Chapter 6: THE NECROMANCER'S GREAT HALL
As Princess Kyrstin stood there trying to figure out what next to do, Brynn stood there looking about her at no less than ten spirits standing around the room, all looking back at her. Brynn could barely breathe as it took her several days, perhaps weeks, to be comfortable with the first spirit she came in contact with, a gentle soul named Jimmy, who was off with guards to find the rest of his bones. The second human spirit she saw (for she always saw the animal spirits of the game she killed for her meals) was of the Ex-Queen who told her important information they all needed to know about ruling the Kingdom of Springborough last night. While one of the spirits in the Great Hall was Queen Grace, the nine-or-so others were dressed either in house maiden clothes or as villagers. Either way, they all stared at Brynn as she stared similarly back.
“Brynn,” Queen Grace started, attracting the young girl’s attention, “these people heard of what you can do.”
Brynn stared at them, and they stared back. Spirits were seen through silhouettes of the people dressed just the same as the day they died. The only thing that wasn’t see-through, from what Brynn could tell, were the spirit’s eyes. Those were the same as if the person were alive. When a spirit had its eyes closed, it was one hundred percent transparent. But, with eyes open, Brynn felt as if she could almost feel its vision on her. And as she glanced about the room of all these newcomers to her life, she could feel the desperation and hope emanating from them. She even felt bad feeling none of that in return, rather she was three parts curious to their plights to one part annoyed that there were so many, and this was obviously going to be a big part of her day when all she wanted to do was to find her parents.
“It is good to meet you all,” Brynn said, hiding her apprehension at getting this way of life started.
“What?” Princess Kyrstin asked from over by her brother and his pile of old, human bones.
“Oh, uh-“ Brynn started, realizing that to Kyrstin, the room was empty save for Dominic the guard, Patrick, the Bear and Brynn. Kyrstin couldn’t see the crowd of dead people. “I have guests.”
Kyrstin furrowed her brow at first, at this new girl having guests in the castle. But then she understood, smiled the awkward smile of someone who’d never fully understand, and nodded, getting back to what she could focus on, but making sure to keep an eye on Brynn.
“Just make sure they don’t steal anything,” Kyrstin quipped and smiled, turning back to Dominic and Patrick. Brynn smiled back, realizing that while surrounded, she felt alone.
“What do they want?” Brynn asked Queen Grace, noticing that the other three living people in the Great Hall were trying not to notice what appeared to be Brynn talking to herself.
“Restless spirits cannot move on. They cannot join their ancestors in the Great Beyond until their human plights are finally finished. These people are some of the spirits that reside near the castle of Springborough that need your help so they can exit limbo, Brynn the Necromancer.”
Brynn looked at the spirits. Three of them were men about the same age as her father, two of them were children about Brynn’s age, there were two grandmothers, and two women who seemed to just stare at the floor. Brynn had no idea where to start in the matter, but she knew that, with everything going on at the current moment, it would be hard for her to break away and help these people (er, Spirits, she mentally corrected herself) as the royal children dealt with the matters at hand, and she and JJ were guests. She also felt that Jage wanted to get back to Quakenfalls as soon as possible as he had not been home for a couple months. Not that it was much of a home.
“I do think that our most pressing concern is your plight, Queen Grace, and figuring out what happened to you.”
“I was murdered,” the Queen replied, rather directly. “We know what happened to me. These are my people, Brynn. These are the people of Springborough who used their lives to make the Kingdom a better place. And I would appreciate it if you helped them move on with their existence. I have only been dead a day, some of these spirits have been dead decades. Could you imagine being dead decades with no one to talk to? No one to help you? Please see the unacceptability in this matter, child, and help them.”
Brynn looked back at Kyrstin who, without Brynn noticing, had gained two more guards and was giving them orders. Brynn looked down to the pile of bones on the ground that Patrick had brought in. She chewed on the inside of her cheek, deep in thought.
“Well, then, first things first,” Brynn said, with more confidence than she actually felt. “Who is the owner of the bones resting over there by Princess Kyrstin and Prince Patrick’s feet? Who is the owner of the skeleton that attacked a member of the royal family in the same room in which he sleeps? Outside in that barn?”
