Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Preview Wednesday: Chapter 20

This is where they find some interesting pieces of Jewelry.
   This room reminded Beka of the living room at the homeless shelter she had stayed at. Functional, but not lived in. She doubted that there was anything here. It would have to be somewhere more private.
  She turned to Jimmy. “Can I use your bathroom?”
  Jimmy nodded, not taking his eyes off Andi. He waved his hand to the stairs.
  The upstairs had one long hallway with many doors along it. Beka opened the first one. It was a bedroom. The bunk beds and cots were arranged in the room, to fit as many people in it as possible. Each bed had a small chest in front of it.   She shook her head. She had more privacy when she was in the hospitals.
  The next room was set up the same way. Beka tried the next door, it was the bathroom. It was modest in size, but spotless. The room looked like it was a picture in a magazine. Something was very wrong about that. With this many people in the house, Beka thought, there should at least be a piece of used soap.
  On the other side of the hall was the first single person bedroom she found. It was no bigger than her closet. A small cot, desk, and little space for clothes. There were four other rooms arranged in the same way.
  She came to the door at the end of the hall. It was locked. Beka forced the doorknob and broke the lock. When she saw the coffin in the middle of the room, Beka thought, Bingo.
  The coffin laid in the middle of the room, open and empty. Beka walked behind it, now straining her ears to listen for anyone coming up the stairs. She could hear Jimmy and Andi talking, the two video game players, and Steopa looking through a book.
  She forced open the old roll top type desk. A locked box and a book were the only things inside. She flipped through the book. There were many illustrations of the human body, but it was written in Latin, so Beka could not read it.
  The illustration of a mouth caught Beka eye. The long canine teeth had little tubes running from their tips to the esophagus. The illustration next to the first showed a thin tube running from the tip of the tongue to the heart.
  She turned to the last page and a card fell out. Beka picked it up. It was the business card for the antique store that had been a site of some of the murders. She closed the book and stuffed it down the front of her pants, using her loose shirt to cover any sign that she had taken it.
  She paused and listened. No change in the sounds downstairs. Beka opened the locked box. She found letters, written in a language she didn't recognize. A few photographs. One was a photo of a group of large, mustached businessmen, standing in a circle. The handwriting on the bottom of the photo was, “Order of the Vril Orphans.” She recognized where the photo had been taken: in the altar room under the Rathskeller. She quickly slid the photo in her back pocket.
Beka noticed a small black box in the coffin. She opened the box. A ring and a necklace sat on a black velvet inside the box. Both pieces of jewelry had liquid inside the jewels. As she rocked the box back and forth, the liquid moved.
  She heard someone walk up the stairs. Beka pocketed the box, closed the lock box, the desk, and the room. She had just got to the bathroom door, when one of the video game players came down the hallway.
  Beka walked pass him and downstairs. Steopa looked up, she winked.
  Steopa turned to Andi. “We have to go,” he said.

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