Sara took me to a group sitting around a table filled with art supplies. Mostly drawing, but there was paints and various other things too. Sara smiled, “Today is art day. I believe tomorrow you have movie day.”
One of the girls sitting at the table clapped her hands. “We’ll even let the newbie pick.”
I raised my eyebrow as Sara sat me down in an empty chair next to the giddy one. Sara put her hands on my shoulders, “Guys, this is Nox. He’ll be staying with us a while. He’s on watch so we need all of you to assist in keeping him safe.”
I rolled my eyes and the big black man next to me laughed. It was like rolling thunder yet it was very calming to see the big man happy. “I don’t think he likes that statement much.” He waved his hands. “Shoo, little miss, we got him.” When Sara left she squeezed my shoulders wishing me luck. Or that’s what I assumed. The big black man offered me his hand. “I’m Duke. This is Lori.” He pointed at the giddy girl with brown hair. She couldn’t be more than 18.
Duke pointed at the other girl sitting at the table, her head was hung, her hair covering her face and she sat with her hands in her lap like she was ignoring the world. “That’s Jo. She doesn’t talk much.”
There was a man sitting behind an easle painting, I couldn’t see what he was doing, but he was a tad bit angry. “That’s Cliff.”
Cliff was scowling at me so I asked, “What’s wrong?”
“You are sitting in Amelia’s seat.”
I stood up and nearly collapsed the moment I did so. Fuck! “Yeah sorry.” I used a weave of air and dragged another chair closer. I slide into the seat and moved it closer to the table.
“Who’s Amelia?” I asked.
Lori giggled, “Cliff’s imaginary friend.”
I looked at the empty chair. I offered her my hand and pulled the invisible friend’s hand to my lips and pressed a kiss to the third knuckle “A pleasure Amelia.” I turned to Cliff with a smile. “Do you see anyone else?”
Cliff nodded, “There have been others, but in here there is only Amelia.”
“Did you meet her here? Or did she come with you?”
“She was here. She likes you.”
I grinned, “I’ve never met a woman I cant make like me.”
Duke shook his head, “We aren’t supposed to help along our delusions.”
“Why do you assume he’s seeing things that aren’t real? Seeing ghosts is not a normal Venatori talent, but it’s a talent none the less. If no one beleives you I can see how one would think you are crazy.”
Cliff sighed and came around the table and wrapped his arms around my neck. “All the voices that I hear drove me to this point. It’s quieter here. I don’t want to leave. Don’t make me leave.”
I shook my head. “I’m not going to tell anyone. But I’d like to know more about Amelia and why she’s here. She could be trapped inside while the other ghosts are trapped outside.”
Cliff shook his head and went back to his painting. “Leave it be, boy. Nothing here needs fixing.”
That didn’t sound at all like Cliff from before. Sounded very much like a possessed man. Cliff’s body slumped and then he was back to his self I could see it in the patterns around him. I looked around trying to see the spirits here. There were at least two. I wondered what had happened.