Thursday, August 23, 2012

C.N. - chapter 35

Theo's house had a driveway the length of a 100 meter race track and the front lawn the size of a small stadium. It was a lawn that could be a park all on its own. The grass was uniform in its shade of green, and the hedges were neatly cropped to resemble statues of fauna. The trees were tall and large, so the entire driveway was shaded from the sun and the air was fresh and cool. Theo's house was also surrounded by a tall three-story fence with barbed wires at the top, when I asked Heathcliff about it, he said it was a ten-thousand volt electrical fence, and one of many security components of the house and land that made it practically impenetrable to intruders.
The house itself was magnificent, it was a three-story palace and looked like the Moscow Kremlin. I wondered how many people live in there.
When we arrived outside the front entrance, we saw that a number of men in black suits are going in and out of the house with hurried pacing. Several cars and vans were also parked irregularly on the driveway, effectively blocking the two cars that carried me, Heathcliff, Wolfgang, Theo and Mr. Kent from pulling up anywhere near the front porch.
After Mr. Clark Gable made off with Mr. Damien North who is Theo's grandfather, Mr. Kent chartered helicopters to transport us all here so they can figure out how to rescue Mr. North. Wolfgang was treated of his wounds on the helicopter ride to here, but he was severely weakened, which was why as we drove around the house to the back entrance of Theo's house, he was sleeping on my shoulder on the back seats because Heathcliff refused to allow Wolfgang to lean against his shoulder. Heathcliff sat at the shotgun seat next to our chauffeur. Theo decided to ride alone in the other car with Mr. Kent, she rebuffed Heathcliff's plead to be allowed to ride with her in the same car, she said he wasn't worth her company at the moment.
Wolfgang was very tired and had to be helped by me and the chauffeur into the house. Heathcliff refused to touch him still. We each took Wolfgang by an arm and left him sleeping in a guest room.
The interior of Theo's house reminded me of the sets in period dramas on TV, there was no mismatched furniture, the floor was spotless and shiny and the air was fresh. Theo went with Mr. Kent into a hallway that was fenced off with yellow police tape with the words 'Justice Line, Do Not Cross'. The room at the end of the hall seemed to be the center of the activity. She barred everyone else from entering that room.
I hung around to see what's happening and whether I would be given a directive, then I saw a suave young man in a tux and a flamboyant young woman in a frilly pink dress exit the room Theo and Mr. Kent went into. Mr. Kent exited too a moment later. The young man and woman had their arms around each other and they came in my direction.
'Hello there, sport, are you one of the junior inspectors?' The young man came up to me and asked in a friendly manner.
'I don't think so,' I replied, 'We met at someone's house and then Theo invited me here. I'm an aspiring candy shop owner.'
The young man seemed to be choking back on something, but he recovered and we shook hands. 'So you are one of Theo's new business associates?'
'I don't know, she didn't say anything about business associates, but I'm going to ask her whether she can teach me kung-fu.' I said, remembering how Theo took down four henchmen at Mr. Dragon's compound, I'd like to learn that, so when I get back home I can show off some moves at the fight club.
The young man looked to be choking again, his mouth contorted into a sort of shape that resembled a grin. 'Can we go now?' The young woman pouted, giving the young man a very cute look. I think she wasn't all that interested with the conversation I was having with the young man.
'Wonderful, I'm Kyle North by the way, Theo's older brother, eight years her senior, and this is my wife Selene.' Kyle held out Selene's hand and I shook it.
'I'm Charlie North.'
'A North? Are you sure you're not one of our cousins or a lost brother?' Kyle exclaimed.
'No relations, I think.' I paused, thinking of a good compliment for Selene, who I think wanted some acknowledgment of her presence, 'You look like Molly Ringwald.' I said to Selene. It was the best compliment I could think of at the time.
'Who?' Selene looked puzzled.
'Molly Ringwald, the actress.' I said, to clarify. I didn't know any other Molly Ringwalds, so I assumed she knew the right one too.
Selene stilled looked very puzzled, Kyle said, 'Well it's nice to meet you, Charlie, I'll see you around.' Kyle and Selene left, arm in arm.
I stood where I was for some while longer, admiring the paintings that decorated the white walls. I realized that some of the more abstract paintings where signed Kyle North, the one I had just met. So he is a painter! I thought, he must be avant-garde, because I could not make out the slightest sense of the slashes and scribbles in his paintings, they looked like Picasso's paintings dropped into water while still wet. I guessed they share similar styles.
After observing the paintings, curiosity and boredom got the better of me. Heathcliff said he was going to cook Theo dinner, which he called a 'banquet', and would be occupied for the remainder of the day, and Wolfgang was resting. I tiptoed past the 'Justice Lines' and inched towards the door at the end of the hall. The door was closed, and through the strip of glass panel I saw that Theo was still inside, sitting on the ground. The room was trashed and messy, it looked like a burglar had broken in, though I dismissed that notion, remembering what Heathcliff told me about the security of the house.
I knocked and Theo noticed me outside. She sighed and came over and let me in.
'So what do you want?' She asked, sounding weary.
'I was curious, the yellow tape lines in the hall said 'Justice Line, Do Not Cross' in black lettering, but isn't it supposed to be 'Police Line, Do Not Cross'?' I said.
'Oh that,' Theo laughed, 'It means the same thing, except they're a special division in the police force, and they're called the Justice League, so they use Justice Lines.' An embarrassed smile grew on her have as she said this.
'Justice League, like in the Marvel Comics?'
'Mr. Kent is a comic fan.'
'Does he own a collection?'
'I don't know, I never asked.'
'I'm a comic book fan too, I like Batman the best.'
'You still read Batman?' Theo sounded a little taken aback by this statement.
'I have most of the issues in my collection, the collection used to belong to dad, he was a comic book fan too. Like father, like son.' I said.
Theo smiled, she didn't say anything.
I noticed a small bookshelf in the corner that wasn't trashed like the rest of the room, it was hidden in a tight corner, behind a large pot of plants. 'Do you mind if I take a look?' I asked Theo.
'Go ahead, that shelf is full of grandfather's favorite novels, I don't think you'll find anything there, just worn old copies of adventure books, I checked.'
I went over and found a bookshelf full of Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Welles, Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper. I saw 'Kidnapped' on the top shelf.
'Hey! It's Kidnapped,' I said, 'It's my favorite book!' I reached and pulled at the volume, which didn't come loose from the shelf, instead, there was a click of mechanics, and the bookshelf swung open.
It was just like the plot of an Indiana Jones movie.

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