Sunday, June 23, 2013
Saturday, June 15, 2013
"I checked everywhere I could think of, Jack. No one has seen her! I even called the police, but they just went on about no evidence of foul play, teenagers often do this sort of thing, come back in twenty-four hours. I don't know what to do!"
"Don't worry, sweetheart.We'll find her."
Jack sounded so sure of himself, but Crystal wasn't convinced.
"I knew we shouldn't have come to Bridgeport. Mama was right. I'm supposed to go on stage tomorrow night, but I can't. Not with Naomi missing."
They walked the city streets all night, searching in vain. The sheer size of the place was daunting to both of them. They would never find her at this rate.
Suddenly Crystal stopped short, remembering something her mother had said, the night she predicted this disaster.
"A red light. Mama said something about a red light. But this city is full of red lights. I know! We can ask my cousin Justin. He lives around here somewhere. I was at his house once when I was little."
She realized she was babbling, but she couldn't help it. Jack was more practical.
"But it's three o'clock in the morning. He probably won't even answer his bell."
"We have to try, Jack. We have to!"
Surprisingly, Justin did answer his bell. Crystal lost no time in explaining the situation to him
"... and so you see, my mother knew all this would happen years ago, and she said we had to look for a red light."
Justin looked dubious, and Crystal could see him begin a subtle eye roll.
"Please?" She interrupted his skepticism. "Even if you don't believe, surely you must know of a particular memorable red light."
He shrugged and grinned at her.
"I guess you're right. I think you're on a wild goose chase, but there is a red street light behind the Plasma 501. That may be what you're looking for. I can even show you, if you want."
"There you go. Red street light, and the back entrance to the Plasma 501. I wouldn't go down there, though, if I were you. You just might run into some hungry vampires... BOO!"
He laughed uproariously as Jack and Crystal both jumped a foot into the air.
"Ahaha. Just kidding. The vampires around here are friendly - mostly."
"You're not going to find anything. It's just a long hallway that leads to the Plasma 501."
"Thanks for everything, Justin. We'll take a look anyway."
'Okay then, I'll leave you two to it. And thanks for the tickets. I'll see you at the concert!"
Crystal was beginning to think that Justin was right, as they quietly made their way down the endless hall. But then they both stopped short as the sounds scuffling and low voices emanated from behind an almost unnoticed door.
"Just one more day, and you'll be mine forever. And together we'll rule the world!"
Crystal gasped in horror at what she saw when the entered the hidden room. It was Pascal, but he was ...different. Her mind couldn't process what was going on, what Pascal had become. But Jack knew immediately. The Bottled Vampire's Bite that had been stolen from his shop! Pascal had stolen it and used it on himself! And the Flasks of Potent Sleep! That was how he had managed to keep Naomi under control.
"Now you will obey me. Drink this, and sleep. And when you awaken this evening, we will begin the ritual."
"NO!" Crystal screamed. "Leave her alone!"
Jack didn't take the time for words. Silently he jumped toward the vampire.
"Naomi, run!' Crystal yelled, but Naomi seemed dazed and unsure.
Jack wasn't sure what had possessed him to attack a vampire, either. He fought his best, but the other's strength seemed overwhelming.
The fight seemed to go on forever. Crystal knew she should hustle Naomi out of that place while there was still time, but she couldn't leave Jack. The vampire was just a blur, and Jack was obviously getting the worst of it. Finally Pascal deemed Jack to be no longer a threat, and turned his attention back to his daughters.
His glare brought Naomi out of her trance, and she took off down the hall, as fast as she could run.
Pascal followed, and with his new powers, Crystal knew he would catch up in no time.
What Pascal did not reckon on, was the time that Jack had kept him occupied below. For as they emerged from the entrance, the sun rose over the horizon and fell full on the vampire's pale face. Clutching his throat in agony, his body turned to ash right then and there....
...and fell to the ground in a small dusty blackened heap at Crystal's feet.
After the night's excitement, Crystal was ready to cancel her performance, but her family wouldn't let her.
"Please don't cancel because of me. I'm fine, really. He didn't do anything to me - just scared me. He said he was waiting until after my birthday, then we'd be vampires together.. "
She shuddered at the thought, and Crystal did too.
But she bowed to her family's wishes, and after a short nap, she stood on the stage, overlooking the largest crowd she had ever seen. If her family hadn't been right in the front row cheering for her, she wasn't sure if she could have gone through with it.
She began with one of her favorite ballads, and was encouraged by the crowd's positive reaction.
Soon she was feeling the energy, just as if she was back at Mike's Karaoke in Lucky Palms.
Jack was proud and Shani was flabbergasted. This was really her mom, up there on the big stage with an arena full of fans clapping and cheering?
The biggest surprise was Naomi. Gone were the complaints and eye rolls that had long dominated her teenage years. She cheered the loudest of any of them.
"That's my mommy up there. Isn't she a good singer, Patches?"
After the concert, they stopped by the old family home. Crystal said she wanted the children to see the old place at least once before she sold it.
"But mom.. you can't just up and sell it, it's been in the family just about forever!"
"We can talk about that later, dear heart. Right now, we have a surprise for you! You were willing to give up your birthday for my concert. But we didn't want you to have to do that. Soo...."
Naomi turned to see a cake already set up on the table, and a roomful of guests burst in through the front door. Many of the long lost Moonstone relatives had been found - Justin and his wife, of course, and also a few of Agate's and Jojo's descendants.
As Naomi stepped up to blow out her candles, she looked more relaxed and happy than she had in many years. Crystal had never fully realized the toll that Pascal had taken on her, and what a relief it was to finally be really free.
It was late, and Crystal and the newly grown up Naomi waved farewell as the guests filed out. Naomi had been unusually quiet during the party. Now she turned to her foster mother, a set look in her eyes, as if she had come to a momentous decision.
The two of them walked upstairs to survey the living area. Naomi was amazed at the many sculptures, paintings and ancient relics that were casually displayed throughout the house.
"Was all this artwork our ancestors' work? I can't believe you want to sell this place."
"I don't know what else to do with it, dear. I don't like Bridgeport. It's too big, too crowded, and too dangerous. I just want to go back to Lucky Palms and forget this whole trip happened."
"But I love it here! I love the lights, the crowds, the excitement."
"You do??" Crystal could hardly believe what she was hearing. "Even after everything that happened?"
"Yes! I feel so free, I feel I can do anything. And I want to keep this house. I'll take care of it, I promise. I think I want to turn it into a museum - so everyone can remember our family and our contributions to this city. What do you think?"
"I think that's a wonderful idea, dear heart."
Crystal pulled her into a tight hug, then carefully removed the old key from its familiar place on her key chain and placed it in Naomi's hand. She could hardly wait to see what Naomi would do with the old place.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
It was the morning after Crystal's birthday party. Stephan, Rose, and Diamond were saying their last goodbyes to Crystal, before they left Champs Les Sims for Moonlight Falls.
"Call us when you get to Lucky Palms, sweetheart. We'll miss you! Oh, and I almost forgot."
Rose Beryl pressed a large, old key into Crystal's hand.
"Here is the key to Moonstone Manor in Bridgeport. The old place is yours now. If you still want to turn it into a museum, you have my blessing."