I entered the hive of child-ghosts slowly with a faint smile. It's always best to pretend there's nothing unusual. After all, they still think they're living children..holding each other on to this reality by re-enacting their tea-party play over and over..and drawing others in to strengthen their prison.
Jeremiah knew all of this. He smiled devilishly at me as he politely bade me to sit with him. Qli was sat beside him, pouring imaginary tea in an endless loop. The poor girl was reprogrammed.
We both knew the rules. As long as we pretended this game the ghosts would be placid.Break the rules..or at the worst try to leave..our souls would be trapped forever.
I brought my own teapot, which I handed to Qli. She looked up at me with silent pleading eyes that betrayed her measured smile.
Father brought his own tea box, a selection of deadly herbs. I chose the the hemlock. Not so bad-tasting as Socrates said. Qli dropped the herbs into the steaming pot. During the conversation that followed I watched the poison steep from the corner of my eye.
He asked about my friends..intimating he knew enough to capture any them, as he had with Lumina. He let slip something that almost made me dive across the table to wring his neck and spell my doom. He told me my first reanimation was a test to see if his clone was a Seventh Son. The poisoned shed was his first laboratory. Had I failed in the projected time he would have let me die with Sumalee. I asked if he had revived two lives at the same time when he was but sixteen, including an heir to the Mason Legacy and estate. He nearly crushed his teacup in his hand. Clearly, that factor was never anticipated in his experiment. That I could conceivably surpass him in skill and power on any chronological chart made me a threat to his plans for true immortality. We traded more barbs between our pleasantries. It was as much a test for him as me with his anger..and the serpents he willed to be deathly still.
"Doctors? The tea is ready.."
To Be Continued..