What Lies Hidden in Your Closet: Part Eight
"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..."
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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."
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