CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE
“Is that why Tink’s mom killed herself?” Noelle asked.
Edie, Delphie, Ivy, and Fin looked at Noelle for a moment, but didn’t respond. Delphie sighed.
“The truth is that we will never know why she did this horrible thing,” Delphie said. “We only know that her energy field was full of darkness and her protective barriers were faulty. In most cases, the person does this to themselves.”
“The mind turns to darkness,” Fin nodded
“There is a lot of darkness in this world,” Abi said. “As always, there is more light, but if you seek the dark what you find is the dark.”
“Lilith’s mind was set on killing herself long before she got in the car to come here,” Delphie said. “Long before she was standing at our gate.”
“Are we getting rid of her ghost?” Noelle asked. “I can do it. I did it at the school.”
“Have you heard your Uncle Jacob talk about ghosts?” Abi asked with a laugh.
“Jacob sent her on the moment she left her body,” Delphie said. “I will tell you that she did not want to go. If he hadn’t been here, we would have had a serious haunting on our hands.”
“Why didn’t she want to go?” Ivy asked.
“Jacob said that she didn’t want to leave without Tink,” Delphie said.
The children gasped and the adults looked sad.
“Now you know,” Sandy said.
“Brother Jacob is very strong,” Fin said. “He pushed her through the hole and slammed the door. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Have you heard him rant on the arrogance of ghosts?” Delphie asked in imitation of Abi’s question.
“I have,” Fin said, with a laugh. “Let’s just say that that he is committed.”
They laughed at Fin’s joke.
“What are we doing?” Nash asked again.
“The moment she violently killed herself she sent all of that dark energy out from her like an explosion,” Edie said. “There’s dark energy all over the room.”
“Because Jacob and I, well really Jacob, fixed one room at a time,” Delphie said, “each room is energetically separate. That means that most of her energy is contained in this room.”
“But some did?” Sandy asked.
“That’s what the fairies will work on,” Delphie said. “They can see it with their naked eyes.”
“Why haven’t they done it then?” Nash asked.
“We need to clean it all at once or it goes from here to there and back to here and then over there,” Edie said. “You will start on the outer edges of the room and move inward. We will start from the room and head out.”
“I am leaving my sprite with you,” Abi said gesturing to the large stone. “She can see the dark energy so she’ll help you make sure you didn’t miss anything.”
“What are the fires for?” Aden asked and pulled at his shirt.
“I know it’s hot,” Delphie said. “But don’t change your clothing. Nash, pull down your sleeves. You don’t want this on your skin.”
“Even though you will take salt scrub showers when you’re done,” Edie said.
“And we’ll sage,” Delphie said.
“You don’t want to risk skin to skin contact with this,” Edie said. She pointed to a box of gloves. “Please put these on.”
“The fires clear the air,” Delphie said. “Fire, salt, sage — Powerful cleaning agents.”
“First we salt the doorways,” Ivy said.
She grabbed a cardboard container of salt for herself and gave one to Noelle and Nash.
“Do every one throughout the whole building, just in case,” Delphie said. “We don’t want to energy to move from room to room. This will hold it in place.”
Nash ran to the front door where he poured a thick line of salt in a line on the threshold. Ivy was working on the kitchen while Noelle got the stairwells. When they were done, Ivy went upstairs to work and Noelle knocked on Honey’s door. When Noelle explained to Honey what she was doing, Honey grabbed her salt, set Maggie on her lap, and went to help out.
“We’ll get started then,” Abi said.
Abi and Edie shrank to the size of fireflies. Fin turned into a gargoyle before shrinking down. They disappeared.
“Nash, would you mind carrying the sprite to the coffee table in there?” Delphie asked.
Nash picked up the stone.
“Hey, that’s really heavy,” Nash said. “How did Katy …?”
“The sprite grew when Abi asked her to help,” Delphie said.
Grunting, Nash hefted the stone over to the table. Delphie lit a bundle of herbs and gave it to Sandy. She lit another and gave it to Aden. She lit another bundle and gave it to Nash.
“This is sage from our garden,” Delphie said. “The smoke will cleanse negative energy inside your aura. We will do this for us before and after we are done. Start with yourselves.”
Having done this before, Aden started with Sandy and Nash used the sage stick on Delphie. Aden waved his sage stick over Sandy’s head and then moved the smoking bundle down her body. He got her feet before doing the same thing on her back. He finished by using the smoke on the bottom of each of her feet. She did the same to him. They waited for Nash and Delphie to finish for more instructions.
“Okay, the idea is that we’re going to clear out the negative energy,” Delphie said. “And then add back positive energy.”
“We’ve done this before,” Aden said. “How is this different?”
“The darkness is stickier,” Delphie said. “It may not shift to sage. If that’s the case, then we will clap.”
“Clap?” Aden asked.
“It’s a noise that breaks up energy,” Delphie said. She went to a wall and clapped. “See how the sound changes as I keep doing it? That’s the energy breaking up. If you get stuck, just call me.”
“What are you going to do?” Nash asked.
“I’m going to make sure there’s no negative spirits or demons hiding out here,” Delphie said. “I’ll also be able to guide you with my third eye.”
