The Shadow 13
They walked through the streets moving into the most dirty and run-down parts of London. Some of the streets they passed were worse than what Marissa had grown up on. After a quarter hour of walking they came to a door where Sarah stopped. A key appeared out of the air around what must have been Sarah’s head and then fumbled in the lock.
The door opened and Sarah pulled Marissa inside. The one room hovel was the epitome of filth and degradation. Marissa looked around the dim room in horror.
“You live here?” she gasped.
“Not very often,” Sarah replied. Marissa could hear the shame in her voice. “It is difficult to rent a place when no one can see you. I usually stay in the unused rooms of several London inns. I have to stay much cleaner than normal. Everything tends to show up after a while.”
“What is it like being invisible all the time?” Marissa asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
“Miserable. I just wish I could see myself in the mirror and know what I look like.”
“Do you walk around unclothed all the time? Even in the winter. It must be freezing.”
“No, I usually have a long coat and boots and a few other things that keep me warm except when I am working for Dr. Bering,” Sarah replied. “How is it that you are able to change back and forth?”
“I don’t know,” Marissa began. “I think it has something to do with what I was doing at the time I drank that retched wine.”
“How many doses did they give you?”
“Only one, but I think it was the second one. I heard them talking about testing the second one just before I left. I was silly enough to drink the wine John offered,” Marissa said. “He seemed so harmless and he didn’t put anything in the wine and the wine had been in the room with me the whole time.”
“They laced the cup. That’s how they got me,” Sarah said.
“How many doses did you get?” Marissa asked.
“Two of the first potion. You said it was something you were doing when you drank the wine?” Sarah pressed.
“I think it has to do with the fact that I was Madame Shadow when I drank the potion. After I first turned invisible I noticed that I could change back and forth depending on what my frame of mind was. When I am the Shadow I am invisible and when I am Lady Edgington I’m not. See,” Marissa explained.
She focused on her identity as the Shadow and watched as her hands disappeared.
“What are you thinking right now?” Sarah demanded.
“I am the Shadow and what I do when I am the Shadow,” Marissa replied.
Marissa then resumed the Lady Edgington identity and she reappeared. “There I become Lady Edgington again. I think what saved me from your fate was the fact that I had two separate identities and I was completely enveloped in the one when I took the potion.”
“I would give anything to be seen again,” Sarah said sadly.
Marissa didn’t know how to respond so she decided to change the subject back to Sean’s disappearance.
“What do we do about Sean?” she asked.
“I don’t know other than go to Dr. Bering.”
“Perhaps we can go to Dr. Bering. Take me with you and you fulfill your part of the bargain,” Marissa suggested.
“It’s too dangerous, Marissa. We can’t chance him getting a hold of you...”
“But he won’t be able to see me. We can make sure he understands that you fulfilled your part of the bargain. I’m certain he will try to use Sean as the next pawn. Hopefully he will give us some clues to find him and to figure out what he is planning,” Marissa finished.
“He doesn’t know you can change back and forth,” Sarah paused. “But that doesn’t mean he won’t try to hurt Lady Edgington. And if Lady Edgington disappears he might put two and two together.”
“Just because we show up doesn’t mean I have to stay there. I can leave and they will never know it,” Marissa said convincingly.
“I don’t know,” Sarah replied hesitating. “There must be another way.”
“I don’t know what else to do to find Sean,” Marissa cried.
“We can try I suppose, but I don’t want you in any danger,” Sarah replies firmly.
“I will be very careful.”
“All right. We will go to Dr. Bering’s house. You’ll have to take off your clothes when we get there. We can use your cloak as a cover to prove you are there, but at any sign of trouble lose the cloak and get out,” Sarah instructed.
“That’s fine,” Marissa agreed.
Together they walked through the dark streets of London until they were standing in front of Dr. Bering’s dark home. With invisible hands Sarah picked the lock and entered through the very door Marissa had on the first two visits. Silently they entered the house and made their way to the basement lab.
Marissa could hear voices below and a chill ran through her body. The covering of the cloak was too thin for this work, but she mentally created the feeling of an invisible layer to remove the discomfort.
They reached the bottom step and Sarah stepped into the room keeping Marissa behind her. John was alone in the room working on some type of solution. Marissa checked to make sure she was still invisible as she followed Sarah into the room.
“I’ve kept my bargain,” Sarah announced loudly making Marissa and John jump.
“Oh,” John said standing and coming closer.
“I’ve brought you the Shadow, now I wan’t your word that my daughter won’t be harmed,” Sarah threatened.
“Well now how do we know this is the Shadow,” Dr. Bering said coming up behind them.
Marissa stepped back barely missing his arm as it struck toward her. In an instant she shed the cloak and moved away from Dr. Bering and John. She had no idea where Sarah was.
“This is treachery, Jarvis,” Sarah called from across the room.
“I can see you brought our dear friend the Shadow. Tell me, how did you capture her?” Jarvis asked tauntingly.
“She convinced me it would be in my best interest to talk with you seeing how you’ve cursed me with her same fate,” Marissa said in a quiet, deadly voice.
“I do apologize for that, but we needed to know if it would work on its own or if we had to have both doses together. Our employer is very particular,” Jarvis replied.
“And just what does your employer want?” Marissa pried. She wanted answers for their strange behavior and intriguing research.
Jarvis laughed. “To be invisible, of course,” he replied snidely. “I thought you realized that.”
“We made a deal, Jarvis,” Sarah interrupted. “You said if I brought her you would leave my daughter alone.”
“I did say that, didn’t I,” Jarvis said thoughtfully. “Well I lied. I figured you would try to trick me so I took steps.”
“What have you done?” Sarah asked in a frightened voice.
“Oh the Lady will be receiving a message from her dear steward that she won’t be able to refuse. I think it’s time Lady Edgington joined our little party don’t you?” Jarvis said with a sneer.
Marissa had to force herself to remain invisible. Every time Jarvis mentioned her title she could feel the invisibility fading.
“I suggest you stop this or I will have to take steps,” Sarah said. Suddenly a knife appeared next to John’s throat. “Your little scientist has been a menace to the world long enough. I have gotten used to not being seen.”
Jarvis froze in place and John paled beneath the knife’s blade. Marissa watched as John fumbled on the table and then he had a needle in his hand.
“Watch out, Sarah!” Marissa shouted.
Sarah moved just a little too slow and the needle jabbed her hand. She dropped the knife and quickly pulled the needle out.
“Go,” Sarah called back and Marissa wheeled around and made for the door, but it shut before she could leave.