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The Neigbors…chapter 14…Releasing the wards

I was hearing that Mr. Somerset tended to appear once in a great while at Penelope Strathearn’s flat for reasons everyone knows by now. So I started to walk by there more often when I had a chance. Everything in the grave yard is settled down now. Mr Footman’s devices are disassembled so we should have no problems with mad spirits. Miss Heinrichs can now cope with the fact that ghosts find her an attractive hostess, as should most men in New Babbage, and appears to be on good terms with them all. Tepic walks over to play music to them. As for myself, well I have gained great insight into the workings of a Western cemetery and myself too it appears. Those times when I have needed great courage it came to me as from a deep spring that I never knew existed. Father was so wise to make me come here to New Babbage. It truly is a immense source of learning and knowledge.

One evening, as I swung around the area of my apartment, I literally walked into the object of my search! After providing excuses and pardons I launched into the topic that I wished so dearly to discuss with him.

“Mr. Somerset, I would like to know if you would come down to the graveyard and remove your warding from it.”

“I have heard that you have had some problems there. Are you sure it is safe? I would not want Miss Heinrichs to be placed in danger from a possession again like the other time.”

I extend my hand to him as we turn to head to the graveyard. I know I must get him to agree or nothing will happen. We walk along the cobble-stoned roadway in silence for a bit. Then I start to tell him how things have progressed.

“I understand your concerns completely. I know that you and Miss Heinrichs have a special relationship of sensei and student. Your training has not been wasted at all with her. In fact, she has grown since the last time you two have trained together. To the extent that she provided them with protection from the Slenderman spirit while he roamed the streets of New Babbage.”

“Really! How did that happen? We were still working on the mind shield when we last met. But we were also using a mind sharing bond from time to time. That should not have been enough to do what you are describing.”

“She appears to have expanded and modified what you have taught her. I also must claim some small part in this as I provided a safe haven for the spirits to reside in while they were at her apartment.”

“At her apartment? How was that done?”

“I used some practices from my temple that I am not permitted to discuss with outsiders. I hope you understand.”

“I do. I have secrets of my own that I keep hidden away. But Book…er, Miss Heinrichs allowed this even after the takeover?”

“Yes she did and still does. I must admit she does have a knack for this. I believe she has the gift of the shrine maiden within her thanks to you and I.”

“Which gift would this be?”

“Speaking to the dead of course.”

He stops short on that one. “She talks to them?”

“Yes, quite often and on varied topics. Does your training accommodate this or has she opened a new door for you to follow?”

“Not really. I mean I can talk to them. Controlling is another matter. It depends on the possessed person you see.”

I smile softly into the growing dark of the evening…”So the student becomes the teacher?”

“It might be in fact. I guess I really need to sit down with her.”

“You realize that she has suffered a few near death experiences. Something latent might have been awoken. She is not the meek maiden of old. Miss Hienrichs now is a woman of courage and conviction.”

Mr. Somerset looks over to me and slows his pace for a moment…“In other words she has matured.”


We arrive at the graveyard. Mr. Somerset peers into each corner as he walks around the fence line, looking for something. When he returns, he stops in front of me.

“The warding cubes are there but they appear to be burnt around the edges.”

“That might be from when the Slenderman tested and then overcame the warding during his repeated escapes.”

“It could be. Are you sure this is the correct thing to do?”

“I believe it is.” Gesturing to the tombstones, “Shall I ask them?”

“Can you do that?”

“Certainly, it is what I have been trained to do Mr. Somerset.”

I turn and step through the archway and into the graveyard. I settle myself and enter the space of here/not here and give a formal call to let the spirits know that we have serious business to discuss. And also to impress Mr. Somerset a touch.

“Who here wishes to roam free once more? Who wishes to return to the time before mistakes were made in order to move forward as friends again? Do the dead of New Babbage wish to fly once again? The Shini Megami and Deryni Master await your reply!”

The four appear as one with Daniel taking the job as spokes-ghost as usual.

“It is our wish to be free. What cost comes with it?”

“A promise not to overpower anyone without their consent. We all agree that what was done to Miss Hienrichs was a mistake?”

“We do and now regret it greatly. We knew no other way existed before that time. We were not aware of you yet. Were you here earlier we would have worked through you.”

“And you still may when I visit.”

“And what of Miss Hienrichs?” This from Mac.

“She is her own woman and now has the training to deny you entry if she so wishes. I cannot say what she will do. I can only suggest you ask her politely.”

Daniel considers this for a moment…”We agree to your request and promise.”

Evie pokes a hand up in the air…”Can I still spook people?”

I laugh and then look down to her, “Yes Evie that isn’t part of the promise.”

“Hurrah!! But I will be nice and say I am sorry after wards. That’s only proper.”

“Wait here please.” I then turn and walk back to Mr. Somerset. “They agree never to take over a person without prior consent. This that enough?”

Mr. Somerset thinks quietly for a second. “I believe so. I cannot imagine what else could happen.” I turn towards Evie and smile and give her a wink.

Mr. Somerset stands quietly and a glow seems to come from within. He holds his cupped hands apart and then brings them together as if extinguishing a candle and blows into them and then says aufero lux lucis. Suddenly, I can no longer feel the warding. He walks the fence line again picking up the cubes at each corner.

“There, it’s gone. They can do as they wish. But if any trouble reoccurs I will take greater measures than confinement.”

I turn towards the spirits and wave. At once they each go in a different direction to test. As they pass beyond the fence line large smiles appear on their faces. They each head off in different directions; Daniel to the Academy, Sofie to the library, Mac to the Gangplank, and Evie I suspect to Tepic’s camp.

“Well Mr. Somerset, I think we have done something wonderful here.”

“I would agree Miss Hermit. I never wanted to confine them in the first place. I was concerned over Miss Hienrichs you understand.”

“I do sir. No shame comes to you for your actions. They were needed at the time.”

“If we are done here then I shall return to Nell.” He turns and starts back to his beloved.

“Cheerful adventures Mr. Somerset. Give My regards.”

As night follows the day so does happiness come from sorrow. I return back to my flat in Clockhaven and to Tasha who is probably wondering why I spend so much time doing such not-ladylike things.

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