Mystery of the Neolodge: Part Five
The next day, TigerWing sat in her room with Cali, pondering about the Storm
Amulet and Jack Kenton. They were both thinking about the case. A loud knock
on the door startled them. TigerWing almost thought about ignoring it. What
if it was Jack coming to tell her that he knew she heard his conversation yesterday
“Answer the door,” TigerWing mouthed to Cali.
“You answer it!” Cali whispered back, “What if it’s Jack?”
Relax, TigerWing, the Pteri thought to herself, So what if it’s Jack.
I’m not afraid of him… just answer the door… She crossed the room from the
table and pulled open the door. It was the green Aisha who was a staff member.
TigerWing recognized her as the one who worked at the front desk.
“Hi,” the Aisha said, “I’ve just stopped by to give you this.” She handed TigerWing
a piece of thick paper. The Aisha smiled and left as TigerWing thanked her.
“What is it?” Cali asked when TigerWing shut the door. She quickly read it,
“Oh, it’s some kind of invitation!” She cleared her throat and read, “‘You are
cordially invited to attend a dinner party this coming Thursday in the month
of Swimming. This is an informal event, provided by the Neolodge for the residents
to enjoy. It will take place in the dining room on the ground floor at 6:30
pm. Please R.S.V.P. in the envelope provided and return it to the front desk.
We hope to see you there!’” Below the words was a small box in which to write
how many Neopets in their group were attending.
“Do you think that all of the residents got one of these?”
“Yeah,” said TigerWing, “That Aisha probably gave one to every room.”
“Want to go?” Cali asked.
“Sure,” said TigerWing, grabbing a pen from the table and writing ‘2’ in the
R.S.V.P. box, “Why not.”
She and Cali found Wiseguy and Tweetie at the tennis courts. TigerWing asked
Wiseguy if he and Tweetie got an invitation to the dinner party.
“Yep,” said Wiseguy, “You?”
“Uh-huh,” said Cali, “Are you coming?”
“Sure,” said Wiseguy, pausing to swing his racket at the tennis ball that was
whizzing toward him, “Nothing wrong with free food!”
“And this will be a great way to keep an eye on our suspects!” TigerWing whispered.
Wiseguy smiled slyly and nodded.
Tweetie came running over to them and whispered, “I’m going to catch that Neopet
who’s trying to steal the amulet,” he swung his tennis racket at an invisible
enemy, “Pow! Pow!” TigerWing smiled down at her brother.
“Don’t get too ahead of yourself, bud. We’re going to try our best to find
that amulet.” TigerWing glanced in the direction of the court next to them.
She saw a red Kyrii at the other end swinging a tennis racket.
“Hey look!” TigerWing whispered and jerked her head in the direction of the
Kyrii, “There’s Capara.”
“I bet she does have a room here,” Wiseguy said. Capara spotted them and waved.
Why was she acting so friendly towards them? Maybe she’s just in a good mood…
Before the dinner party, TigerWing and Cali went to the grooming parlor where
Cali had her fur brushed out neatly and TigerWing had her feathers cleaned so
they sparkled like diamonds. Now they were ready to go to that dinner. Tweetie
was saving their table. TigerWing and Cali took their seats with Wiseguy and
waited. A few minutes later, a waiter came to their table and asked for their
orders. TigerWing ordered some Negg Soup and the waiter went off to bring their
food. TigerWing looked around. She saw Spectre sitting at the far table in the
back along with Jack Kenton. They both had a glass of White Wine and were chatting
Jack Kenton and Spectre?
If Jack Kenton really was after the Storm Amulet, was Spectre his accomplice?
Or maybe it was just a coincidence that they were sitting together. They were
both dressed very business-like, in suits; Jack was speaking to Spectre in an
undertone. Jack shot a glance at TigerWing. She turned around in her seat and
still felt Jack’s red eyes on the back of her chair. His eyes narrowed in her
direction. TigerWing took a long sip of her Tropical Fruit Smoothie and tried
to act casual.
