“Horror’s not my thing,” I said, “Stepping out the front door of a Monday morning’s scary enough for me. Now, back to you young lady. When did you get sick and what happened?”
“I’m not sure. I was sick at school a few months ago and daddy had to fetch me and bring me home. I just got worse and worse until I couldn’t really get out of bed anymore. It feels like I’ve been in this room my entire life. I am going to die though, I know it,” tears spilled down her wan little face and I fished out a clean hanky and wiped them away.
“Don’t be daft, nothing wrong that we can’t fix.” Another lie.
“Wh-what is wrong with me?” she sniffed.
“Hold on-there,” I said while the Dead-Lights played over her, uncharacteristically gentle. It only took a few seconds for them to get to the source.
“Found it. This will sound funny to you, but you’ve got a little hole in your aura.”
“Aura? What’s that?”
“It protects you, like your skin protects your insides, only this protects your mind. Everyone has one. Imagine if you didn’t have any skin, your insides would be outside and you’d have to run around carrying them in a wheel-barrow,” I mimed this, puffing out my cheeks as though at the effort and she gave a weak giggle. I wasn’t aiming for a precise comparison, just something a child could get her head round.
“Your aura’s like that except it protects your thoughts, your feelings and keeps other folks thoughts out. You’ve got a tiny hole in yours. Not to worry though, I know just the person who can help you fix it.”
“Why can’t you do it? Why do I have a hole?”
We were getting onto sticky ground. She needed to know some truth, but not the whole truth which was that some sort of parasite had broken through her natural protection and was literally sucking the soul out of her. Why the parasite had picked her, how it had broken through and when it would finish her off was the million dollar question.
“I’m not a healer. But I know someone who is. She’s really nice, you’ll like her.”
And she would; everyone liked Ruby Fox, but Ruby like the rest of the psychic community didn’t like me. This appeared to be because of my little nocturnal hunting expeditions which they thought the height of immorality. I thought they were the pits of hypocrisy and we usually left our mutual loathing at that. But Ruby specialised in auras and healing and there was at least a chance she could restore Emma to health while I hunted the spirit that was killing her.
Stick to your strengths as my old mother might have said…