Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 135,120,765 Issue: 267 | 22nd day of Storing, Y8
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What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Eight


by puppy200010

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"Hmm," Kalina's owner commented as she strode into the room. "I guess she's not in here. I could have sworn that I'd find her in here..." She slowly swept her eyes around the room but stopped once she laid her eyes on the table Kalina was hiding under. Kalina drew in a nervous breath, mentally scolding herself for making even the tiniest bit of noise. "You know, I really should make sure to organize my chemicals better." Kalina's owner slowly walked over to the table and started moving the beakers on top of it, but she stopped when there was a knock on the front door, downstairs. "I'd better go get that," she said to herself, walking out the door.

      Once she was out of earshot, Kalina asked, "Are you there, Sury?" No answer. Kalina sighed, also making her way to the door.

      "Hold on a second," came the voice of Sury, though her body was still nowhere to be seen.

      "Where are you?" Kalina asked in confusion, furrowing her brow.

      "Oh, right behind you."

      Kalina whirled around, only to see nothing. "Stop playing games with me!" she commanded, becoming annoyed with Sury's antics.

      "Relax. I'd appear right this moment if I could, but it takes a few minutes for the invisibility to wear off..."

      "Invisibility?"

      "Yes. It's yet another perk of being a ghost, but unfortunately, it takes a lot of energy. I can't do it very often. Which is probably good, considering the fact that it takes quite awhile before I can reappear."

      "Oh!" Kalina breathed, now realizing something. "So that day when I found the door... You, though invisible, were in there, playing with my dolls, right?"

      "Huh?" Sury was confused. "I've played with your dolls before but never while you were in the closet with me... and certainly not while I was invisible. What are you talking about?"

      "Well, I went into the closet, and one of my dolls was standing in the dollhouse, which wasn't where I had left him. I tried to move him, but he was stuck, so I ended up flying backwards. When I looked up, the dollhouse had moved, revealing the door, and the doll had moved. I crawled over to it, and as I stared at it, it winked. So, if it wasn't you that moved it, how did...?" Kalina didn't bother to finish her sentence, but the question still hung heavily in the air.

      "I... I don't know," Sury admitted. "A lot of strange stuff goes on in this house, and it's not only related to me and my 'haunting'."

      "Which is another thing that makes me curious. Why did your owner want to trap you back here? It seems like such an unjustified, evil thing for an owner to do to her own pet."

      "I agree with you there, but my owner did have her reasons. At that particular time in history, Sloth was desperate for power, so he had devised an evil plot to go around and drain creatures of all their magical ability. It may sound rather far-fetched, but think about it. Even if you're only looking at Neopia Central, imagine how much magical power citizens here have, if you combine them all together. With such a large amount of power, Sloth would be able to do anything he'd want! Well, being a ghost, I was already a big target to him. After I entered into the back hallway, my magical abilities nearly doubled; that hallway is enchanted. So, rather than subject me to the dangers of being caught by Sloth, my owner decided to keep me safe by keeping me here. Sloth has always done his dirty work at night, which is when the doors are enchanted from both sides. No one, not even my own owner, is capable of passing through them then. The only downside to my owner's plan is the fact that the effects of the spell are all but permanent. There is no known way to remove the spell once it is in effect, so I'm completely stuck here." Sury was starting to become visible once more, and Kalina could see that her head was hung over sadly.

      "Are you sure that there's no possible way?" Kalina asked, wanting to help her friend.

      "I've tried, time and time again, to find a way around the doors, but nothing's worked. I've wondered if perhaps there's some book out there that explains a possible way of unenchanting the doors, but I've read every book inside this laboratory, and none of them describe a way."

      "I'll go to the library to look," Kalina uttered immediately, getting up to walk toward the door.

      "The library? You actually think they'd keep books with that kind of information at the library?"

      "It's worth a shot at least, don't you think?" Kalina stopped when she reached the knobless door. "Say, Sury, you wouldn't know how I can open this door from this side, would you?"

      "Oh, it's easy - or at least to someone who isn't a ghost. Just reach over to that bookshelf to the right of the door and reach around behind the books. I used to see my owner do it all the time. There must be some switch or something back there."

      Kalina reached back into the bookcase and felt for some kind of a switch. She found one quickly and pushed on it, but it was quickly evident that the switch she had used was not the correct one. As the bookshelf started to smoke and shake, Kalina backed up a step and opened her mouth to scream. Unfortunately for her, a before-unseen milky white potion that had been sitting on top of the shelf was shaken off the edge of the shelf, and it toppled over in mid-air, completely drenching Kalina in the potion.

      "Ugh!" Kalina spat, soaking wet. "I think I got some in my mouth!" She tried to wring some of the liquid out of her fur but stopped when she caught the expression on Sury's face. "Why are you staring at..." The words caught in her throat as she glanced across the room and saw her own reflection in a small mirror situated on one of the other bookshelves. From the head down, she was quickly becoming transparent.

      "Th-th-that w-was..." Sury stuttered in clear disbelief. "That was the exact same potion that I sipped, years ago. It must be. My owner must have stored it there."

      "What do I do now?!" Kalina squeaked in panic.

      "I-I don't know!" Sury responded in an equally panicked tone. For a few seconds, neither of them spoke, and a peculiar scuffling sound could be heard.

      "What's that noise?" Kalina questioned.

