The Legend of Archibal: The Phantom

One morning, after breakfast, he went to the third floor to clean the windows. The Psychai followed him. “Make sure nobody sees you,” Walter told her. She nodded in compliance. She flew in circles over Walter’s head as he scrubbed the grub and dirt from the windows. How do the windows from the third floor get so dirty? He had to really scrub hard because the grime was not coming off. He tried and tried, but it didn’t look any cleaner. He finally realized the muck was on the outside of the window. The Psychai must have seen his struggle because with a whisk of her hand the muck disappeared from the window.

“I didn’t know you could do that,” Walter smiled. “Maybe now mother won’t yell at me as much. Thank you.”

The Psychai smiled and clapped her hands. Without having to be told she did the same with the rest of the windows throughout the whole inn. She had them cleaned within minutes.

“I really do appreciate your help,” Walter said. “Is there any way I can repay you?”

The Psychai just shook her head no. She wrote on one of the window panes.

“You have already repaid me when you saved me the night you found me,” Walter read. “That was nothing. Anybody would have done the same.” The Psychai shook her head. “Not the humans. They try to catch me,” he continued to read. “To them, I am just a butterfly, but I know you see more.” Walter smiled. “Jacobi called it the third eye. I see beyond what others can’t. Sometimes I think everybody can see what I see. I better go down stairs. There is a courtyard in the back if you want to get some fresh air.” The Psychai became excited. He headed down the stairs, through the corridor where he reached the back door, the Psychai right behind him. He opened the door and she flew out. He watched her fly above his Aunt’s flower garden. She even flew up the cherry blossom tree. He decides to leave her out for a while and goes looking for his mother, to tell her he was done with the windows.

He slowly walks down the gloomy corridor. He was not in a rush to find his mother. He looked to the left where Aunt Edith’s room was. The door was close. She never closes her door. In fact, he hadn’t see her for the last five days. He wondered if she was all right. He passes by the laundry room where the help, a girl in her twenties, was folding sheets. She didn’t see Walter or the sheet that was being pulled out from a large wicker basket behind her. Someone or something was pulling out the clean sheet and folding them in neat piles in another wicker basket. Walter wondered if she knew what was happening. He didn’t want to frighten her and decided not say a word. He moved on.

The next he passed the kitchen. Grumpy Gertrude was simmering something in a black pot over the wood-burning stove. He had to pause at the door in bewilderment because Gertrude was humming. She was never in a good mood, let alone hum when she was busy. Walter saw pots and pans floating in the air above her. The dishes were being washed by themselves, then dried and put away. At the same time, ladles were being stirred in pots, cooking on the stove, even the fire in the fireplace was being poked. She didn’t even seem to mind at all when one of the pots floated in the air towards her.

Walter was shock she thanked the invisible being. A pepper and salt shaker floated over the pots and were shaken. The ladle stirred a bit, some lifted out of the pots, waiting for Gertrude to taste it.

“It needs more salt, please,” she said to no one in particular. The salt was shaken over the soup. This went on for a bit and Gertrude continued cooking. Mildred appeared and she too was humming. A rolling pin was flattening dough on the counter, but it wasn’t Mildred rolling the pin. She was busy making the filling for her pies as someone invisible was lining the pans with dough.

Gertrude accidently bumped into Mildred. “I’m sorry dear,” she said.

“Don’t be. I was in the way,” Mildred responded. “It so nice to have him help us.”

“It is,” Gertrude agreed. “Makes things easier on busy days like these.” She bumped into Mildred again and they giggled.

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