Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 155,374,162 Issue: 219 | 9th day of Celebrating, Y7
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Sight: Part Three


by dan4884

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I turned towards the horrible voice, which seemed to be about seven steps behind me. The voice sounded awfully familiar.

     "WHO ARE YOU? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY ART GALLERY?" the voice shrieked. I heard Aylie give a squeak before I clapped my wings to my ears. Once again, that voice sounded just like someone I knew with a gruff, rude voice. Then it dawned on me. I looked towards the voice.

     "Terlizzia?" I asked of the voice. The voice shrieked even louder.

     "DO NOT SPEAK THAT NAME! THAT FILTHY WOMAN GOES AGAINST ALL THAT I HAVE WORKED FOR, ALL THAT I STAND FOR! NOW ANSWER MY QUESTION! WHO ARE YOU?"

     "I'm Lage," I said as bravely as I could, "and this is my older sister, Aylie. We're here because I'm Terlizzia's-" (The spirit screamed again) "-paper boy. I deliver her newspaper every week, and while I was here this week, some creature attacked me and stole some of the art here. We were looking for Ter-for the Aisha who lives here when you appeared. Do you happen to know where she went?" I felt really weird. I didn't know what I was talking to, but whatever it was was listening.

     "No, I do not know!" she said, this time without screaming. "But this thing stole my beautiful art? My prizes, my possessions, they were stolen?! NO!" It sounded like she was sobbing.

     "So you don't anything about Terlizzia?" I asked again. This time, she didn't screech. I heard her sobbing, muttering the same thing over and over: "My art, my precious, precious art!"

     I felt Aylie's breath on my neck, indicating she had moved towards me.

     "Let's get out of here," she muttered to me.

     I nodded, and then linked my arm with hers. I was ready to leave. We were heading down the stairs when I heard part of what the sobbing woman said:

     "That art thief has not heard the last of Ne-"

     Aylie coughed. She must not have heard the woman speaking.

      "ghast! I will make that thief pay, even if it's the last thing I do!"

     I was ready to shove Aylie down the stairs.

     "Aylie! Didn't you hear the woman? She could've given us a clue!"

     "What?" she asked, confused.

     I explained what had happened. Aylie apologized over and over, but it didn't help. I was furious with her. It may have been our only clue to finding Terlizzia and recovering the art.

     "So what was that thing?" I asked her after we had left the house. "She sounded just like Terlizzia, I'm sure of it."

     Aylie hesitated. "Lage, it was a ghost. An Aisha. From what I saw, she seemed to look just like Terlizzia."

     I stopped. A ghost? Could it have been Terlizzia? I posed my questions to Aylie.

     "It couldn't have been her, she screamed when Terlizzia was mentioned. But she did know her. Could she have been a relative? They're both Aishas, after all," she said thoughtfully.

     "That's an interesting idea. Do you think we should try to find out more about her? Look up Terlizzia in the Neopedia or something? Maybe we'd find a clue," I suggested.

     "Good idea," she said. "Let's go now. Every minute we waste could put Terlizzia in more and more trouble."

     I could only nod my head. It was too true.

     ***

     "Let me get this straight- you two want me to find information on this Terlizzia person, but all you have to go by is her first name, and two pieces of someone else's name?"

     I nodded my head. We were standing in front of the Zafara who ran the Help Desk, but so far, she hadn't been too helpful.

     She sighed. It was a low, tired sigh. It seemed like she was overworked. "Well, I'll see what I can do" was all she said. Her tail slid across the cold tile as she walked away to find our request. I turned to speak to Aylie.

     "Do you think she'll find anything?"

     "Hard to tell. It's possible, but with what we know, it'd be awfully hard. I wonder if-"

     "I can't believe it!" Sarah shouted as she scampered towards us. "I found something!"

     I couldn't believe it. "Well, what is it?" I asked eagerly.

     "When you mentioned the end of the name was 'ghast,' I remembered an entry in the Neopedia about a ghost named Mrs. Prenderghast. Does this sound right to you?" she asked.

     I enthusiastically nodded my head. We were getting somewhere!

     "Well, this Mrs. Prenderghast was an art collector. She has a hoard of them up in her mansion, and she will attack anyone who tries to steal her paintings. And you know what else? Her first name is Nerlizzia. This fits into your criteria, right? You said her first name began with 'Ner.' Does this help?"

     My heart was pounding. So Terlizzia must've been a descendant of the ghost! They had almost identical names. It all fit. But there were still a lot of questions. Where was Terlizzia? Who attacked me? Why was Mrs. Prenderghast so mad to hear Terlizzia's name?

     We had to speak with Mrs. Prenderghast again. Everything else had to wait. I had a feeling Terlizzia was in more danger than ever before.

     ***

     Terlizzia awoke with a throbbing pain in her left leg. She gasped, and sat up. She didn't know how long she had blacked out for, nor where she was. Looking around, she noticed she was in a dank, dingy room with no windows or doors. She looked up and noticed a small hatch in the ceiling. It was too high for her to reach by herself, but there was nothing else in the room to stand on. She was a prisoner.

