Curiosity Killed The Cat
“Hey, Del! I…” I heard C.C. said and then the door closing. Ugh, I’m tired, leave me alone. I turned around and away from her, in my bed ─hoping that she would leave me alone for a little while longer. No such luck. She sat on my bed and shook my shoulder a little. “Del! Delllll…! Doodly, WAKE UP!” Argh, I reluctantly turned around to face her.
“What?” I said, slightly irritated as I pried my eyes open. I’m not a morning person!
“I was thinking we could watch ‘Shakespeare in love’ tonight.” She said in her usual cheery tone, not at all bothered by my lack of enthusiasm. She then grabbed a strand of my hair, made a face and said: “Your roots are starting to show.” She then seemed to light up and added in a cheery tone: “Oh, I’ll do your hair. Yay, it’ll be so much fun.” She then stood from my bed and I looked at the time. It was a little past noon. Argh, I need to get up. But I don’t wanna. Ok, on the count of three. One. Two. Three.
With a lot of effort, I sat on my bed and tried to rub the tiredness from my eyes with my hands. C.C. was looking under her bed for some reason as I asked her: “So… Alexis, how is she?”
She looked at me from over her shoulder and said: “John showed up this morning with a box of ‘Hoco’ and said that he was wrong about…” She seemed to be thinking over what is was. “Well, whatever and they made up. Ugh.” She rolled her eyes, making me silently chuckle as she returned to whatever she was looking for, under her bed.
“What are you looking for?” I stood and went beside her to help her look. I got down on my knees and looked under the bed with her, even though I had no clue what I was supposed to look for.
“My orange scarf.” She said, while tossing aside some clothes she had piled under there. On my right, I caught a glimpse of something orange and reached for it.
“I think, I got it.” I said as I pulled it from under other clothes and got out from under the bed with it. C.C. emerged from under the bed and began laughing as she looked at the bundle of orange in my hands.
“I think you should drop that.” She said with a hand over her mouth trying to conceal her laughter. Why does she want me to drop her scarf and why is she laughing? “It’s not my scarf.” What! I took a good look at what I was holding and I noticed an elastic band with ‘Diesel’ written on it. Immediately, I dropped the piece of clothing to the floor with a grossed-out expression on my face.
“Ewww, ewwww, ewwww!!” I said, waving my hands about. C.C. busted out laughing and was almost rolling around with tears in her eyes as she watched me run to the bathroom to wash my hands.
In the bathroom, I washed my hands and spotted C.C.’s scarf next to her hair brush on the counter. I dried my hands on a towel, grabbed her scarf (it was really her scarf this time) and headed back to the other room where C.C. was just calming down from her laughing fit. “Thanks, Oliver was looking for them. I’ll be able to give it back to him now.” She said as she held her boyfriend’s dirty boxer briefs in her hands. Ewwww. I held her scarf out to her. “Oh, my scarf.” She stood and took it from my hands. “Thanks. Now my outfit is complete.” She said with a flourish as she wrapped the scarf around her neck. “Well, I’m going to go bring those back to Olly while you do… whatever.” She said as she was about to head out the door. “Oh, while I’m at it, would you like me to bring you back something from the ‘caf’?”
“Yeah, please.” I said.
“What would you like?” She asked from the door.
I thought about it for a second but couldn’t seem to find anything in particular that I would like to eat, so I said: “Surprise me.”
“Alright.” She grinned. “See yah.” And then she was gone. I rummaged through my clothes and picked up a ‘Rise Against’ T-shirt, a pair of pink pajama bottom and some clean underwear before I headed back to the bathroom to take a shower.
After my shower, I dressed in the clothes I chose and brushed my teeth. After that I brushed my hair and put it up in a messy bun atop my head before going back to the bedroom and dumping my dirty clothes in my ‘dirty pile’ of clothes on the floor.
C.C. wasn’t back yet, so to pass the time I turned on my MP3 connected to the speaker on the dresser and blasted some ‘Falling in reverse’ throughout the room. I then let myself plop down on my bed and relax.
