Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 18

Not good. It had lost interest in me for the time being and was going to snap at Mace until it managed to break the circle. All it needed was a hair’s width of a crack and it could get in. I couldn’t risk that.

I cupped my right hand and filled it with salt. Damn, but it stung when it hit those cuts. My eyes watered. I stepped forward and flung the salt at the ghost. The breeze caught most of it, but the spirit hissed in pain.

“When I tell you to run, I want you to get back to the graveyard as fast as you can,” I told Mace, pouring more salt into my stinging palm.

“What about you?” he asked.

“I can save myself tonight, thanks.” I closed my fist around the salt and drew back my arm, “Now run!”

He didn’t argue, he just did what he was told, which actually kind of surprised me. Not too many people would trust that I knew what I was doing. Or maybe he just wanted to get the hell out of there.

I flung the salt just as the ghost reared back to give chase. The tiny grains got caught up in the wind, and barely grazed the spirit. It wasn’t enough to scatter it, but just enough to piss it off. Great. It whipped around, gathering itself into a vaguely humanoid form. I couldn’t tell if it was male or female, and right then it didn’t matter. I barely had enough time to pour more salt into my palm as it lunged. Instead of throwing the salt, I wrapped my fist around it, drew back, and punched the ghost in the “face.” The force of the blow reverberated all the way up my arm. It was like hitting a brick wall. My fist opened and salt poured out.

The ghost hung suspended in the air for a second and then exploded into black dust and salt shrapnel. I turned my head to protect my eyes and caught the blast on the cheek. Ouch.

I didn’t waste any time, either. I’d only wounded the thing. It wouldn’t take it long to regroup and come after us again, and this time it would be really mad. I didn’t want to face that kind of anger with nothing more than a can of kitchen salt and cute shoes. I ran.

The rope ladder was harder to go up than down, and my bloody hands didn’t make it any easier. Neither did the pounding of my heart. I was going to die of a heart attack if I didn’t get to hallowed ground quick.

Mace waited for me on the Fairfield side of the wall and helped me down from the tree. It wasn’t until I was on the ground that I realized how badly I was shaking.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

I nodded. My teeth were chattering.

He grabbed my hands and turned them palms up. “Shit.”

“I’ll be f-fine. We g-gotta go.”

We ran to the car. I honestly didn’t know how I managed it on my wobbly legs. Mace practically shoved me into the passenger seat. I was still fumbling with my seat belt when we tore out of there, headed back to Kevin’s.

“You saw it, right?” he demanded. Other than being pale and a little wild-eyed he’d come out of this in surprisingly good shape. I’d seen grown men turn into bawling babies in the presence of lesser specters. “What was it?”

I leaned back in my seat. My heart was finally slowing down. “I don’t know,” I told him, looking at my bloody hands. “But for all our sakes, I’d better find out.”


Lark was in trouble. I could feel it.

“They should be back by now,” Ben stated, watching out the window at the night. He sat at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. It smelled really good. Lark let me have coffee with her sometimes. It smelled better than it tasted. He took a drink, then turned to look at his friends. “Shouldn’t they?” He was worried about Lark—I could feel it. Did he have a crush on my sister?

Kevin rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. He was worried, too. The light above his head reflected in his glasses, preventing me from seeing his eyes. “They’ve only been gone half an hour.”

Gage helped himself to the box of donuts that sat on the table. “Think they went to the asylum?”

“They’d have to climb the tree,” Roxi remarked.

My sister had not been dressed for tree climbing.

“In those shoes?” Sarah shook her head. “I should have lent Lark my sneakers.”

The bunch of them traded looks that increased my anxiety. I had promised Lark that I would stay there so she didn’t have to worry about me, but that didn’t seem like such a good idea anymore. I wanted to go to her. I knew better, though. Despite my worry, it wouldn’t have been a good idea for me to suddenly show up where she was. I would attract more ghosts. Lark and I together could possibly attract them all if we didn’t take precautions, for which we didn’t have the provisions on hand. In my wanting to help I might have only made things worse.

Like I had in Bell Hill.

Still, if I couldn’t go to her, I could reach out. “Normal” twins often had an incredible bond, but Lark and I weren’t normal—at least not in the common sense. Most humans were bound to the earth by the physical anchor of their bodies. Ghosts were often bound by their remains. There wasn’t much left of me in that little grave, but Lark’s body was made up of the same DNA, making her body almost like my own, which was why I could possess her so easily—and how I could find her without really trying. All I had to do was let go of the place I was in and let my consciousness (because, really, that was almost all I was in this world, along with some potent energy) reach out to the one that was the most like mine.

Something brushed up against me—not physically, of course. It was like another consciousness rustling against mine. Just a tickle and then it was gone. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t care. Probably just another ghost. Maybe one near my sister.

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