Episode Three: Her Ladyship: Scene 22

Two weeks and school started again. The truce was all I could do. If they came and shot up the school…

I’d have to disappear for sure at that point. Probably leave the city. We sat around the table at the group home. I’d moved back in, because things had now been quiet for a week or so. “So, I think Kanesha was right and that horribly cliched hold-up really was a test.”

Thea pursed her lips. “It certainly seemed insanely coincidental, didn’t it. I’ve found out more about Her Ladyship, though. Baroness Maria Lenton. From a family with rumored occult connections for many generations. Noted mostly as a diviner.”

That spell probably had been a recipe. “So, she got her hands on this prophecy and what, gave it to the wrong people?”

“They’re her people. The Lentons have been handling…dangerous occult items and people for, again, generations. You got on the list.”

I sighed. “We’re supposed to be on the same side. Aren’t we? I mean, I’m all for handling dangerous items and people.”

“It depends how. The Lentons prefer to destroy what might remotely be dangerous. Maria Lenton seems mellow, but she’s older. And her son will take over and he’s a piece of work.” Thea sighed. “At least we know exactly which batch of crazies we’re dealing with.”

“The son’s a piece of work?”

“Likes to go around exorcising ghosts that are perfectly happy where they are, for starters.” She rolled her eyes.

“If I was a ghost…hrm. Well, I suppose some of them would be.” I hadn’t encountered any ghosts yet. Knowingly.

“I know somebody who can help with them. And it might…” She considered. “I’m trying to think what’s best for you to learn.”

“Guns. I’m really good at hand-to-hand and swords, mediocre at guns. And…how to better spot threats.” I looked at Thea. “I’m equipped to do the kind of thing they do and I think I know how to do it without going over the top.”

“But do you want to?”

“Yes,” I answered firmly. “As long as I can hold this truce with the Lentons. Maybe if they see me doing good work, they’ll leave me alone.”

“Maria Lenton will. I’m really not so sure about Barnabas.”

I snorted my drink. “Barnabas? No wonder he has issues.”

“His daughter’s worse. Heliconia Isabel Lenton.”

“Hel…what, that her mother’s favorite flower or something?”
Kanesha giggled. “That is a silly name, and it doesn’t even shorten except to hell, which is either where bad people go when they die or a goddess of death.”

“She’s a goddess of death,” I said without thinking. “I think the other term came from that.” I had no clue whether that was a real memory or something I’ve read, but the thought of the name made me shiver slightly.


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