Luck be a ladle tonight

(OOC: Reserved for Lilly, Gladstone, and the ladle right now.)

It wasn't exactly night, though in some places the clouds were thick enough that you would be forgiven for thinking that. But despite appearances, it wasn't muggy at all, and no torrential rain fell from those thick clouds. Just a light breeze and the light drizzle graced the air, making it lovely weather to just enjoy yourself. Strange, but why question it?

Opening up a window away from the breeze, lest the water find its way in onto the carpet or the shelves, Lilly put on a fresh pot of coffee. All anyone seemed to come in for in weather like this was hot drinks and snacks. And yes, alright, she did offer them and it was only logical that people would buy them, but the concept was that people sit down, hang out, and be encouraged to look over the books more, and thus buy them too. Not turn the place into a cafe, to dine and dash.

Stupid customers mumble grumble. Well, at least they paid for their food.

    • Gladstone Gander
      Gladstone Gander

      Something so simple as a window opening when one reached it probably wouldn't mean much to most folks.  But for one with a superstitious mind and a devil may care attitude to any structure to any daytime/nighttime schedules it was as loud as a gong.  Gladstone grinned and twirled his newest acquisition merrily between his fingers with the grace to make any drum majorette weep with jealousy.  Of course, it would be poor manners to enter the building through the window so he doubled back to find the proper entrance and when he did he let out a delighted chuckle. 

      Books! He loved books! Well, he loved what the books that picked HIM had to say.  His free hand fluffed up his jaunty little coif of hair feathers and sauntered into the shop. His eyes glanced around taking in the clientele more interested in their rations than the merchandise. Eh, their loss, more for him.

      The gander gave the tarnished ladle in his hand another flourish and hooked it over his shoulder as he skimmed the shelves, a careful finger tracing titles waiting.... for what? He'd know when he felt it. 

      • Lilly Teal
        Lilly Teal

        Idly looking over the packet, Lilly gave a little start. This was the new coffee. Her uncle was always giving her lovely new coffees and she usually knew what to do with them, what snacks to pair and all that, but she hadn't tested this batch before. Oh no, what if the customers didn't like it?

        It wasn't likely, the coffee was always excellent, everyone seemed to love it. But this was new, you don't throw new things at paying customers without testing it first. And the three-odd people there were already in the middle of their drinks so she couldn't exactly interrupt them.

        Looking around a little helplessly, her eyes lit up as the door opened and a new customer walked in. A customer... who walked straight for the shelves? Interested in books?

        You're already my favourite.

        She perked up considerably, quickly fixing up a cup with cream and sugar on the side and subtly trying to approach him with her little tray in hand and a bright, pretty smile.

        "Good morning sir! Ah... I'm sorry if this is a little intrusive but could you see your way to taste testing this new batch of coffee for me? Free of charge, of course."

        • Gladstone Gander
          Gladstone Gander

           Gladstone's interest was pried from the bookshelf at the very motion of someone moving toward him.  He grinned as she proffered the beverage.

          "Why, don't mind if I do, thank you Miss-?" He leveled his eyes on her intently but his hand suddenly tapped an oddity. A thrill went through him as he inspected the binding that was protruding ever so slightly from the other flush books." Just a moment-" He informed her cordially and carefully removed the tome from it's spot. "What do we have here? 'Lost Treasures of Ancient Civilizations?' Sounds promising-" He idly let the pages flutter through his fingers until they stopped abruptly, a flat bright green rectangle was jammed in between two pages, a wrinkled number 100 printed on all corners.  Gladstone eyed the money, then the woman with the coffee. He knew which was more tempting to him at the moment. 

          "Trade ya?" He winked as he passed her the book and scooped up the entire coffee tray, mixing in more sugar than a kindergartner would fiend for and dash of cream. Gladstone took a long slow drink from the cup. "This is some damn fine coffee," a sudden roll of thunder sounded from outside as a brutal downpour started. He continued as if he didn't notice, "just the ticket on a rainy day like this." 

          • Lilly Teal
            Lilly Teal

            She blinked.

