Ishod stood at the door, awaiting it to be opened. Soon the girl, Waverly, opened the door. Ishod pushed his way in, past the girl then he looked under the bed. nothing He then jumped over the bed, successfully getting the covers wet, then ruffled through the draws.
"What the heck do you think you are doing?" Waverly asked, shocked that he had reacted in such a way.
I don't know, what are you doing. Ishod thought to himself, hen he began knocking on the wall. I'm trying to save her, I'm trying to save Rafa'... I mean Waverly.
Ishod turned, facing the girl with wild eyes, "Has anything suspicious happened to you lately."
"Why do you ask?" Waverly responded, "Besides, I barely know you, you have know business-"
"This is a life and death situation." Ishod said.
"Your life depends on me telling you if anything strange has happened?" Waverly asked.
"Not mine," Ishod said, turning and searching the room again, "Yours."
* * *
"Mine?" Waverly asked, laying a hand on her chest. She grabbed her other tennis shoe and put it on. "Explain, please. I don't understand."
"I heard a voice. I'm not sure where it came from, but I did hear it. It basically said to watch your back and beware of an attack." Ishod said, crossing his arms.
"An attack?" Waverly narrowed her eyes in thought. She stood and moved toward the dresser, grabbing the card and holding it out to Ishod. "Someone sent this to me, anonymously. Could that be the attack?"
Ishod took the card and looked at it. "Possibly. Don't go." He handed the card back.
Waverly took it and chuckled. "My curiosity is itching to disobey."
Ishod shook his head. "Don't go."
The firmness in Ishod's voice got Waverly's full attention. Why does he care? He doesn't even know me... Waverly changed the subject, sitting on the bed and rearranging the laces on her shoe. "What do you do for a living, Ishod?"
* * *
Ishod arched his brow, How could she just start small talk after I just told her her life is in danger? I guess it does insure that I keep an eye on here. Ishod moved to a chair and sat down. "I'm a Private Detective."
"Ooh." Waverly replied, "Have you solved any interesting cases?"
"I don't solve interesting cases." Ishod said, "Well sometimes I do, that is just in the movies. All I do is get hired by people to find out if someone is being dirty. From a cheating husband to a cheating employee."
"Ah." Waverly said. "That's sounds interesting."
"eh, it's got its pros and cons." Ishod replied. "On occasion I am hired to protect people."
* * *
"Ah," Waverly nodded. "I understand your concern for me now."
"Well, don't worry about me. My life isn't in danger. Before college, I used to visit Aunt Lucinda all the time. The roses and the card are probably from an old friend." Waverly said, smiling lightly. "Everyone knows I love mysteries, always have, so this would be something one of my friends would do. Just to get me curious."
* * *
"And your visits usually consist of creepy individuals writing your name in a dark alley?" Ishod said. "and revealing it to a complete stranger?"
"Well." Waverly began to say.
"I know what is going on," Ishod said, standing and looking out at the window, watching the steady down pour of rain. "It's a test, to see if it will be the same."
"To see if what will be the same?" Waverly asked in curiosity.
Ishod was silent for a few moments, "Nothing." He said as he turned to Waverly, Waverly noticed something in his face, something depressing. Ishod turned back to the window, "Does it always rain this much here?"
* * *
Waverly lowered her brow, curiosity taking over. "No, but we are getting into the rainy season. If you're planning on staying long, you better get used to it."
Waverly stood, sticking a hand in her shorts pocket. "I'm gonna go grab a bite to eat. You're welcome to join me, if you want."
She walked toward the door and opened it. Ishod stepped out into the hall. Waverly stepped out, glancing at the roses. Maybe I shouldn't go... She shook her head, determined. No, I have to go.
* * *
"This is too weird," said Germaine out loud as she hung up the phone for the gazillionth time today. Her eyes were worried as she searched the room with them. The gears in her head where whirring nonstop as she leaned up against her bed and folded her hands in her lap. She bit her lip and tilted her head slightly to the right, which she always did when she was in a complicated thought process.
"Lucinda?" she whispered as she inspected her day-old manicure. "Well, isn't that just peachy." And yet, Germaine felt it. She felt that it was all wrong somehow. She had a bad feeling about all of the specifics that Adrian had just finished telling her a minute ago.
Why did she feel that she should still go to St. Barthelemy, despite the recent..."incident"? IT was quite a mystery as to why the boy named Mute (now that's interesting! she interrupted her thoughts) needed to see Lucinda Cain. Then--like a clap of thunder--her brain repeated what she just thought.
It was quite a mystery...
Upon that thought, Germaine popped her head up and jumped to peer at a picture frame hanging by her bedroom door. What was it about what Adrian had said that reminded her of something--something important? It was something about the cemetery...She looked at the picture.
The picture was a small one taken many years ago. It was of her mother and a couple of her friends. Her mother was standing next to a younger Lucinda, beaming with a smile that lit up the room which the picture was taken in. Lucinda was looking at Margaret Clermont with affectionate devotion and smiling.
