Sally wandered carefully through the dark alley. The map route she had sourced from the Fibonacci code her dad left her was supposed to be leading her to something important. She wasn't exactly sure what it was, but it was definitely important. She knew that. Although, a young 19-year old girl walking through an alley so close to midnight was surely unsafe, but she kept walking anyway.
She suddenly heard a rustling sound behind her. She let out a small shriek and pointed her flashlight. 'Oh, it's just a cat.' She thought. At least it looked like a cat. Cats had no tails, right? Before she could process another thought, the cat lunged past her and through a hole in a fence. Now, she should have just continued on her way, or even gone home at that point, but her curiosity seemed to get the better of her.
She climbed over the fence and found the cat sitting on the ground, like it was waiting for her or something. It let out a small bark and ran off again, this time through the window of a small building. It looked like a cottage in the dim moonlight, but a cottage in New York? That was just silly. "Cats don't bark." Sally said to herself. That fact alone should have turned just about anyone away, but Sally wasn't just 'anybody'. No, she was the one who deciphered the Fibonacci code. The same code that had had people stumped for years.
According to her father and other scholars, the code (if deciphered properly) was supposed to show a route to an ancient civilization....or something like that. And she cracked it all by herself. With that happy thought in mind, Sally cautiously followed the cat through the window. She had seen a light in the cottage when she was outside, but now that she was inside, it was totally dark. She began to search for the light switch.
"You don't need to do that, dear." a voice called. Sally remembered her flashlight and reached for it. Only problem was, she didn't have it. She didn't remember dropping it, so where was it? "Who said that?" Sally demanded. "Show yourself!" Yeah, that sounded intimidating...she hoped. She heard a small chuckle. "If you insist, darling." the voice said again. A small candle lit up in a corner of the room. Then another, then another, and before Sally knew it, there were candles lit up everywhere. At the centre of the room there was an old rocking chair. It seemed empty, but it was rocking. There wasn't any wind in the room, so it shouldn't have been rocking.
Sally crept around the chair, and there was the cat that led her here. "What's going on here?" she asked.
"Well what do you think?" the cat asked back. Sally stepped back in shock. "What? No, no, you're a cat." she said. "Cats can't talk, its impossible."
"Cats can't bark either, but that didn't seem to bother you now did it?" the cat replied. Sally was speechless. A tail-less cat that could bark and talk. She had to be dreaming or something. "Its impossible." Sally said again. If she said it enough times then it had to be true...right? The cat purred. "Lots of things are considered 'impossible' here. Earth, that is. Flying fish, swimming birds...talking cats."
Sally shook her head. "Stop that!" she screamed. "You are a cat. Cats don't talk or bark, this is NOT the twilight zone!"
"Twilight zone?" the cat replied. "The entire universe is one big twilight zone. Everything's messed up here."
"You're not real." Sally smiled.
"Excuse me?" the cat said. Sally flashed a grin. "You're not real, I must be hallucinating. I'm outta here!" Sally turned to the window...er, the wall. "Where's the window?" she asked. The cat let out a purr. "I have no idea what you're referring to."
"The window I came in through." Sally turned to the cat. "Stop playing aro--". She was supposed to be talking to the cat, but... "W-who are you?" Sally asked. There was now an old dark haired woman in a white dress sitting in the chair. "Who, me?" the woman said gently. She sounded just like the cat. "I'm Bonadel *********. But everybody just calls me Bonnie."
"Sorry, I didn't get the last name," Sally said. "Could you say it again please?"
"Certainly," Bonadel smiled. "It's *********. Did you hear it this time?" Sally didn't, but she nodded anyway. It probably wasn't important anyway. "Where's the cat?" she asked. Bonadel smiled and pointed behind Sally at a bookshelf that definitely wasn't there a few seconds ago, but there was the cat, looking at Sally.
"Say hello to Sally, Hachi." Bonadel said. Hachi the cat meowed at Sally. Just like a normal cat. Sally had expected it to talk. Also, she didn't remember telling Bonadel her name. She turned back to Bonadel. "Hey why didn't it-"
"Well cats can't talk, silly. Its impossible." Bonadel laughed. She got out of her rocking chair and Sally let out a small scream. She definitely had to be in the twilight zone, because Bonadel was suddenly a little girl with blonde pig-tails.
"Where's Bonadel?" Sally asked. The little girl made a puzzled face for a second then smiled. "I'm right here, silly." she said. "I'm Bonadel, but everybody calls me Bonnie." Sally looked around the small room again. It looked normal enough; carpet, fireplace, bookshelf, but why so many candles? "Where are we?" she asked.
