And We Shall Shine On: Chapter 2

Title: And We Shall Shine On
Chapter: 2 of 3
Author: Sheryl
Rating: PG-13
Excerpt: “Aw Tay, man, that’s not fair, all the cool stuff happens to you.” Zac pouted, not meaning it, as his brother told the story of the ghostly John Lennon. “Did he really look that much like him, Tay?”
“Yeah…” Taylor’s nod was enthusiastic. “And his hand was all cold and clammy…” His eyes took on an evil glint, and he winked at Isaac. “Who knows Zac, maybe it was him. After all, it is the night of the dead, and we are in Salem…”
“Cut it out, Tay!” Zac crossed his arms and stomped off to sit on a stone wall, separating the current ghostly house, from the Dunkin Donuts. He wasn’t sure why the ghost stuff was bugging him. After all, it was Halloween, he was on a ghostly tour, and it was all supposed to be this way… but something was just sending chills up and down his spine, and not pleasant ones either.

Chapter 2

Zac laughed as he swung into the elevator, the eyes on him making him feel right at home. “Onstage yep I am, onstage…” His voice was a soft singsong, and Isaac laughed.
“Zac, you’re a freak.”
Zac’s laugh rang throughout the lobby as he turned to Taylor.
“C’mon Glinda, let’s go, I want to dump this thing and get out there!”
Taylor grimaced and stepped into the elevator, wishing for the moment that sewing Zac’s lips shut had been part of the costume.

“Oh my God.” Diana’s voice registered shock. Nothing more. “Oh my GOD.” Her mind wouldn’t translate what she was seeing, a vista of tight black velvet, shimmering satin, glittering hair and glowing skin. Leather, tattoos, chains and bandanas, strong smell of herbs and spices, hypnotic eyes… were these her children? Glittering gold against glowing black… she stared, while her husband held the video camera, uselessly at his side, eyes wide.
“Mom?” Taylor laughed, and reached out to shake her. “Mom snap out of it. Whattaya think?”
She shook her head, swallowing and catching her breath. “It’s… they’re…” Her eyes roamed the rest of her family, ready to go out for the Halloween festivities. Avie as an angel, Zoe as a princess, Mackie as a power ranger, Jessie as a ballerina. Nodding, she turned back to the images of her three older sons. No… it was still the same.
“MY GOD where did you get those costumes?!” She circled the three of them, shock replaced with amazement. “My God they’re gorgeous!” Flitted through her mind, even Zac, with the blond hair gleaming against the tough biker jacket. Taylor’s blue eyes shining out underneath the gold circlet, Isaac’s face glowing faintly. Soft, clinging cloth showed off smooth muscle, gleaming against soft skin. Shaking her head, the thought “They can’t go out like that” rushed in then out just as quickly. Yes they could, the costumes were magnificent.
“We just came to dump off Zac’s backpack, we’re goin’ now, or we’ll be late, okay?” She nodded, mute, the sound of Isaac’s normal voice breaking through some of the shock. “Be back by midnight, clear?”
“Midnight mom?? On Halloween?”
“Midnight.”
“But it’s almost 8 now… c’mon mom.”
She turned to Walker, who was still standing with his mouth open. “Okay, you’re no use. Boys…” She looked into three sets of excited eyes, and sighed. “Okay. Two. Be back by two. Clear?”
“Clear mom…”
“Yep we got it…”
She heard Zac’s faint call, as he ran down the hall, and sighed, turning to Walker. “My God” He nodded, mouth still open. “Those were really something. Was Taylor wearing a pentagram?”
She shook her head, trying to remember. “He couldn’t have been…”
“What about Isaac, was that really him??”
Jessica snorted, and rolled her eyes. “Geez you guys, Dracula, a hells angel and a Spice Girl. What’s the big deal?” Laughter followed her down the stairs.

