Every Friday I will be publishing a portion of my fan fiction sequel to The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box. This is by no means endorsed by either the author of the novels nor the creators of the films. This is just a requested sequel as I picture it. Enjoy.
Never before had Mariah felt anything but respect for an officer of the law.
He did now.
As the authorities combed the area, investigating both the school and the surrounding city area, Mariah and Sacha made a full report at the constable’s office. The first thing they’d done was check the school, though the note she had brought back was from several teachers who already noted Felix’s absence from class. He’d disappeared at least halfway through the day, probably around the luncheon period, but that did not answer where he had gone.
They’d alerted the police shortly after their first talk with the school board, though many had taken place after that. Felix had been gone almost a day and a half and they still had yet to speak with the constable so they could give him a full report.
Not that the officer exactly filled Mariah with confidence. He hardly looked like he could find a pencil in his drawer, let alone a boy in the city, if Felix still was here. The head officer was a rather stodgy man getting on in age, but one wouldn’t think he had any worries over his job given the condescending smirk on his face.
“And you say your father ran off shortly before your mother did?” He asked. His tone bordered on simpering.
“My mother and father disappeared over a year ago, reportedly found dead,” Mariah cut in.
The officer’s pouchy expression only changed somewhat. “Ah. Bit of bad luck, that. I suppose that’s when your brother began to gather with a negligent crowd?”
There was no polite response to that question. The constable continued as if he hadn’t noticed the awkward silence, asking questions all the while. Why was your brother unhappy? What kind of people did he trust? How often was he in the company of unscrupulous people? When did you let him out of the house? It was as if they were talking about a dog or some refugee from the law, not his younger brother.
The last question the officer asked was the hardest of all to answer. “What was he doing a year ago? Where did he go to school?”
Mariah did not speak as he felt Sacha’s hand slip into his and squeeze. Both of them – no, all of them – had promised they would never tell what had happened on the island. After all, who would believe them except the Bureau themselves?
The assault of questions continued as blithely on as ever, each one more insulting than the last. As what might have been the hundreth unanswered question went by, there came a knock at the door. The constable opened the door to allow a number of officers, all who had the same thing to say. Felix had not been spotted in the near vicinity, at least not that anyone could recollect. After all, Mariah’s brother was just one of many schoolboys in the area. To pick him out amongst hundreds would be near impossible.
“A shame, that,” the man behind the desk said with what looked like the very opposite of a sorry smile. “Best keep an eye out for him. We’ll be doing the same.”
With that, they were shunted out onto the street. There was nothing more to be said, nothing more to be done, not by the police at any rate.
Something like a lump was welling up in Mariah’s throat and no vigorous coughing could get it out. Sacha had to call the cab for them to step into, though it took a while to get in due to the sudden stiffness in Mariah’s knees. Neither spoke on the ride home. Sacha still held Mariah’s hand, squeezing it every once in a while for good measure as he stared out the window.
There was no way to know what had happend to his brother. He might have gone somewhere with purpose, he might have been kidnapped, he might have simply been trapped somewhere. Either way, Mariah had failed him once again. Once more, he sighed, remembering all too vividly how close he’d been to losing his brother permanently the last time Felix had gone missing.
That night, the evening meal was a small, sullen affair that was rather quietly attended to. Neither Mariah nor Sacha ate much and when the staff came to collect their plates, it was with something of a half-hearted joy. Normally they would have loved for there to be so much food left. Yet even the simple pleasures of taking supper were diminished due to Felix’s absence. No amount of delectable meal could avoid such a taint.
When the meal was over, Mariah and Sacha did not retire to the parlor, as they might have usually. Even here, Felix’s absence was palpable. The staff doused the lights while their employers retired.
Mariah couldn’t sleep.
He watched the moonlight dance across the ceiling of his room, tattooing the plaster with ribbons of watery light. It was beautiful or it would have been had he been in any mood to enjoy it. He turned on his side, looking at the empty bed pushed against the other wall. His brother should have been asleep in it at this very minute, but he wasn’t. And he might never be again, depending on what had happened to him.
Mariah turned the other way, hoping that if he just didn’t look at the bed, he might be able to avoid a sleepless night of guilt.
It did not work.