After a couple of songs, C.C. came back with a brown paper bag that she thrusted to me as soon as she closed the door behind her. “Here, eat this, while I’ll do your hair. Then when I’m done we’ll watch ‘Shakespeare in love’.” I sat up and grabbed the bag from her. C.C. then went to grab everything she’ll need to bleach my hair, from the bathroom.
Inside the bag was a cucumber sandwich, a slice of cherry pie and a water bottle. “Thanks.” I said as she came back out with her arms full of products.
“You’re welcome. Now let’s do this, turn around.” I did as was told and sat Indian style on my bed facing the wall as C.C. clipped a towel around my neck and shoulders, and then she began brushing my hair. I grabbed the sandwich from the bag and started to nibble on it as C.C. did her thing on my hair. I just hope she knows what she’s doing.
Monday came faster than I expected and everything, pretty much, went back to the way it was before the party. I had math followed by science with Nina and then I had dance.
In dance the only thing that really changed was that I avoided Dixie as much as possible ─it was, kind of, really easy since she wasn’t doing the pointe part of the choreography. Shawn asked Ash and Jimmy ─the two boys in our dance class─ to start staying with Mandy and I after class, so we could begin practicing the lifts for the ‘pointe’ choreography.
Then in the days that followed, at dinner Zane would show up, as usual, but since our talk on our date, he’s been acting really weird around his brother ─like he’s scared that Blake could breakdown at anytime and try to kill himself, which is a little extreme but at least he’s not hurting him, which is good.
November passed by in a blur. I stopped seeing Dixie (a.k.a. the girl that tried to kill me), Jimmy became my dance partner in class ─and if it weren’t for the fact that he was super gay, Zane told me he would’ve been jealous, which was really cute on his part. Also, I avoided my self-defense classes with Blake at any cost (he already taught me a few moves, I don’t think I really need to know any more). I used excuses like I had pointe practice or that I wasn’t feeling well, quite a lot and he did seem to suspect that I was avoiding him but he didn’t say anything about it. Though he seemed sad each time I told him my made-up excuse of the day. That made me feel bad, but at the same time, it’s not like I can really control myself around him, so avoiding him is my best option at the moment.
Oh, and C.C. arranged a meeting for me with a guy named Oscar, right after we come back from the Christmas vacation, to see if I’m able to morph into something else like a ‘Morpheleon’ can. I can’t wait. Maybe if I find out what I am, it’ll be easier to find my birth parents…
There was a light dusting of snow on the ground and small snow flakes where delicately falling on our heads as we walked. It’s getting colder outside but not so much as to be unpleasant. And the Christmas holidays were fast approaching, in only about two weeks, I’ll be flying back home and will come back only after the New Year.
“Mr. Mortis came back today.” Zane said casually as we took our usual walk around the woods, behind the school. “And they are having this big dinner in his honor, tomorrow night. So, I was wondering if you would like to accompany me?” I stopped walking and turned to face him.
“I would love to.” A big grin broke across his face for a second before it morphed into his customary smirk.
“Great.” He then brought me closer to his body by my hand, and held me close within his strong arms. I looked up at him and he gave me a light peck on the lips. “Remember I told you I’d make you visit the mansion on the hill when Mr. Mortis was going to be back?” Zane asked as he looked deeply into my green eyes.
“Yeah.” I replied, not really seeing where he was going with this.
“Would you like to visit it, tomorrow at lunch?” Lunch? Won’t he be sleeping then? He’s a vampire after all.
“Aren’t you going to be sleeping at noon?” I asked confused.
“I can get up for an hour and go back to sleep afterwards.” He replied offhandedly.
“But what about the sun?” I asked, a little worried.
“We’ll use the catacombs to get there.” He said like it was no big deal. Catacombs! That is so cool. “So… what do you say?” He looked at me expectantly.