Zac helped himself to a candle, laughing. “Check it out, they popped the dixie cup down over the candle and you have to slide the candle up as it burns out. How classy. What ambience.”
Taylor, surprised his brother understood the word “ambience,” raised his eyebrows. “Yeah, well just don’t set it on fire, Zacman.”
Zac made a face, and adjusted his candle. “I won’t, I’m not a moron, retard.”
Taylor started to retaliate, thought for a moment what he must look like, and thought better of it. “Zac… just be careful, okay?”
He wandered back up the walkway to the graveyard, parking himself and his unlit candle on a bench. He could see more people, reading the memorial stones, some going away serious, some laughing.
How could they laugh? That still bothered him.
An echo of a whisper breezed through his mind, echo of power, of energy. Where had he felt energy like this before?
He glanced up at Zac, who was fiddling with the candle, and the whisper became a scream of unfocused thought, as Zac’s candle blazed into light. Crying out, jumping back, he dropped it, stepping on the flame, flashing an accusing glare at Taylor.
A whisper to a scream, the echo again… of the last time they were out, on a holiday, going to have fun. What had happened that time?
He didn’t much like the look in Taylor’s eyes. He slid over and sat down on one side of him, Isaac on the other.
“Tay…”
“Hmmm?”
His face seemed creepy to Zac. “Do you remember the last time? Do you remember Harold*?” His voice dropped to a whisper and he shuddered. Taylor’s mouth turned up in a grin, almost evil natured, contrasting sharply with his glittered face. “Yeah…” His snicker was as ill favored as his smile “I do…”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Isaac’s hand flashed out, connecting firmly with the back of Taylor’s head, loosing another cloud of glitter, and the ill-natured, shifty look left his eyes, replaced by irritation.
“Knock it off Glinda, let’s don’t bring that up again”
He sighed, and nodded, settling back, the whisper fading, the echo calling itself to silence. Zac, unnerved completely, not liking the glitter, which reminded him of something that just refused to go, or the feel of the night, edged closer to Isaac.
Isaac smiled at him, and slid an arm around his shoulders.
“Don’t get all creeped out Zac. Lets get over there, people are lining up for the tour.”
Taylor sat for a moment, watching them walk away from him, a sulky, unformed little boy’s voice in the back of his mind. A taste of loneliness and craving for power. He could feel it gathering there, focusing, narrowing in like a laser.
His eyes drifted up, the beam homing in, when sudden pain made him jump and cry out, the diabolical chain broken. Slapping at his chest, not really knowing what had just happened, he gasped and yanked his hand away staring at the palm, the design of the pentagram imprinted in the flesh, red… painful.
“Oh my God it burned me!” He looked down, shocked to see a grey imprint in the fabric of his shirt, where his robe had fallen open. The thing had burned right through the fabric to the skin of his chest.
“What is up with that?” But something in him knew… and that something backed away. There was no room for it, not on this night.
Taking a breath, trying to shake off the feeling of disaster, he ran after his brothers, lining up to have their candles lit. Behind him, the mist gathered heavy, slipping along the ground in his wake.

Isaac stared up into the windows of the little house, skittishly hoping to see the fabled ghostly candlelight.
“Do you see anything Ike?”
Isaac grinned down at his brother. “Nah Zac, I don’t see a thing. But he said it just happens mysteriously.”
Zac frowned doubtfully. “You think it’s really haunted?”
“Well…” Isaac laughed as the tour guide, a young man in a black robe, elbowed his way in. “Of course it’s really haunted, would we take you on a candlelight tour of un-haunted houses? Oh ye unbeliever, this night will change your…”
“Yeah… spare me.” Zac scowled, and pushed past the young man, who’s grin had widened as he glanced at Isaac.
“Tough sell, isn’t he?”
Isaac nodded, laughing, and followed the man, who was talking into his megaphone again, leading the group to the next spot on the tour.
Taylor lingered, eying the top windows. Candlelight… that’d be so cool to see. He stepped slightly closer, tipping his head back. No… no light up there. No ghosts to be seen… Sighing, he stepped back onto the sidewalk, catching sight of the tour group. “Man, they’re getting away fast…” He stepped up onto the curb, the voluminous cape winding its way around his feet.
“Oh for…” He kicked it aside, succeeding only in entangling himself more, and swore softly. “This just sucks, now how do I walk without killing myself? It wasn’t like this a few minutes ago…” Making up his mind to simply ignore it, he took an ill fated step and felt his balance go, the treacherous cloth once again holding tight to his ankles. Frantically trying to stay on his feet, he grabbed at the ivy covering the little house, heart leaping into his throat as a cold hand grabbed his. He hadn’t realized anyone was with him.
“No lad, tuck it up under your arms, that’s the way, so you won’t trip on it, eh?”
He nodded, mute, wondering where this guy had come from. His hand was cold, icy cold, and oddly insubstantial. “Like he’s not really touching me…” The thought flitted through almost too quickly to catch, and he nodded at the man, taking in the longish hair and round glasses. “I… don’t think I’m used to this kind of stuff. Thanks for keeping me on my feet.”
The man nodded amiably, letting go and stepping back.
“Until we meet again lad, keep a handle on that cloak, won’t you.” He faded back into the shadows, and Taylor grinned. What a great exit, he’d almost seemed to disappear. “Guy was out as John Lennon, and he did it good too… he had the accent just right.” Smiling, he hurried to catch up with the group.