            And then blinked some more.

            Did... did you just hand me a book with a hundred dollars in it? It took her a moment to register that he was complimenting the coffee.

            "Thank... youuuuu?" Coming back to reality, she beamed with delight. "Thank you! That's a relief. I can serve this freely now. Um. Do you. Know that there's..."

            Not entirely sure how to say it, she gestured vaguely at his shoulder.

            "There's a ladle. Hanging off your shoulder?"

            Why?

            • Gladstone Gander
              Gladstone Gander

              “Yup.” He replied as if ladles were the new chic accessory that had yet to catch on. 

              After draining a good deal of his coffee he noticed the nonplussed look on her face and figured that he’d better elaborate. 

              “I found it earlier.  Fell right in my path while I was walking down-uh-” His face contorted in concentration, he gave up with a shrug causing the ladle to wobble precariously back and forth but it kept it’s purchase.  “-I don’t know the streets in this city yet.  Just got off the yacht in the harbor this morning, but it was  a fancy one lots of banks, a few museums.  I think someone might have thrown it out of a passing car? Landed smack at my feet, so I scooped it up.  Never look a gift ladle in the reservoir am I right? It's probably worth something.  Or hey, if nothing else it's a good conversation starter, I mean, look at us gabbing away!”  Well, one of them was clearly running their mouth, that was for sure.

              He drained the cup, placed it back on the tray and found a cozy little spot for it on a nearby table.  Seemingly pleased with himself he offered her his hand. “Enough about this old thing, name’s Gladstone,” He continued on with a good natured wink, “-save the jokes I’ve heard ‘em all already. Nice shop here, is it yours? Miss-?” he prompted again.

              • Lilly Teal
                Lilly Teal

                Conversation was one way to put it. Overwhelming flow of near-nonsense was perhaps a more accurate descriptor. She looked as if she wasn't entirely sure what to make of the whole ladle story, or even if she believed she was hearing it correctly. But then, this was St. Canard. If something strange wasn't happening, it was time to worry.

                Taking his hand, she smiled again. Friendly conversation was something she could deal with.. "Lilly. It's very nice to meet you, mister Gladstone. And yes, this is my shop. I'm so glad you like it. ... I should probably mention that not all the books have hundred dollar bills in them, if that's what's making it a nice shop for you. It's really just books and snacks," she joked. "But they're good books and good snacks. At least nobody's complained."

                Let's just keep it that way.

                "So you're new to St. Canard?" I understood that much. I think

                • Gladstone Gander
                  Gladstone Gander

                  He chuckled to himself at the thought of a book store where money was crammed between each page. Not even he was that lucky.  Inexplicably he seemed cheered that she didn’t seem to already know him, today just kept getting better.

                  “Pleasure’s all mine Lilly, and no I genuinely like this place, monetary bookmarks aside.” He looked around approvingly, earnestly. “It’s... authentic.  Too many of the big chains around these days it’s nice to see a proper bookshop for a change.  Which exactly is why I came here; I desperately needed a change of scenery.  So far St. Canard has been very... different.  ” He looked uncomfortable for the briefest moments before averting his eyes to the rows of books. “You ever just get the feeling to pick up and go somewhere no one knows you? “ He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and jerked a thumb at his chest. “That’s me.  How about you? Been in the city long?”

                  • Lilly Teal
                    Lilly Teal

                    "Wanting to get away from people who know you? I know how that goes. I think most people here do."

                    Shaking her head slightly as she tucked the book back on the shelf, leaving the money inside, she continued. "Between you and me, I bet that's why there's so many masked heroes and villains here."

                    It's a lot easier to do whatever you want when nobody knows who you are, right?

                    "I've just been here a couple of years. It's... definitely different, but you'll get the hang of it quickly enough." You'll have to, rather. "Just be a little careful. And if you see anyone in a mask or a strange costume it's safer to just get out of their way, they usually won't notice you."

                    Usually.

