It nearly worked, until a bone-aching chill settled into the passenger seat of her car. Taking her right hand off the wheel, she held it over the cold spot. Gooseflesh prickled her arms and the hair stood up on the back of her neck.
“Grams?” She’d had visitations from her grandmother before, but those typically had been preceded by the smell of lavender. The thought of her grandmother, Rebecca Buchanan, caused her to touch the opal drop earrings that her grandmother had given her on her death bed.
Most of what she knew about spirits, and indeed about her own Wiccan spiritual path, had been learned at her Grandmother’s knee, much to her mother’s deep regret. Ellie had spent summers in Salem with her mother’s mother until she was fourteen, wildcrafting herbs in the hills behind her grandmother’s small cottage, celebrating esbats and sabbats with her grandmother’s coven, and living like a wild child on the beaches. Her Aunt Tabitha – Tabby to most – would visit during the summer as well, bringing with her all sorts of odd, eclectic people and what her Grandmother called new age nonsense. Tabby had been a magnet for spirits, however, so Grams had taught Ellie how to protect herself from their energy and influence. For the most part, spirits were benign, or confused, but some could be malicious.
Sitting in her car, feeling the bone deep chill of a presence from the other side right there in the passenger seat of her VW, she immediately created a sphere of protection around herself before opening up to try to sense the spirit.
A fury that was not hers swept over her, followed by an anguished wail, which rose and fell, Doppler-like, in the confines of the small car. As the sound faded, the wave of emotion vanished, the cold abruptly dissipated, and the colors of the world grew bright again.
Now what had that been about? It wasn’t as though she’d never felt spirits before. A couple of them had even been frightening. But usually those were tied to a particular location – and she had trouble imagining a haunt on a road in the middle of nowhere.
She held her hand over the passenger seat again, steeling herself against the contact, but felt absolutely nothing now. Whatever it was, whoever it was, had gone.
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