Emi’s been acting strange lately. Stranger than normal. But the strangest part is that for her… her acting strange is she’s acting normal.
I’ll try to avoid sounding like an Alice in Wonderland novel after this, but it was the only way I could describe Emi’s abnormally normal behavior.
After a few days, I thought she was back to normal when I heard her talking to herself in my parents room. I took my glass of mineral water and went in to check up on her.
Jett: “Hey Sis, talking to Emerald?”
Emily: “No, I was just telling Beryl how much I miss her.”
Beryl was my family’s oldest cat. She died a few years back on Emily’s 18th birthday. It didn’t exactly make it a very happy birthday.
Emily: “Did you need something?”
Jett: “No. I was just making sure you were–“
Emily: “You were checking up on me.”
Jett: “Well yeah.”
Emily: “You don’t have to worry about me so much. I’m all better now.”
Jett: “People don’t just– You know what, who am I to question a miracle. I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sis.”
Emily: “Thanks Jett! I’m sorry I’ve worried you so long.”
Jett: “I only worry cause I love you.”
Emily: “I know. I love you too. Okay, I’m going out! See ya.”
Jett: “Going out?”
Emily: “Mmm hmm. Don’t wait up.”
I looked down at Sapphire, my old lady cat, and shook my head. Something was seriously bizarre here. Just what had happened to my sister?
Emily’s behavior was stable and normal for the next few weeks, but she was disappearing more and more often. It was odd not having her around the house talking to the toaster or hitting on herself in the mirror.
I finally decided to talk to Emily’s best friend Tia about it…
Tia: “Hey Green God, finally hitting me up so I can shake your tree?”
Jett: “What? No! I wanted to talk to you about Emi!”
Tia: “Oh right. Of course.”
Jett: “Don’t you think she’s been acting sort of strange lately?”
Tia: “Strange for a normal person or strange for Emi?”
Jett: “Strange for Emi. She’s going out in the middle of the night and during the day… she’s acting so… ordinary.”
Tia: “I know this might come as a surprise, but your sister is a grown ass woman.”
Jett: “Of course she is, but I’m worried about her. I think she’s been hanging out with my vampire cousin–“
Tia: “Your what now?”
Jett: “Never mind. I just am worried about this sudden shift in her…”
Tia: “You’re worried cause she’s not acting batshit crazy.”
Tia: “Isn’t this what you always wanted really though? I know you always followed her around like a protective puppy, but you can’t say you didn’t wish she could spread her wings and fly on her own.”
I sighed and walked away. This wasn’t getting me anywhere.
Jett: “You’re sounding as crazy as Emi.”
Tia: “Relax Little Brother. She’ll come calling if she needs rescuing.”
Jett: “What if–“
Tia: “If you’re that worried about her, you could always go amateur detective and follow her.”
I hated that idea.
I really did…
But curiosity still got the better of me and I ended up following Emi a few nights later…
I wasn’t the best sleuth, but I still did manage to follow her to an old factory outside the City. It was in an ugly neighborhood that hadn’t been touched since long before the Collapse. A tiny wooden sign hung above the door. I could barely make out the letters that spelled out Queen Vickie’s.
I don’t know that the building was supposed to be, but it wasn’t empty. An attractive woman sauntered up to the building like she owned the place.
The closer I got to the building, the easier it was to recognize the steady thump I heard as the beat of bass and not my heartbeat. The woman opened the doors to the building. Music rolled out and filled the night air with sound.
I followed her in. This place was some sort of bar or club, but the building was dirty, worn, and cracked.
Spiderwebs hung in every corner and angry cracks jutted out like scowls on the wall.
This building isn’t up to code and should be condemned.
Could Emily really be hanging out in a place like this?
I probably should have just gone home, but I was curious to know what was going on. The woman I had seen going in the club was speaking with a deep blue man with dreads. I excused myself to ask about Emily.
Jett: “So it this some sort of nightclub?”
The Woman: “Of course it is. What else would it be?”
The Man: “Are you lost or something?”
Jett: “No… I… uh, I was supposed to meet someone here.”
The woman snickered and the man gave her a strange look.
The Woman: “You don’t look like a groupie.”
Jett: “Groupie? Is this some sort of celebrity hangout?”
The Man: “A vampire groupie. This club is a sanctuary for supernaturals. Mostly vampires.”
The Man: “Listen, I’m Keoni and this is my roommate, Candy. You said you were looking for someone?”
Jett: “My sister. She’s a green haired girl with grey and green skin.”
