My quest wasn’t going so well. Over the next few days I explored the whole town. Sometimes I spent time outside the science lab, hoping for a glimpse. I talked to some of the people coming and going but none of them knew anything.
I hung out at the laundromat, the bookstore, the grocery store. I found a store that sold telescopes and asked there but they couldn’t help me either. There was a chess tournament and even though I wasn’t sure how they felt about it, I went there and hovered around, looking for any sign of the twins.
I went to the library often, spending time on the computer, trying to find out any information. I looked up the local website that had resumes. Not all were available for public viewing but a few were and I went through those, finding nothing.
Some of the locals seemed very odd but generally they were willing to talk. They were gossips and I found myself drawn into long chats. Everyone wanted to know about me so it was pretty easy to strike up conversations. When I mentioned I was looking for my possible long-lost mother, curiosity was aroused and lips were loosened.
“I think I remember twins,” one strange woman said. “Long time ago. How long did you say?”
“Thirty-seven, thirty-eight years,” I admitted. “It’s a long shot I know but…”
She tapped her chin, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. “No, I recall them. A boy and a girl, right? Hmm, if memory serves me right… they moved away about fifteen years ago.”
I tried not to look disappointed but then again, I wasn’t even sure if she was talking about the right twins.
Still, it gave me a possible lead. I checked up any news from fifteen years ago. If they had moved away perhaps it was because of some sort of problem like the one they had caused in Sunset Valley. But the only scandal connected to their names was mine, and there seemed to be nothing unusual in Twinbrook that happened fifteen years ago.
I checked with the police station but they were not so open with answers, not that it surprised me. They were still nicer to me than the officers back in Sunset Valley. It was a rather freeing feeling, nobody knowing who I was. No dirty looks, or whispers, or stares. Nobody asking if I was related to The Jacob Danevbie when they found out my name.
I liked Twinbrook. It was nice here. It was free. I was free. It didn’t matter who I was, who my father was. There were painting exhibits everywhere, and bands galore. This was a place of art, a place for ‘free souls’. A place that I could fit in, if I so desired.
Penny hates travel, I thought as I stood up and headed inside. The kids love the Valley. It’s always been my home. It was where father came to start his life. It’s where he’s buried. I locked the doors behind me and went to the bedroom, flopping down and closing my eyes. It’s my home, too.
Calling home was the highlight of my days. I spent an hour on the phone each night, talking to each of my kids. Luna was still a bit young but she always wanted to hear my voice and babbled in reply. Orion was the most talkative, discussing school and things he and Lucky got into. Tempest sometimes sang me a song, and Kyle would update me about everyone. Then I’d spend the last bit talking with Penny.
“You will find them,” she assured me after I told her about the whole possibly-moved-away. “They sent Peanut and Lucky from Twinbrook.”
I tried talking to Peanut through Kyle but according to my son, his friend didn’t have any memory of anything before coming to live with us. I thanked him and decided not to bother Orion and Lucky. Orion was a bit young and I didn’t want him worrying or feeling guilty if Lucky couldn’t help.
I soon found myself spending quite a bit of time in the park. I remembered the days of my father bringing me to the park in the Valley, and all the times I had taken my own kids. Kyle and I will have to go there when I get back, I thought. I should buy him his own guitar or something… Though I suspected he preferred the piano, he never admitted to it.
I had been here for two weeks and I thought perhaps I should just head home soon. A couple more days, I thought, slumping down and staring at the sky above. I watched as people came and went, kids playing on the swings, young couples strolling past the fountain. After a while the park was fairly empty except some guy who was talking on a cell phone, and two people who were arguing rather loudly.
I got to my feet and began heading out of the park when the guy on the cell phone called out to me. “Hey you, the ginger. Yeah–you’re the guy looking for someone, right?” I turned to look at him then walked over to where he was standing.
“Um, yeah,” I tried to say but the people on the other side of the flowers were starting to heat up their argument even more.
“–don’t understand why you are refusing!” the younger one, a woman, snapped.
“I don’t want to!” the elderly man replied. “I told you a long time ago, I don’t WANT–“
“It does not matter what you want!” she said, sounding very angry now. I glanced at the guy in front of me and he shrugged and twirled his finger by his temple.
“Do you ever even listen to yourself? Can’t you hear what you’re saying?” the elderly man said, exasperated.
“Can’t you understand what I am meaning?” the younger one shrieked back. Then she said a few things in a low voice and I thought perhaps I could return to the conversation with the man. Then she began shrieking again. “Stop SAYING that! You cannot be like this!”
“It does matter what I want,” the elder said quickly. “Why can’t you understand that? I’m living my life to the fullest now, and nothing you’ll say can change my mind.”
“You will regret this decision,” the female hissed out. “You’ll come around. You’ll see.” I glanced over and saw the young woman storming out of the park.
“Now that we can talk,” I said, turning back to the man who had wanted my attention. “I’m looking for someone. Well, two someones. They moved here around thirty-some years ago, closer to forty. They might have moved away fifteen years ago, I don’t know.”
“My mother was the welcome wagon for many years,” he replied. “She used to talk a lot about the people we met. My niece told me–oh, she works at the science lab as a receptionist–anyway, she told me about you and I’ve been on the lookout. What’s your name?”
“Oh!” I offered my hand. “Calcifer Danevbie. Anything you can tell me would be great.”
“Who were they?”
“Ummm mixed-sex twins,” I said vaguely. “They used to be scientists. Kinda obsessed with aliens. Their surname was Redding…”
“Oh hmm, are you sure they moved here?” he asked.
“No,” I answered honestly. “But they sent me some things when I was younger and it was postmarked from here–and they sent some stuff about… Oh, ten years ago. Maybe eleven.”
He stroked his chin as he made ‘hmm’ sounds. “Anything else?” he asked and I shook my head. “Boy and girl? Twins? Hrmmmm I just can’t remember, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I replied. “I really appreciate your help.”
We shook hands again and he wished me luck before heading off. I turned and started to walk off, paying more attention to my feet than where I was going. The elderly man who had been fighting earlier was still standing where he had been and I didn’t realize it, bumping into him.
“Oh, sorry,” I said, but he didn’t seem to notice. I stepped back and took one step before I felt a slight shudder down my back. I stopped, feeling as though Death himself had suddenly cast his cold shadow over me.
I slowly turned and saw that the man was staring at me. He jumped slightly when he saw I was now looking for him. “Er, ah, um, s-sorry!” he stammered, rubbing the back of his head and looking rather guilty. “D-did I hear that you were–new in town?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m just visiting. I’m looking for someone.”
He looked rather pale and I was worried he might pass out. “Wh-who?”
“Oh, they might have gone by the name of Redding,” I said. “A guy and girl. Twins. Thirty-some years ago.”
“No,” he whispered slowly. “Never heard of any R-Reddings here.” He adjusted his glasses slightly and stared at me. “And wh-what was your name?”
“Oh. Calcifer,” I said. “Calcifer Danevbie.”
He reeled back as if something had bit him. Before I could ask if he was okay, he took off running. Crazy old man, I thought, shaking my head and heading home for the day. I really felt as though I should just give up and go home–I was never going to find them.