“Aw Tay, man, that’s not fair, all the cool stuff happens to you.” Zac pouted, not meaning it, as his brother told the story of the ghostly John Lennon. “Did he really look that much like him, Tay?”
“Yeah…” Taylor’s nod was enthusiastic. “And his hand was all cold and clammy…” His eyes took on an evil glint, and he winked at Isaac. “Who knows Zac, maybe it was him. After all, it is the night of the dead, and we are in Salem…”
“Cut it out, Tay!” Zac crossed his arms and stomped off to sit on a stone wall, separating the current ghostly house, from the Dunkin Donuts. He wasn’t sure why the ghost stuff was bugging him. After all, it was Halloween, he was on a ghostly tour, and it was all supposed to be this way… but something was just sending chills up and down his spine, and not pleasant ones either.
“I’m just whacko is what. Pretty soon my head will start spinning around and…” He broke off, as motion at the donut shop caught his eye.
He watched, absently, as a shadow separated itself from the wall. A man, walking this way. Glancing uneasily at the rest of the group, reassuring himself that they were only a few feet away, he turned back to the man, grinning delightedly as he realized who the man was dressed as. Elvis. And a really good one too.
“Oh, SO cool!” He giggled as the man approached, taking in the costume. “Wow he looks JUST like him!” He smiled at the man as he approached. “Man, that’s a great costume, you look just like Elvis.”
The man smiled, and reached out to touch the lapel of Zac’s leather jacket, his hand carrying with it a damp cold that chilled Zac to the soul, wiping the grin away. The man’s face seemed clouded… with mist or… glitter?
Swallowing around a suddenly dry throat, Zac froze, the man’s hand on his coat collar. “Great leather kid, whaddaya ride?”
That voice. That voice there was no… no it wasn’t… it couldn’t be. A costume. It was just a costume. Swallowing again, hearing a click, Zac shook his head.
“I’m… me… I… ride? I… I’m j-just a k-kid…” His voice was faint, faraway, and he felt the blood draining from his face. “Oh my God, I’m gonna pass out…” He shook his head a little, and tried once again, unsuccessfully, to swallow. His throat was starting to hurt.
The man let go of his collar, and the chill receded with his hand, as he smiled
apologetically. “Oh man, I’m scarin’ ya aren’t I little guy… I’ll just fade…”
Zac shook his head. He didn’t want this guy to think he was a baby. “N-no… I… just…” His eyes went huge then, as he stared at the empty spot on the sidewalk. Where had he gone? Left, right, Zac’s head turned frantically, but the man was gone. Gone! “OH MY GOD!” He jumped from the wall, running to Taylor, yanking hard on the edge of his cape.
“Tay, Oh my God! I saw…”
“Watch it Zac, you’re gonna rip it!”
“Tay, man, I saw Elvis! I saw Elvis! He was… and he said… and then he vanished!”
“Vanished Zac?”
“YES!! IKE!!!” He turned to his other brother. “He was RIGHT THERE and then he was gone, and HE WAS ELVIS!”
Ike shook his head, smiling indulgently. “All part of the show Zac, Tay saw John Lennon.”
“Well no but this was real!”
“Zac…” His tone was gently chiding. “It’s Halloween… now get serious.”
Scowling, Zac flung his brother a look, and stomped up to join the tour guide.
Isaac chuckled, turning to Taylor, who was gazing distantly down the street.
“Ike… y’know that guy I saw really did look just like Lennon.”
“Yeah well… you shoulda got his autograph. Come on…” They ambled back to the group, wondering what else the night had in store for them.

“GRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!”
Taylor jumped out of his skin, as a bundle of fur and fangs launched itself at him, out of a doorway, roaring.
“God!!!” He backpedaled, heart pounding, biting hard on his lip to keep from screaming. In his fright, he didn’t notice the cape weaving itself around his ankles again, and this time there was no friendly hand to break his fall. Backward he went, as his laughing brothers jumped away to avoid being landed on.
Sprawled on his back on the sidewalk, he looked up into their laughing faces.
“Thanks a lot you guys, really. It’s nice to know you didn’t want me to split my head open.”
Zac smirked and offered him a hand up. “Having trouble with your heels, Ginger?”
“Oh very funny, shut up Zac. JUST SHUT UP ZAC!!” But shutting up wasn’t an option, Zac had gone into gales of laughter, his face turning an alarming shade of purple.
“Oh God Tay that was so FUNNY! Oh my God I’m gonna puke…”
Taylor brushed himself off, frowning. “Good, I hope you do. What the hell was that?”
“That…” Isaac was doing his best to swallow his laughter. “Was a werewolf, and there’s another one hiding two doors up, I can see his ears. So get that thing away from your feet.”
“How come you’re not tripping on yours?”
“I’m coordinated.”
“Oh right… right. You trip over dust. They sold me a demonic cape.”
Snickering, Ike took his brother’s shoulder, and led him along the sidewalk.
“They have these monsters jumping out every few doorways… if you look carefully you can see them and wreck their fun.”
“I almost bit my tongue off, nobody told me this tour was dangerous.”
“Tay, don’t gripe…” Isaac was grinning but his brother’s were getting to him a little.
Zac was jumpy and cranky, and Tay wouldn’t stop bitching about that damn cape. He was ready to tell him to just go naked. Sighing, he watched as Taylor joined Zac, and a bout of bickering and smacking ensued. God he hoped it wasn’t too obvious he was with them.
Kicking leaves, enjoying the sound the made he walked on, only half hearing the tour-guide expound the virtues of the latest haunted building.
“Tay saw Lennon, Zac saw Elvis… who do I want to see?” He thought about it, smiling softly. “Hendrix… I want to see Hendrix, man he was so good on that guitar.” Sighing, he smiled at the thought, shivering slightly as a chill suddenly passed over him. Slowing, reaching to pull the cape a little closer around himself, his eye fastened on the man walking next to him.
“HUH?!?!” He blinked and shook his head. For a moment it had looked like… laughing he turned the other way, spotting a woman keeping pace along his other side.
“Whoa” He stopped. They stopped. He stared. They stared back. On each side of him, stood Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.
“This is just…” Speechless, not knowing what to think, fear strangely absent, he simply stood, as the woman moved in front of him, reaching to stroke his shirt.
“Mmmm. Velvet” Her hand was cold, the fingers stroking his chest through the velvet a vague whisper of sensation, leaving a chill behind. She stopped her rapturous smiling at the velvet, and tapped his chest firmly.
“You follow what’s in here, man, okay? You don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Don’t sell out…” She grinned at her friend, and tapped Isaac’s shirt again. “Velvet man, did we ever get velvet?”
Jimi laughed and dug in his pocket, pulling out a joint. “Yeah what she said. You got a light man?” Isaac grinned and shook his head, and the older man laughed, his breath a cold current. “Good, good, you don’t want to go down any bad roads my son, no bad roads. You play it your way.”
Isaac nodded, grinning around the cycling thought “I’m insane, that’s it, they’ve driven me over, I’m insane, that’s it…” that simply wouldn’t leave. Feeling he was about to begin gibbering, he stepped back, wondering if these two amiable personages were about to transform into hideous creatures.
The woman smiled. “No, boy, you missed that when you didn’t see me get up this morning. Keep it cool…” Her voice faded with her countenance, and when he looked up, the man too, was gone.