Candy: “Oh, the little ghoul!”
Jett: “The what now?”
Candy: “You really don’t know what’s going on do you?”
Keoni: “I’ll leave the lessons to you Candy, I’m almost as clueless as he is about all of this.”
Candy: “I’ll see you out there in a minute.”
Jett: “What did you call my sister?”
Keoni left to enter the heart of the club and I was left alone with Candy.
Candy: “She’s Remi’s ghoul. She drank his blood to gain his strength.”
Jett: “So she’s a vampire?”
Candy: “No, she didn’t drink that much. Just enough for a nice… pick me up.”
So I guess my cousin and uncle weren’t bullshitting. Either that or all vampires were crazy and obsessed with blood drinking. It was a shame if that was the truth. Candy was really too pretty to be crazy in such a creepy way.
Candy: “Don’t look so blue. She’s fine. She’s been here every night dancing. She’s been having a blast. Your sister is really sweet. I’ll go with you to find her.”
I took a look inside and saw my cousin standing with a strange green haired girl. She looked like she was really enjoying herself. I squinted, but I couldn’t be sure if the girl in the bodysuit was Emily.
I know there’s some guys that joke about being able to recognize an ass from a mile away, but I’m not that type of guy and I’ve never looked at my sister’s ass to even be able to recognize it. And I definitely wasn’t about to start.
The dancers changed positions and the green haired girl turned around. It was then that I could see Emily’s strange markings and my jaw dropped. Holy shit, it was Emi. I mean sure, my sister’s normal clothing choices were far from normal- she dressed like a cowgirl even though she had never been near a ranch in her life, but why was she dressed like… a cat burglar?
A purple guy said something to her and she laughed. I have no idea what he said, the music was so loud I couldn’t hear my own thoughts.
Emi made her fingers into little claws and she grinned at the purple guy. He seemed to approve.
I seriously couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My sister was dancing at a club and flirting with some stranger.
Remington’s amused reaction to Emily’s weirdo attempts at flirting.
Okay, back to the story:
Keoni was already on the dance floor when Candy and I made our way over. Emily didn’t even seem to notice me.
I waved at Remington.
Jett: “Hey Cuz… I didn’t expect to find you here. With my Sister.”
Remington: “Oh Shit! Jett?! What are you doing here?”
Jett: “I should be asking you that! What are you and Emi doing here?”
Remi: “Heh heh heh… oh boy.”
Jett: “You know that she isn’t stable around large crowds! What if she does something to hurt herself? Or others!”
Remi: “Emi wouldn’t hurt a fly, Cuz.”
Remi: “Chill out. Em’s fine. She’s been better than ever lately and wanted to finally get out and live a little. Can you blame her?”
There was an ache in my heart. I wasn’t sure if I felt betrayed or guilty. My sister was finally in a place where she felt safe enough to go out into the world and she didn’t need me there by her side. She had new friends to trust in. Should I be relieved? Or just feeling like a man that got fired two months before his retirement…
Remi: “Earth to the Green Goblin King…”
Jett: “Huh? Oh.”
Remi: “I’m not trying to steal your Knight in Shining Armor position, okay? Em’ doesn’t want me near her when she’s out here.”
Jett: “Why should I care that she doesn’t want people to know she’s friends with you?”
Remi: “Don’t be such a prick. I’m keeping an eye on her. Don’t worry… well, you can worry a little. Not like anything I say is going to stop you.”
I shrugged off my feelings. I was just being selfish making this about myself. Emily was finally happy and in a better place. I don’t know how I felt about the whole drinking vampire blood thing… but I’ll keep that to myself.
I nodded at Remington and he nudged his head over at Emily. She had ignored us completed and was too busy dancing without a care in the world.
I approached her and her purple friend on the dance floor. She gave me a bright smile and I waved.
Jett: “Hey Sis! You look great!”
She yawn and tilted her head.
Emily: “Of course I look great. I’m exquisite.”
Her upper lip curled up over her teeth in a wide smile.
Emily: “But I have to ask… Do I know you?”
What? What did she mean: Do I know you?
The lights in the club were casting crazy shadows and there was so many colored lights, it made sense. Right?
Jett: “It’s me? Your Brother?”
Emily: “Oh dearest me…”
She chewed on her knuckle.
Emily: “I think you must be mistaking me for someone else.”
Jett: “Emily. Stop playing around.”
Emily placed a hand over her heart and stared into my eyes.
Emily: “Oh God. You must be mistaking me for her… I’m sorry Darling, my name is Emerald.”