Her words she had to place in the text were : Flashlight, fudge candy, sweetie
Richelieu, proud griffin, as a living terror, fearless predator, was examining the chimney sitting on his rear paws, But to be honest, he was, actually trying to convince himself he was all that. In this early evening, Morphine decided to pile stuff up on his head and see how long it stood on place. Richelieu was sure that if he'd concentrate hard enough he could make disappear everything bothering him. The griffin was still experimenting his theory but sure the results would appear sooner or later.
With determination, he was repeating to himself « I'm a tiger, a monster, a creature of the night, I'm a... »
« Kittyyyyyyy, kitty kitty kittyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy »
Morphine couldn't stand it anymore, she was laughing and had a lot of fun. Pile up stuff on Richelieu's full of dignity and serious head was the funniest game she ever played with him. So funnier than « dressing the griffin like a girl ». It was awesome. Now an empty cookies box, a glass, some (dirty) tissues, an old playmobil toy were decorating this little head. She was about to put the final piece, cherry on the cake : an horrible little marquise statue. It was pretty delicate. Like in Mikado game, everything should stay still, everything could collapse at any time. Her hand was shaking, she put the marquise, which weighed down all the composition and pulled her arm back. What a marvelous thing !
Richelieu moaned a little but stopped really fast. He shouldn’t show interest to all of this. Everything'd disappear.
Delacroix chose this moment to make his entry. He crossed the room with a conqueror pace and stopped right in front Morphine's sculpture. The young gargoyle was expecting scoldings and began to defend herself.
« I agreed with all this ! And first of all, I ain't start anything ! And... »
« Oh ! That's so cool ! Can I try ? »
Delacroix sat down next to the teenage girl who couldn't believe what she's just heared. He took an object from his pocket (an horrible badge right from the 80's) and put it slitghly on Delacroix's beak. The move was daring, beautiful, extraordinaire.
The griffin had a squint for a moment and wore back his scornful face to the world. No, he wouldn't give up so easily.
« Hye, do you wanna see something funny ? »
Morphine took a peek at Delacroix, a mocking light enlighted his face. She seemed to wait for an audience who would appreciate this performance for what it's worth.
Delacroix bent and watched with attention what was going to happen.
Morphine took a fudge candy from her pocket and unpacked it from its paper with delicacy. She passed it to her partner in crime. It was written «Extra fudge»
Her eyes glew with a dangerous brightness. She gently approached the candy from their living toy's beak.
The poor beast saw this unexpected gift and forgot all his deep principles.
He opened his beak wide and rushed on the candy, making all the composition collapse. First pleased, his face shew then fear : as he was chewing, his beak got stucked with the fudge candy. It was so soft that he couldn't open his beak and all his strength was useless.
Delacroix and Morphine were laughing at the poor animal, rolling on the carpet.
Poor Richelieu bent, jumped, wriggled on the floor, scratching his beak with his claws, trying to free his beak, Eventually, tired, whining and moaning he ran out looking for a comprehensive soul to help him out.
As he walked through the door, he bumped into Absinthe's legs as she was drown by her clan brother and sister's laughs of joy. She understood what happened in a glimpse, looked daggers at Morphine and warned Delacroix with a squinting. Then she grabed Richelieu by his neck.
« Again ?! How do you do to get in such mess ?... can't you just defend yourself ? »
She pulled the griffin who was whipping while she carried him to the kitchen, where she could easier wash his face.
She'd deal with the teenager later. Then Delacroix...
Richelieu squealed as Absinthe was a little bit harsh with him. She was washing his face with a wet towel and pushed with all her strength to free his beak.
«Stop moving ! » she shouted.
Richelieu stopped immediately; petrified.
« Damn... I'm sorry... But you always tend to act silly when Dad is not around... Here it is, you can open the mouth now. »
Indeed, Montigny was on a journey for two days, putting Absinthe on nerves. Everybody was running wild during these unexpected vacations and she had to be there to get things straight afterwards. He would come home at the end of the night as he promised on the telephone. Meanwhile, until then, she felt responsible for everyone and had to watch over all the mansion. What a plague !
« Oh, what a grumpy old lady ! Montigny on a travel doesn't allow her to piss of everyone. Damn ! As soon as he's out, she believes she's the leader ! And now I give orders, I grumble, I tell everybody off. She needs to calm down , the old one ! »
Morphine kept on her long complain, hoping that Delacroix would come along with her discontent. But he stood up in silence and before leaving, he whispered in her ears.
« Maybe if you did less of your monkey business, she wouldn't be on the edge, don't you think ? »
And then he disappeared laughing.
