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Sight: Part Two


by dan4884

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When I awoke, I felt like I had been unconscious for only a minute or two. But I could feel the temperature had dropped. It must be dark, which means I had been out cold for hours now. Aylie must be worried sick.

     What had happened? That silent creature had knocked him unconscious, yes, but what was it doing at Terlizzia's ramshackle mansion? And where was Terlizzia? Surely she would've heard the ruckus. Then I remembered: I had heard a woman scream earlier. It must have been her; she was the only one who lived here. But where was she? Was she hurt?

     All these mysteries, and no way to solve them. I sighed, and felt around for my cane. I felt sick after I found it. It had snapped in two. The creature must have fallen on it. Worry washed over me. How was I going to get home? I grabbed my cane pieces and decided to leave the house for now. Aylie could come back with me to investigate further. I felt for the stairs and started to walk down them when I tripped and fell down the remaining steps. This was going to be harder than I thought.

     ***

     I made it home a few hours later, scratched and dirty. My sister attacked me with questions the minute I stepped into our home.

     "Lage! Where've you been?" my sister Aylie asked me with relief in her voice.

     "Unconscious in the old hermit Terlizzia's home," I responded casually.

     "Oh, ok, because I was worried you were-WHAT?!" she shouted at me, finally realizing what I had said.

     "Listen, before you get mad at me, I want to ask you something. I need your help. While I was delivering Terlizzia's newspaper, something strange happened. I was attacked, but all I know about the attacker is that it can fly. And it seems that Terlizzia was attacked as well, but I have no idea why. So, will you go back with me to shed some light on it?" I said quickly.

     Aylie said nothing, but I could definitely tell she was staring at me, disbelieving.

     "Aylie, please! I'll explain everything on the way," I pleaded.

     "Alright," she said after a moment or two. She started to walk towards the door.

     "Aylie? I... I broke my cane," I said quietly. I heard her gasp, and she briskly walked towards me, linking her arm through mine.

     "Thanks," I told her. Aylie's arm linked through mine felt just as secure as my cane.

     ***

     We arrived a short while later, this time without any scratches. I described my story to my sister on the walk over. She questioned a few things, but overall, I could tell she believed me. I'm still amazed at how much my other senses have sharpened after I lost one. It's great, it really is.

     The door was still open and Aylie was about to lead me through it when she stopped suddenly.

     "What is it?" I asked immediately. I was anxious to know what she had found.

     She was quiet for a moment. "Nothing. I thought I felt something, but there's nothing there."

     We moved on further into the house. "I think we should try to find Terlizzia first," I said. "She could help us find more."

     Aylie agreed, and we began searching. We first checked the first floor rooms and found nothing of importance. Then as we progressed up the stairs, Aylie noticed something peculiar.

     "Lage, wait a moment. This is weird," she said quietly.

     "What?" I asked quickly. I was determined to figure out what happened any way I could.

     "The walls," she said slowly. "They're bare. The walls are all faded, but there are squares where it's less faded. Almost as if... as if there were picture frames there. But now they're gone." She said as she struggled to describe it.

     "What do you think?" I asked.

     "I think the person you ran into might've been an art thief," she said after a moment of thought.

     We advanced up the stairway, and we began to look in the upstairs rooms. Still nothing to find. This thief was good, that's for sure.

     I could tell the last room we entered was different as soon as we stepped inside. The floor was ten degrees cooler, and it made a different sound when we stepped on it. This room was important. I listened for the echo from my feet, but it didn't come for a while.

     "Where are we?" I asked Aylie.

     "It looks like a museum!" she exclaimed. "There's all this art! There's no doubt about it, those squares on the walls we saw earlier were from art. And they've been stolen. I'm pretty sure some art from in here was stolen too, there's those same squares on the walls."

     "So Terlizzia's an art collector. Never would've guessed by her cheery personality," I said sarcastically.

     "Wow!" Aylie called from the other side of the room. "Would you look at this! This piece has to be hundreds of years old!"

     I turned my head towards her voice, and that's when it hit me. This was the room in which I heard the scream coming from earlier. Aylie's voice echoed around the room. It sure was loud enough to be heard from downstairs. So whatever happened between Terlizzia and the thief must have happened in here.

     "Is there any sign of a fight?" I asked Aylie. She seemed to be muttering to herself over where I heard her last. "Aylie?" I asked again.

     "Hey, Lage, listen to this: 'This time, you will not thwart me, Nerlizzia! Call this a repayment from last time. Slygor.' It's scratched into one of these pieces of art. What do you make of it?" she asked me.

     "Who's Nerlizzia?" I asked to nobody in particular. "Maybe this Slygor's a bad speller," I said thoughtfully.

     "Or there's someone else he's referring to," Aylie said simply.

     "Whom else would he be talking to? Terlizzia's the only one who lives here."

     "Oh, I don't know, Lage, I'm not an expert. I'll keep looking."

     As I heard her move around the room, I thought about the message. Maybe there was someone else in the house. And what was this Slygor talking about when he mentioned a repayment? And what had happened "last time?" There were more mysteries opening up without any of the other ones closing! I was starting to get really frustrated, but I was determined to solve it.

     "Anything?" I asked after a while. I wished I could help her look for clues. It was annoying that I couldn't be the eyes of the operation. It was just one more thing Aylie had over me.

     "Well, no, I can't find anything. What are we even looking for, though? We know that whoever attacked you was an art thief, right? What else is there we need to know? Can't we just call it a night?" She sounded tired, not to mention exasperated.

     "You know what, Aylie, go home then! But the more time we waste gives the thief more time to cover his tracks! And what about Terlizzia? Don't you think we should find her sooner than later? Who knows what trouble she could be in!" I shouted at her. I was tired too, but it sounded like she wasn't as interested in the mystery as I was.

     "Oh, Lage, don't give me that! I'm tired, and I know you are too. I'm worried about Terlizzia too, you know. But, answer me this: did Terlizzia ever give a hoot about you? Did she ever give you a tip? Or even a nice comment? No! So why should we care about her?" she yelled back.

     "Because... well... because you can't leave anyone in trouble. It's just not right. I told you before, I'm determined to find her, no matter what obstacles get in my way," I said. I was tired of yelling, and I honestly wanted her help.

     Aylie sighed, long and hard. "Lage, I understand where you're coming from, but there's only so much we can do. Have you thought about the danger we could be in? Who knows what this Slygor person can do? I don't want to put either of us in any more danger than we already are," she said gravely.

     Good ol' Aylie always had to be the worried one, always thinking clearly and logically. But this wasn't just logic. This was instinct as well. I directed my worthless eyes toward her voice and made an annoyed face.

     "I don't care about the danger. I have this feeling, Aylie, and I'm not going to give up until I crack this case!"

     "Fine. I'll help," she said, irritated. My heart lifted. I had won the fight and my sister wasn't going to bail out. She was in this for the long run, right by my side. I couldn't help but smile. No matter how many fights we had, I knew my sister's help was precious.

     "Where should we start looking?" she asked.

     I was about to respond when I was interrupted by the scariest voice I'd ever heard.

     "WHO DARES ENTER MY HOME?"

To be continued...

 
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