City of Boneheads: Chapter 15

Clary, Jace, and Luke armed themselves with weapons, headed to the hospital, and took the elevator to the 5th floor, where “Dr. Valentine Morganstern” worked, according to the directory in the lobby. When they got off the elevator, they found themselves in a long hallway that looked just like a hospital, except it was eerily quiet. They began to walk down the hall, peeking in the windows of the hospital rooms.

Suddenly Clary gasped.

“Mom!” she said, looking through the window of one of the rooms. She opened the door and rushed inside, where her mom lay unconscious in a hospital bed, hooked up to a bunch of equipment and IV tubes.

“Oh my gosh, look at all that equipment!” said Clary. “I had no idea she was in such bad shape.”

“Actually, she’s probably fine,” said Luke. “Knowing Valentine, he’s just giving her lots of treatments so he can bill the insurance.”

The door opened and a nurse walked in. Clary couldn’t tell for sure, but her eyes seemed vaguely cat-like.

“I’m sorry, but visiting hours are over,” said the nurse. “Only family members can still be in the room.”

“We’re her kids,” said Clary, pointing at her and Jace. “Luke, do you mind if we stay with mom for a few more minutes?”

“No prob, I’ll be in the waiting room,” said Luke. “If you need me, just howl.” Luke let out a loud wolf howl. “Awooooooo! Get it? Howl?”

Neither Clary nor Jace laughed.

“I’ll explain it to you later,” said Luke, and he walked out, still chuckling at his own joke.

As soon as the door closed, the nurse pulled down a latch over it, then shimmered and transformed into Valentine. He was covered in something that looked like glitter and was wiping it off himself.

“Valentine. I should’ve known,” said Jace.

“Why are you wearing glitter?” said Clary.

“It’s not glitter, it’s glamour,” said Valentine. “It makes things look different than they actually are.”

“Oh I see,” said Clary. “So instead of looking like you, it makes you look like a lame middle-aged guy trying to look cool by wearing glitter.”

Valentine dusted off the last of the glamour and held out his arms to Jace and Clary.

“Come on, kids. Aren’t you gonna give a daddy a hug?”

Clary and Jace just stood there.

Valentine smiled and sighed. “I am so happy the family is together again.” He turned to Clary’s mom. “Isn’t this the best, honey?”

She continued to lie there unconscious.

“You can’t hear her, but she’s thinking yes,” said Valentine.

“You’re not our dad,” said Clary. “Our dad would’ve raised us and hung out with us. You just disappeared!”

“I understand why you’re upset,” said Valentine. “But daddy needed to work really hard to pay for your Shadowhunter training! Also, do you know how much steles cost?”

“That’s a pretty weak excuse,” said Jace.

“I know, it is weak,” said Valentine. “Which is why I’m going to make it up to you.” He reached into a shopping bag and pulled out a bunch of Mickey Mouse hats.

“What are those for?” said Clary.

Valentine put on one of the hats and shouted, “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!” He handed hats to Clary and Jace, and put a hat on Clary’s mom. “It’ll be the family vacation we never had!”

Clary and Jace were utterly speechless.

Valentine went over to the window and pulled open the curtain, revealing a portal glowing with blue light. “Come on, I’ve booked a portal flight for four to Orlando!” he said. “But we’ve got to leave in the next 5 minutes.”

“I’m not going to Disney World with you,” said Clary. “Or anywhere with you, for that matter.”

“Ditto,” said Jace.

“I get it, you think you’re a little old for Disney World,” said Valentine. “But trust me, it’ll be fun! Disney World’s actually even better when you’re an adult! And you don’t have to hang out with Mom and me the entire time. If you want, one afternoon you kids can go by yourself to Epcot.”

“We’re not interested in a vacation,” said Jace. “We’re interested in the Mortal Keg.”

“Oh, so Disney World isn’t enough for you spoiled brats?” said Valentine. “Fine, then maybe this will change your mind.” He held up four tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter World?” said Jace. “Awesome, I’m in!”

Jace started walking toward the portal, but Clary grabbed his arm.

“Owww!” said Jace. “Daaddddd, Clary hurt me!”

“Clary, be nice to your brother,” said Valentine.

“We can’t go with him, Jace,” said Clary. “The whole thing’s a trick to imprison us, so we don’t stop him from letting everyone drink from the Mortal Keg.”

“But Harry Potter World!” said Jace.

“We’ll go ourselves, I promise,” said Clary. “I’ll even get you an autograph from Ron Weasley.”

“Fine,” said Jace. “Sorry Dad, I’m out again.”

Valentine’s eyes filled with anger. “Well I’m not letting these non-refundable Magic Kingdom passes go to waste. Come on, honey, time for some sun and fun.” He grabbed Clary’s mom’s bed and tried to roll it away, but it wouldn’t move.

“Sorry, I drew a tramp stamp of holding on her,” said Clary. “She isn’t going anywhere.”

“You’ll pay for this!” said Valentine. “$2,779.56, to be exact, once you factor in the lost hotel deposit. Now you kids behave while I’m gone. And no parties!”

Valentine headed toward the portal, but Jace stepped in his way.

Not until you tell us where the Mortal Keg is,” said Jace.

Suddenly there was a loud crash, and the door fell down, revealing Luke.

“Sorry to interrupt, but the waiting room TV doesn’t get cable and I couldn’t watch another episode of Boy Meets World,” said Luke. “Whoa, is that Valentine?”

Valentine took advantage of the momentary distraction by grabbing a surgical glove and slinging it like a slingshot at Jace. The glove smacked Jace in the forehead, and while Jace reeled back in pain Valentine rushed past him toward the portal. “Remember to feed your mom twice a dayyyyyy!” he shouted as he leaped into the portal. The portal shimmered and then went dark.

“Where was he off to in such a hurry?” said Luke.

“Family vacation to Disney World and Harry Potter World,” said Clary. “Only none of the family went with him.”

“Too bad you weren’t here,” said Jace with a laugh. “You could’ve totally used our tickets.”

Luke got a look of horror…then ran over and started banging on the portal. “Valentine! Come back! I’ll go with youuuuuu!”


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