                    • Gladstone Gander
                      Gladstone Gander

                      Did she just-? But the money?  Maybe she didn’t need it? Gladstone rubbed the back of his neck absently.  This city was certainly full of interesting folks.  Had this been Duckberg he’d have a tail of people a mile long hoping to get a book like that handed to them. Well, until recently anyway.  The confusion melted into appreciation. Anonymity. Now that’s the stuff.   Her comment about the daring do-gooders and nasty ne’er-do-wells brought him back to reality.

                      “I have noticed that the ‘masked’ element being particularly...” He took his hands and interlocked his fingers for emphasis. “... DENSE here.  I bet the dry cleaning business is booming.  As for me, I’m sure I’ll manage. ” And then some. “Any other tips for a St. Canard greenhorn?”

                      Speaking of green... was the ladle sort of... emitting a greenish glow all of a sudden?  Generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a minor appliance.

                      • Lilly Teal
                        Lilly Teal

                        Hm, what advice can I give you...

                        "Well, the city had thought of making little welcome to the city pamphlets with tips on how to stay out of trouble but... forgot to print them. Um... if a clown comes running up to you, just smile, nod at everything he says, and run in the opposite direction. If you see a plant duck, find some concrete surroundings. And then there's the Liqui-"

                        The green glow is a little distracting, could you turn it down? Looking a little startled, her eyes went from his face to his shoulder again. "Is the ladle supposed to do that?"

                        • Gladstone Gander
                          Gladstone Gander

                          A city that made welcome pamphlets and then declined to even print them? How welcoming. 

                          As she provided him with a cautionary tour of the city’s rouge gallery his eyes started to glaze over.  Clowns? Plant ducks?  What this a bit of hazing?  The metropolitan version of “oh hey Freshman the school’s pool is on the roof you should go up and take a look, har-dee-har”, but that didn’t seem right.  Now that she mentioned it he could almost remember seeing a newspaper clipping about a jester of some kind...

                          Her sudden inquisition into the state of his ladle made his dark eyebrows rise considerably.

                          “Do wha-AH!”

                          He let out a yelp as a thick, hot, red substance started seeping though his bright green suit where the bowl of the ladle rested.  In a panic he whipped the eerily glowing serving spoon from it’s perch and the red liquid continued to pour out of the basin as if it was connected to an invisible tap. Growing quite pale Gladstone flipped the ladle right side up to try to stop the distressing fluid from continuing to splatter all over the floor, it did the trick, the bowl of the ladle filled to the brim but rose no further.  All of the lights in the building flickered, the only steady light was that of the green glow from the ladle which seemed to be gradually turning up the wattage.  A bubble appeared on the surface of the ladle’s contents.  It grew to about the size of a ping pong ball before it popped revealing a brown little rectangle covered in airy pores. Color returned to Gladstone’s face.

                          “Oh... a crouton. “ He sighed. “It’s Tomato Bisque, that’s a relief.” A grin flashed on his face as he looked up at Lily. “You know, I think this thing might be haunted?”

                          And that’s when all hell broke loose.  Cookbooks blasted off their shelves and the windows and doors slammed shut,  a few customers shouted and one tried to force the door open but the knob turned into a dinner roll under their grip.

                           

                          “How whimsical!” Gladstone laughed giddily. “What do we do?” He asked Lily as if this was something she dealt with on a daily basis.

                           

                           

                           

                          • Lilly Teal
                            Lilly Teal

                            Lilly seemed less inclined to find it whimsical.

                            "Wha- why is a ladle haunted?! Who haunts a ladle?!" she practically wailed to herself, trying to catch one of the cookbooks before it lost all its pages from the sheer force of being blasted off of the shelf. How was he so calm about this? Actually scratch that. Calm would have been fine. How was he so delighted about this?

                            Catching hold of the book, it fell apart in her hands, and she looked as distressed as if it had hit her square in the face.

                            "Oh no..." My books are being ruined.

                            Secondly oh NO, there is a haunting happening and there is soup on the floor.

                            She looked at Gladstone with a helpless expression. "I don't know! Ghosts are outside my experience." Also, my experience involves running and hiding, and all the exits have been blocked.