Nash and Aden gave Delphie uncomfortable looks while Sandy crossed herself.
“Go on,” Delphie said with a wave of her hand.
Delphie sat down on the couch and fell into a deep trance.
“Uh,” Nash said. “Delphie?”
Delphie opened her eyes.
“What should I do?” Nash asked.
“Oh, good point,” Delphie said. It might have been the heat but she seemed to blush. “Can you take a spraybottles? Aden, you too. They have salt water inside. Just spray them in the corners. Because you’re tall, you should get the ceiling corners. But be warned, sometimes things jump out at you.”
“Good to know,” Aden said.
“Jump out?” Nash asked. “And you’re telling us now?”
“The sprite and the fire will take care of them,” Delphie said. She smiled. “Don’t worry. You are protected.”
Sandy pointed to how the fire had created a vacuum and was now effectively drawing the air from the room through the fire and out the chimney. Ivy ran into the room. Delphie gave Ivy and Sandy a bundle of sage from the pockets of her dress. Aden used his smoking sage bundle to clean Ivy’s energy. Noelle came in the room right afterwards. Ivy lit her sage and cleaned Noelle and Nash used his sage bundle to clear Honey’s energy when she rolled into the room.
“Maggie?” Sandy asked.
“She wanted to play with everyone at Valerie’s apartment,” Honey said.
“Oh great,” Delphie said. “Can you do the middle, Honey? We’ll have the children get the lower portion of the wall and the floor.”
“Got it,” Honey said.
To Honey’s surprise, Delphie gave her a spray bottle.
“Salt water,” Sandy said under her breath.
Honey nodded, but the look on her face clearly said that she had no idea what she was doing.
“Go on,” Delphie said, again, with a wave of her hand.
Aden lit Sandy’s sage bundles. They stood in place for a moment before Aden shrugged.
“We may as well start,” Aden said. “Please — be careful with the lit end. You’ll get a nasty burn.”
“We know, Dad,” Noelle said.
Grinning at Noelle’s sassy voice, Sandy gave Aden a sympathetic touch on his arm. He said in a low voice, “Dad.” Aden was struggling with Noelle’s shift from calling him “Daddy” to “Dad.” Sandy smiled at him.
“Get to work,” Aden said.
Sandy laughed at him and went to sage a wall. They waved the sage around the walls until the air was grey with smoke.
“There! There!” The little sprite, now sitting in Honey’s lap, was pointing in a corner. Nash and Aden aimed their salt water sprays at that corner. Everyone in the room stopped moving when the dark force jumped off the wall in their direction.
The darkness was the stuff of nightmares. It was shaped somewhere between a human shadow on a bright day and the vague outline of a hole in the ground. When the children clapped, the spirit moved back.
“Delphie!” Noelle yelled.
“What do we do?” Ivy asked.
The sprite started screaming in some other language. Horrified everyone stopped in place.
“Sandy!” Honey yelled.
Honey pulled a can of hairspray from a pocket in her wheelchair. Sandy held up a hand and Honey threw the can of hairspray in her direction. Sandy caught the hairspray and Sandy grabbed the lighter. Sandy lit the stream of hairspray Honey was holding and then her own. Honey pointed behind the creature and Sandy nodded.
Honey rushed the creature and Sandy went behind him. The moment the fire hit the dark energy, Delphie screamed “BE GONE!” at the same moment the sprite screamed something in a foreign language.
The dark creature seemed to shrink with the fire.
“She’s going to jump!” Delphie screamed from her spot on the couch. “Use the salt!”
Ivy grabbed the tin of salt. She tipped it over and poured the rest of its contents into Noelle’s hands. Noelle ran to the creature.
“Okay,” Sandy yelled. “We’ll move away. One, two, three — throw it!”
“Spray it into the fire!” Delphie screamed. “Nash! Aden!”
Aden and Nash ran toward the door. They squirted a thick stream saltwater at the dark energy. With the sea salt falling from above and the saltwater from the side, the dark energy recoiled directly into the fire. There was an eerie squeal as the dark energy melted into the logs. The fire flared up for a good minute before it died to a normal level.
The silence was deafening. They panted to catch their breath.
“How is it?” Honey dared to ask.
“We are clear,” Delphie said.
“Sprite?” Honey asked the creature in the crystal on her lap.
“Show me!” the Sprite said.
Aden lifted the crystal from Honey’s lap. He carried her along every wall, the ceiling, and the floor, as well as every piece of furniture in the room. He’d just set the Sprite into Honey’s lap when the tiny fairies arrived.
“Gone,” the Sprite said.
Everyone cheered. The fairies voices grew in size as their bodies grew. Delphie slowly came out of her trance. They congratulated each other with great cheer.
“Shower!” Nash called as he started toward the door.
“We’re not done!” Delphie said.
“We’re not?” Nash asked. “Oh right, I need to be saged.”
“No,” Delphie said. “Well, you do, but that’s not it.”
They all turned to look at Delphie.
“We need to add back positive energy,” Delphie said. “If we leave this room sterile, any old kind of energy can come in here. We need to add back positive, optimistic energy.”
