“Girl’s night in?”
Mina was lost in her book when her older sister Emma interrupted her. She considered reading sacred, and she hated when anybody dared to pull her back to reality while she was focused on the pages of a book. She raised an eyebrow, almost annoyed, but also relieved. “This book I’m reading is bad anyway. What do you have in mind?”
Emma hurried towards Mina’s bed and sat down. “Slumber party?”
“Em. Aren’t we too old for that?”
“I’m not talking about the typical slumber party with mundanes. I’m talking about a slumber party with downworlders?” Emma wiggled her eyebrows and smirked.
Mina crossed her arms on her chest and puffed. “And how we’ll call the downworlders here, let me see. We can’t.”
“I have the solution to that,” somebody said from the doorway.
“Kit, you’re obviously not invited,” Emma protested.
Kit entered the room with confidence, and he had something in his hand which caught Mina and Emma’s attention. “Even if I have this?”
“What’s that? Don’t tell me you’ve stolen something from the London Institute again, Kit, or I –“ Mina began, but Kit didn’t let her finish.
“What are you gonna do, Mina? You’ll tell Jem?” Kit wondered with a mischievous expression painted on his angelic face. “I can put it back where it belongs in no time. You know I can.”
Mina shook her head with impatience. “Come on, tell us how this damn thing works,” she conceded.
Kit sauntered in front of the girls and showed them a small object that looked like an old phone, but it obviously wasn’t a phone. “This, my dear sisters, is a downworlder sensor. I found it in a golden box at the Institute. It caught my attention on the spot,” he explained with a smug grin.
“As usual,” Emma rolled her eyes, but Kit glared at her.
“Yes. But you know why I took it? Because a guy named Christopher Lightwood made it.”
“Kit, your narcissism is showing,” Emma commented. “Come on, show us how this thing works.”
“It’s not narcissism, Em. He just likes that a guy named like him made that thing, that is all,” Mina tried to intercede for Kit, but Emma was already glancing at the weird object and stopped paying attention to her younger sister.
“I think you need to push this button.”
“You think? Kit, does this thing really work?” Emma wondered, which made Kit roll his eyes. He hated when Emma couldn’t keep her mouth shut and criticized whatever he did.
Kit glared at Emma and observed the small black thing in his hands. It looked dead to him. Heck, he didn’t know about his namesake who made it, but he believed he created it several years if not a century before. He pushed the red button in the middle of the artifact and waited. They all waited for something to happen. After more than five minutes, nothing changed.
“This thing is broken, Kit. Otherwise…” Mina started again, but like a few minutes before, she was interrupted. Her room, which was painted in lilac hues, suddenly turned darker when the lights dimmed as if they were in a seedy nightclub. Then the walls started to shake, and the empty spaces filled with bodies, different bodies. Some of the people were so tall that their heads touched the ceiling, while some were dwarves most likely, because they were shorter than them. At the same time, a techno tune started blaring from invisible speakers.
“What the –“ Kit gasped, mesmerized.
Mina put her book on the nightstand and gazed at the twenty or so people who had appeared out of nowhere. She didn’t know whether to be afraid or just shocked, surprised, or to start dancing with them.
“By the angel, the music taste is horrible,” Mina commented, frowning.
“Who cares, we have our party now!” Emma said, grabbing Mina’s hand and pushing her in the middle of the crowd.
Kit followed the girls and started to dance to the music. He had to admit the song was indeed very terrible, but who cared. “There is a damn downworlder party in da house! I never thought I would say this out loud.”
Emma and Mina laughed, then they closed their eyes and tried to be transported by the thump thump of the song, as much as it sucked. They felt in another world, in another time. They felt free, careless. Emma hated parties while Mina tolerated them – when she didn’t have her head buried in a book, of course. They gave their all as they danced barefoot, not caring that they were wearing their jammies and there was a bunch of strangers in their home.
But it was short lived.
“What the hell is going on here?”
Three heads turned at the same time when their heard that voice. “Papa, we…” Mina started, but damn, she was probably unlucky that night because she couldn’t finish her sentence. Again.
Jem took the device from Kit’s hands and pushed the red button. As if they had been conjured by magic, all of the people in the room disappeared at once, leaving the three teenagers and their father in a room that looked bigger than it already was.
“So that’s how that thing worked?” Kit wondered with interest.
“Your ancestor Kit Lightwood made it,” Tessa explained. The kids hadn’t noticed she had just entered the room, since they were enraptured by the shitty music. “He created it, because…” she frowned, looking at Jem as if silently asking him something. “Because once an Iblis demon sent love letters to him and he wanted to look for him and thank him.”
Emma, Mina and Kit exchanged glances, and they couldn’t keep their serious and shocked faces on because in all honesty, the whole thing made them laugh.
“Don’t laugh. You still shouldn’t have called for downworlders. They weren’t real, but just a projection. What you saw was a random retreat of theirs,” Jem explained.
“Ah, so they weren’t actually here,” Mina realized.
“No, but there could have been somebody who could have had the sight and could have crossed the border between that illusion and this place,” Tessa told them. “You need to be careful.”
“I’m going to take this back to the Institute tomorrow,” Jem announced. “But I just want to know one thing. Who had the brilliant idea to throw a downworlder party in our household? I’m curious. It’s for science.”
The teenagers could tell that Jem wasn’t angry, he was just amused.
Emma and Mina looked at each other and they didn’t need words to understand what the other sister was thinking. “It was Kit’s fault!”
Kit glared at them as he always did, while Jem and Tessa gazed at each other and started laughing.