                            To be fair, she had also attempted to politely ask people to stop being threatening a few times, but that had traditionally never helped. It had given Bushroot a confused pause, though.

                            Worth a try?

                            "Ah... um, excuse me," was directly worriedly at the glowing implement. "Could you please. Stop?"

                            • Gladstone Gander
                              Gladstone Gander

                              “Ah yes! Diplomacy!” Gladstone chimed in approvingly.

                              The ladle began to vibrate in his hand and a strange wheezing voice filled the air.

                              “You’re supposed to say ‘when’-“ chastised the disembodied voice in a rumbled vibrato.

                              “Well that’s a fair point,” Gladstone conceded as if this was a perfectly normal conversation. “’When’ then.  We’re quite full over here thank you for your efforts. Although you’ve made quite a mess of this young lady’s-“ His pleasantries were cut off as the ladle bubbled and a ghostly hand raised from the tomatoey depths and clamped his bill shut.

                              “Naughty little boy... it’s not your turn, don’t cut the line.”

                              The shaking ladle pried itself from Gladstone’s grip and tipped itself over.  This time instead of spilling soup , a greenish translucent juice billowed out and took form from the bottom up like a glass being filled.  Before long a ghastly visage of a heavy set canine woman in an apron and hair net stood between Lily and Gladstone.  The whispy hand that was not doing the public service of silencing Gladstone gripped the pulsing ladle and pointed it at Lilly. 

                              “Young lady, you need some more MEAT on those bones.”  She roared as a sudden barrage of meatloaf slices flew out of the glow around the ghost and her ladle toward Lilly.

                              A lunch lady ghost?  You see something new everyday.

                              • Lilly Teal
                                Lilly Teal

                                With a little yelp, she closed her eyes, held up the cover of the gutted cookbook in her hands, and batted at the slices to keep them at bay.

                                "Th-that's kind of you but I. Am really. Not. hungry. Please!"

                                Taking advantage of a brief pause in the meatloaf, she executed St. Canardian instinctive reaction number 1. Run and hide. And since there was nowhere to hide where she couldn't be found, she opted for a hiding place that could at least act as a shield.

                                Wait, another person is right there what if she refocuses her feeding vendetta on him?

                                "UM!" A heroic statement to be sure. She tossed the book cover at the lunch lady and grabbed Gladstone's arm. "Sorry!"

                                Some frantic tugging ensued as she tried to drag him behind the heavy wooden desk that served as a main counter.

                                • Gladstone Gander
                                  Gladstone Gander

                                  The meatloaf splattered book sailed through the spectre and the form lost her solidity for long enough for the strong hand on Gladstone’s bill to phase through him just as Lilly tugged him toward the counter.  He scrambled after her, coincidentally dodging a sudden pelting of scrambled eggs that was hurled at their retreating backs. 

                                  Once in the relative safety of their hiding spot Gladstone smiled, seemingly enjoying himself immensely. 

                                  “Thanks, you really threw the book at her!”

                                  There was a groan from one of the cowering customers.  Their distaste of puns called the ghost’s attention to them.  Gladstone peered over the top of the counter and drummed his fingertips on its surface thoughtfully.

                                  “This is very exciting isn’t it? Oh hey look that guy’s recording the whole thing,” He waved to the patron with his cellphone up and the flash on, serving as a beacon of light in the dimness of the still flickering bookstore, he didn’t wave back.  “So, I don’t normally find myself in these kinds of positions.” He sounded almost apologetic as if he was a hindrance to a trained professional. “But I think, if we can get that ladle away from her, that’d be a good thing.”

                                  His statement was punctuated by the lunch lady descending on the pun hater with a pile of grilled cheese sandwiches.  Gladstone winced as the first of the sandwiches was forced in the woman’s mouth.

                                  “So, divide and conquer? I’ll draw her attention you- uh... sneak up from behind?” He winced again as the ‘victim’ was force fed another cheesy wedge of bread. “I hope that lady’s not lactose intolerant.”

