Through the Looking Glass, Part Ten

It was after midnight when his brothers finally left. Jack closed the door behind them, glad he no longer had to attempt sneaking in after hours, especially not with all his brothers in tow. Tim would likely be hearing about this from Poppa tomorrow morning.

Jack went to the kitchen and downed the remainder of his juice. Cleaning up the few cups and glasses gave him a chance to turn matters over in his head. First Kevin now Lisa? Jack had almost convinced himself that Kevin’s dreams were mere coincidence. Almost. But Lisa doing something so incredibly uncharacteristic out of the clear blue? Absolutely not – there was something going on here.

Jack grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled a short note. Grabbing his keys, he shoved them in his pocket as he gingerly opened his front door and checked the hall. The coast was clear. Being the eldest boy Jack had done more than his fair share of sneaking around and as long as he was by himself or with Tim, he was fairly good at it. Silently, he headed up the stair.

Jack was reasonably certain he hadn’t woken anyone on his way to the attic. Old buildings aren’t noted for their quiet stairwells but Jack knew which steps protested loudest and which could keep a secret. The final stair had to be pulled down from the attic and Jack was very glad for the extra time and attention he and his father had paid to oiling all the hinges just a few days before. A few minutes later, Jack was tapping on Mr Wolff’s door.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Wolff wasn’t at home. Jack put the note on the door where he would be sure to see it then began the long, slow descent to his own apartment. No one would question Wolff being about the building so late – he’s already told everyone that he worked nights and was something of a night owl. But if Jack were caught there would be questions he did not want to answer. All that practice playing spy as a kid was being put to good use now.

Once safely in his own place, Jack left the door unlocked and curled up on his own couch for what little sleep he could manage. That proved to be precious little – Wolff let himself in at 4:30 am. The sudden presence of a werewolf woke Jack instantly even without alarming him. This was going to take some getting used to.

They exchanged meaningful glances. Wolff closed and locked the door before taking a seat.

"What is it?" Wolff asked placidly.

"I think someone has found a way to affect my family. A couple things… " Jack began the long explanation as impassively as he could manage.

Wolff sat silently through the whole thing. Once Jack finished, he spoke, "Your brother may well just have seen a vampire as you and Mistress Crystal surmised, but you’re quite correct that if your sister’s actions aren’t her own an active attack is taking place. That is … strange. I’ve sensed nothing since I’ve been here. I explored the rooftops and the places you children mentioned but found only the old traces of where creatures have passed. No recent trails at all."

"Then what…" Jack began.

Wolff held up a hand, "The matter with your sister is most perplexing. I trust your assessment of her actions – you surely know her better than I – but only a modern vampire is both active and effective in the daytime. I’ve certainly not sense anything that powerful in recent days. Tell me this, when did you last see your sister?"

"This afternoon at lunch – or rather yesterday afternoon." Jack replied.

"Did you speak with her?"

Jack nodded, "Yeah, she sat across from me. She passed me the potatoes and mentioned a test she has Tuesday. That was about it."

"And how did you feel about it then?"

Jack’s brow furled, "About what? She hadn’t told anyone…"

"I mean, how did it make you feel to talk with her?"

Jack shrugged, "Nothing special – it was just a normal lunch."

"I see." Wolff leaned forward, "She is home now?"

Jack nodded again.

"Yet I sense nothing – I have no sense of a creature besides myself at all. A vampire capable of attacking in daylight and concealing the attack from a young true slayer would be impressive indeed. But to conceal its attack from me as well? That is either an extremely powerful vampire or…"

"Something else entirely." Jack finished the thought.

Wolff looked impressed, "Indeed."

"What, though? A slayer, that huntmaster you’ve mentioned, some other creature?"

"I would guess the last one. Perhaps a Creature of the Day."

"The book said a True Slayer can sense creatures of other Periods so it’d still be powerful, right?" Jack asked.

"Yes, that’s true, but even fully emerged, you aren’t well practiced. I would not sense such a creature at all. But Mistress Crystal might…"

"I’ll call her first thing in the … okay. later this morning." Jack shook his head, "I shouldn’t plan on getting a lot of sleep for the next thirty years or so, should I?"

Wolff chuckled, "It helps if you have a night job. I know a doctor who only keeps evening office hours for just that reason."

Jack gave a wry grin, "Jack Scarlotti, Night Welder. yeah, not sure there’s much call for that." He grew serious again, "So, any idea what kind of creature we are dealing with?"

"Any number of elves or fairies can do hypnosis of a sort…" Wolff began.

Wolff left a couple hours later. There was no hope of any more sleep so Jack hopped in the shower to try to wake himself. The real work was about to start – how to approach Lisa?