10 By the artist formally known as Borris Yeltson
picked up the note and walked down the stairs to the hotel lobby. She
tried figuring out what the hidden message was, but even for her
superior intellect, was having some trouble. She needed help.
me, Mr. Sunderland?” Velma asked as she stood at the hotel
counter. James had been playing pong on an Atari on a television that
had been hidden behind a painting for some reason. He stood up and
turned around to face Velma.
“Please, Mr. Sunderland is my
father. You can call me Mr. JAMES Sunderland.” James said with a
smug grin. Velma adjusted her glasses.
“Bah, anyways, James is fine. What do you
“Well, I was reading this entertaining Dan Brown
novel in my room…”
“Oh, his Crimson Ceremony series? I
don’t get the plot but it’s well written.”
anyways, this message fell out.” Velma said handing James the
note. He read it out loud.
dear DADDY. im Having a fun time.
aunty dahlia has shown mE alL sorts of fun rituals and Powerful
spells. Missing you, chEryl. James scratched his chin in thought
then a serious look came to his face.
“It’s obvious really..”
James said almost in a whisper.
“What’s the hidden
“It says…Dear, I’m all sorts of missing you.
It’s OBVIOUSLY…a message from my dead wife!” James said
slamming both hands on the counter top.
“Are you sure? I
could’ve sworn it said Daddy help me…”
James shouted running towards the back of the counter area knocking
on a door and opening it.
“Mr. Valtiel, I’m taking off early,
I got another letter from my dead wife.” James said to a man
dressed in ritualistic white robes with what appeared to be bandages
sewn together on his head.
“Xysdpalta.” Valtiel replied
waving his hand dismissively before turning a valve that was sitting
on his desk.
“Who was that?” Velma asked as James came
out from behind the counter.
“Oh, that’s Mr. Valtiel, he’s
the Hotel manager. Odd fellow, but the pay is good.” James said
as they ran out of the hotel. The woman in the car outside removed
her pullover revealing a dark red long-sleeved shirt, a miniskirt,
and a pair of boots. She reached for where a katana had been only to
discover a banana.
“Damn monkey!” She shouted as a
horrific demon monkey hopped out the passenger seat window of her car
and ran off into the fog. She sighed heavily.
improvise.” She climbed out of the car and almost knocked Velma
over, while James just stared in shock.
just like…just like…”
“Your dead wife, Mary?”
The woman said with a sadistic smile. James shook his head.
she was much cuter than you, taller too. And her hair didn’t look
like a dead lobster mixed in with a nightmare that was set on fire.”
James said scratching his chin. The woman pulled out a mirror and
looked at her hair self consciously before narrowing her eyes and
glaring at James.
“You idiot, it’s me, MA-”
James said suddenly with some slight enthusiasm.
“Yeah, Maria! That’s who you look like. She worked
over at Heaven’s Night.”
“..Heaven’s night…isn’t that
“Orphanage.” James said cutting her off
abruptly. Velma looked somewhat confused.
“A strip orphanage?
That’s got to be illegal.”
“Uhh…no no no, not a strip
orphanage, it was a…Strip…MALL Orphanage. That’s how they
made…money and… stuff. Yeah.” James said laughing nervously.
“Maria” gave James a stone cold glare.
Enterprising.” Velma said adjusting her glasses again, “Anyways,
pleased to meet you Maria. I’m Velma and my friends and I are staying
at the Hotel for the time being, due to the fog.”
see.” Maria said crossing her arms, “Oh yes, James, since
we haven’t seen each other in so long…I have a gift for you…”
Maria said backing up to her car and reaching into the window while
still staring at James.
“DIE, MURDERER!” She shouted
stabbing James with the banana. The banana exploded on contact
ruining Jamess shirt.
“Oh dammit, Mr. Valtiel’s going to
kill me!” James said despairingly. Maria blinked and grit her
teeth, her left eye twitching.
“DAMN MONKEY!” She
shouted throwing what was left of the banana into the fog. Velma
raised an eyebrow.
“Oh, on the way
into town I saw this poor wounded animal on the side of the road so I
picked it up to take it to the vet in town. It turns out it wasn’t
wounded, it was just an undead demon monkey.”
hear they’re advancing northwards from the South American rain
forests.” Velma said matter-of-factly. Maria
“Uh…yeah, gotta be it…anyways…what are you two
doing?” Maria said as she tried to think up another plan to kill
“I found a letter from James’s dead wife in a Dan
“The Crimson Ceremony series?”
anyways, it seemed to have a code message in it, I couldn’t figure it
out so James deciphered it for me, and it seems it was from his dead
“What? But I never left a note in a Dan Brown
novel..” Maria said out loud thinking to herself, suddenly
freezing when she thought about what she said. Velma adjusted her
glasses, for what seemed to be the 10th time in the past 5
“What did you just say?” Velma said crossing
“Uh…I can explain that you see-”
poor girl’s delirious from the confusion obviously.” James said
hoisting Maria over his shoulder, who proceeded to start kicking and
“The mere thought of a deceased loved one must
have made her feel a sense of longing and regret as well as
depression, making her believe for a moment she was Mary.”
yeah, that’s it.” Maria said, her eyes darting back and forth
nervously. Velma thought for a moment.
“The most convoluted
answer…so it must be correct. Let’s carry on. Maybe we can find
some clues to her whereabouts. Come on James, Maria.” Velma said
as the three of them walked off into the fog as strange music began
to fill the air, as Joe Romersa crawled out of a window and sat on a
balcony above Maria’s parked car, and began to sing.