                                  • Lilly Teal
                                    Lilly Teal

                                    It took her a moment to realise she was staring at him with her mouth open. He was just so optimistic about all this.. He was making jokes. It would be adorable if the current situation wasn't so worrying.

                                    "Huh?"

                                    The ghost with the food, honey?

                                    "Yes!" She snapped back to reality, popping her head over the top and cringing at the nauseous sight of the forced feeding. "Oh my goodness. Yes, okay, that's a good idea. Just give me a minute's head start." We don't want her to see me crawling out from behind the table when you start distracting her, do we?

                                    Dropping back to the ground, she slid away as quietly as she could, almost stumbling over one of the customers that had thrown themselves completely on the ground.

                                    "Nnnngh! Sorry," she whispered, trying to reach the wall opposite the desk and giving Gladstone a little wave.

                                    Go go go, be adorably silly I mean appropriately distracting.

                                    • Gladstone Gander
                                      Gladstone Gander

                                      Gladstone watched Lilly’s progress and once he gauged she was as a reasonable distance he popped up from behind the counter.

                                      “Excuse me!” Politeness seemed to be the name of the game so far be it from him to ruin the streak. “Miss Lunch Lady ghost thing! Over here!”

                                      The ghost paused mid sandwiching and her head swiveled eerily to clap eyes on him.

                                      “Don’t you think it’s a good idea to change up the menu a bit?  I mean... uh... some vegetables or something?” His eyes darted to  Lilly who needed more time to get into position, not usually one for heroics  his legs were feeling a little leaden.  No matter what, he was sure he would be fine but... everyone else? And after all it was his fault that the ladle was here anyway.  Let’s not make this another Duckberg Gladstone. He cleared his throat and walked out from behind the counter hoping to draw the ghost toward the rows of bookcases rather than the paying customers and Lilly.

                                      “Obviously, you’re upset at the emaciated state of us students. I appreciate that.  So tell me, what exactly do YOU think the best thing for ME as a growing scamp is?”

                                      Gladstone recoiled as he was suddenly staring down the ‘barrel’ of a ladle, the ghost having taken the bait and closed in on him rapidly.  His back bumped a bookcase and he swallowed thickly.

                                      “You need some fiber.” The canine woman growled and without much room to maneuver a rain of baked beans splatted all over him.

                                      “I see-“ He grumbled through gritted teeth, oh how he loathed being dirty.  He swiped the beans and their ooze out of his eyes.  Soup stains and now this? Wasn’t he supposed to be lucky?  It was at this thought that he noticed a wobbling sound from above.

                                       It seemed when he bumped the bookcase a small vase ontop of it had started dancing toward the edge.  It took this moment to pitch itself off  of the bookcase, bounce off his head and knock the ladle clean out of the ghost’s hand to fly through the air.  Gladstone tried to grab it but instead caught the vase. No harm no foul?  The ladle on the other hand was spinning through the air toward Lilly, and by some miracle the ghost hadn’t seen her yet.

                                      • Lilly Teal
                                        Lilly Teal

                                        A small 'yeek!' escaped her as she grabbed for the ladle, juggling it frantically in the air for a few seconds that seemed to go on for far too long.

                                        Somehow hooking it by one finger, mere inches from the ground, she wrapped both hands around it like she was drowning and it was the last piece of wood in existence. And then paused.

                                        I. Don't know what to do with this.

                                        QUICK RUN.

                                        Like magic, she disappeared among the shelves, never to be seen again.

                                        Well, to be seen again at some point, potentially, she was still inside the building with no way out.

                                         

                                        • Gladstone Gander
                                          Gladstone Gander

                                          “YES!” Gladstone beamed at Lilly and then seemed to reach the ‘and now what’, with her. The ghost had whirled around as soon as Lilly’s hands seized her ladle. “Run, run, run!” He cheered her on as she took off into the shelves. The ghost roared, the entire building started to quake as she gave chase.

                                          “Uh-“ he looked around desperately at the cowering customers. “Any ideas?”

                                          “SWinchester2005 says we should try to find out her unfinished business.” This came from the customer still recording.

                                          “...who?”

