Arthur- “So your new job makes you independent?”
Albert- “Absolutely. I get here any time I want before eight, and leave just when I please after five.”
Cadi must have known of Walters’ and Aldens’ exigent, because she arrived in time to release them from the grips of the dark figures. She was floating in the air, her arms extended out in front of her and with her index fingers makes a circle over and over, while she mumbles something. A bright, yellow light appears and like a fireball, dispels the dark figures away from Walter and Alden. The shadows scurry back into the deepest darkness of the cemetery. Walter and Alden try to catch their breaths. When Walter was able to gain his composure, he turns to Cadi who is still floating in the air. “Cadi how did you–” Walter said.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she said. “It is not a place to be. Not with them here.”
“What were those things?” Alden sputtered.
“Dark beings,” she said. “They are called spooks. They live in the shadows.”
“What were they doing to us?” Alden said.
“They feed on fear,” she said. “They will be back. You two, need to leave. I can’t be protecting you the whole night. I have somewhere else to be. Go now before they come back.”
Walter wanted to ask her more questions, but she vanished as quickly as she appeared. What urgency did she have? Night had fallen and with the seriousness of her voice, Walter knew it was best to listen. “She is right,” he said to Alden. “We better leave.” However, they were lost in the cemetery with woods surrounding them. They started walking, hoping to find their way back to town. At this point, bumping into the Black Coats would have been a blessing.
“Do you think we are going the right way?” Alden whispers.
“I don’t know,” said Walter. “Do you recognize anything?”
“Not really. I couldn’t even see anything when those bats attacked us. I think they were vampires. Around this time of the month anything is possible.”
Walter couldn’t argue with Alden. He had recently met gargoyles and agreed with Alden, anything is possible. They walk a little further in silence, listening for unusual sounds. Out of the cemetery they enter the woods. It is hard to tell which direction they are heading since the moon is blocked by trees. Walter is starting to feel as if they had stumbled upon the Black Forest, but it wasn’t. The wind rustles the leaves above them. No wind ever blew in the Black Forest, Walter remembers. It also occurs to Walter they have become wayward, but he didn’t want to admit it. Alden, must have felt the same, but doesn’t say a word. As they trek further through the woods they hear something coming near. Walter holds his breath to hear better, but the sounds of their steps muffled the sound of whoever is approaching.
“Maybe it’s a deer,” Alden said, but Walter knew there was no deer around. They had all fled. The sound gets closer and closer, when suddenly, it springs upon them. Walter and Alden scream, thinking it is the spooks returning. The light of the lantern, shines upon two familiar faces, realizing it was just the Sullivan brothers, looking displeased with Walter and Alden. “What are ye two morons doin here?” says George.
“Have ye been sneakin around the cemetery again?” Thomas says to Alden.
“Ye are as strange as yer family,” says George. “Don’t ya know yer not supposed to be wanderin around here this time of hour? There is a reason they put a curfew for ye moppets. This is no place–” George stops and tells Alden to hush when he tries to explain. George was listening for something.
Walter freezes in fright when he catches a glimpse of the floating lantern behind George Sullivan. He points at it. George, unfazed, does not bother to look. Thomas takes a quick glance, but his scowl remains fixed on his face.
“It’s only the lantern ye daft,” Thomas says.
A floating lantern, that is. The ghost holding the lantern becomes visible to Walter. Once a mighty Norseman with arms of steel and a fierce visage, now looked benevolent and tired. He wore a Vikings attire without his helmet. His long hair and beard, at one time was silvery white, but it looked a transparent azure as the rest of him. George was still trying to look through the darkness as if he was searching for something. Thomas also looked preoccupied with it.
“Were you all out hunting? I thought nobody hunted at night,” Alden must have been feeling bold to ask a question to the Sullivan brothers. The Sullivans’ never answered questions, especially from children. Something must been bothering the brothers.
George responded, “We weren’t huntin. We were out searchin fer a hunter that did not return. We were searching for him, along with Harry. Somehow we got separated. We heard him screamin, but we couldn’t find him. Instead, found one of the floatin lanterns.”
“Have ye two seen anything?” Thomas said.
“No. Wouldn’t the Black Coats be searching for him?” Alden said.
“Black Coats,” snorted Thomas. “They do notin, but get in the way. We look fer our own.”
“I thought hunting was over,” Alden said.
“It is fer some, tomfool,” George said. “Harry has a family te feed, unlike some, he provides fer them. Doesn’t spend his days drinkin.” He squinting to descry in the darkness. He was too concerned with the beyond. “Oi think we better go. There is something in those shadows. Oi reckon, are not kind.”