“Guys, you won’t believe this! You’re contagious, your insanity has spread to me, you won’t believe who I just saw.” Ike ran up to his brothers, one hand landing on the back of each neck, too excited even to relish the startled jump from each of them. “I was walking along… minding my own business, and do you know who was suddenly walking with me? No you don’t! Well I’m gonna tell you, it was Jimi Hendrix on one side, and Janis Joplin on the other, yes it was. Jimi and Janis, Mr. and Mrs. Rock n’Roll, right there, on the sidewalk, next to me.” He dropped his hands, grinning. “If you gotta see things, man, those are cool things to see. Who’d you see Tay, Lennon?”
Taylor nodded, an amazed grin on his face. “Yeah Lennon, and Zac saw Elvis”
“See?!” Zac’s tone was scornful. “Bet you believe me now, Count Dracula, huh?” “Count Dracula?!?!” Taylor dissolved into hysterical laughter, almost killing himself on the cape again as his eyes blurred. “Count Dracula…”
“Yeah, shut up Posh…”
“Ow Ike, that hurt…” Taylor’s laughter calmed a bit and he looked around, dancing a little to untangle his feet again. “You think it’s all part of the show, or what? I mean… how could they do that?”
“I don’t know Tay, it’s pretty weird. But yeah Zac, I totally believe you. Hey we’re losing our group.”
“Look, look over there.” Taylor’s pointing finger picked out a glimmering mist in the shadows. “Can you make it out?”
Ike shook his head, the mystified smile seemingly there to stay. “No, it’s too blurry, Zac can you?” Zac shook his head, looking down. All these sparkly, half formed figures were really bugging him. He supposed he should like it, but it was giving him the creeps, and Taylor with that stupid hair, every time he moved glitter dust went everywhere. Looked just like these weird non shadows, and he didn’t like it at all.
“Zac… what’s up, how come you’re so creeped out?”
“Oh, I don’t know Tay, maybe ’cause I just saw the ghost of Elvis!!! Would you mind going home and shampooing that crap outta your hair?”
“Yeah Zac, I would mind. But it’s cool… the ghost of Elvis! The ghost of Lennon! The ghost of Hendrix and Joplin! Zac… the spirits of music past are coming to see us!”
Zac rolled his eyes heavenward. “Shut up, Tinkerbell, if you want to be haunted keep it to yourself.”
Taylor backed away, slightly hurt. “Geez Zac, you don’t need to be so hateful, I was just trying to make you feel better…”
“Yeah, well… save it.”

Sighing, Taylor stepped up to walk with Isaac, who was as thoroughly charmed as he was. “This is pretty cool isn’t it Ike”
Ike nodded thoughtfully. “Yeah it is. You think there’s a reason? Hey look…” He nodded to a stone wall across the street. Perched atop it, blurry and shining, was a human shaped cloud of mist. As they watched the blur cleared and the image sharpened. “Holy shit Tay, who is that?!”
Taylor nodded, laughing. “It’s Kurt Cobain is who it is. This is just wild.”
“All part of the show, huh guys?” Zac’s voice had lost its scorn, and taken on a nervous edge.
“Sure Zac. I mean come on. Look at all the people around us. If anything were wrong, they’d all be freaking out like you are. Would you get out of my clothes please, geez… gimme some space.”
“Sorry…” Zac took a half a step away from Isaac.
The figure on the wall waved slightly and dissolved into shadows, leaving huge identical grins on the older boys’ faces. “We gotta come here every year, this beats any haunted house I’ve ever been in.”