                                          “I’m livestreaming this, we just hit 3,000 viewers. Oh, FrozenJTorrence says the Class 4 Semi-Corporeal manifestation looks a lot like a lunch lady he had growing up named ‘Greenhorne’. Also someone who says he’s your cousin keeps spamming the laughing emojj.”

                                          Gladstone stared at the man. He had no idea what any of that meant. A bean trickled down the side of his face.

                                          “Okay, yes! Grand ideas thank you!” He shouted suddenly coming to his senses. He turned toward the shelves and scanned the labeled sections on them. “Lilly!” He bellowed into the stacks. “Did you hear that?! I’ll meet you in the Mystery section!” He trotted off, seemingly forgetting he was clutching the vase tight to his chest.

                                          The ghost named Greenhorne however had been in hot pursuit of Lilly. The rumbling and shaking seeming to exist in a pocket near the specter. The bookcases rattled and a few looked ready to topple, all the while the ladle in Lilly’s hands vibrated, filtering through contents that would be a pain to clean if splashed around too much. Creamed corn, pasta sauce, the world’s driest rice pilaf-the basin of the spoon just kept changing.

                                          “Give it here little one or I’ll call the principal!”

                                          • Lilly Teal
                                            Lilly Teal

                                            It took a few splats for her to register the basin was cycling through a medley of nothing she ever wanted to eat, but she fought down a variety of disgusted noises and turned it back around so that the basin was right side up rather than pouring everywhere.

                                            Lilly wasn't going to reply, the logic being that she didn't want to give the ghost any hints on where she was headed whenever she was out of sight. But there was a terrifying moment where Greenhorne cut in front of her, and she just about had time to give a small scream and make a sharp, skidding right. Oh well, it looks like she wasn't going to be able to hide.

                                            "I am not a student, miss!" And then she took off again for the Mystery Section, running hard until she saw a flash of green.

                                            "I do hope you have a plan!"

                                            What were they going to do there? It's a mystery!

                                            • Gladstone Gander
                                              Gladstone Gander

                                              “Not a student-?” The ghost repeated and her dead black eyes flared red.   “THEN YOU’RE AN INTRUDER AND A THIEF!”

                                              There was a loud crack from the top  most shelf of the first case of mystery books and the shelf snapped in half, the books raining down and then the next shelf broke and those fell too.  It was like a peculiarly literate  game of dominoes   Gladstone arrived at the exact moment the first paperback and hardcover drizzle began and he frantically grabbed Lilly’s arm and pulled her out of the way.

                                              Plan? Plan?  What was a plan, oh right, one of those things that other people figured out.  But wait-hadn’t someone already done that for him?

                                              “Ms. Greenhorne!” He shouted to the ghost taking a stab at her marital status 50/50 chances always worked out for him. Hell, one million to one chances always worked out for him too.  He wasn’t sure what he expected to happen but something DID happen.  The terror suddenly stopped. Books froze mid fall, the eyes stopped glowing,  even the slop in the ladle disappeared. The ghost seemed to be startled. As if woken from a dream.  He realized he was still clutching Lilly and released her, cradling the vase under his other arm. “You are Ms. Greenhorne aren’t you?  You’ve uh- that is, the school day’s over and you know that those tight wads are not going to approve overtime. Might as well go-“

                                              “You aren’t students.”  Ms. Greenhorne stared at them and then their surroundings. “Why am I in the library…?” There was a solid second where Gladstone was sure she was going to just disappear or… dissolve or whatever ghosts did but the lights flickered again, the rumbling came back and the books began to tumble once more in slow motion.  “I know you… you’re that hotsy totsy new Librarian all the teachers keep sneaking off to canoodle between the stacks.”  Greenhorne pointed a trembling finger at Lilly.  “Well YOU can’t HAVE your CAKE and EAT it TOO!” The ladle started erupting full slices of cake that just bubbled over the edges regardless of the ladle’s position.