Morphine meditated his last words for a moment, shrugged off, then fell on the couch and grabbed her game-boy on the table, moaning as she usually did.
« It's so unfair, I did nothing, I'm innocent. THEY are going wild... »
Delacroix slipped into the kitchen quietly, where a crouching silhouette was washing off Richelieu, The griffin looked at the new comer, and worried as he approached, prepared himself for the worst to happen.
The blue gargoyle took his breath, stood up straight and opened wide his arms,
« Just one scream and you'll have to deal with me. » warned Absinthe.
Delacroix's cheeks deflated right away and Richelieu sighed, releaved. He snapped his beak with satisfaction, swallowed some croquettes and went away exultantly.
« Listen. I'm not in the mood for this mayhem tonight, and I think you know that. »
She waved an accusing finger under his nose.
« But... you really need to relax a little ! It could be good for you, you know. »
He sat on the kitchen table and nibbled anything around him.
« You will explode if you keep on eating like that. Hey,... it's not possible... biscuits are all gone, again. Look ! Damn ! That's crazy ! »
Delacroix reached out the obviously empty cookies pot to Absinthe. He looked at the bottom a last time, thinking about those delicious cakes he wouldn't be able to eat and then got back to the subject he cared about.
He layed down on the table, trying to look lustful, squinting with his half-closed eyes : his sensual look technique.
« Come on Sweetie... Take it easy... »
« Ok, ok but I want to fix something before. Then we'll see a movie if you want. I'll catch you up in thirty minutes, ok ? »
« YEEEEAH ! I'll fetch Back to the Future, it's been a week since I last watched it ! Anyway, we can't watch the first without watching the other two, so it's gonna rock ! »
And as he said that, he ran away bouncing like a kid,
Absinthe ran her hand over her face. Well. She had to do the checklist. Check if everyone was here where they were supposed to be and that no trick track was planned.
She first went to the living-room and had a glance in the room. Richelieu stood next to Morphine on the couch and the little gargoyle was tickling the griffin's ear with a little twisted tissue.
This griffin definitively had no memory or was he a little bit masochist ?
Anyway, nothing out of the ordinary here.
Absinthe went down in the little gym room. Grimm was surely there.
She even didn't have to open the door to check his wereabouts, she was perfectly hearing his shouting, his hoarse breath, and the blows to the sand bags from where she was standing. She had a look through the little window and went back.
The green hair gargoyle found easily Svenn in the library, his nose in a big novel she didn't recognise the title. He watched her sit down in front of him, look at him for several minutes without a noise and go away without adding anything. He found that strange but... well, everything was strange here. So...
Svenn didn't seem to be a threat. She could warry on her mission. There was still Mélusine to check on and then she could relax with Delacroix, She'd surely find her in her room, reading some lovestory books, chuckling on her four poster bed while Antonio, the mysterious masked thief was courting the beautiful desert princess. Or something like that.
She knocked three times, waited an instant and the opened the door room. Empty. She took a look at the candles and incense. They hadn't been enlightened for the night.
Absinthe left the room and went up to the attic. Mélusine liked to spend some time there, discovering new surprises. But still no trace of Mélusine.
She didn't give up hope and went back to the library.
Svenn put down his book and looked at her with a troubled look. She opened the storeroom door, where Mister Montigny told her not to go because of the magic level of the place. It was a little room where grimoires and sorcery books were hold. It was one of Mélusine's hiding places.
Absinthe reappeared a few minutes later.
« Did you see somebody go there today ? » She seemed a little bit upset... And Svenn knew right away when I first came in the mansion that he'd better butter her up in situations like this.
« No, nobody... why ? » his curiosity was too strong.
« Mélusine's disappeared. »
« Mmm... Are you sure ? » he whispered, enquiringly.
« She's not in her bedroom, not in the library, not in the attic, therefore she has disappeared. »
She took her head in her hands and concentrated.
Where the hell could she be ? In either way, it seemed fishy. And if Mélusine was hiding something, it surely was something magic.
… Let's hope we find her before she does something beyond seriousness.
Absinthe left Svenn in the library and ran into the living room. She grabbed Delacroix who was just put the DVD in the DVD player, freezing him in his movement.
« Wait ! Let's play, ok ? We will all play to « who will find Mélusine before the others. » She's hiding somewhere in the mansion and I can't find her. »
« She disappeared... right ? It's like an investigation roleplay, isn't it ? » he asked smiling from a ear to the other.
« Yes, as you wish but we have to find her. »
« You're worried for nothing... Come on, we'll find her to reassure you. » he whispered in her ear, he definitively was seeing clear in her game.
Delacroix left the living room and came back from his bedroom with lots of hats.