"In the locker," Bonadel answered.
"Locker?" Sally was confused. "What do you mean?"
"Yep, its where all the lost souls go." Bonadel answered. 'Wait what?' Sally thought. She couldn't be dead, could she? Where was the white light? Where was...whatever else is supposed to happen when you die. "Lost souls?" Sally asked. "Where are they?" she figured Bonadel had to be joking. Bonadel smiled and gestured to the candles lining the room floor. "Right here, silly."
Sally choked back a scream. "The candles?" she asked. Bonadel nodded happily. "Kidding! I'm kidding." Bonadel laughed. "Oh, you should see the look on your face. Its priceless."
"Stop scaring people, Bonnie." a voice said from behind Sally. Sally spun around. "You!" she said to the bookshelf. The old woman in the white dress looked like she was picking out a book. "Who are you?" Sally demanded. "Are you Bonnie?"
"No, silly." the little girl said. "I'm Bonnie. Bonadel W. Fibonacci."
Sally turned back to the little girl. "What did you say?"
"Oh you heard me this time?" Bonadel asked. "That makes things easier." Sally pulled her little map out of her pocket. "So, the code I solved was.."
"All my idea, yes. I didn't think anybody'd actually crack it." Bonadel said. Sally shook her head. "No, no that's impossible. The code is hundreds of years old, you couldn't have created it, you're a little girl." Bonadel let out a sigh. It sounded impatient, and a little disappointed. "Sally, Sally. I thought we'd already established that nothing's impossible anymore."
"You're lying!" Sally shouted. "You can't be the one who made the code."
"Lying?" Bonadel giggled. "The only liar here is Reba over there." Sally turned back to the old woman, who seemed to be looking at a cookbook. She looked up from her book and met Sally's gaze, then turned to Bonadel. "Me?" she said.
"Well yeah," Bonadel replied. "You're only 22, and you look 90. Pretty big lie, don't you think?" Reba opened her mouth like she was going to say something, but she shook her head and went back to her book. "What does this map lead to?" Sally asked. Bonadel shrugged. "Whatever you want, really."
"What do you mean?" Sally asked. "Its supposed to lead to some sort of forgotten civilization, right?"
"Well maybe, I don't remember." Bonadel sighed. "But there is a relic somewhere at the end, its supposedly from some sort of deity. Its charged with magic from the old priests."
"Where is it?" Sally asked. Bonadel flashed a girly grin. "That's cheating, silly." she said. "You have to find it for yourself. But I suppose I can help you out a little. Hold on," Bonadel walked to the bookshelf and picked up a book. Something fell out of it and Bonadel picked it up. It was an amulet. She handed it to Sally. "That'll protect you."
Sally took it slowly. "Protect me from what?" she asked.
"Yourself, mostly." Bonadel answered. "You'll understand later. But, you need to go home for now. Start the journey tomorrow." Sally looked at Reba uncertainly. Reba shrugged slowly. "Bonnie's right, darling. You should rest, or whatever." Reba pointed to her right. "Door's over there."
It probably just appeared there, like the bookshelf, but Sally walked toward it anyway. She looked back at Bonadel and Reba. "Good luck, darling." Reba said. Sally managed a tired smile and walked out. She'd probably need a week to sleep off that night. She'd also had this nagging thought that she'd probably never find the cottage again.
"So," Reba turned to Bonadel once the door disappeared. "Where exactly does the code lead?"
"Who knows?" Bonadel shrugged. She looked around 17 now. "The code's a wild goose chase I thought up as a joke."
"And the candles?" Reba asked. "Are they really lost souls?" Bonadel picked one up and blew it out. "They all followed the code's map. Sally wasn't the first one to crack the code, you know. This thing's been going on since the 1800's."
"So...what killed them?" Reba asked. "That amulet?"
"Not really," Bonadel smiled. "Its mostly greed, I think. The amulet just sends their souls to me when they die. I let them go after a while though."
"So why won't you let me go?" Reba asked angrily. "And bring Jason back!"
"Relax, Reba. You'll see Jason...eventually." Bonadel smiled. "I promise." Reba sighed. It was pointless getting angry at Bonadel. Her physical appearance could testify to that. It had been 5 years since Bonadel appeared in her life. She was 17 then, but now she looked 90 instead of 22. And Jason was probably....
"At least tell me where he is," Reba said calmly. Bonadel pointed at the floor. "Down there, same as Sally. Earth."
"Earth? You mean we're back in.." Reba trailed off as a clock materialized in front of Bonadel. "That's right Reba." Bonadel looked at the clock. It was running backwards. "We're in the citadel." she smiled.