"Everyone stay where you are," Stefan ordered, as the lights flickered and went out. "I will have someone check out the cause of the power failure."
"Mom?" cried Lucas who had suddenly found himself in the darkness on the staircase. He heard the nearly silent footsteps of someone moving stealthily down the steps, but instead of calling out, he crouched in the inky blackness, making himself as small as possible. Somebody creepy had just gone down the stairs.
Luke reached into his pocket and withdrew the penlight that he carried whenever he came to Windemere. With practiced ease, he turned it on, and motioned to Lucky. "Better come with me. While this power outage is probably due to the storm, enough has happened lately to make me question just about everything."
"You don't think that---come on, Da...um Luke, just because the lights went off doesn't mean that somebody is going to get killed."
"Lucky, you may not be my son, but you have my instincts, and we both know it. Use your head for more than a hat rack. There's something going on tonight, and my best guess is that Stefan knows it, too."
Lucky shrugged. "If you say so. Alexis was here earlier and she came back to talk with Nikolas. I don't know what she was talking with him about, though."
"Alexis? Interesting. Very interesting. I thought that Stefan had tossed her out on her ....never mind about that. You say she's here?"
"She was with Nikolas a couple of minutes ago. Next room over."
"Come on, then. Until the lights come back on, we stick together."
"Lucas?" Bobbie answered her son's call. "Lucas, where are you?"
"I'm on the staircase."
"Stay there until I get over there. Okay?"
"Mrs. Lansbury! Bring flashlights immediately. Raoul, check the power and find out why the emergency generator has not yet activated." Lowering his voice, Stefan asked, "Barbara Jean?"
"I'm fine. Good Lord but it's dark in here."
"Laura?" Stefan queried. "Laura?"
"She was here a minute ago," Bobbie whispered into the darkness. "Laura?"
"Laura, it is very dangerous to wander around Windemere during a power failure." Raising his voice, he called again. "Laura?"
Lucy struggled over the fallen tree, feeling her way along in the windswept darkness, cursing and alternately asking divine assistance. Her shoes had been abandoned in the mud, and her hair was little more than a stringy, soggy mess that allowed the water to stream down her back in icy rivulets.
Once again, she tripped over something in her path, falling, this time skinning her knee, but as she rolled to one side of the path, she heard footsteps heading towards her. She opened her mouth to call for help, but, as the lightning flashed again, what she saw changed her mind. Silhouetted against the dark landscape, she saw a masked figure clad in black. She watched as the figure paused on the pathway not three feet from her, listening, though what he or she could hear above the howl of the storm Lucy couldn't imagine. Lucy squished herself down into the bush and mud as during another flash, she noticed that the figure was carrying a knife. A knife that didn't reflect light. A black blade. A killer's tool.
"Ohmigosh," she whimpered.
"Laura?" called Stefan again, as Bobbie felt her way towards the staircase.
"I'm here Mom."
"Mrs. Lansbury!" Stefan called, his tone openly annoyed. "Raoul!"
"Where is everybody?" Bobbie asked. "Lucas, I'm at the bottom of the staircase. Now, hold onto the railing and come down very carefully."
"It's okay, Mom. I'm a big kid. Remember?"
"Nikolas? Alexis?" called Luke as he stood in front of the room. "Open up in there."
Getting no answer, Luke knocked, then turned the knob. "Nikolas? Alexis?"
He flashed his light around, but saw nothing. "There's nobody in here."
"They were here a couple of minutes ago," Lucky told Luke.
"They're not here now. Any secret exits from this room?"
"I don't know. Heck, I thought that you knew all the ins and outs of this place."
"With a Cassadine, you never know everything. Don't forget that, Lucky."
"So where are they?"
"Who the hell knows? Nikolas!! Alexis!!"
Let's go downstairs. They probably did that when the lights went out."
"Mrs. Lansbury!!" Stefan was openly annoyed, but Bobbie, leading Lucas, tried to calm him.
"Stefan, maybe she was injured in the darkness. Maybe she fell over something and hit her head? Maybe she can't answer you."
