Sight: Part Three
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
"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
"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
"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
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.
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
"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
"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...