« These are investigators hats. I bought them on the internet. I knew we'd need them someday. » he add while Absinthe was looking at him in an appaled way.
« Here. You're super hot with this hat, Aby. And Richelieu, you look badass. And you're really really cute with it. »
The blue gargoyle briefed his research team while he sticked the hats on everybody's head with a grinning face.
« No need to talk none sense, we'll put your hats... » Absinthe sighed.
« I'm no cute... What the heck... » Morphine mumbled as they began their hunt.
Delacroix was ready and the investigation had a good start. His collegues were efficient but he, he had experience. It's been twenty years since he was in this business and people disappearing, he knew about it. He inhaled an imaginary pipe and thought about the situation. Let's see... Mélusine was a girl... A girl is a weird creature. It had weird ideas...
« I know ! »
He rushed into the corridor, his collegues on his heels and stopped in front of the bathroom's door.
« It's been a while since we last saw her, right ? And yet girls get all dolled up for hours ! Admire ! »
He slammed the bathroom's door open. But no hysterical scream. Room was empty.
Delacroix couldn't hide his disappointment and start to think. Meanwhile, Absinthe took the opportunity in the nearest rooms. She'd better keep an eye on everybody,
Delacroix made Absinthe and Morphine running in all the house, finding each time new ideas and theories, each time more and more strange. They visited 2nd floor's bathrooms, the cupboard underneath the sink and Svenn restroom. (who decided to do as if nothing strange was going on as they rushed in to frisk everything.) They were about to search in the spare room's cupboard.
As for Richelieu, he took off Delacroix's hat really fast and couldn't resist the urge to jump on the couch as soon as Morphine had stood up. But now it was time to hunt for food.
He stretched up, letting his claws out, yawned happily after recovering full use of his beak and went away jogging.
He was about to leave by the backdoor when he heard some strange sounds. A slightly whisper, like a song seemed to come from the door under the stairs. It wasn't an imposing door, rather discreet and it seemed to hold some strange secrets... A pretty mysterious door it seemed ! He pricked his ears once again and heard clearly heard a voice. All his hairs stood up on his head and he rushed into the corridors to warn the others. He ran and ran and ran. He took a little pause, exhausted, just in front of the kitchen. Coïncidence ? His stomach began to rumble as he saw his tin dish on the floor fulled with succulent rabit croquettes. His favourites...
The griffin went in and ran on the food, forgeting what he'd just discovered. Once full, he went back to the living room and fell lazily on the couch, putting with satisfaction his head on the cushion, he closed his eyes and...
« Sacrebleu ! But where the hell could she have disappeared ? My dear Watson, we deal with a real mystery ! »
Richelieu breathed out moaning. No way to take a quietly nap here. You're always disturbed by the inbearable kid, or Delacroix and his stupid games or these voices coming from nowhere...
The griffin opened his eyes wide and stood up in a rush. He almost forgot ! He grabbed Detective Delacroix's shirt as he walk nearby and pulled in forward,
« Richelieu, you already had food, and three times more than you should have had ! » Morphine scolded.
« Aha ! I think that our faithful police dog has just found a clue ! » the detective announced happily.
Richelieu shew an insulted face but kept on leading the group to this little door.
Nobody seemed to have noticed it before, this insignificant door. No sound came from it but Richelieu scratched the door like an insane to open it.
Morphine swallowed and helped the griffin. They heard an horrible creaking and an old wooden stair came down in the darkness.
Absinthe slept away, came back with three flashlights and took the lead.
The stairs were creaking too and they could smell an old mould sent. This cellar wasn't really welcoming.
They went down in the dark for few minutes, only their breath echoing around them. Then finally at the bottom, they stopped.
« Psst... Eh Psst... » Delacroix was tapping hard on Morphine's shoulder.
She turned over and yelled hysterically. Delacroix was doing grimaces above his flashlight and wanted to entertain his neighbour. He chuckled and then lighted the place with his light.
A body was laying down. Face on the floor, in scarfes and shawl, All round it recently blown out candles were places all around in the middle of strange signs, drawn with chalk on the floor. An open book was next to the body.
The teenage girl yelled a second time as she recognised Mélusine.
They all rushed to her to help the green gargoyle. Absinthe crouched and took her in her arms, Delacroix covered her with his jacket, Morphine stopped yelling. Richelieu, worried, came and rubbed against the gargoyle.
Mélusine was cold and had goose flesh but at least, she was alive. Huddled up against Absinthe, she woke up slowly, struttering.
She stood up and looked at them with surprise.
« Whaft arfe... ?»
