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Before Long

Baba waves her liver-spotted hands dismissively as she crosses the threshold.

"Too old," she sniffs, her nostrils flaring. "Much too old. Too many ghosts."

Aranaya smirks, closing the door behind them and dropping their bags in the foyer. "Not for long."

She leads her grandmother to a small camping chair in the corner of the room. The rest of the furniture will come soon enough, she knows. For now, what she and Baba need most is privacy.

She draws the ratty curtains, then pulls her wand from beneath her poncho. It crackles with dull energy in her palm. She can feel the chill of unseen watchers slithering along the peeling wallpaper.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are," she trills, sending out just a touch of her power through the gnarled wand's tip. Her smirk grows to a full smile as something wails in the attic above, banging against the door hard enough that the little pull cord begins a tremulous dance. Whether the entity senses her intentions or means to cause her trouble, she doesn't know. It doesn't much matter.

Before long, she will capture its essence and transfer it to Baba.

Before long, she will have done so with every wayward spirit within the house's creaking walls.

Before long, people will once again think her grandmother is her sister.


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