The Trespassing of Souls, p.1M S C Barnes
The Trespassing of Souls
By M.S.C. Barnes
The Trespassing of Souls
Copyright©: M.S.C.Barnes 2015
Published: 26 December 2015
Publisher: Stone Circle Publishing
The right of M.S.C Barnes to be identified as author of this Work has been asserted by M.S.C. Barnes in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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Table of Contents
Second Day Nerves
It Gets Worse
Labyrinths and Doors
Bats and Squirrels
A Question of Age
Dryads and Hellhounds
Believing is Seeing
Sticks and Stones
The Five Springs
Through the Door
Souls and Trespassers
Failure and Allies!
A Quiet Word
Nearly All Together!
A Surprise for Zach
A Father Figure
Souls and Spirits
The Ancient Place
A Time to Sleep
Into the Darkness
Circles and Summons
Retake Them All
Guilt and Power
Give up the Ghost
A Mind's Power
Revelations and Revenge
Just a Body
A Binding Pledge
Things to Come
The Question to End
Second Day Nerves
Seb’s mum had made him pancakes with ice cream for breakfast. She knew he wasn’t happy, but then he rarely was. Mostly, Seb Thomas was troubled.
This morning was particularly troubling. It was day two at his new upper school and day one hadn’t gone well.
Socially, Seb had struggled through lower and middle school. With the exception of one friend, to all his other classmates he was either invisible, or the focus of ridicule and derision.
He started the new school with this one friend, Zach, and guiltily admitted, only to himself, that he felt resentment at the friendship. Zach, like Seb, was highly intelligent and into ancient wonders, gods, mysteries and mythical beasties. Naturally they were drawn to each other. Seb, however, couldn’t compete with Zach’s overconfident, extrovert character. He felt eclipsed and dominated by him but was forced to cling to their friendship or face total solitude.
So on that miserable Thursday morning he ate his pancakes, as the ice cream gradually melted, with a lump in his throat and a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. Yesterday morning had been so different, full of excitement at the new start, new possibilities, freedom from the invisible Seb at middle school; a chance to be someone new. Today the gloss had been taken off that hope. He hadn’t managed to make one new friend. He had been with Zach the whole day and couldn’t bring himself to speak to any of their new classmates. He was left feeling it was all going horribly wrong and he was going to be as sad and out of place at this new school as he had been at his last.
He felt a burst of adrenaline, the stomach-churning feeling of trepidation. To the sound of his mother barking instructions at his younger brother, Seb scooted out of the door.
Brooding clouds gathered overhead.
His sister sat smugly in the front seat of the car. She loved school, made friends easily, loved the novelty of new class timetables and had travelled home from her first day at the school full of stories of the friends she had already made.
Scarlet was extrovert, organised, keen where Seb was introverted, chaotic, reluctant. They had started at the new school together in the same year and, as always, people guessed incorrectly that they were twins. In fact, Seb was ten months younger than Scarlet but their birthdays fell in the same academic year which consigned him to a school career living in his capable, gregarious sister’s shadow.
He scowled at the snooty smile she gave him and clambered into the back of the car, dropping his water bottle onto the seat. It tipped over, leaking onto his trousers. He wiped them with a tissue which disintegrated and smeared white, flaky deposits over the black material.
The journey to school passed quietly. As the few miles rolled by, Seb’s nervousness grew.
The eight o’clock news came on and his mum turned the radio down. She habitually protected her children from news stories, not wishing them to hear about stabbings, bomb blasts or other tragedies.
Seb remembered his horror the first time he heard about a bombing. His mum had been too slow to turn the radio down, distracted by his then baby brother vomiting the majority of his morning milk over his car seat. The news story told of an explosion in a country called Iraq, in a city Seb couldn’t pronounce. It had happened in a crowded market area and women and children were among the forty killed.
Whilst the young Seb drew comfort from the fact this hadn’t happened in England, he wasn’t sure exactly how much. His internal world map didn’t contain the detail of where Iraq was and he had to check on his illuminating globe when he got home. He had been pleased at the distance of that country from England but now a hazy darkness had crept into his consciousness. Up until that point the world had been a safe, innocent place. Now he had been introduced to some of the nasty things that could happen and that people could do to each other.
They arrived at the school approach road and their mum parked on the avenue of oak trees leading to the main gates.
Seb struggled with his heavy bags, which seemed to be so much bigger than everyone else’s. Scarlet was shouting at him. She had seen a new friend nearing the school entrance and wanted to join her but knew she couldn’t get away with simply abandoning her nuisance brother. She edged away from the car. Their younger brother bawled that she was going without him and chased after her. Everyone could hear the Thomas family, strung out in a noisy procession: Scarlet shouting and waving to her friend, their little brother crying and their mum calling to him, running behind with his raincoat flapping in her hand. Seb, embarrassed, scowled and followed, holding his head down.
Seb struggled to catch up with Scar
A booming voice shouted, “Halt, mortal, and be identified!”
Peering into the gloom of the corridor, Seb saw a set of bright white teeth shining from a dark face, framed by a head of tightly curled black hair. Zach!
“I heard you coming, your feet stomped so much.” Seb tried to sound unflustered.
Zach threw his head back and laughed a loud, outrageous laugh that rebounded along the corridor and must have travelled into every room off it.
Seb was horrified. “Shh! We’ll get into trouble.”
Zach put his arm around Seb’s shoulders and continued laughing. “I’ve been here ages, what took you so long?”
“I thought you’d be in the playground. Come on, we’ll be late now,” Seb said.
He moved towards the exit, wishing to goodness Zach would take his arm off his shoulders. He knew he should be grateful to have a friend, but Zach was already acting the fool and drawing attention to them both. They would never make new friends.
“Wow, it got sunny quickly!” Zach boomed, staring at the light shining through the exit door.
“Shh, Zach, there might be teachers in the classrooms.”
Zach’s arm at last fell from Seb’s shoulders as he stepped round and walked backwards. “I see no Keep Quiet signs. I see no teachers,” he raised his head. “I do see a fraidy-cat friend though,” he carried on, bellowing out the words as a door behind him opened, “who needs to lighten up.”
Seb stopped dead, staring beyond Zach’s shoulder to where a large figure had stepped from the classroom door between the boys and the exit. In silhouette it looked like a giant – an ogre! Its head only cleared the ceiling by about six inches; its hulking frame filled half the width of the corridor. It was making a
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