was a bit small. Not truly a proper library, like I assumed from the double
doors, but I do suppose it provides a cozy environment in which to perform his
research. All the walls were covered in bookshelves, there was a somewhat
modest desk for this house over in the corner and no windows… Something is
“This is the room you
requested, Master Branner. Do you require any further assistance?” Lance
was looking rather uncomfortable in this room. It wasn’t the one his brother
was killed in, but it did have one of the more memorable events occur. Still, I
require his help. He hasn’t been here long enough to have been the one who
summoned demon, and has the motivation to see to it I complete my task. I’ll
just have to make him tough it out.
“Yes I do. If you would,
please tell me what you know about the incident that took place here.” If
I keep him talking, it should also keep him distracted. Might not take his mind
off the unpleasant feelings, but it will give him something to do.
“Of course… *Ahem* After
escalating events relating to the paranormal activity in the estate, Mr.
While he tells his story, it’s time
to see what we can see. I look to Con. He had this incredibly odd look on his
face. If I had to describe it, I would say ecstatic. I can’t imagine he’s had
much time around books. A whole new world for him to explore lies in every wall
surrounding him. Of course, he can’t quite access them yet.
He picks up a book, flips it open
and frowns. He just figured it out, too. I walk over to him, thinking about why
I really need him here. Lance is continuing his explanation behind me. He’s
gesturing around the room and not paying attention to me. Thankfully.
I quietly whisper to Con,
“I’ll teach you to read some other time. Start seeing what kinds of
feelings you can sense.” I cross back around the room to examine the desk.
Lance’s story was coming to a quick close.
“…making a full recovery and
resuming his normal duties. The room has not been declared off limits, but no
one wishes to explore it after the incident.”
“Hmm, yes of course.”
What is wrong with this desk? It’s
been calling to me since I first entered. Screaming out that something is
wrong, yet I can’t hear it.
“Con! What do you notice about
this piece of furniture?”
“Uh, it looks kinda nice, I
“…That was wonderfully
helpful. Thank you.” Shouldn’t act so sarcastic. Bound to hurt his
feelings. “Lance, do you see anything wrong with it?”
“No sir. Seems the same as
“But it’s not. There is
something wrong with it. Something wrong with this room.”
I set my bag down and pull out a
few things. Some twine, chalk, a ruby colored gem, and most importantly, an
apple. I place the twine in a large circle in the center of the room. Using the
chalk, I draw perpendicular, intersecting lines. I set the gem down where they
cross. I stand to examine my work.
“What are you doing, Master
“Just call me Branner. And I’m
trying to see if I can detect what’s wrong in this room. Assuming there’s some
kind of spirit in here, this gem will light up.”
“I see. And what is the apple
“Oh this?” I hold the
apple up. “I’m just hungry.” I take a bite and go back to ensuring
the circle isn’t off. Chalk lines are straight. Gem should still have some
energy in it. Time to start.
I begin the chant, enticing the
energy in the gem to show me what made this room feel so odd. I could sense
some presence manipulating the flow of spiritual pressure around me, but what
it was, what it was doing, and why this room was so special, I couldn’t tell.
The gem hums, not glowing just yet. Wind whips up around me, as I feel my body
become weary. The spell was doing its job, draining me of some energy to
complete its work. Everything was building to a boiling point. Soon it would-
“What?!” The sensation cut out. No
more drain. No more wind. The gem just sat there, like the shiny rock it now
was. I believe I used up what was left in it for nothing.
“…what’s supposed to happen,
Branner?” I turn and see Con on all fours, staring at the now lifeless jewel in
the middle of the room. I didn’t know what to say to him. Well, I suppose I
could answer his very simple question.
“Assuming there was a spirit in
here, the gem would light up with energy. From there, I could have summoned the
being here, and bound it in the circle. But something went wrong…”
“There was no spirit here.” This
time Lance pipes up. He said that like he knew.
“So there wasn’t. Care to chime in
as to why, Mr. Welling?” He turns a beet-red. What is he hiding?
“I- Well, it’s just- There are
patterns to the occurrences. They transfer slowly from room to room. Since the
last thing to happen was in the entrance hall, I would say by tomorrow
something would happen in the grand hall…” His voice slowly trailed off
until his last words were barely a whisper. He’s looking at me, and I can guess
why. My eyes are wide with surprise. Lance was declaring a pattern that most
anyone else should have seen, and more importantly, told me about.
“How do you know this? You’ve
only been working here three days. Not enough time to be so sure of a pattern.
Not to mention, we injured the demon occupying the entrance. He’ll likely be
out of commission for a while.”
Lance resumed his servantly
demeanor. He spoke with as much calm as he could gather, which wasn’t much.
“I would wander all around
here when my brother still worked for the Maladars. That is why I know the
layout of the estate so well. How I came to notice these patterns with the
attacks. It’s the reason, I think, that Doctor Maladar agreed to giving me a
job. I already knew how much of the house operated.”
“Right, right, but that’s not
the point. You noticed a pattern. A very simple one at that, but you noticed it,
nonetheless. Why didn’t anyone else? Why didn’t you tell them? Why didn’t you
tell me until now?”
The boy was getting nervous. He’s
still hiding something. What else could he be-
“Branner, ya may wanna turn
around…” Con was entranced with the gem, which now shone with a
brilliant light. And it was getting brighter.
No time to think.
“Stand back, boys. You’re
about to see something rather… interesting.”
I close my eyes and focus on a
realm of pure ethereal. My thoughts leave my body, and I channel some spirit to
do the work I need done.
“Anima continet… uinculis alligandum…”
The words poured out of my mouth,
but I was not saying them. I barely heard the first two lines before I lost my
connection with the physical world.
Instead, I was floating in a place
of color with no form. The air around me seemed to twist with a whimsical
nature, an attempt to make me lose focus. To lose your mind here is to lose
yourself. You can’t go back. And I can’t let that happen.
That should have been enough time.
I push my will outward and reach out for my own body again. The world around me
reacts, changing from the soothing formless color, to a malevolent emotion,
trying to engulf me. I touch the back of my own head and pull myself in. Such
harrowing experiences should really be reserved for an occasion where I can
plan for death, but I’ve yet to memorize the spell for this situation.
I return to my body to find myself
on my knees, my arms, lazily collapsed at my sides. The spirit must have just
jumped ship when it felt my return. It won’t cause any trouble and will be
pulled back to the other side when necessary. Time to wander the earth is the
payment for its services. I start to open my eyes, ready to-
My cheek stings with a rather sharp
pain that shudders throughout my whole face.
“BRANNER! ARE YOU IN THERE?!” Con
was shouting in my ear. It would appear he’s a bit worried about me.
“Yes, I’m fine Con. The slap was
unnecessary. The yell was annoying. Anything else you’d like to do?” I give him
a quick glare. He jumps back to his feet with a huge grin on his face. He turns
and addresses Lance.
“See! Told ya he was okay!”
I pull myself to my feet and
examine my work. The string on the ground was shining a curtain of light
upwards, entrapping a spirit within. The smoke-like being inside let out some
low moans, likely lamenting its current predicament.
“So, Master Branner, what is this?”
“This, Mr. Welling, is a ghost. And
I told you before, just call me Branner.”