The Club weren't ruined, not literally; the buildings still stood, though empty and dark, behind a tall barbed-wire fence built to keep out squatters and souvenir hunters. Erin was strong enough to break the fence with power, and Splinner was skilled enough to knit it back together behind them.
The bodies of those who died had been removed, but not the ghosts. Walking through the Club, Splinner and Erin saw things out of the corners of their eyes, heard voices that no one spoke, and felt cool winds where no wind could be. Death had turned the Club into an unholy place, but for the two shifters, it was still home.
They were painfully hungry, so they went to the Club store. The outer room was bare except for a dark brown mark on the carpet and a few shards of glass. Erin kicked one of the larger pieces, and it shattered on the wall. Then she grasped the handle of the door to the forbidden sanctum, the mysterious inner room, and she opened the door.
It was empty. Almost empty, anyway. Lying on the carpeted floor, in the middle of the room, was a metal sphere the size of a baseball. It looked horribly mundane and didn't seem to have any power whatsoever. Erin picked it up and looked at it. It wasn't heavy, or warm, or glowing, or tingly.
"What's that?" Splinner asked, peering cautiously around the door.
"I dunno. Take a look." Erin tossed the sphere to Splinner. As it crossed the threshold of the room, the sphere disappeared. Half a second later, it reappeared in the middle of the room, right where Erin had found it.
She picked up the sphere and tossed it again. The same thing happened. She tried to carry it out of the room, with similar results; when it crossed the doorway, it simply disappeared. Erin decided to try picking it up with power. The instant her power touched it, she felt a shock as if she'd stuck a fork in an electrical outlet. It knocked her out for a second, and when she woke up the sphere was hovering in the center of the room and glowing blue.
"Are you okay?" Splinner asked, helping Erin to her feet.
Erin was too dizzy to speak for a moment. She thought about how hungry she was, and how much better she would feel after a nice sub sandwich… with salami and bologna, and mustard, not the gross yellow kind but the good brown kind with little seeds, and lettuce and tomato and pickles… She felt another shock, much milder than the first, and a sub sandwich came out of the sphere and dropped on the floor. She opened it up. It had the good mustard. "Hell yeah," Erin said.
Splinner just stared for a moment, then raised up his nose and howled. Erin joined his voice with hers, singing a long and wordless and joyous song that rose from the dark little room into the cold moonlit sky.
Author's Note: Thank you all so much for reading. This is the 25th chapter, a natural breaking point in the story, and, coincidentally, the last page of the notebook I write my rough drafts in. Consequently, I'm ending this fic, and going on to bigger and better things.
Like Knives II.
Had you there for a second, didn't I?