Anna Dressed in Blood / Page 34

Page 34



“I know you’re not stupid, Carmel. And if you’re as smart as I think you are, you’ll stay out of this and meet me at the library in an hour.” I go down the porch steps and walk down my driveway, making a little rolling gesture with my fingers so Thomas won’t pull in. He gets it and slows down just enough for me to open the door and vault inside. Then we drive away, leaving Carmel staring after us.

“What was Carmel doing at your place?” he asks. There’s more than just a little jealousy there.

“I wanted a backrub and then we made out for about an hour,” I say, and then cuff him in the shoulder. “Thomas. Come on. She was dropping off my bio assignment. We’ll meet her at the library after we talk to your granddad. Now tell me what happened with the boys last night.”

“She really likes you, you know.”

“Yeah, well, you like her better,” I say. “So what happened?” He’s trying to believe me, that I’m not interested in Carmel and that I’m enough of a friend to him to respect his feelings for her. Oddly enough, both of these things are true.

Finally, he sighs. “We led them on a royal goose chase, just like you said. It was a blast. We actually had them convinced that if they hung sacks of sulfur above their beds, she wouldn’t be able to attack them in their sleep.”

“Jesus. Don’t make it too unrealistic. We need to keep them busy.”

“Don’t worry. Morfran puts on a good show. He conjured blue flame and did a fake trance and everything. Told them he would work on a banishing spell, but it would take the light of the next full moon to finish it. Think that’ll be enough time?”

Normally I’d say yes. After all, it’s not a matter of locating Anna. I know just where she is.

“I’m not sure,” I reply. “I went back last night and she kicked my ass all around the room.”

“So what’re you going to do?”

“I spoke to a friend of my dad’s. He said we need to figure out what’s giving her all this extra strength. Know any witches?”

He squints at me. “Isn’t your mom one?”

“Know any black witches?”

He squirms around a bit and then shrugs. “Well, me, I guess. I’m not really that good, but I can cast barriers and make the elements work for me and stuff. Morfran is, but he doesn’t practice much anymore.” He makes a left turn and pulls up outside of the antique shop. Through the window I can see the grizzled black dog, its nose up against the glass and its tail thumping against the ground.

We go inside and find Morfran standing behind the counter pricing a new ring, something handsome and vintage with a large black stone.

“Know anything about spell-craft and exorcism?” I ask.

“Sure,” he says without looking up from his work. His black dog has finished welcoming Thomas and moves to rest heavily against his thigh. “This place was haunted as shit when I bought it. Sometimes still is. Things come in with their owners still attached, if you know what I mean.”

I look around the shop. Of course. Antique stores must almost always have a wraith or two swirling around. My eyes fall on a long oval mirror set onto the back of an oak dresser. How many faces have stared into it? How many dead reflections wait there and whisper to each other in the dark?

“Can you get me some supplies?” I ask.

“What sort?”

“I need chicken feet, a circle of consecrated stones, a banishing pentagram, and some kind of divination thingy.”

He gives me the stink eye. “Divination thingy? Sounds pretty technical.”

“I don’t have the details yet, okay? Can you get them or not?”

Morfran shrugs. “I can send Thomas down to Superior with a bag. Pull thirteen stones from the lake. They don’t come more consecrated than that. The chicken feet I’ll have to order in, and the divination thingy, well, I’m betting that you want a mirror of some kind, or possibly a scrying bowl.”

“A scrying bowl sees the future,” Thomas says. “What would he want with that?”

“A scrying bowl sees whatever you want it to see,” Morfran corrects him. “As for the banishing pentagram, I think it might be overkill. Burn some protective incense, or some herbs. That should be plenty.”

“You do know what we’re dealing with here, don’t you?” I ask. “She’s not just a ghost. She’s a hurricane. Overkill is fine by me.”

“Listen, kid. What you’re talking about is nothing more than a trumped-up séance. Summon the ghost and bind it in the circle of stones. Use the scrying bowl to get your answers. Am I right?”


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