All the spirits found a spot on the floor to focus on. None of them glanced at Brynn or at the pile of bones to which she was pointing out. The Queen looked on the situation with a semblance of when she once ruled over the Kingdom. Her chin remained high in the air, her hands clasped in front of her, a royal robe draped down her back which turned almost invisibly transparent at her feet.
“You want me to help you,” Brynn continued. “Well, that is a two way street. I will not help the spirits of Springborough until the questions of the royal children are answered. Quid pro quo as our ancestors said. This for that. When one of you answers the question I have put forth on whose bones it was that attacked Patrick, I will help that person move on with their spiritual beings. I know whoever owns the bones over there has to be around, for that is how it works, is it not? The fact that you all are standing before me means your remains must be close as well. So, tell me, whose bones are at our feet over there?”
The spirits didn’t look up. Brynn couldn’t tell whether suddenly they had turned into statues, were blatantly ignoring her, had turned deaf, or this was how they were going to act until they were individually addressed. Not one spirit had said a word yet, which was quite different from Jimmy who seemed to have a story for everything. They were silent other than the Queen, who simply stood in front of her throne, telling Brynn to help them.
Help what? Brynn thought angrily to herself. Help who? Help how? Help this bunch of sad souls who, if they approached life how they approached solving their after lives, seemed to be the most unproductive group of people I had ever come across? Not only did she not want to help this group of spirits, she feared going outside of the castle now to find more spirits with more problems.
What about Brynn?
What about her problems?
Should she “waste” her life helping out the dead?
It was then that the oldest gentleman looked about himself at the other spirits, at how they all hung their heads like he had just been doing moments ago. This spirit, with a great big, bushy, grey mustache that matched the hair on his head, seemed to wet his lips with a transparent tongue. He looked at the spirits surrounding him, like an angelic, drably dressed choir and then looked over to the Queen. Brynn imagined that they could telepathically talk in some weird way, but it seemed the man was just getting his thoughts together as he glanced over to Brynn, and she felt his eyes- felt the indecision behind them. Finally, he glanced at the bones which still rested at the feet of everybody alive on that side of the room.
“Are they telling you anything?” Princess Kyrstin asked Brynn who looked back at her, and shook her head. Brynn’s lips pursed tightly in anger.
Brynn turned back to the man, staring daggers at him.
“Forgive me, child, for it has been so long since I talked,” the man said.
“If I am going to be helping you, sir, I prefer not to be addressed as a child. You may call me Brynn.”
“Brynn,” he said, and smiled weakly. “I am Myron. And when you haven’t talked for years, you don’t want the first thing you say to be wrong. So, now I greatly apologize.”
“That’s okay. Are you the owner of the bones? Did you attack Patrick?”
Myron’s eyes lit up fearfully. “To the Heavens, no! I would never. Those bones were controlled by one of the evil spirits of the storm.”
Brynn took a moment to process this. The storm of yesterday? How was that still effecting their lives like this? And what did he mean by controlling the bones? Were the bones and the spirit two separate things?
“The storm yesterday brought forth so many evil and terrible things that terrorized not only the living but the dead as well. Once Prince Thomas put on the ring, the clouds went away, the storm winds died, but the spirits remained. They dropped to the ground, and found things to possess. If a person was good natured with no maliciousness inside of them, the spirits could not get in. But, if a person had evil in their heart, then they were controlled. Or, easy enough, the spirits could take the empty shells of the dead. Bodies decomposing. Skeletons. And control them to do their evil bidding. That over there was one of them intent on doing evil deeds in the Kingdom. Who knows where they found the bones?”
Brynn stared at Myron, chills running down her body. She must have lost all color in her face as well for when Kyrstin looked over to her, she immediately sensed something wrong.
“Brynn? What is it?”
“The spirit is not here,” Myron continued. “Whether Prince Patrick destroyed it by destroying the bones, or it had escaped to find something else to inhabit. I do not know. That is all I know of that pile of bones over there.”
Brynn looked at Kyrstin, “It’s nothing good,” she finally said.
“So…” Myron started. His piercing grey eyes going from delivering grave news to twinkling with delight. “About that favor?”