Becky felt a strong desire to know as much as she could, she always did, but right now the feeling was irresistible.
Many who knew her well enough would have called her nosey, and inevitably some did, but never where she could hear. Her interest was piqued at even the slightest hint of mysticism.
Is dad a Collector? Is that why he's always gone?
Becky usually showed more affection to her father, a man she rarely spent time with due to his busy work schedule, than she did her mother, someone she dealt with far more than she wished.
She grew angry imagining her father traipsing the planet searching for trinkets. It's mine now.
The library columns were empty, save for the assisting droid on duty, when Becky crept in.
She made her way to the fourth year column, a column reserved for seniors and plugged her ID into the terminal.
"Ancient Artifacts." Becky ordered.
"Ancient Artifacts, or the Forbidden Summons, are a collection of eight..." A high pitched, almost musical voice replied.
"The Seers Spectacles."
"The Seers Spectacles." The effeminate voice replied. "Also known as The Woe of Wisdom, were known to enhance the vision of the wearer significantly.
More is rumored, yet since the theories are unproven there remains no reason to include it in regular course study.
For more info, please see an assistant or refer to column five, Expanded Information."
Becky walked over to the fifth column and once again inserted her ID. "Seers Spectacles," she ordered, before adding, "and the myths surrounding them."
The same feminine voice, not necessarily female considering the robots were gender neutral, recounted the most well known myths.
"The Seers Spectacles, also known as The Woe of Wisdom, was known to enhance vision, but was also believed to reveal hidden items on command. It also could identify other Artifacts of its ilk.
" Four words appeared on the screen in front of Becky: "Reveal what is hidden."
The day ended and Becky found herself once again climbing onto that bright yellow school bus. She was wearing the glasses, eager to try them out.
"You still have them?" Sarah asked, terror evident in her tone. "They're dangerous!" She made to grab them, but Becky easily dodged her friend and chose the empty seat across the aisle.
"Don't be silly." Becky said. "Besides, if they do turn out to be special, well, not even the ghost of Elon Musk could take them from me."
Sarah's expression changed in a blink. "Whatever, hoe." The blonde wore a thin veil of disinterest. "It's your funeral." Fuck, she's gonna be a problem.
"Just trust me, please." Silence. "Come on, you ugly skank. Don't tell anyone.
" It was an awful insult and normally, or with normal friends, it would have started a fight,
but the two girls knew that the use of such language was usually out of love and the opposite was meant.
"Okay, fine, Becky, but if you die or go missing..."
Becky left the bus in such a hurry, so excited to learn the truth about not only the glasses, but her father as well, that she didn't see the man waiting patiently for her.
This. She thought, pulling a pen out of her father's bag. Becky chucked the small black ink pen as hard as she could and yelled louder than necessary.
Her excitement was through the roof, her heart neon orange, which usually indicated enhanced happiness.
"REVEAL WHAT IS HIDDEN!" Suddenly the pen she knew she'd never see again glowed blindingly white; a thin white trail led straight to it.
"It works! Oh my god, it actually works!" Then the unseen man spoke.
"Huh?" Becky removed the glasses on instinct and glanced around nervously, ready to sprint away if she had to. Her heart had gone a pale yellow. "Oh, it's just you.
I thought you were traveling for work."
"I was." Her beloved answered, a wry smile on his face. Her heart was now the brightest pink, the color of love. "But I have a job to do here."
"Oh awesome!" Becky grinned. "Mom will be happy to see you, sometimes I think she loves you more than I do."
"Do you want to head inside then? I have something I want to talk to you about." He must have noticed the heart begin to gradually yellow, because he added: "It's not that.
I would sooner die than let anyone else have you." He smiled as her heart shone pink again.
"Okay, mom will have dinner ready, but I'm sure she can make another plate." Becky grinned once again at the love of her life.
They made it into the entrance and Becky called out to her mother. "Mom? Your boyfriend is here!" She giggled.
"Mom? Are you here?" She went off to search the house for her mother, choosing first to check her parents bedroom. She's taking a nap, that's it. She never leaves the house.
She gave up after searching every inch of the place and met back up with her boyfriend. "She's probably out with dad. He's been gone a while, so I'm sure they're just celebrating his time off.
What did you want to talk about?"
"Those glasses." He said, smiling. "Are those... The Seers Spectacles?" Becky was hesitant to show anyone, but decided to make an exception for her man.
"Yeah, my dad had them. I think he's secretly a Collector, but maybe it's part of his work."
"Oh, he's definitely a Collector." He said, knowingly.
"Do you want to see them?" Becky asked. "I can show you how they work."
"Of course!" He said, grinning broadly. "Show me."
"Okay give me something to hide." He handed her another pen. "Now, hide it somewhere." He did as told. "Reveal what is hidden." Becky commanded, much softer than before.
The pen glowed brightly through the couch cushion it was hidden under, but Becky knew she was the only one who could see it.
She retrieved it easily and turned to give it to a man who was definitely not the man she'd fallen in love with. The heart on her shirt was bright yellow, the one under it beated out of control.
"You... Marco? You look like..."
"Billy?" Billy grinned evilly. "I figured this would happen eventually."
"You're dead!" Becky began to sob uncontrollably, her heart flitting between blue and yellow.
She barely noticed the glowing red sword clipped to his belt or the vibrant white hooded cloak he wore over his blonde hair.
"The correct term, my sweet, is missing." Billy said, leaning down to take the glasses. Becky didn't even try to fight off her murderer. "Your mother was a lot less helpful.
I came this morning to ask about these." He pocketed to glasses. "If it makes you feel better, and I'm sure it won't, you're about to go where your mom and the real Marco went.
I'll warn you, though, he won't like you the same as you like him." Billy laughed as he wrapped his hands around Becky's exposed neck.
Before applying lethal pressure, however, he let her ask the question he was dying to answer.
"How?" Becky croaked through a dry throat.
"This cape." He removed his hands from her throat and grabbed at the spot where she'd seen the white hood.
He pulled down a hood no longer invisible to the naked eye and watched as her beloved Marco's face changed.
"The Cape of Concealment can allow the wearer to instantly become anyone they know well enough to copy. Well, it's safe to say I know your mom since we've been screwing.
I came to see her this morning, not you. While we drank our coffee I asked if your father had found anything recently." His face grew dark. "She didn't know he was a Collector.
She left me to wake you up, and of course I grew angry when she told you I was here, so I stabbed her in the heart with this." He pointed at the red sword at his hip.
"It can make any living organism vanish forever. I wasn't fast enough to catch the mug." Becky began to cry again. She's gone... "But don't worry, I don't plan to use it on you.
I feel like our connection means you deserve something more." Again he wrapped his hands around Becky's throat. This time though, he was under no constraints to let her live.
Her vision went blurry and then everything was gone.
Becky was gone.
I pulled my hands away from Becky's shattered neck and surveyed my handiwork. Yup, definitely dead. It was always good to make certain the person you killed remained dead.
I would have hung around longer, but knew my time was up when the front door opened. Without thinking about it, I donned the hood and became Marco once more.
"Honey, I'm home!" The repugnant fool called. "Becky? Molly?" I'd barely slipped out the back door when Harold Winslet found his lifeless daughter.
I knew for certain because anyone within a five mile radius would have heard him scream. "No! Becky, no! Not my Becky! Molly?!"
Harold Winslet sobbed over his daughter's still warm corpse, unsure what to do. He knew he had an answer, but wasn't sure he could trust it. I don't have a choice.
He pulled out the silver dagger and plunged it straight into her heart.
Becky woke up instantly, her throat on fire. "Water."