“That’s what the sweet grass is for!” Edie said in an excited voice. “I wondered when you asked for it.”
“We light the sweet grass,” Delphie said with a nod. “But first … Let’s create a circle. Abi, will you lead us?”
Delphie held out her hands. Ivy and Noelle took them. Sandy took Ivy’s hand and Nash took Sandy’s free hand. Edie took Nash’s hand and Aden held out his hand to Edie. She smiled at him and took his hand with one hand and Honey’s with her other hand. Fin took Honey’s hand and kissed the back of it.
“What’s that for?” Honey asked.
“Because I can,” Fin said with a smile.
He took Ivy’s hand to complete the circle. Abi went to the center of the circle.
“Close your eyes, please,” Abi said. “I will lead you on a quick meditation.”
She waited for everyone’s eyes to close.
“Please take three deep breaths,” Abi said. “Don’t hurry. We will wait. Breathe in the sage smoke.”
She waited in silence until she saw everyone begin to calm.
“We live in a time of great change,” Abi said. “You must call upon your ancestors for their wisdom and power. Even if you cannot see them, they are here with you when you call. Call to your guardians — angels and others who are here to care for you. They are here to help you live your very best life.”
“Now,” Abi’s voice slowed, “think of all that you love — a moment when you noticed the wonder of this world, a beloved child or friend, a time when you were rescued from fear or pain. Allow yourself to fill with this feeling.”
Abi fell silent as she watched over each of them. She saw the spirits of each of their ancestors standing just behind each of them. She watched the angels, guides, and other unseen loving creatures collect around the circle. She nodded to some she knew and sent a welcoming smile to those she didn’t. When the light around each of them was bright and warm, Abi continued.
“I hold in my hand a globe of light,” Abi held her hand out. “It is empty of all energy. Send me your light.”
A ball of light began to grow in her hand. When it was the size of a Swiss exercise ball, she said: “You may open your eyes.”
They took a collective gasp at the golden ball in Abi’s hand. Abi clapped her hands and the golden light flew through them to the walls, ceiling, and floor.
“Wow,” Noelle whispered to Ivy, who nodded.
“Sweet grass,” Delphie said.
She passed out a piece of sweet grass to everyone there. They lit the sweet grass and used the smoke to seal in the warm yellow light of love. When they were done, they were covered in dust, dirt, and smudged with ash and happy none the less. The light of their golden energy glowed in every heart. They saged each other one last time before taking salt scrub showers. Sandy found Delphie standing in the middle of the room.
“How do you think it went?” Sandy asked Delphie.
Delphie looked worried.
“What bothers you?” Sandy asked.
“I don’t know what that thing was,” Delphie said.
“Do you need to know?” Sandy asked. “Seems to me that it’s gone and good riddance.”
“Yes, I’m sure you’re right,” Delphie said.
She patted Sandy’s shoulder and the woman walked out of the room. Delphie shot the room one last worried look before leaving to take her shower.
Tuesday night — 9:37 p.m. ET
Untermeyer Fountain, Central Park
New York City, New York
“Tink!” Ramona said and held up a cup of hot chocolate.
Seeing Sissy’s friend from the ballet academy, Tink climbed down from the ladder they were using to film the night’s dance. They were standing on the outer circular pathway around the Untermeyer Fountain in Central Park. Tink took the cup from Ramona and smiled in thanks. Ramona nodded in reply. They turned to watch the dancers get ready to dance. Sissy, Melinda, and a principal dancer from another company were getting ready to replicate the three dancing women of the fountain.
“She’s really good,” Ramona said.
“Sissy?” Tink asked as she blew on her hot chocolate.
“Those other women are principals at other dance companies,” Ramona said. “Sissy’s not exactly as great as they are…”
“She holds her own,” Tink said.
“She was always a lot better than the rest of us,” Ramona said. “She’s sixteen, right?”
Tink nodded. Ramona sighed. Sissy and the other dancers laughed at something Ivan had said. Outside of Charlie, who was standing on another ladder with a camera on it, they were the only people at the fountain. As soon as they started broadcasting people would arrive. These dance parties had become so popular that Ivan had been asked to keep the events under two hours. Sissy had used this to convince Ivan to have an event on a “weekday.”
“Hey, I wanted to ask you something,” Ramona said. Afraid the question was about her family, Tink tensed up. “I wonder if you know why Sissy won’t come back to school.”
“What do you mean?” Tink asked.
“She’s supposed to do a check-in,” Ramona said, leaning in so Tink could hear her. “You know, just a simple — ‘How are you?’ and a little dance. Melinda’s supposed to do it.”
Ramona nodded to the woman dancing with Sissy right now.
“They’ve scheduled them a couple of times. Three times, I guess,” Ramona said.
Tink turned to look at Ramona.
“Sissy doesn’t show up,” Ramona said. “I heard Melinda ask Ivan about it and he says that he won’t force her. I mean, after all the bullshit last year, I don’t blame Sissy. It’s just…”
The music, the cameras turned on, and the three women began the dance to replicate the three women in the fountain. Tink and Ramona watched in rapt attention.
“She’s so good,” Ramona said.
Nodding, Tink took a drink of her hot chocolate.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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