“Yeah, ok, that’ll be great.” I said as I stifled a yawn. “Sorry.” I said sheepishly. He gave me a sweet smile.
“Let’s get you back to your dorm. It’s getting late.” He then stepped away from me but grasped my hand in his and we walked back to the school hand in hand. We walked in the school, crossed the glass bridge and took the elevator down to my dorm. Zane brought me back to the door of my room and before he let go of my hand he gave it a light kiss. “Meet me at the bottom of the staircase closest to the dance studio, tomorrow at lunch. I’ll be waiting.”
“Ok.” He gave me a sexy smirk. I got up on my tip toes and kissed him softly but he wrapped his arms around my back and deepened the kiss. After a while of hardcore making out, I had to pull away, in need of oxygen.
“Till tomorrow…” He said right before giving me a quick peck on the lips and vanishing away at vampire speed. With a sigh, I turned back to my dorm and unlocked the door before stepping inside. I closed the door, took off my coat and hung it on the back of the door. I could hear C.C. singing softly from the bathroom and just as I sat down on my bed, she emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of steam.
“Oh my god, Del!” She ran to my bed and hopped down next to me. “Guess what? My uncle came back today!” She was in her fluffy bathrobe and bunny slippers with a towel wrapped around her head.
“Yeah, I know.” I said.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so happy!” She was ecstatic but then she looked at me confused. “Wait, what? How do you know?” She asked.
“Zane.” I answered simply.
“Oh, yeah, right.” She said, looking slightly disappointed. “Well, I’m guessing he already told you about the dinner then?”
“Yeah, he’s even going to show me the place, tomorrow, during lunch.” I said.
“Oh, well… I can’t wait for you to meet my uncle. He’s just the best.” She said, getting back to her peppy self. “Even if he has questionable taste in women. I mean his fiancé is the equivalent of ‘Maleficent’ in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Ugh.” She said dramatically shivering in disgust. I gave a small laugh.
“When I met her, she was ok.” I said as I remembered being called to her office when my grandfather died. She was cold but… ok.
“That’s because you don’t really know her.” She said. “She’s only with my uncle because he holds a sort of power in ‘Ellithia’. She only wants to be royalty, that’s the only, reason why she’s with him. She doesn’t love him, she’s just a soul sucking, heartless B.I.T.C.H.! Ugh, I hate her.” She said, seething. “And I hate, that he can’t see how she’s only using him. You know that it’s her that asked him to get married and not the other way around.” I gave her a small sympathetic smile.
“Hey, they’re not married yet.” I said, trying to be comforting. “He might come to his senses and break up with her.”
“Ha. I wish.” She rolled her eyes and then stood up to grab her pajama from the black dresser while I grabbed mine from my ‘clean pile’ on the floor. “Anyway, what are you going to wear at the dinner tomorrow?”
“I was thinking of blue jeans and a black T-shirt, why?” Why is she asking me that? She looked at me surprised. What? What did I say?
“Zane didn’t tell you how to dress?” She said incredulous.
“No. Why?” I asked, confused. I stood up with a black PJ bottom and an ‘Avenged Sevenfold’ T-shirt. “Am-I supposed to dress a certain way?”
“You could say that!” She exclaimed. She then looked me up and down with a contemplative look on her face. What is she doing? “Hmmmm, you can borrow my black tutu skirt with my vertically stripped black and white blazer.” Uh…
“Ok, thanks.” I said. She smiled brightly at me and then began to change in her pajama while I headed to the bathroom with mine in my hands.
Inside the bathroom, I changed, brushed my hair then my teeth and washed my face. I then exited the bathroom with my dirty clothes in my hands that I dumped in the ‘dirty pile’ on the floor before hopping in my bed. The lights were already turned off and C.C. was fast asleep in her bed. I closed my eyes and almost immediately, I was transported to dreamland.
I woke up without my alarm and felt very well, rested. I looked at my alarm and I panicked. I only have about fifteen minutes before the beginning of class. How come my alarm didn’t wake me up? I then remembered that I forgot to turn it on last night. Damn it!
