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Cover of book 3 of the pRIME seres 'The Gathering Souls'

​We continue the story when Paul and Alice decide to confront the spirit of Ursula on the lake.

Chapter 9

 

THE LAKE SPIRITS. 1996 AD

The sun rose in the sky, but the early morning dew still floated across the lake in banks of rolling mist.

“Where is she when you want her?” Paul said as he pulled hard on the oars.

Alice, who was perched on the bow, scanned the lake through narrowed eyes and quipped. “You need to be patient. I knew I should have come on my own, I’m sure you have frightened her away, after all, it was you that incarcerated her here.”

Paul added sarcastically, pulling even harder on the oars. “Thanks for reminding me. The problem of searching for a misty form in fog seems obvious to me.”

She glared at him, “Paul you shouldn’t have come, be quiet. This is a perfect day to secretly talk to her.”

Paul noticed the sparkle of the lake spirits deep below. “We have company; even the lake spirits are anxious.”

Alice let the water run through her fingers and could feel their presence. “They are not worried – they are pleased to see us. That’s interesting. Paul, if they thought we were in danger, I am sure they would have warned me?”

The fluorescence intensity increased, so a distinguishable glow emanated from below the boat.

Paul commented nervously. “Are you sure, Alice? Something is about to happen.”

She nodded her head. “Yes, your right. Something is happening.”

Alice called out into the fog. “Ursula Llewellyn, we want to talk to you.”

Paul whispered back. “Why Llewellyn?”

Alice returned his whisper, “If our theory is correct and she is five years old, she would still be a Llewellyn.”

A child’s voice called to them from somewhere within the mist.

*Now you want to talk, Alice Master’s carrier of Sarah’s memories! After nearly four hundred years. You have finally decided you want to talk to me*.

“Talk to me, Ursula. What is going on?”

*Why do you think something is going on, Alice?*

“All of a sudden, you have started to portray yourself as a child?”

*I have always portrayed myself as a child; I am a child. You and your ancestors simply have never looked close enough.*

“Ursula, I have seen you nearly every day of my life; you can even see from the far shore that you are a child. I have never seen you as clearly, or as often as this?”

*I have always had this form, Alice; perhaps it is because they are getting stronger?*

“They? Ursula, who are you talking about?”

*The ‘Primevil Grandmasters.’ The demons that contaminated me.*

Paul interrupted. “Are you saying they are a different entity from yourself?”

*Greetings, Paul Masters, carrier of Saul’s memories, a question you also should have asked four hundred years ago.*

Paul did not try to hide the sarcasm in his voice. “Don’t play games with me, Ursula; tell the truth for once in your life?”

*Saul, you have never believed anything I say. Ask your lover - ask Sarah - she is the only one that knows the absolute truth. My sister was with me when Shaman Bramel contaminated me. She knew about Earl De Montfort and was the only one I could trust when the nine Grandmasters contaminated me at our so-called victory at Wood Henge. I told no one other than Sarah - I certainly could not tell you, Saul.*

This time it was Alice who interrupted. “Ursula, are you saying Sarah knows the truth?”

*Hello, are you not listening? Only Sarah knows the full facts. The Primevil kept trying to control me and my powers, and she helped me the best she could.*

 Alice and Paul exchanged glances, their faces reflecting their mistrust.

 *I had tried many times to kill myself in the last two years, but they always managed to stop me. Ask my brothers and sisters down below.*

Paul snarled. “The same brothers and sisters that barred you from joining them in the lake. You must think we are stupid, Ursula.”

*Yes, Paul, the same brothers and sisters that have been sharing their essence with me as Alice’s line has shared with Sarah for all these years. Have you never wondered why I have not faded away into history and always been here on the lake?*

For a while, Alice was stunned, and her voice faltered. “The lake spirits are feeding you?”

*Ask them, they are with us now.*

Alice took time to calm herself as her heart was beating too fast. Finally, she remembered to breathe and felt her body relax. She let the water run through her fingers and felt the tingling sensations run up her arm. Paul’s eyes never left her, measuring every nuance on her face.

Alice’s eyes began to fill with tears, and Paul screamed out. “No, no, no, no. It’s a trick, Alice. She killed Sarah - she took her away from me; you are a lying conniving little Witch?”

*As I said, Paul, you never believe anything I say. Why do you think I killed Sarah?*

*I was there, remember?*

*I do not know about Sarah’s death. Anyway, you have all been very vulnerable this last week. I witnessed the ceremony - it was very moving, fear not - the others do not know about it.*

“You say you have been protecting us all by keeping quiet. I find that hard to believe?”

The child-like tones flowed gently across the lake. *You never believe anything I say, Paul; I have waited for Saul and Sarah to return for a very long time. You are the only ones that can release me from this enchantment. I foresaw that you would try to correct Saul’s mistake once you found each other. I tried to stop Paul from entering the manor when he first arrived from America by slamming the door in his face, because I did not want the shapeshifter to get him.*

“It’s a trick Alice?” Paul argued, but Alice detected the uncertainty in his voice.

Alice took a deep breath and fired another question. “Was it you that prevented him from leaving by stopping his car as it left the estate?”

*Yes, Alice, I thought he was leaving you. Do you realize how dangerous it was for me to leave the lake to stop you?*

Alice faltered. “Why were you in danger?”

*The demons want me; I’m safe on the lake with my brothers and sisters to protect me. I had to take the risk. I needed you two to meet again; you are my only hope. As I said, I need you to break the enchantment that has kept me away from my siblings for almost four hundred years. It was Saul’s fault - only the two of you can fix it.*

Paul repeated his earlier assumption. “It’s a trick Alice - You can’t trust her.”

Alice repressed a shudder. “Paul, that’s not what the lake spirits are telling me.”

Ursula added. *Your secret is safe with me, Paul. I know you have regained Saul’s memories, but you are not strong enough on your own to defeat them, your mother will give you great strength, and Alice is.… Alice. May I suggest…?*

Paul interrupted. “You are giving us advice now?” He shook his head in despair. “I don’t believe this.”

*Free Sarah - your lover. With Sarah restored within Alice, the three of you might stand a chance, but you had better do it fast - they are getting stronger by the day.*

 Ursula’s form drifted away into the mist and out of view. Her voice called back. *Ask Sarah; she would not lie to you.*

 Then as secretly as she came, she dissipated into the mist, and was gone.

*

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