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SS Thorn N' Buck
From The Park To The Pub
"European Summer" Chapter Twenty-Six 
14th-Jul-2009 11:55 am
I know, finally.

Wanna dedicate this chapter to Starsong. *HUGS* Hope you're doing okay, sweetie.

"I once grew mold that color on a loaf of bread." ~LLP

Chapter Twenty-Six

TnB Travel Journal
Entry Twenty-One

Maybe not...

When we got back to the motel, the sun was beginning to come up. Our fellow TnBers already were, and we pulled into the parking lot to find them waiting for us. They didn't seem too pleased.

"Okay," Yeliah said when we got out. "Yes, we took the van. Sorry. But I don't think you'll be too upset when you see what we brought back."

"Daniel Carter?" Puddleduck asked.

"Shane West?" Spunky asked.

"Almost as good," Yeliah said. Starsong looked at her doubtfully.

Sam pulled a small bag and held it open for them to see.

"Oh my god," Megan said. "How much is that?"

"Twenty thousand," I said. "Euros."

"What did you do, rob a bank?" Katie asked.

"Stuart Duncan invited us to a poker game," Yeliah said. "And Sammy here turned out to be quite a little card shark. And Lady finally scored Devon's phone number. So it was really a good night, all things considered."

"Twenty thousand Euros," Spunky said, still staring at the bag of money. "I wonder how much that is in American money?"

A faraway look came over Starsong's face and she said, as if she was reading it off of something, "20,893 dollars and ninety-six cents."

We all stared and after a few seconds, Sam asked, "What about Australian?"

"35,829 dollars and twenty-eight cents."

"What about Galleons?" Megan asked.

"Galleons?" I repeated.

"Two hundred and fifty-six," Starsong said in a monotone. She shook her head to pull herself out of it. "I've been studying too much. Let's blow this joint."

She turned and headed for the van.

"Two-fifty-six?" I asked. "What a gyp."

Kilmarnock, Scotland

The next town on our way to Edinburgh was less than an hour's drive away. As we drove into town, Starsong was reading a travel guidebook, much to Megan's annoyance.

"Guys," Megan said. "We can't keep stopping. We're already ten chapters behind schedule."

"You're telling me," I muttered.

"Oh my god!" Starsong exclaimed.

"What?" Sam asked.

"There's a place called the Dick Institute."

As you can imagine, the general reaction was disbelief.

"You're making that up," Katie said. She reached up to the front seat and took the book away. I looked over her shoulder to read it.

"'A library, art gallery and museum," I read. "Could be interesting."

"No," Megan said.

"Oh, come on," Sam said. "Books, art and...dead things. What's not to like?"

Megan sighed. "We're never going to get to Edinburgh."

"The Dick Institute opened in 1901," the tour guide told us as we walked through the lobby, the eight of us hanging at the back of the group. She caught sight of Yeliah and the camera.

"Excuse me," the guide said. "Video cameras are not allowed on the tours."

"Right," Yeliah said. She lowered the camera and turned it off. "Sorry."

"Moving on," the guide said. We followed her out of the lobby to the art gallery. Yeliah turned to me and rolled her eyes.

"Rules is rules," I said quietly.

We behaved ourselves through the gallery portion of the tour, quietly listening to the guide and admiring the art. As we moved on to the museum, I noticed that a few people had attached themselves onto the back of the group: a couple of a young tourists and a rather frightening man in a dark suit. I couldn't help but stare. There was something undoubtedly familiar about him, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I was as positive as I could be that I had never met him before, but it felt like I had.

He looked at me. I quickly turned away and shook myself out of it. The tour was moving on.

As the group followed the guide through the museum, the man in the suit made his way to the middle of the crowd, making it harder for me to ignore him, but I did my best. As the tour ended, he walked away somewhere and the TnB gathered together just long enough for Starsong to proclaim, "I have to use the bathroom," and hurry away.

"Me, too," I said, and I followed after her.

By the time I got down the hall to the bathroom, Starsong was already in the stall on the end. I stood outside and spoke to her through the door.

"Starsong," I said. "Did you see the guy in the suit?"

"Are you really talking to me while I'm on the toilet?"


"Yes," I said. "Did you see him?"

The toilet flushed and she came out.

"The creepy suit guy?" she asked.


"Yeah, I saw him." She turned on the water and began washing her hands.

"Did he look familiar to you?"

"Not really, no."

"I can't shake the feeling that I've seen him somewhere."

She gave me a concerned look as she dried her hands.

"Airplane Dude is making you paranoid," she said.

She headed for the door and I followed. We walked out and immediately stopped short, almost running into the Creepy Suit guy. He turned and looked at us in surprise.

"Excuse me," he said in an English accent.

That voice, I thought. I know that voice. My mind went back to the closet in the Castle of St. John.

"Are you okay?" he asked me.

"She's fine," Starsong answered for me. "We just got seperated from our group. Excuse us."

She took hold of my hand and let me away like a mother pulling away a young child.


"I know," she said. "Where is everyone?"

"I don't know."

We hurried through the museum back to the gallery and found Megan and Puddleduck looking at a very abstract painting of blue and green swirls.

"I once grew mold that color on a loaf of bread," Megan was saying.

"Where is everyone?" Starsong asked frantically.

"I don't know," Puddleduck said. "They wandered off somewhere. Why?"

"We need to find them," I said. "We have to get out of here."

"Okay," Megan said.

We split up, Starsong and I taking the ground floor, Megan and Puddleduck taking the upstairs. We didn't see the Creepy Suit guy again, but when we met up in the lobby again fifteen minutes later, we hadn't found our friends either.

"Shit," I said.

Yeliah films from the back of the tour group.

"Excuse me," the guide says. "Video cameras are not allowed on the tours."

"Right," Yeliah says. The camers looks down at the floor and cuts to static. A second later, the static cuts to black, with indistinct noise in the background.

The picture comes on and we see Yeliah in night-vision, with Amberwood looking over her should. Yeliah turns the camer and we see Sam and Spunky banging furiously on a huge set of double doors.

"Help!" Sam yells as loud as she can. "Open the doors!"

Everything jerks and we hear a huge metallic moan.

"Oh, my god," Spunky says. "We're moving."

Comments are awesome.

15th-Jul-2009 06:34 am (UTC)
Heehee! Good stuff! Also, as a former resident of Edinburgh, feel free to shoot me any questions!

I ran into some old birthday and Christmas cards from my friends in Scotland while going through some stuff today and it has made me particularly nostalgic... :)
13th-Sep-2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
Awesome stuff. And oooh, an abduction! What intrigue! ;)
22nd-Feb-2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Very good! And we've been abducted! Well, at least half of us...what a cliffhanger though!
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