“And now, we reach the final stop on our tour, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Yes it is indeed where we started out. Now the memorial…”
Taylor tuned out the tour guide. Having tuned out the entire tour, looking for dead guys, he didn’t think it much mattered. “Ike, do you think everybody saw all that? Maybe it just looks like whoever you want it to.”
Isaac shook his head. “No, I don’t think so. One of them touched me, Elvis or whoever touched Zac…”
“Yeah… Lennon actually stopped me falling over this damn cape…” He yanked it away from his feet again. “We should ask the tour guy when he gets done…”
“Ssshh!!!” Zac cuffed him lightly. “Listen to what he’s saying.”
Scowling, Taylor tuned in. “…and legend says she’s been waiting here 300 years for Giles to come back. 300 years. Now does anyone who has NOT taken the tour before…” the young man grinned, “know where Giles is? NO? Nobody? Well Giles, who you’ll remember was pressed to death for refusing to confess to witchcraft, is said to be haunting a graveyard across town, on Grant and Bridge streets. After the tour, if anyone wants to take a walk down there, you never know… you may see Giles. Hey Giles!” he turned and called toward the center of town. “She’s over here…!”
Laughter greeted this little display, and he grinned and bowed, thanking them all for coming, smiling as the crowd dispersed. He noticed the three boys who’d spent the entire tour either arguing or running to catch up, were watching the corner of the graveyard avidly. Curious, he wandered over.
“Hey. What’d you think of the tour?”
Taylor turned, smiling at the young man. “Oh… well I guess we didn’t pay a lot of attention, we were a little distracted. Who did you say is haunting this cemetery?”
“Oh, Mary Cory. Giles Cory’s wife.”
“I don’t remember who Giles Cory is.”
“Well… he was accused of witchcraft, actually so was Mary. She died in prison. Giles was pressed… to make him confess. They put him under a board, and piled stones on it. He wouldn’t confess though, the only thing he would say was ‘More weight. More weight.'”
Taylor frowned, disturbed. “That killed him? They really did that?”
“They really did that. They tortured a lot of people, innocent people. The irony is that there of course were witches around, but they were smart enough to not get caught. The only people hung, were innocent.”
“Didn’t they burn them?” The man turned to Zac. “No, at least not here. Over in Europe they did, I know, but here they were all hung. And Giles was pressed.”
“That’s horrible.”
The man nodded. “It is… and you never know, those times could come again. So… tell me… what had you all so distracted during the tour? Although our werewolf is very happy with your reaction.”
Taylor smiled, blushing, and pointed to the corner of the graveyard, where another cloud of glittering mist was forming. “You see that?”
The man peered, squinting, through the gloom. “No… what?”
“That sparkly sort of cloud thing?”
“Sparkly cloud thing… nope. Sorry.”
Taylor’s eyes widened, surprised. “You don’t see it?”
“I don’t see anything, but that’s Mary’s corner. She’s said to haunt it.”
“Well…” Isaac broke in, knowing it would take Taylor an hour to get to the point. “All night we’ve been seeing these sort of shimmery misty shapes, that actually look like people.” His smile was sheepish. “We even think we recognize some of them.”
The tour guide laughed, and nodded. “Hey, you never know. This is Salem, after all. Well, it was nice talking to you, but I have to get ready for the next group.” He started away, stopped, and turned, grinning. “By the way, I like your music. Keep it up.” He laughed and walked away, leaving the three boys wide eyed.
“He recognized us? Even in these get-ups?”
“I guess so. Well, he was cool. Hey I got an idea.”

