I lie wide awake in bed, thinking over everything the doctor told me.
Events began a year after the death of the Lady Maladar, though at the time, the doctor was too distracted to realize it was exactly one year. That feels purposeful. Like it is meant to be linked.
There is no reason it should. An infestation of a spirit like this occurs as soon as the ghost has gained enough energy to manifest. Even in extreme cases, it’s not more than a few months after their funeral.
Again, this doesn’t discount the theory entirely. The rage at being forgotten or at their unfinished work is what tethers the spirit to this world. Perhaps this household did a better job of keeping her in their memory.
But the doctor also told me that one of his workers was killed, fairly early after the start of events. That is beyond odd, it is nigh impossible. The psychic energy required for a spirit to take a life would be tremendous. Months of time from when the books started moving would be needed for the ghost to become that strong.
I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. Still, to set his mind at ease, I placed protections charms in occupied rooms, as well as the servants’ quarters, and then told the doctor we’d need a good night’s sleep to begin in earnest.
And yet, here I am, the inconsistency scratching some corner of my mind. I chose not to tell the doctor I believe it to be a demonic summoning gone awry, as that would have invited more questions to which I have no answers.
As my thoughts fly back and forth, I hear a strange buzzing noise. I quickly sit up, ready for an attack, but still enough to listen.
The buzzing continues. What in the devil is that?
I hop from my bed and search the room, listening closely. On the table across from me, I see it. The talisman. It shakes, vibrating on the hard wood.
I pick up the smooth stone.
“What are you trying to tell me?”
A thought crosses my mind, and I quickly move to my bag, digging for my lens.
The ‘Auk Loori’ is a monocle-esque lens, flanked by feathers. It was enchanted to allow one to temporarily pierce the veil and see through to where the spirit realm crossed with the physical world.
However, it’s a new procurement from eastern Europe, and I’ve yet to determine its full abilities and limitations. At the moment, it presents powerful spirits as wisps of colored light.
I’m rather grateful for this lens, as I’ve yet to learn to see through to the spirit realm without it. While I’ll have to practice at some point, a repeat of that lesson is not one I look forward to.
I hold the lens over my eye and focus my power through it. The room filters through a shifting color palette of greens, pinks, and deep purples. However, no trace of light.
The hallway proves much more fruitful. As I open my door, I see a trail of energy trailing down the hall. The sense I get from the colors and movement are one of joy, like the spirit was happily skipping as it moved.
This doesn’t seem like a dark entity but does feel sentient. Between the talisman’s reaction and the energy I’m seeing, I’ve no idea what to think beyond that though.
I grab a provided robe and slippers and quietly skulk down the hall. Every so often, the trail of energy stops and waits at different places, in front of pictures, by tables, outside certain doors, only for a few moments, before seemingly moving on.
I lower the lens and turn down a hall to continue following my lead when I’m startled. The face of a young boy fades into nothingness, just as I can see down the new corridor. I quickly hold my lens up to my face and find the energy ends where he appeared to be standing.
While running down the hall might awaken some of the manor’s residents, I’ve no time to wait. I find the spot where the boy disappeared and resume my search with the lens. The whole area is awash in the energy, pooling all around me.
A slight click catches my ear, leading me to turn as fast as I can in the direction of the noise. A window that most certainly was not open before was certainly now.
Before I could even think to question it, the energy surrounding me pours out of the opening, disappearing into the night.
I quickly try to close the window, but it’s all gone by the time I’m successful.
There is a moment as I try to guess my own next move. I could rush down stairs, and try to catch up to the spirit? It’d be long gone by the time I touched the bottom of the staircase though.
Perhaps there’s more clues in the places it stopped along the way? I saw nothing of interest on my first pass through, but the cleaners might have more insight as to what’s been moved or missing.
All told, I this did wonders for my insomnia. I quietly walk back to my room, falling asleep as quickly as my body falls into my bed.