June 12 1990
I'd never hated Tomi so much in my entire life as when he grabbed the photos I was planning to use for my summer project and threw them in the duck pond near the entrance to the Sanctuary grounds from the tea garden.
Infuriated, I'd grabbed Tomi by his brown hair and he grabbed my shirt and we fought until a staff member called for his father and Julian.
Julian made us sit at opposite corners of the jail cell in the police station to cool down for forty-five minutes - or we both genuinely apologized. Tomi wasn't about to do that, venting about everything that he hated. It was the first time I stopped feeling sorry for myself, hearing how much worse he had it. My father loved me despite sending me away. His didn't, and he was right here on Svetac Juro.
I promised Tomi I'd introduce him to Titania by the end of the forty-five minutes. Julian must have thought we were genuinely apologetic, so he released us as promised. Julian gave me back the camera and told me to try again.
On that day, I trudged back through the castle grounds, up the mountain through the trail in the dark woods, to the camp.
You used to hear gunshots regularly on the island. There was a hunting season, mostly wild poultry and deer, and the odd predator. Sometimes, sadly, an animal from the Sanctuary, or even from the Abbey was the prey. Titania's first 'husband' Sher Khan didn't adjust well to their enclosure, for example. Then there was practice for the interns and staff with tranquilizer guns on a bi-monthly basis. There was even a skill competition as part of the harvest festival...
January 9, 2002
My unsettled stomach woke me up from a cozy sleep. Buried details from the day of the murders surfaced as I grabbed the sparkly garbage bin next to my sister's narrow desk.
Chief Stone-Orsino frowned. "Tell me again what happened after you got to the camp."
"At first, I wasn't even looking. There were some angry voices speaking in another language, which was normal, and I was just going to take the first photo again, the one I'd taken of the camp from up in a tree. I happened to snap the photo right as the first soldier aimed his gun. When I realized what I was seeing, I tried to take a couple more photos, then run as fast as I could for help. But I wasn't as quiet as I was hoping I'd be... and I don't remember what I did with the camera…"
After some time of solemn contemplation, Chief Stone-Orsino asked, "And you swear you have no memory between around three-ten, at the start of the murders, and when you woke up, at around five, in the hospital."
"All right. I'll go see if we can find the camera."
I rubbed my head, sheepish. "I'm sorry I can't remember more. I even took you away from Mass."
He blinked. Then stood up from the pew in the lady chapel on Abbey grounds, right next to the church. "Dante, you may have broken the case wide. But! I don't want you mentioning this or anything else you may remember in the future to anyone aside from your family and myself. Is that clear? This must be kept confidential until the case is closed or solved."
"You are one lucky seventeen year old, you know that?"
"I guess, so sir."