      "I'm not sure," replied Sury, feeling as though she had used similar phrasing to answer nearly all of Kalina's questions that day.

      The pair of them walked toward the hallway, which was where the sound seemed to be coming from. The hallway suddenly was nearly pitch-black, but there were two tiny, green lights coming from a spot farther down the hallway. Sury followed them, seeming almost to be in a trance state.

      "What are you doing?" Kalina squeaked in a whisper, grabbing at her friend's arm.

      "Must... follow... the light..." Sury replied in a voice not unlike that of a robot. She yanked her arm back and continued walking. Wanting to make sure Sury wouldn't walk into a trap, Kalina followed.

      The two small, glowing, green lights seemed to be coming from one of the doorways along the hallway. As the two got closer, it felt almost as if some invisible force was pulling them closer. Kalina suspected that even if she would have resisted its pull, she wouldn't be able to get away. A cold wind started to blow in the hallway, and they could soon hear a familiar voice.

      "Yes!" it cackled. "My plan is working!" A swirling black hole suddenly appeared where one of the doors had been, and somehow, it gave a soft illumination to the hallway, revealing... one of Kalina's Usuki dolls. Kalina immediately grabbed at one of the light fixtures on the wall to avoid being pulled in. Her other paw grabbed Sury, who seemed hypnotized by the black hole.

      The doll looked almost like it had the last time Kalina had played with it, but now, its eyes burned with a bright green color, a color quite similar to that of radioactive substances. Not only that, but its usual cheerful expression had twisted into an ugly, hateful snarl. With a quite satisfied, smug, and evil look in its eyes, it began to speak. "For years I have been searching for a perfect plan, a devious plot crazy enough to get inside this passageway. Finally, after working for months and years, I have managed to transfer enough magical power into this doll to pass through that doorway... finally!" As he spoke, Kalina recognized the voice coming from the possessed doll, and as a result, the doll's eyes glowed even more strongly. With the voice of Sloth, he laughed maniacally. "Now, if you'll both only be so kind as to come a bit closer, I can steal your magical power and be on my merry way... to take over Neopia!" He laughed again.

      "What magical power? What are you talking about?" Kalina yelled through gritted teeth as she desperately clung to the light fixture on the wall to resist the hole's pull.

      "Oh, yes, I suppose I haven't quite explained myself very thoroughly yet. You see, I've been collecting magical power from pets for years. Physical power is good, of course, but magical power is so much more... powerful. I've collected a lot of power so far, but not nearly enough to take over Neopia. You and your friend here happen to have enough magical ability between the two of you for me to finally reach my necessary amount of power to overtake the planet! I would have collected it ages ago, but someone's owner just had to go enchanting the doorways here!" he roared. After taking a deep breath, he continued. "My plan was quite simple, really. After I discovered that Sury played with dolls often, I knew that I'd somehow be able to manipulate that to benefit myself. I decided to transfer some of my power into these dolls, and once they got powerful enough, they'd be able to suck the magic right out of her! Unfortunately for me, the dolls couldn't absorb a lot of my magic all at once; the transfer of magic would have to be done over time. Another added benefit is the allowance of passage through enchanted doorways, which occurs at a very high level of magical ability. Said level was reached this morning! Now, just come a bit closer..."

      "No!" Kalina screamed as the pull from the black hole multiplied. She tightened her grip as much as she could, but she knew that she wouldn't be able to hold on for much longer. With an extreme feeling of guilt, Kalina decided to try out her new powers as a ghost and started trying to pull the magic out of the hypnotized Sury into her own body. Slowly, she could feel the newly acquired magic flowing through her veins, and Sloth was aware of it too.

      "What?! What are you doing? You can't!" were Sloth's last words, uttered only a split second before Kalina lifted one finger of the paw holding onto Sury's wrist, and sent a long, yellow bolt of magic in the direction of the doll.

      The eyes of the doll flickered green and black for moment before the doll shrank back to normal and fell into the hole. Kalina thought she heard "I'll get yoooooooou..." come on the dying wind, but she wasn't completely sure she had heard it. The black hole started to close, and after about ten seconds, it was gone. As soon as it had gone, all the candles sitting in the light fixtures suddenly were lit, and the hallway was completely illuminated once more.

      Kalina shut her eyes and breathed a deep sigh of relief, but her moment didn't last long. Sury was now collapsed in a heap on the floor. Kalina knelt down quickly, praying that she'd be able transfer of magic in the opposite direction. Her paw pressed against Sury's, Kalina waited. A minute passed, and her heart was beginning to sink in her chest. With tears now forming in her eyes, Kalina gave the paw a last squeeze and dropped it. Just like she had done when she was a little Zafara, she covered her eyes with her paws and sobbed. In her state of absolute misery, Kalina didn't hear or see Sury stirring and starting to move behind her.

      In a weak voice, she said, "Why are you crying? What happened? I can't remember anything."

      Kalina wheeled around, wiping the tears from her eyes. "You're... you're alive!" she squealed in disbelief. Taking Sury's hand, they walked down the hallway toward the lab. "You went into some trance-like state, and - well, I'll tell you all about it. I have a feeling we're going to be haunting this passage for a very long time."

The End

Author's note: I'd like to thank my friend Heather a bunch for helping me get past a point of writer's block in this story and also for helping me with the title!

 
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Other Episodes


» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part One
» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Two
» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Three
» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Four
» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Five
» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Six
» What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Seven



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