Their food was delievered and TigerWing took a spoonful of Negg Soup. It tasted
wonderful, like a mixture of all the different Neggs in the Neggery. Cali and
Wiseguy loved to visit the Negg Faerie in the Ice Caves. Their long fur kept
them warm in the snowy atmosphere. TigerWing thought of all of the different
Neggs in the soup when the green Aisha stepped up to a podium in the front of
the room and called for everyone’s attention.
“I hope you’re enjoying your dinner, everyone. There is plenty of food so don’t
feel shy to ask our waiters for more!” Everyone chuckled. She stepped away from
the podium and disappeared in the crowd of Neopets.
TigerWing finally spotted Capara eating with a group of other Neopets who
looked very rich. She was sitting at the end of their table by herself, but
she didn’t look sad about it. TigerWing thought that Capara was probably happy
that she was getting served food instead of delivering it to other Neopets at
Wiseguy took a bite of his second helping of Meat Lasagna and murmured his
approval. Tweetie was eating a Spicy Chicken Burrito, taking a sip of water
now and then to soothe his burning tongue. Cali had skipped dinner and went
right to her desert of Chocolate Cake... she had a big sweet tooth. A group
of Acaras were seated next to them talking animatedly. Everyone in the room
looked like they were enjoying themselves.
Then, without warning, the lights above flickered and went out, plunging the
room into total darkness. A few Neopets screamed and others gasped. TigerWing
heard some fumbling around as everyone sat in confusion.
“Uh, everybody stay calm, please…” one of the staff was yelling over the frightened
voices, “I’m sure it’s just a little power surge…”
Wiseguy, along with a few other Neopets that glowed, were the only light sources
coming from that room. Even in Wiseguy’s bright light, TigerWing could barely
see her wings in front of her face.
“The lights in the whole building are out…” another staff member yelled, “But
I’ll go check the circuit breaker…”
The staff members were shouting for everyone to stay calm. TigerWing was a
little scared. What was going on? She tried to eat her soup, but she ended up
spilling some because she couldn’t see the spoon or bowl.
“Ouch! Cali, you stepped on my tail!” Tweetie yelled.
So the room sat in darkness for a few minutes, with everyone speaking in hushed
tones. Some Neopets sounded frightened and others sounded confused, while a
few laughed like this was a planned joke. TigerWing felt a pang of fear in her
stomach. She hated the dark and she hated this situation. A few more minutes
passed and TigerWing’s anxiety hadn’t settled. She turned around and squinted
in the dark. Her eyes were beginning to adjust. She tried to see if Jack and
Spectre were still in their seats. Spectre was but Jack wasn’t.
TigerWing gasped. Where did Jack go? She slid out of her seat and made her
way down the rows of tables toward the exit.
“Miss, you’re on my paw.” A voice said to her left.
“Oh,” breathed TigerWing, “Sorry.” She pushed her way through chairs and tables
to get to the exit. She turned to the right and heard something coming from
a room down the hall.
“Everyone, please stay in your seat, our staff is trying their best to return
the lighting fixtures back to normal.”
Too late for staying in my seat… TigerWing thought and she laughed feebly
at her own joke. Down the hall a rustling sound was coming from a room. TigerWing
inched closer when a dark shadow came out. The Neopet’s head turned to look
at TigerWing, but she couldn’t make out who it was, or what species it was.
He or she was carrying a flashlight; the beam was creeping towards her. Then
it shot right at her face and she closed her eyes.
“Hey!” TigerWing called, but the Neopet fled down the hallway dropping the
flashlight, causing the bulb to break. “Wait!” Could that be the Neopet that
was after the Storm Amulet? She stumbled after them, but stopped, afraid that
she’d trip. TigerWing felt her way down the hall using the wall as a guide and
reached the room that the Neopet had been in. Feeling the inscription on the
door with her wing, she touched the letters S-T-A-F-F. She knew that this room
must be the Staff Room, where only the employees were allowed. It was hopeless,
this room had no windows, so no light was coming in at all. She was about to
turn and leave but she got a funny feeling in her stomach. She took a few steps
into the Staff Room.
The lights flickered once more and came on with a pop. TigerWing looked around
her and jumped at what she saw.
The Staff Room had been ransacked!
To be continued...