Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mother's Night III

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"Jeez.  I have to remember to roll with the fall, like Father taught me."  Noir shook his head, remembering pieces of his childhood.  "If jumping down hills to catch sheep, roll with the fall don't break your neck, or 'don't go breaking bones, no money for that now,' as he used to say."

Noir smirked at that.  He then began to frown, realizing he couldn't see a thing.  It was dark down where he fell.  A basement?

The necromancer put out a tentative hand, feeling the ground around him.  Cold dirt.  Rocks.  Pieces of glass.  Ash with charcoal.

He took his time to climb to his knees, kneeling in place.  He tried to decide how to figure out how high of space he had.  "Also have to think about that Hive-geist too, might be able to haunt down here too."

"Such 'tis the Children's limits, they are bound above but never below."  

The voice of the Christmas spirit startled Noir.  Its light caused him to almost knock over a set of nearby shelves.  She stooped down, her head and shoulders bent enough to keep her from hitting the lower ceiling of the basement.  For Noir, however, the ceiling wasn't too high.

"Subtle isn't you, is it?"  Noir asked her, as he tried to get control over his frightened heart rate.

She ignored his words and pointed at the shelves around them.  Some of them had burns, but most were intact and covered in books and photos.  Noir followed her long nailless finger to a cracked black-and-white photo.  He picked up the cracked picture frame, the glass split into three large chunks.

"You wanted me to see this huh?"  Noir studied the photo.  "I imagine you can't or won't be more specific.  You need me to fix it.  I don't understand exactly what you are, but I think this night is important to your powers.

"And this place..."

The photo was a picture of the house they stood in, before it had burned.  Noir couldn't guess at the exact year, but it looked like it was from around World War I or the 1920s by the dress of the people in it.  The house was on a dirt road, with a yard and looked complete.  A gaggle of two dozen children stood in front of the house, with three adults next to them- two women and a taller man in a white suit.  All looked stern.  At the bottom of the frame, the only words remaining were:

White's Home For Abandoned Children.

The Christmas Spirit nodded at him.  She motioned a hand, her face studying his.

"Ah.  This explains a lot more.  This was an orphanage then."  Noir started to look at books, opening and closing them, coughing at the dust.  "This records might be handy, but nothing useful if it isn't from the Children themselves.

"Spirit, because I don't have a better name for you, this place, did it burn on this same night long ago?  Did all these children die in a fire on Christmas Eve?"  Noir imagined the maddening horror of that from the orphaned children's point of view.  Eternally never getting to have Christmas day.  Always being denied that, it must have driven them crazy.  Every year knowing that and still being stuck in this place.

No response.  Noir decided to take that for a yes. She'd slap him if he'd been wrong.

"My mistake before was that spell.  It might helped that part of the poltergeist, but the rest of them didn't like being ignored or left behind.  Being here this long they've all contaminated each other, their roots and essences blending together.  I just threw a rock at a bee hive."

Noir paused when he heard the sound of cars pulling up and stopping outside the house.  The light around him vanished.  That left Noir to guess that the Christmas spirit was gone.

"Great, have to try and fix a hoard of Children ghosts who died on Christmas Eve, who've spent a century or so never getting to open their presents.  I have to figure out how to help them through that.  What else could possibly go wrong?  Do the police need to show up and cuff me or something now?"