On my bedside table was a brown paper bag with a note tacked to it and a disposable coffee cup next to it. I grabbed the note and it read:
I got you a raspberry muffin and green tea,
I had to leave early to go study for my math test
Anyway, see you later
C.C. your roomie & bestie
Well, thanks C.C. but I don’t have time to eat. Maybe I could have it for lunch and eat it while Zane show me around ‘casa de la Mortis’. Yeah, that sounds like a plan. I looked back at the time and jumped out of my bed, now I only have about ten minutes to get ready. Looks like I’ll have to take a shower tonight, instead.
I quickly grabbed a blue pair of jeans and a black T-shirt from my ‘clean pile’ and went to the bathroom. I quickly changed, brushed my hair and put it up in a messy bun atop my head and then I applied only mascara and a little blush since I didn’t have the time to do my usual, black smokey eye makeup. I brushed my teeth and got out in record time. I hastily put on my ‘Converse’, grabbed my key, the bag and disposable coffee cup C.C. got me and all but ran out the door.
I just locked up my door and then saw the elevator’s door close at the end of the hall. Great, that’s just great ─not. I don’t have time to wait for it to come back down, so the stairs it is. Ugh, fuck my life. I speedily made my way to the stairs and climbed them. Just as I got to the top, I heard the bell ring from the other side of the glass bridge. Great, I’m late ─argh! I hurriedly crossed the bridge and entered the school. I speed-walked to my locker and left the muffin in a bag in it. I grabbed my books and pencils along with the raspberry green tea in the disposable cup, and hurried to my first class of the day: English ─even though I was already late.
I knocked on the door and Mr. Rice opened it with a frown on his face. He glared at me and motioned for me to go to my seat. Once I was seated, Mr. Rice went on with: “Now, as I was saying, before Miss Valiquette interrupted the class…” He was glaring at me and a few students were snickering as they all looked at me. Someone, shoot me now please, I thought as I let my head fall down on my desk. Thankfully, Mr. Rice made us read during the rest of the class and the hour went by in a blur.
Next was French. And then it was lunch. At the end of French class, Blake walked with me to my locker after he stopped by his, first. “So… you’ll be coming tonight, huh?” He asked casually as we walked.
“Yep, Zane invited me.” I replied as I got to my locker and opened its door. I dumped my things and grabbed the paper bag with the muffin in it.
“Yeah, C.C. told me.” He said, looking uncomfortable with the subject.
“So, I guess I’ll see you later.” I said as I closed the door to my locker.
I then went to go in the direction of the staircase where I was to meet Zane ─which is in the opposite direction of the cafeteria─ but stopped when Blake asked: “Aren’t you going to the cafeteria?” I turned around and held out the brown paper bag.
“I’m meeting your brother.” I said with a small smile, he returned my smile with a small bitter one of his own.
“See you tonight.” He said in a stiff tone before he went in the opposite direction. I walked to the staircase I was to meet Zane, and went down the stairs.
“There you are.” Zane said, from the shadow of the staircase.
“Hey.” I said softly. He unlocked and opened a door written Janitor, and instead of finding a broom closet or something like that on the other side, there was an old, stone staircase that led deep under the school.
Zane held the door open for me and said: “After you, milady.” I entered the sinister looking entry and found some old chandeliers attached to the walls on either side of us, with candles that magically lit themselves up when we walked in to illuminate our descent into the catacombs. I started to go down the stairs as Zane closed the door. He then joined me and grabbed my hand. We went down for what felt like an eternity but was probably only five minutes and then we reached the bottom.
In front of us was a long tunnel that ended with a gate at one end and a stone wall at the other. On either side of the corridor were more wall-chandeliers spaced between medieval-looking wooden doors. “What’s in those rooms?” I asked Zane as we began to march down the corridor, towards the gate. A smirk appeared on his handsome face.