But there were other people in the photo as well. Germaine, on a hunch of her own, took down the frame off the nail which it was hanging on the wall. She gave the photo a closer look, so close that her breath fogged up the lower portion of the photo. There was someone there, she thought. But it's too grainy to recognize it. There was a young man, about the same age as Lucinda, standing behind a three other people. HE was barely noticeable and almost hidden behind everyone else.
With a sudden burst of excitement, Germaine turned the frame and undid the clasps holding the cardboard in the frame. She removed that and pounced on the slightly yellowed photo. She threw the frame and piece of cardboard on the bed and leaned against the wall with the photo in between her two thumbs and index fingers.
She looked at the people on the front again, particularly at the grainy face of the young man in the background. Then she flipped it over.
Something was scrawled on the back, but the ink was faded from age. She squinted her eyes. She strained them to make some sense of the writing. It was barely legible as she moved closer to the window for more light for a better look. After some trial and error in reading the words, she flipped the photo over again.
"So that's it!" Germaine announced with an air of successful "sleuthing." She flipped the photo for another look at the words. "Hmm, I knew that was it!" She smiled as she read the writing aloud:
TO MY DEAREST FRIEND, MAGGIE. WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.
[after those words appeared some names, each written in a separate hand]
DANIEL+ LILLIAN+ R. CARSON+ LUCINDA CAIN+ your friend ABEL
* * *
As the two, Ishod and Waverly, walked down the hall, an awkward silence walked along side of them. Finally, Waverly decided to break the ice.
"What exactly did you see out there?" Waverly asked.
"I don't know." Ishod said, "It was nothing I've ever seen before."
"How so?" Waverly asked.
I guess it can't hurt to tell her.
"Well, first I heard its whispering." Ishod explained, then they tuned the corner into the kitchen. "It's hard to mimic the noise, and all."
Ishod began to rack his brain on how it sounded.
"Wow, that sounds creepy." Waverly said, looking through the fridge,
"It sounded exactly like that?"
Like what? I'm not making a noise yet? Ishod thought, then he tuned his ears in and he heard the same raspy whisper again, except with more breath in it.
"I'm not making that noise." Ishod said.
Waverly feigned a laugh, quite a sense of humor she thought. Waverly turned to look at Ishod,
"I'm truly laughing-" She stopped as she saw that Ishod wasn't making any gestures that would suggest that he was making the noise.
Ishod pulled his gun, and walked around the kitchen, looking in the shadows, then he walked up to the stove which had a kettle on, it that was whistling loud as steam blew out the top hole. Ishod made a sigh of relief as he pulled the kettle off the stove. He turned around to face Waverly,
"Sorry, I guess I overreacted again, I-" Ishod stopped as he heard a rattling noise behind him, and he saw Waverly staring at something. Ishod darted his eyes up towards the wall, to see a pipe that was shaking like a mad man. He stepped away, gun still drawn, taking his place in front of Waverly.
The pipe continued to shake, until a small piece of paper wiggle loose from its spot between the pipe and the wall, and the pipe stopped suddenly.
Ishod rushed up to the note, and picked it up.
"It says, 'For Cain's sin, one must pay. Waverly is the only way.'"
Waverly pointed at the paper, a bit of shaking in her hand, "That's my name."
"Yes." Ishod said, "I told you your life was in danger."
* * *
Waverly took the piece of paper and examined it. It crinkled in her fingers. She took it over to the light and folded the corner over. Instead of getting a clean crease, it was a ragged crease. "This is old paper. Look how yellow it is. And the writing, that's real ink, not the kind you get out of a modern pen."
She set it on the counter and looked at Ishod. "That note isn't referring to me."
Ishod leaned his hands on the counter, looking at the piece of paper. "Who, then?"
Waverly hesitated before saying, "Possibly my mother."
Ishod straightened and crossed his arms. "Where is your mother?"
"In St. Marks' cemetery." Waverly said, shoving her hands in her pockets and shrugging.
* * *
Ishod glanced at her and then at the yellowed paper.
"Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but...this is isn't the first time that I heard a reference to Cain...."
"As in Cain and Abel?" Waverly interjected suddenly.
"Well...I suppose. Why do you mention that?" Waverly didn't answer him. Her mind was elsewhere. She frowned and then looked surprised.
That book in the library...
Abel's special book...
* * *
"Come with me." Waverly motioned for him to follow her, as she grabbed the piece of paper and shoved it in one of her back pockets. They left the kitchen and walked across the foyer to the stairs that led into the library. They descended them and arrived in the dark room. Immediately, Waverly went to the drawer where she first found the book. She pulled it open...to find it empty.
With a frustrated gasp, she opened all the rest of the drawers, but found them all empty. "That's not possible. I was just looking at it this morning!"
"What's not possible? What were you looking at?" Ishod asked, thoroughly confused.
Waverly continued to look around the desk. "The book! Abel's book!" She held her hand apart, about 6-inches of empty space between them. "It's about this thick and the cover is a faded brown."
Ishod began to look for the book.