Occurrences of Otherworldly Nature: Part Fourteen

Ainsley.

   Diantha called me at eleven in the morning the day after we encountered the spirit. I was more glad than anything to know that she was alright, but she was all business from the second I said hello.

   “I made a list of things to discuss before we do anything else, starting with-,”

   “How you’re feeling this morning,” I interrupted, steering the conversation myself.

   Diantha sighed. “I’m doing much better this morning, actually. Still a bit shaken up, but more stable on my feet and in my lungs.”

   “I’m glad to hear that,” I smiled, breathing a sigh of relief. “Now we can get into your itinerary, as you so wish.”

   She chuckled and cleared her throat like a professor beginning a lecture. “Then let’s begin, shall we?”

Diantha.

   “I was wondering if we should include any more of our friends in this whole mess,” It was actually something I’d been thinking about for a while, especially since Mercedes knew from the start. “Chai is a fireball when it comes to fighting evil, and maybe that spicy pair Winston and Val could help us out.”

   “Oh my, yeah, Winston would love this,” He laughed, making everything feel like a party game as opposed to impending disaster. “He and Val would turn this whole thing into an election campaign to distract the student body while we banish the spirit or something.”

   “That’s not a bad idea at all. We might need a distraction sometime.”

   “I’ll keep them in mind, but I don’t think I want to involve them unless we have to. You get it right?”
  I leaned back on the couch, holding my list up so I could see it. “While we’re talking about our friends, I think we should schedule to talk to Mercedes about her magic, and if she even has the capability to help us be rid of this spirit.”

   “Agreed,” Ainsley replied. “She’s gotta be a goddess of healing at this point. Has she told you the story about when she healed a kid’s broken arm?”

   “Yeah, actually, that kid was Chai,” I heard Ainsley laugh through the phone. “No really! Chai fell down the stairs at the library we used to go to, and she had busted her arm by the time she reached the bottom. Mercy didn’t even flinch when she went and healed her, and nobody ever found out, not our parents or even the librarian. It was amazing.”

   “Okay, what’s next?”

   I skimmed my list. “Let’s see, oh! Have you heard about anything happening at Hawthorn, like things connected to the spirit?”

   “Nothing has happened as far as I know, besides the announcement I heard.”

   I thought back to when Ainsley told me about the announcement to the staff he overheard. “Maybe incidents are being swept under the rug.”

   “Like we’re not supposed to know this is even happening,” Ainsley scoffed. “We should look into it. What if we sent Winston to investigate for us? He’s the best charlatan in the school.”

   “You realize you just called him a fraud, right?”

   “I’m pretty sure the best world leaders are frauds at this point.”

   “You’ve got a point there.”

   Ainsley laughed. “I’ll tell him to do some talking with the administration when he gets a chance.”

   “Perfect,” I folded my list in half. “I think we need to talk about Salem before we make any more progress, especially because he caused all this in pursuit of research.”

   “You’re right,” said Ainsley. “He knew it would be dangerous and potentially more powerful than any magic he could use, yet he released the spirit anyway.”

   “Should he tell someone, like a professional magician?”

   Ainsley paused. “I don’t know,” He hesitated again. “I think he’ll probably tell someone at some point, but the fewer people he involves, the better we are.”

   I contemplated what he said. “Do you think he’s using all this for research? Like, everything we’re doing?”

   “If I were him, I would write a whole book about this. Make millions and maybe land a teaching job or something.”

   “That’s valid.”

   I looked over my notepad for a moment, noticing that we’d basically covered everything I’d planned to. “That’s all I guess,” I said, closing the notepad and tossing it aside. “Guess I’ll talk to you later. Let me know if you see or hear anything worth noting.”

   “I haven’t seen anything in years-,” Ainsley started abruptly, then stopped himself. “Sorry, but yeah I’ll let you know if anything comes up.”

   “Sounds good,” I hesitated. “Talk to you later Ainsley.”

   “See ya.”

   I hung up and set my phone in my lap, wondering about what Ainsley hadn’t seen in years.

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