"Excellent point," Stefan concurred. "Very well. You and Lucas remain here while I secure a few flashlights."
"Okay." Bobbie and Lucas sat down on the couch, patiently awaiting illumination.
Back on the mainland, Felicia was holding Lulu who was whimpering piteously as the lightning flashed and the thunder roared. "It's okay, Lulu," Felicia whispered. "See? Maxie and Georgie aren't scared."
"Creepy," Georgie said as the lights suddenly went out.
"Everything is creepy," Maxie complained. "She learns a new word and she wears it out."
"You did the same thing," Felicia reminded her oldest daughter. "Only with you, it was 'groovy'. We'd watched a 60s movie and when you heard that word, you loved it."
"Groovy," Georgie copied. "Creepy and groovy!"
"Not creepy or groovy," Felicia explained. "It's just a power failure." She walked over to the window where it became clear that the storm had knocked out the entire neighborhood's power.
"Here, Mom," Maxie said, handing her mother a flashlight. "Good thing you keep one where we can find it fast."
Another crash rent the air, shaking the building and sending the girls scurrying towards Felicia.
"That was close, Mommy."
"Creepy. Groovy," commented Georgie who snuggled very close.
"Give it a rest," Maxie grumbled.
"Baby!" Lulu cried out. "Want baby."
"You are a baby," Maxie told her.
"I think she means she wants her doll from the diaper-bag."
"I'll get it," Maxie offered. "Where is it?"
"Gots it," Georgie volunteered, dragging the dolly from behind her. "Groovy."
Maxie and Felicia exchanged amused glances as Georgie held out the purloined baby doll to Lulu who quickly hugged it closer to her tiny body. Sympathetically, Felicia gave the child a squeeze. "It's okay, Lulu. Everything will be okay."
"Momma!" Lulu screamed suddenly. "Momma!"
Lucky flashed Luke's light down the staircase as he went to check on Lucas who had preceded him. "Aunt Bobbie?"
"Down here, Lucky. Lucas is here, too. Where's Luke?"
"He's right behind me."
"Lucky, there's nobody behind you."
Lucky turned around and shone the light up the staircase. "He was just here. Are Nikolas or Alexis down here? We were looking for them."
"It's just Lucas and me," Bobbie told him. "Stefan is looking for more flashlights. Mrs. Lansbury didn't answer."
Lucky hurried towards them, suddenly slipping in something, nearly losing his balance as he struggled to remain upright. "What the...?!?!?"
Shining the light towards the floor, he looked down at the slippery spot. "Somebody must have been here dripping...uh, Aunt Bobbie, I don't think this is water..."
"Good." Helena smiled at the thought of her revenge. "Now, begin the cleanup."
"Alexis and the children?"
"Alexis and the children," she answered. "And see that Stefan is blamed. After tonight, nothing will save him."
She clicked off the phone, and smiled evilly. "Stefan is like his miserable father. Capable of making money, but he never truly had that killer instinct."
"Things are about to get very dicey," Jerry reported to Jax. "Something tells me that the old bag has lost it completely." He jerked the earphones from his ears, and grabbed his jacket. Following carefully ingrained habits, he checked quickly for his gun and an extra clip of ammunition.
"I think that somebody is dead."
Jax looked up suddenly. "You didn't tell me that murder was involved."
"I didn't know. I mean, I knew that the old bat was a little off, and I knew that she wasn't above much, but I didn't think that she was actually planning a murder."
"Which means that since you've been associating with her.....damnittohell!!" Jax cursed. "I can't trust you to do anything without totally ****ing it up."
"Get Windemere on the line-tell them to guard the kids, Nikolas in particular. Ask if anybody knows where Alexis is. Call PCPD. Tell them that there's trouble on Spoon Island."
"And where the hell are you going? After Felicia? You said that she was taking care of the baby."
"Hell no. She'll be okay-along with the little one, at least for tonight. No, I'm going after the old bat myself once I find out what happened. If she's killed Laura......"