Chase and Brian do a perimeter check, glad the did, because some of the wards are damaged. They tell Miles and Heath what they’ve found, and they are very concerned.
“Holes? That’s weird! Completely through?” Miles asked.
“No, like thin places in your jeans right before a hole opens,” Chase replied.
Nodding, both men hurried off to look at the wards. Neil joined them. Cynthia went over the spell with Jackie, Marissa and Maribelle. Brian and Chase joined Jordan, who was holding Elise. The baby flung herself at her big brother as soon as he was close enough.
“Byee!” she gurgled, patting his lips with her spit covered fingers.
“Elise!” he gurgled back, rubbing her nose with his. He froze, staring into his sister’s eyes. “Get Dad,” he told Chase. “Now! Go!”
“Miles!” Chase bellowed, rushing off after the men.
“Brian, what’s wrong?” Jordan said.
The women had turned and were rushing over, but Brian halted them with a gruff command.
“Nothing serious,” he said in a very soft, cajoling voice. “But I think…. I think there is something very strange going on here.”
Miles rushed up. He was the only one Brian allowed to come closer.
“Dad,” Brian said softly. “Look in Elise’s eyes and tell me what you see.”
Miles stood directly behind his son and looked in his daughter’s staring eyes. She hardly blinked as she held her brother’s gaze.
“Holy shit,” Miles whispered. “What is that?”
“Not a what,” Brian whispered in return. “That’s a who. And I don’t know. Is that in her or is it really behind me? Because it’s scaring the ever loving shit out of me right now.”
The baby blinked slowly and the image shifted. It was no longer directly behind Brian, but rather to the left of his father, somewhat behind. Reaching for them. Miles held up a hand, snapping a harsh command. The figure stopped, hand mere inches from Miles’ shoulder.
“Who is that?” Brian asked.
Miles tilted his head. “That, Brian, is your great-great-grandfather Theodore Casey. What he’s doing here or why, I don’t know. But I’d sure like to find out before our guests arrive. Do you see anyone else?”
“No, sir. Just him.”
Miles nodded, confirming what Brian said. “Then I think we need to find out what’s brought him around, don’t you?”
“Yep. Theodore, would you like to join us?” he said to the image in his sister’s eye.
The man smiled, stepping back. He folded his arms across his chest and waited.
“Do I have to keep looking at him this way? Cause I’m getting a headache and I really want to blink.”
“I think we can manage something,” Maribelle said with a smile. “Theo, let’s sit by the fire and chat, shall we?” She gestured to a nearby bench. She sat on one end, indicating that Theo should sit on the other.
“Can you see him, Mom?”
“Yes, clearly. Which is amazing, since I see everything in a slight fog. I don’t know if I can hear him or not. Theo, why are you here?”
The breeze fluttered an answer in the trees. Jordan thought she could barely discern a voice. It was high and breathy, not quite a proper voice at all, more an illusion of one, as if the speaker had lost the ability to make himself heard.
Maribelle Casey smiled, taking an invisible hand. They could tell by the way her fingers curled around the air. “He felt your call,” she told Brian with a tip of her head.
“But I didn’t—” Stopping suddenly, he realized that he had asked for help as he went to sleep. He hadn’t directed the request at anyone in particular, but this seemed to be his answer. “I asked for help as I was going to bed. Is that why he’s here?”
“Yes. He heard you and he’s been trying to get our attention, but it’s much harder than you might imagine. Elise was the only one who could see him, until now.” She paused, smiling and listening, her head tilted to one side. “I see. Yes. That’s very helpful, Theo. Thank you.” She kissed the air, hugging emptiness to her. “Please come back and visit again, now that you know how.” She blew a kiss and waved as if someone were walking off. Sighing happily, she settled back a little. “Well, that was interesting!”
The others waited impatiently, but she didn’t seem inclined to share the conversation with them.
“Well?” Miles couldn’t stand it another second. “Why was my great-grandfather here?”
“He had a message for Marissa. She’s on the right track with the warding. They called it branding, though it didn’t use a hot iron. However, fire wielders will need to do it and it does entail burning the spell into the person’s skin.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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