They'd told me of Miss Hermit's visits--what she had brought, and what she allowed them to do. While I wouldn't, couldn't allow them to possess me again, Evie and Sofie seemed grateful for what I was doing. The others...well, they mostly kept their distance, and I couldn't really think of anything to do for them, but neither were they hostile toward me.
About a month ago, Evie asked me to take out the doll Miss Hermit had brought, and move her around according to her soft directions. While I was doing that, I got an idea. While I am, at best, an indifferent seamstress, I have made doll's clothes in the past. So, over the next several days, I created a small gown, patterned after one of my own. The result certainly wouldn't win any awards, but the delight in Evie's small voice when I showed it to her was reward enough. I've created a few more dresses, and store them in a small box in the graveyard, so Evie, through me, can play dressup with them.
The date of her birth is coming up soon, and I'd planned on bringing her a male doll, so that we could play at dances and balls with them. I thought she'd like that.
But now...I'm not sure when we'll be able to do that.
I usually pause at the entrance to the graveyard, to see if they want me to come in. This evening, though, I was distracted by thoughts of the Athenaeum, and simply walked right in. Almost immediately, Sofie and Evie flashed into view on either side of me.
"Danger!" came the urgent call from Evie. "Shields!" That was from Sofie. I touched my mental shields, strengthening them as much as I could. And not before time, as I suddenly felt a hammering blow against them that staggered me physically. I stood there for a few seconds in absolute shock, unable to understand what was happening.
I could practically feel the effort Sofie put into making herself heard over the strikes that continued to rattle against my shields. "New spirit...dangerous...ask Hermit..."
Daniel and Mac suddenly came into view before me, looking for all the world as if they were trying to keep something from coming at me. The mental assault lessened, and Daniel cast a glance back at me. "Leave!"
I turned and fled the graveyard.
Outside, on the other side of the wards Zac had set up, I turned and looked back. Evie and Sofie were still visible, and Sofie gave me a wave that seemed apologetic. I waved back, and came back to my room for some soothing tea.
It's good to know, I suppose, that my training has progressed enough to give me protection when needed. But what a way to discover that!
I shall certainly have to seek out Miss Hermit tomorrow.