« AHAHAHAHAHA ! »
Delacroix bursted laughing in front of her. He hold his ribbs, fell on the floor and rolled, still laughing out loud. Morphine was panting while laughing, complaining she couldn't take her breath anymore. Richelieu already ran away squealing, hiding under the living room's table, his hairs all dressed with terror. As for Absinthe... she couldn't move, her face stood unflinching, her eyes serious as well as cold. But when she opened her mouth to talk, we could notice a little bit of blood, as if she'd just bit her tongue…
« Mélusine... are you OK ? Do you feel OK ? »
« Yef, I'fm finfe.. Whatf... Whatf if going onf ? Whatf if hafppeningf to mef ? ABFINTHE WHATF'S IF HAFPPENINGF ? »
Mélusine panicked and didn't understand what was happening to her. She had trouble to see, had trouble to speak... But what the heack was happening to her ?!?
« We'll fix that. Delacroix, stop laughing like stupid and take the grimoire. Morphine, take my lamp and light up the way out. I'll help Mélusine to walk. Help her not to stumble with... well... let's go home. »
« Wfhatf ? I donf't underftand ? Strumfblef inf wfhatf ? »
Mélusine followed the group to the living-room obediently. Oddly she saw everything like through a veil and the situation was starting to freak her out. Absinthe dropped her off in the couch and Morphine held a mirror to the green gargoyle, laughing.
Mélusine's eyes rounded up before she fainted. She had just seen her reflection decorated with a huge curled moustache and eyebrows so long that her eyes disappeared underneath the hairs. It was a nightmare.
They woke her up again and she began to wheep in Delacroix's arms. Absinthe leafed through the Grimoire's pages, looking for a solution and Morphine was puting hairpins and ribbons on the capillary newnesses. It was for Mélusine not improve her sight and speaking, she said.
« I see, it's a spell to « reward curiosity », isn't it ? At least you'll recover now. »
Mélusine sniffed, wiped out some tears with her hand and then took of eyebrows hairs from her sleeve's button. She began to explain what happened to her,
Meanwhile, Grimm was searching the manor from top to bottom to find the others. For once he wanted to see people around him, evertbody was out. They always had fun without him. He was sure they were making fun of him as they speak !
He heard a noise from the living-room. He's been there before but they all seemed to have come back. He was about to walk in and... could just see Absinthe running towards him and slammed the door under his nose. And lock it moreover !
He couldn't believe it ! Stood still, couldn't speak as completely astounded for a moment.
« Please Grimm, don't come in. Mélusine needs to rest a little. »
What do you mean a rest ? Is he disturbing ? She can't rest with him around ?
The red gargoyle groaned and hit the door like crazy. Hey ! He definitively would get in and he would be calm and stay still. She'd see how CALM he could be.
Some whispered behind the door and Mélusine talked with a weak voice.
« Please, Grimm, don't come in... »
« WHY ? »
« Because I am.. because I... » Her voice hesitated but kept on, less confident. « Because I am... Mmm... naked. »
A terrible silence followed, Grimm stopped hitting the door. Well... if she is naked...
- I can't get in. And if I have a look, Absinthe would say I'm a pervert, and Delacroix would laugh at me and...
Suddenly he realised.
« WHY ARE YOU ALL NAKED WITH EVERYONE AROUND ?! »
He yelled with rage. They wouldn't take him for a stupid man. He took an impulse and ran to the door which opened under the shock. There was nobody left inside, just an open window. Grimm groaned and rushed into the corridor ; They wouldn't fool him so easily. He'd catch the other from the inside and he'd know what they were all about. As soon as he was out, Delacroix's head appeared behind the couch.
« Well... it was close. Why didn't you tell him ? »
« I don't want him to see me like this... That's all. » Mélusine answered with a little voice. « What will I become ? »
Absinthe looked at the big clock on the wall and smiled.
« Papa will be back soon. He will be able to help you better than we can. You maybe should wait for him in his office. »
Mélusine flew discretly with Delacroix's help to Montigny's Office. She hid there in a place not filled with papers and waited.
A little while later, Montigny's black car parked in the alley. The old man walked out the car as Absinthe and Morphine welcomed him. They explained what happened with lots of details, Montigny bursted out laughing but remained serious as he entered his office and took care of Mélusine.
The young gargoyle walked out the office an hour later, with no hair traces on her face.
« He told me the moustache fits me well. » she said, brooding. But she never told what happened in this office. And the other gargoyles never knew how Montigny broke the spell.
« I hope you'll stay away from magic for now on, I assume? » Absinthe took his rôle back
« Yes, yes... » Mélusine answered with a pensive voice, smiling.
She hold the new book her father gave to her in her back,
A magic Grimoire, he assured.