“Would you like to see inside one of them?” He asked amused.
“Yeah.” I said intrigued. He stopped then.
“Alright, this way then.” He said as he began to lead me in the opposite direction than where we were heading. We walked to the last door on the left, at the end of the corridor and Zane took a key out of his pants. He wordlessly unlocked the door and opened it.
Inside the room, were two modern-looking, cherry wood coffins in the middle of the room, two black dressers on either sides of the coffins and a white sofa pushed against the far wall between them. The walls were made of stone and had some posters taped to them that I couldn’t decipher from the entrance since it was dark and the only source of light was coming from the chandeliers in the corridor. There were no windows even though the ceilings were very high, cathedral-like, high vaulted ceilings and there was a black door on the left side of the room, next to one of the black dresser.
“I thought it was time you saw my room.” I turned back to face him. “Well, mine and Chris’s.”
“So it’s true, vampires do sleep in coffins.” I whispered astonished as I walked in and looked around the place. The posters on one side of the walls were of ‘Frank Sinatra’, ‘Andy Williams’, ‘Dave Brubeck’ and ‘Dita Von Tease’ while on the other wall there was ‘Nicki Minaj’, ‘Frank Ocean’, ‘Tupac’ and ‘Rihanna’.
“Yeah.” He said as he ran his hand along one of the two coffins. “And they’re very comfortable.”
“So, are all the doors along the corridor, rooms for vampires?” I asked as we walked out of his room. He closed and locked the door behind us.
“No, most of them have old corpses in them; we’re only seven vampires in here.” We then went back the way we came and made our way towards the gate at the other end of the corridor. I took my muffin out of its bag and began munching on it as we reached the gate. Zane pushed the gate open and we stepped through. On the other side of the gate, were hundreds of skulls and bones of different colors and shapes in a macabre but beautiful, sort of mosaic on the walls, there were also skeleton hands, holding candles that also magically lit themselves up as soon as Zane closed the gate behind us. The floor continued for about ten feet in the tunnel but then it suddenly stopped and there were no more solid ground. In its place was a small canal with a little rowboat accosted where ground met water.
Zane motioned for me to go in the boat and I obliged. He held the boat for me since it was really shaky and then, once I was in, he joined me. We sat down facing each other, then Zane grabbed the paddles and began to row exceedingly fast. We reached the end of the tunnel in under a minute.
I was a little dizzy from the speed at which we were going and I almost fell as I disembarked the boat, except that Zane caught me in his strong arms before I could fall. “Are you alright?” He asked with concern as he helped me regain my balance on the small stone platform.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I said casually. “I’m just not used to that kind of speed.” I motioned to the boat with one of my hands, once Zane let go of me, after making sure I was steady on my feet.
“Yeah, sorry about that.” He said sheepishly.
“It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” On our left was an archway with some stairs going up. On both sides on the stairs were the same wall chandeliers as when we walked down, through the janitor’s closet. I finished my muffin and we began climbing the steps, soon we reached a modern looking door at the top of the stairs and Zane unlocked it before we stepped inside ‘casa de la Mortis’.
We emerged from a hidden door in the wall of the living room. All the black curtains were tightly shut and the source of light came from electrical chandeliers on the black and white Victorian walls. There where three Victorian couches ─two black and one white─ pushed against the walls and in the middle of the room, was a small, black coffee table with, in its center, a vase of white Gerberas and black roses. There was also a grand piano in the corner of the room with lots of melted white candles on it. “Welcome to Manor Mortis.” Zane said, as he closed the door behind us. I walked further in the room and looked around. It was beautiful, very Goth and chic.
“It’s beautiful.” I said.
“Wait, you haven’t seen anything yet.” He grabbed my hand and we walked out of the room.
Zane showed me around and it was all very classy and gothic. Everything was either black or white, sometimes there was a hint of red or purple but not much and it was very luxurious.
