Here is the second part of chapter three, Scions of the Sphinx. This scene is special because it marks the start of Bobby and Jinx’s next great adventure. An empty house and postcard of the Great Sphinx at Giza are the only clues to the whereabouts of Bobby’s parents. Let the journey begin! Catch up on entire story at RScottBoyer.com/blog
One deep breath and Bobby knew he wasn’t wrong. The air inside the house smelled stale and dusty, something his mother would never tolerate. A cursory search of the two-story, three-bedroom house revealed no trace of his parents. His mother’s new Toyota Corolla, which she’d gotten after the accident, sat in the gravel driveway. Bobby swallowed hard, afraid of what they would find in the garage.
Heading out the back, through the kitchen, Bobby and Jinx went across the yard to the stand-alone wood structure. Nathan Ether’s Honda CR-V sat inside, the dim half-light casting pale shadows across the shiny white hood.
Jinx turned to Bobby. “If both your parents’ cars are here, then where are they?”
Leaving the garage, Bobby led Jinx around the corner to the garden. The girl from his dream was not there. Bobby took a deep breath, unsure whether he felt relieved or disappointed to find the garden empty.
Back inside the kitchen, Bobby paced back and forth across the sunflower linoleum.
“Perhaps they went on vacation?” said Jinx.
“And didn’t bother to tell their son, knowing he’s secluded at a top-secret underground facility?” Bobby frowned and kept pacing. “Clearly you don’t know my mom.”
“Maybe a friend picked them up to go someplace?”
Bobby drew a finger across the kitchen countertop. “Look at this dust. I’m telling you they’re gone.”
“Perhaps they had to go somewhere last minute. Maybe they left a clue.”
Bobby’s face scrunched up as his gaze swept over the room. “Everything looks the same. If they’d wanted to leave a note, they’d have put it on the table or…” Bobby stopped, his voice trailing off into silence.
“What is it?” asked Jinx.
Slowly, Bobby walked over to the refrigerator and removed a strawberry sticker magnet from atop a postcard and an envelope. Tilting the postcard so Jinx could see, Bobby examined the picture of the Great Sphinx at Giza, shot at an angle so that the lanky monolith stretched out across a backdrop of sandy desert and brilliant blue sky.
“So I was right after all,” said Jinx. “They went on vacation.”
Bobby shook his head. “My parents visited the pyramids a few years ago when I went to sleep-away basketball camp. They wouldn’t have gone back. Mom keeps a list. Next up is Australia to dive the Great Barrier Reef.”
“Then where did it come from?”
Bobby flipped the card over. Printed on the other side in black spidery script were three words: “See You Soon.” The postcard slipped from Bobby’s hand, fluttering to the ground, where it slid across the floor and disappeared under the refrigerator.
“What is it?” said Jinx, setting a hand on Bobby’s arm.
Bobby’s gaze was distant and hollow as he turned to his little cousin. “That’s not my parents’ handwriting. I don’t know whose it is, but it’s not theirs.”
“What about the envelope?”
Bobby glanced down at his right hand, just then remembering the envelope’s existence. With trembling fingers, he peeled open the flap. Reaching in, Bobby pulled out a neatly folded packet of documents. Through watery eyes, he identified a plane ticket. The destination shown was Cairo, Egypt. The passenger listed was him.