, if not for the game hating me at the moment. xD