As we walked into the dining room, we saw several people, all dressed in black and white, working on putting the dining room together. Some were putting candles on the table, others were dusting the black and white marble floor, etc… “Elsa.” Zane said as a small, elfin, red head girl walked passed us. She was holding a broom and was about to walk out of the room but when she heard Zane call her name, she turned around and walked up to us.
“Mr. Saxton.” She said politely and curtseyed. “Miss.” She curtseyed! Wow... ok.
“Elsa could you dispose of Miss Valiquette’s paper bag.” He said as he looked at the empty bag I had bunched up in my hand.
“Yes, sir.” She said as she held out her hand to me so that I could give her the bag.
“Thanks.” I said as I gave it to her.
“Thank you, Elsa.” Zane said and she bowed her head before leaving the room as she was about to do before we interrupted her.
“Zane! What are you doing here?” Exclaimed a surprised voice with a little disdain, from behind us. We turned around and there stood vice Principal James. She was wearing an expensive-looking black skirt suit with white seaming and buttons.
“I’m showing Delphine around before tonight’s dinner.” He said politely. “Mr. Mortis said it was fine.”
“Oh, well, I hope you’ll enjoy your visit Delphine.” She said as she turned from Zane to look at me and gasped. What? Do I have something on my face or something? She was still looking at me like I was a ghost or something and it was starting to creep me out. “I’ll see you both at tonight’s dinner, now if you’ll please excuse me.” She said before hurrying out of the room. What was that all about?
“Well that was weird.” Zane said voicing my thoughts exactly. “Anyway, shall we…” Zane motioned for me to follow him and I did.
“Zane, why did she seem to... dislike you?” I asked.
“She’s not really keen on my kind.” He explained. “According to her, vampires are the lowest in ‘Ellithien’ society, because you can’t be born a vampire… You need to be bitten and… anyway. She has prejudices, it’s just… anyway.” He then dropped the subject and we continued our visit.
He showed me several more rooms before I stopped him. “Zane, is there a bathroom that I could use?” I really had to pee.
“Oh, yes, um, last door on the right at the bottom of the stairs.” He said as he showed me the stairs, leading to the basement with his hand.
“Thanks.” I said and gave him a light peck on the cheek.
I then went to go down the stairs but stopped when Zane said: “I’ll wait for you in the game room.”
“Okay.” I then resumed my descent to the basement. The basement floor was made of white carpet and the walls had a wallpaper of black and white birches. I walked to the last door on the right and opened it.
I closed the door then did my business and washed my hands. I walked out and was about to go meet Zane in the game room but something stopped me.
There was a light emanating from under the wall facing the bathroom but there weren’t any doors, just two big metal trees with tightly woven branches embossed in it. I stepped closer to investigate and as I came closer, the branches disentangled themselves and opened up like some sort of gate. Whoa!
On the other side of the tree-gate-thingy was a long wooden corridor with dark disturbing and disfigured portraits hanging on either side of the walls, and at the end of the corridor was a vintage-looking wooden desk. The floor was checkered black and white marble and the light came from electrical chandeliers hanging from the high vaulted ceiling.
As if in a trance I walked in. I passed by two knight’s armors on each side of the entrance, each of them holding an axe and then I stepped closer to the desk. Behind it was a big, double black door made of metal and next to it was a round thing that sort of looked like a safe but it didn’t have anything to enter a combination to open it, there was only a small metal skull sculpture with a needle on its head in the center of the circle.
Lights seemed to be emanating from the safe but what was even more fascinating was that the point of the needle on the small skull’s head began to glow red. And the closer I got to it, the brighter it became until I was standing right in front of it and it began flashing. What the…?
Slowly, I brought my finger to the needle and, without meaning to, I poked it on the needle. A little blood fell on the skull’s head and I exclaimed: “Ow!” Why did I do that for? I thought to myself as I inspected the little drop of blood on my finger from where the needle touched it.
The skull on the safe turned on its side and the safe opened a fraction. I reached forward with my injured hand to see what was inside but as soon as I touched the safe everything went black.