He had the sinking feeling he was courting a Darwin award here by doing this but he needed to know despite the taste of fear in his mouth. Had Delphine been the one to drive his sister insane or not? Learning that would only help him.
Daniel bit down on his lower lip, glancing out the darkened bedroom window. Late October in New Orleans was eerie enough, a room without the comfort of a ceiling light was worse. Little wonder people had been afraid of the dark, knowing that there were things out there. The night was dangerous. And he still was scared of the dark.
It was too late to turn back now, however. The circle had already been cast with the lit candles stood at the four corners of the ring. They should have been comforting reminders of the light but all he could dwell on was who and what he was summoning. “If this works, I promise that I’ll be more attentive in church.”
Deliberately ignoring the fact he already went every Sunday and had for as long as he could remember. He took a breath and drew the knife hard across his wrist. Blood welled and the pain nearly sent him to his knees. “I need you.”
The candles had already been wavering now they went out under some unseen wind, leaving only the faintest trace of smoke-scent behind. He shivered, wrapping a recently ruined t-shirt around his wrist and hugging himself close to keep warm. Success or failure aside, his bedroom had dropped noticeably in temperature despite the closed bedroom window.
“For what, I wonder?”
Daniel lifted his head to see the woman standing in the middle of the circle and he felt his stomach knot up in discomfort. “It worked?”
Delphine laughed but the sound wasn’t kind. “If you call your inexperienced bit of magic working, I suppose it did. This circle may hold a weak ghost but I assure you, I am not that.”
She put her hand up against the barrier and pushed slightly before dropping it back to her side. “You have power now but you don’t know how to make proper use of it, boy.”
“What makes you think I don’t know how to use my magic?”
The other witch regarded him pensively for a moment and glanced at the gap in the circle’s line. “Simply by that. If it is raising the dead you want or a sacrifice to power, I can teach you. Your father was willing as I recall.”
Daniel shook his head. “Just answers.”
“A pity,” Delphine sounded bored now, taking a step across the barrier. “To what, might I ask?”
Daniel retreated, keeping the ghost firmly in his line of sight. “What did you do to Athenais?”
“Nothing whatsoever.” She looked away. “That girl had promise and I would have liked to teach her some of the craft but she had none of your control, however uncertain it is. Your sister would have been driven mad with or without my aid.”
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Partial. :/ Mom wants to run an errand and then we're going to be doing housework.
Oooh, spooky. I wonder what happens next?
Housework sucks. But this doesn't!