“So… how do you call a ghost anyway?”
The boys looked apprehensively around the graveyard. It was a lot darker than the one they had met for the tour in, and a lot more lonely.
“I mean, do you have to chant something or something?”
Isaac shook his head. “There have been ghosts all over us like fleas all night, I hardly think so.”
“Yeah but… they just were there. It’s not like we wanted them.”
Sighing, wishing he weren’t the only one with sense, Isaac shook his head and stepped back. “Why don’t we try this? HEY!! GILES!!”
His shout made Zac jump and he shot a reproachful look at him.
“Ike, give me heart failure why don’t you?”
Chuckling, Isaac sat down against one of the headstones.
“You got a better idea?”
“Yeah, get up.”
Shrugging indulgently, he did as he was asked. “Come here. Now you hold Tay’s hand, Tay you hold my hand… y’know like they do in seances? Now we can…”
“Yes, may I be of assistance?” The voice was faint, flawlessly clear, and Zac’s words cut off with a small screech. Within seconds he was as close to his brother as he could possibly get.
Isaac turned, past the point where anything surprised him, and took in the figure behind him. “Giles Cory I presume?”
The apparition nodded, frowning deeply. “Am I in the presence of the undead? Ghouls and witches abound in these evil times. Stay back, foul demon…” The figure took a step back, forking some sort of hand signal at the astonished Isaac.
“Demon! No, no… it’s just a costume! Halloween, y’know?”
The apparition shook its head, and Isaac began to feel frustrated. The ghost was telling him he was undead?
“Zac, Tay, geez for pete’s sake get out of my clothes! Could you just step away please?” He shook off his brothers, who were standing as close to him as they possibly could. He stepped back, exposing Taylor fully to the ghost of Giles Cory. The apparition and the boy stared at one another for a moment, and the apparition suddenly seemed to enlarge, the voice issuing from it ear-shatteringly loud
“WITCH!!!” Taylor jumped, and made a beeline back for Isaac, who grimaced as he set about peeling him off.
“Tay for the love of God…”
“Witches who consort with demons, and spirits of the dead! Begone! Begone…”
“Dude… dude…” Zac had had about enough of the yelling, and it was fairly obvious to him that the guy couldn’t hurt him. If he could, he wouldn’t be yelling across the planet for them to get lost. “Mr. Cory.”
The ghost looked down, puzzled. At least this didn’t appear to be a demon.
“I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you ARE a spirit of the dead. And THAT is not a witch, that is my brother Baby Spice, and my other brother, Count Dracula. They’re harmless. And we came here to tell you about Mary.”
The figure continued to flash the odd hand gesture in their direction, but he appeared to be calming somewhat.
“Mary?”
“Mary, your wife.”
“Bewitched she was…”
“Well… for 300 years you’ve been haunting this place, right? Well she’s been about four blocks over, also for 300 years, haunting over there waiting for you. We think you should get over there and find her.”
“What spawn of Satan dares to call me a spirit of the dead?! These foul words you speak, and what manner of language is this? Your speech is from Hell itself!”
Zac’s patience had about stretched to its limit.
“Oh will you shut up about the Satan stuff?! I’ve about had it up to here! We’re trying to do a good deed okay?!? And don’t tell me you’ve been haunting here for 300 years and haven’t ever heard people TALK!”
“Boys, boys.” The interrupting voice was female, and scornful.
“You’re yelling loud enough to wake the dead. Now kiss and make up. Giles, baby, you have some serious issues don’t you. Get used to it. You’re dead, baby, okay?”
Zac’s mouth hung open as he took in the woman before him. Monumentally large, dark hair hanging down her back… where did he know her from?
“Cass Elliot baby boy, Mama Cass, maybe you’ve heard of me.”
She stuck out a hand, as Zac yelped and jumped to hide behind Giles, looked up at what he was hiding behind, and darted back to his brothers, taking up residence just inside Isaac’s cape, finding it a bit crowded, considering that Taylor had already staked out a claim.
“God you two! Get OFF me! You’re like barnacles!” Isaac scraped them off, wincing at the glitter that stuck to his velvet shirt. “God you got this stuff all over me. Will you two calm down please?” Dismissing his brothers, he pulled the Salem street map from his back pocket and approached the two figures. “Hey um… Giles. I’m not like… really undead okay? It’s just a costume… look.” He spread the map out on the top of the nearest crypt cover. “This is where you are. This is where Mary is. We didn’t know if you knew she was waiting for you over there.”
Giles, apparently having begun to come to grips with the situation, shook his head. “Alas, lad I cannot leave this place.”
“Oh who says so…”
The voice of Cass cut in.
“Look, you’re dead. What’s gonna happen? You can go wherever you want.”
“But…”
“No, no buts. The only thing holding you here, Giles, is you. Now you follow these nice boys over there to where Mary is waiting, and no scaring the little one either. He’s so cute…” She grinned and waved her fingers at Zac, who was peering cautiously from behind Taylor.
One ghost he could deal with. Two? Questionable, and God knew how many more could suddenly pop up. He waved back halfheartedly, and the woman laughed. “Zac come over here. Do I look like someone to be afraid of? Taylor you too…” Puzzled at her use of their names, they boys did as she asked.
“Look you two, you’ve probably noticed a lot of us around. I want you to understand that at no time tonight is anyone going to hurt you. Nobody you’ll see is out to get you, okay? It’s our night, and we mean to enjoy it. And who better to enjoy it with than our fellow music lovers? Now you take Mr. Cory here over to Mary, and we’ll see what happens next.” She smiled, nodded at Isaac who was tucking the map back into his pocket, and promptly dissolved back into mist.
Giles bowed slightly, and indicated the map.
“I need not have you lead me.”

*Previous Chapter / Next Chapter*

This fictional story is hosted at The Gifted Ones,
with permission from the author, Sheryl.

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