Friday, August 12, 2016
The Dark Heart ~ Part 4
Alister handed the invitation back to Tucker and Jackson notices some silver writing on it that hadn’t been there before. The pen Alister had used when writing on the clipboard had been as black as the man’s hair.
“Your invitation is both your ticket in and out. Please do not lose it,” said Alister. He looked directly at Tucker. “Mr. Hearst, the upstairs chambers are off limits, consider this your only warning. We are not running a brothel.”
Jackson shot Tucker a look that caused Tucker to burst out in a loud belly laugh before looking at Alister. “I’ll keep that in mind, Igor.”
Tucker gave Alister a pat on the shoulder before taking his ticket and motioning for Jackson to follow him. Jackson mouthed an apology to Alister as he slid by. He had a feeling Alister was not someone you wanted on your bad side.
“What did Alister mean that our invitation is our ticket both in and out?” asked Jackson.
Tucker shrugged. “Before you can leave, you have to show them the invitation.”
“That’s odd,” said Jackson.
Tucker put his hand on the large doorknob. “Just wait, this whole things is odd, but in a good way. I think they have an x-ray machine that makes sure you haven’t carried away any silverware in your pockets and that’s why you have to stop. I’ve never seen it, but that’s my guess. Now take a look at this.”
Tucker pushed open the door. Jackson looked inside and saw a simple entryway with no sign of a charity event or even other guests. He raised an eyebrow at Tucker.
“Just wait,” said Tucker with an ornery smile. “This is going to totally trip you out.”
Tucker stepped over the threshold. Jackson followed and blinked hard as a silvery shimmer blinded him for a moment. When Jackson opened his eyes he expected to find himself in the simple drab entry way, with a beige tiled floor and off-white colored walls, but instead found himself standing in the middle of a ballroom on impeccable dark wood floors.
People, whom Jackson had not seen before they entered the room, mingled about with goblets of wine as wait staff weaved in and out with silver trays filled with food. Four crystal chandlers surrounded a center gold chandelier filled with candles. As Jackson looked harder at the crystal chandeliers, it looked as if it they each had a hundred candles inside the crystals. Their yellow light forming twinkling prisms around the room.
“Whoa,” said Jackson.
“I told you,” said Tucker with a smile. “Come on let’s find Genna.”
Jackson’s eyes shot around the room as he tried to take it all in. Tucker had been right about the room being lit only by candles. Jackson searched for any kind of switches or outlets and found none. It was as if he were in the ballroom of a Victorian castle instead of a mansion in the hills of California.
“Hey there handsome.”
Genna’s sweet voice brought Jackson out of his astonishment.
“Hi, Genna, you look lovely,” said Jackson as he took in her long blond hair tied in long curls sitting on her shoulder and her pink gown which trailed along the floor. She looked like a princess, especially with the rhinestone headband tucked into her hair.
Genna looked Jackson up and down. “Man, you clean up nice. I didn’t think anything would get you out of The Shack and your surf shorts.”
Jackson shrugged and smiled. “Tucker invited me. He said it’s where all the beautiful girls would be.” He gave Genna wink. “He wasn’t wrong.”