     But whose prisoner was she? She couldn't remember much from the day she was attacked. She remembered Lage, the blind Lenny, was there. And soon after that, she had been attacked by something. But what was it? Her mind drew a blank. There was nothing else she could remember.

     Who would want her? She was just a cranky old woman who lived in a dilapidated old house with her insane great-grandmother and thousands and thousands of paintings. Sure, sounds like a great candidate for a kidnapping. Whoever took her sure couldn't have wanted a ransom.

     "Confused, Terlizzia?" a voice said. Terlizzia jumped and turned towards the sound.

     "Who's there?" she asked, her voice raspy. She looked everywhere, but couldn't see anything but dark.

     "Oh, just an old friend. There's really nothing to worry about. You should be safe soon enough, that is, if that stupid Lenny and his sister don't mess things up any more. Hopefully, your dear great-grandmother will come for you when she finds the message I left."

     "Who are you?" she said, but there was no reply. The hatch in the ceiling had just burst open, and light rushed in. Terlizzia squinted, unaccustomed to the light. The hatch closed a few seconds later, and Terlizzia was alone.

     The voice's last words still rang in her head. Hopefully, your dear great-grandmother will come for you. Terlizzia gulped. Her great-grandmother hated her. But she could only hope this one time her great-grandmother would forget their differences and help Terlizzia.

     She could only hope.

     ***

     Aylie and I traipsed across the path leading towards the Prenderghast mansion deep in thought. We hoped Mrs. Prenderghast would be a bit more helpful this time.

     When we entered the house a short while later, I could feel we were being watched. I was very used to people watching me, and I developed a sort of knowing when someone would stare.

     As Aylie guided me up the staircase, I muttered, "Can you see if anyone's here? I have this feeling someone's watching our every move." A moment later, she replied with a no.

     "There's no one here, Lage."

     "There has to be! I can feel it."

     "I don't see anyone!" she whispered. I was puzzled. My instincts had improved tenfold since my…accident, but Aylie was here saying they were wrong.

     "Well, whatever," I said, "we need to find Mrs. Prenderghast."

     We called out her name and searched the whole floor only to find her in the same place we left her: in the Art Gallery, sobbing.

     "Mrs. Prenderghast?" I asked cautiously. Her crying slowed as she realized we had returned.

     "What? What do you hooligans want? Did you come to return the paintings you stole? Or did you want to rub in the fact I'm missing some of my most prized possessions? Well?" she screamed.

     "Mrs. Prenderghast, we wanted to tell you we could help you recover your paintings," I said. Her crying completely stopped this time.

     "You can?" she asked quickly.

     "Yes, but you have to help us first," Aylie said.

     "How?" she inquired frantically.

     "Give us information. Who is Slygor? What happened 'last time?'" I asked.

     She hesitated. "I'll give you what I can, but you must swear you'll help me."

     I smiled. "Of course."

     "All right. Slygor was a blue Eyrie who used to work with me before I…passed on. We collected art together, and we complemented each other's passion for art. We were the best of friends. Until we had a fight. We were arguing over where we would keep our art. I wanted to keep them here, in this gallery I created specifically for the art. He wanted to keep it where he could watch it too. The nerve of him not trusting me! We had known each other for so long, yet when it came to our precious art, all relationships were thrown out the window!"

     "Well, that's when things got a little messy," she continued. "I ended up like this, and he disappeared forever. Since he left, I took all of the art, but apparently, he's still sore about it. I want my art back so bad!"

     Aylie spoke up. "Ok, that all makes sense, but why would he take Terlizzia?"

     Mrs. Prenderghast uttered a little yelp at the sound of the name.

     "Nerlizzia, you need to get over the grudge you hold with her. Whatever she did can't be that bad," I said, frustrated.

     "Yes it is!" she protested. "She sold some of my beautiful art!" She broke into tears again.

     I heard Aylie laugh a little. "It's just some art!" she said. I kicked her before she could say anything more.

     "JUST SOME ART?!" she screeched. "THIS IS EVERYTHING TO ME! ALL THAT I'VE WORKED FOR! IT IS NOT JUST SOME ART!"

     "Alright, alright," Aylie said, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. Now, could you please give us some more information? Where might Slygor be?"

     "I don't know! He could be anywhere. I told you, he disappeared years ago," she said, clearly annoyed. "But…he could be…no, he wouldn't be there," she said to herself.

     "Where?" I asked.

     "He used to live right near here, in an old cabin. He could be there. But I always thought he left for another land," she said.

     "Then we'll check there first," I said. I turned to leave when she stopped us.

     "Wait. I have something that may help you." I heard her float by me and return a few moments later.

     "Here. I want you to take this, young man." She handed me a small bottle with a cork in it. "Drink all of it. The effect will only last for a short while."

     I whispered to Aylie, "Do you think it's safe?"

     "Yeah. I think she trusts us, so we should trust her," she replied.

     "All right. Bottoms up!" I pulled open the bottle and drained it.

     The potion's effect started a few minutes later. I was so shocked I almost fainted.

     I could see again.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Sight: Part One
» Sight: Part Two
» Sight: Part Four
» Sight: Part Five



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