Missy is curious.
What is Taïga doing with her iPad every night? I’ll just take a peak now she’s at school and prissy Granny’s abroad…
So litterally there’s nothing to refrain her from spying on Taïga…
She unsuccesfully tries to read Taïga’s mails, but… Interesting… What is this? Facebook? She hasn’t got many friends now has she… I’ll just help her a little… Hmm… Maybe I could meet someone handsome on the Internet? Missy fiddles with the iPad, creating herself numerous accounts on FB and Twitter and and tmblr, several dating sites and generally succeding in screwing up everything possible. Without wanting to, of course!
Time goes by so quickly when you’re having fun, but the iPad running out of power pulls Missy back to reality. She hurries upstairs to replace the iPad before Taïga gets back from school. But she doesn’t remember where she took it! Bah! I’ll just keep it in my bag for a while! Oh my, time is running. I have some poltergeists to exorcise at the Ziggfield’s tonight!
Tom has accompanied Taïga back from school, but the house is empty when they arrive. After helping Taïga with her homework, Tom stretches and rubs his belly.
‘Gosh, I’m hungry! You don’t happen to have something to eat?’
Taïga laughs. ‘We can order pizza, or make pasta?’
Tom shakes his head. ‘No. I like the idea of using that old firepit of yours in the backyard. I filled it with branches the other day when I cut down the apple tree.’
‘I know! Hot dogs!’
Tom takes his things and stands up. ‘Good idea! I’ll go light the fire in the backyard.’
It takes a while to get the fire started…
Tom is proud of himself. The evening is chilly, as usual in Midnight Hollow, but the fire is cozy.
There were no hot dogs in the fridge, but Taïga found marshmallows tucked away in a cupboard. They have just started roasting them, when a boy from school suddenly shows up in the backyard.
‘Can I have some?’
‘Yeah, why not.’ Where did he come from?
‘There you are, Taïga! Great, can we have some marshmallows, too?’
‘Hi Jen! Hi Mitch! What are you doing here?’
‘Words out you’re having a party!’
‘Party?’ Taïga is dumbstruck.
Word has spread Taïga’s alone at home and more and more people are starting to drop in!
Soon there’s a real party going on in the backyard. Someone’s even brought a kegger!
‘Hey! What are you two doing? Am I interrupting something?’
A cute but angry girl is looking down on Taïga and Tom.
‘Just Mia, my girlfriend…’
Girlfriend… the word echoes in Taïga’s head. Girlfriend…
‘Smile Tommy! I’m getting proof you’re hanging with kids!’
‘Cut it off, Mia. I’m helping out with her Gram’s garden. That’s all!’
Tom’s girlfriend is giving him a hard time, and Taïga doesn’t want to hang around anymore. Who’s that? I’ve never seen her around before? ‘Hey! Who are you? Are you new here?’ But the girl doesn’t answer. Taïga looks back at Tom, but when she turns around again the girl has disappeared.
Ah, there she is! She’s so pale. Almost ethereal. Nobody seems to notice her… Who is she? Maybe Mitch or Jen know her…
‘Jen! Can I ask you something? Who’s that girl over there, in the butterfly skirt?’
‘What girl?’ ‘The one in the butterfly skirt. Long silvery white hair, rather pretty…’
Jen looks around her. ‘I can’t see any girl fitting your description… BTW, have you seen Mitchell?’
‘No.’ Taïga is thinking hard. The girl is standing over there, just staring ahead of her, looking ethereal and sad. Could I be the only one seeing her?
Mitchell has sneaked inside. Bingo! This must be her room…
Wow… that’s right out scary… She said she had a painting of her ancestor on the wall… She must have been kidding! He laughs nervously.
Somebody has brought an old DJ turntable and soon the music is blaring out from the high speakers and everyone’s dancing and having a good time.
Mitchell looks around him. The sounds of the party are muted up here. He knows he doesn’t have much time before someone comes looking for the bathroom or something stupid like that. He lingers, thinking… He’s searched everywhere.
Everywhere? Maybe under the bed?
I think I can see it! Mitchell reaches under the bed and grabs the object he’s been looking for. But suddenly there’s a slight movement and he’s looking straight into a pair of glowing red eyes!
I’m outta here!!! He pockets the object as he backs away from the bed. A bizarre scraping sound is coming from above. What the heck was that?
Mitchell can’t get out of Taïga’s room fast enough!
‘Pump it… PUMP IT!!!’
Uhoh… the cops… The teens scatter rapidly, leaving litter in their wake. Soon the only sign off the party are some red plastic cups strewn on the lawn…
The police officer shakes Tom’s hand and they small talk for a moment.
‘Dad, this is Taïga!’
‘Bună, Taïga! Îmi pare bine sã vã cunosc!’ (Nice to meet you)
Tom’s dad is a cop? Decidedly there’s a lot I don’t know about him… ‘Bună!’
‘I’m sorry to put an end to the party, but we got a call from the neighbors’.’
Tom’s dad looks around him and with a loud voice he tells everyone who’re left it’s time to leave. A couple of teens making out on the porch are lurched back to reality and quickly disappears. In less than five minutes the backyard is empty.
‘Is this your place? Don’t you think you’re a little young to throw these kind of parties?’
Taïga is too scared to answer. What will Granny say when she finds out?
‘Îmi pare rãu. (Sorry) It wasn’t her fault, dad. I don’t know how all these people found out she was alone tonight…’
The police officer stares sternly at Taïga. ‘It will do for this time, but don’t try again.’
‘I won’t, sir. I promise!’ He nods and turns toward his son.
‘I’ll give you a ride home, son.’
‘I’ve got my scooter, dad. And I’ll just stay a while to help cleaning up.’
‘OK. But go straight home afterwards! We’ll talk about this in the morning.’
‘Yeah, sure. Thanks, dad.’
‘Salut-o pe Granny din partea mea.’ (Say hi to Granny from me) Taïga nods.
Tom turns to Taïga with a penitent smile on his lips. ‘I’m sorry the party went out of hands… I can’t imagine how everyone found out?’
‘It’s OK, I guess. Things happen…’
‘Yeah! Now let’s get started…’
An hour later the garden is cleaner than it was before. Tom leaves on his scooter…
… and Taïga is in bed, exhausted.
But Missy is still not home… Where is she?
She went ghost hunting in the afternoon, and luckily for Taïga she’s not back yet…
Part I – End of Chapter 27