                                              “NO! No!” Gladstone waved his free arm around dismissively as if trying to ward Greenhorne’s attention away from Lilly. It worked. “Don’t happen to have any exorcism books in stock do you?” He mumbled out of the corner of his mouth to Lilly before addressing the ghost again. “We’re not ‘canoodling’ we’re uh.. researching…”

                                              “Anatomy.” The ghost snarled. “Professor Goosefeather you lying dog! After you complimented my hairnet this morning, THIS IS HOW YOU ACT!? SNEAKING OFF WITH HER!?”

                                              Gladstone blinked, and blinked again before he opened his mouth slowly and closed it again. How to respond to something like that? Luckily he didn’t have to think too hard as all that came out of his mouth was cry of surprise as he was suddenly swept off his feet and tossed into the Health and Fitness standing bookcase, which was not left standing after the introduction of a foreign body. In this case, a full grown goose.

                                              “Now… GIVE ME BACK MY LADLE YOU HUSSY!” The barrage of books and cake slices began again.

                                              • Lilly Teal
                                                Lilly Teal

                                                (OOC: -crying with laughter- Yes, the greatest hussy of them all.)

                                                I SHAN'T. HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A HUSSY.

                                                In reality, all Lilly did was squeak and back up rapidly until she could reach Gladstone and make sure he was alright, using her free hand to try and dig him out from under assorted books like 'Five hundred ways with salads' and 'From crunch bars to crunches'.

                                                "I have some old books from magic users in that back shelf, but we'll be lucky if we can find anything we'll understand!" A cake slice clipped her on the side of the head and sent her toppling heavily into the shelf, sending another pile of books to continue burying Gladstone.

                                                "Oh no! I'm so sor- oh! Stop." She flailed the ladle at the food, trying to whap it away like she was playing badminton. "With. The. Cake."

                                                What was that book that had nearly concussed him for the foreseeable future? it was hard to tell under all the cake. And beans. And meatloaf. And... whatever that slimy green stuff was.

                                                ....cisms f.. Dumm..?

                                                Huh.

                                                 

                                                • Gladstone Gander
                                                  Gladstone Gander

                                                  Gladstone had a dim perception of the books that had entombed  him shifting before Lilly became visible.  He was going to croak a word of thanks until a slice of cake smashed into his face.  STOP WITH THE CAKE TIMES TWO!  At least it was chocolate.  As she attempted to swing the seemingly bottomless supply of confectionery out of the ladle he pried his arm free and wiped the frosting from his eyes.  His good humor was now nearly spent.  Enough was enough. 

                                                  “How dare you embarrass me in front of the faculty!” shrieked the now hysterical ghost jabbing an accusing finger at Gladstone this time. “I had feelings for you!” She wailed

                                                  “Lucky me.” He grumbled and managed to pull his other arm free. “Magic books you say? I’m guessing not the card trick kin-“He tried to sit up but a heavy volume titled Crossfit and Calligraphy slid with a thunk onto his chest.  “Oh for crying out loud!” He thrashed his head back in a childish wave of frustration and the partially buried book flipped over onto his face.  “Okay-“ He started to seethe as he ripped the book away. “-WHO EVEN READS THESE BOOKS I MEAN!? WHO NEEDS-” He turned it over in his hand and his eyes nearly popped out. “Exorcism for Dummies?” He read aloud hoarsely.

                                                  “GET AWAY FROM HER!”

                                                  Gladstone let out another yelp as he was whipped from under the pile of books and flung through the air, the book tumbling to the ground to rest at Lilly’s feet.  This time he managed to cling to the lip of a shelf before impacting with the Spiritual and New Age section.  Greenhorne started to close in on his position her eyes flaring again, the cake now falling from the ladle began to rot and mold the moment it hit the ground.

                                                   

                                                  “Read it! READ IT! READ IT!” Gladstone practically shrieked at Lilly as he scrambled to try to climb the bookcase before the ghost attempted to shot put him again.

                                                  • Lilly Teal
                                                    Lilly Teal

                                                    "Okay! OKAY! OKAY!"

                                                    The ladle was clamped into the crook of her elbow as she grabbed the book and flipped through it frantically.

                                                    Chapter 1: Identification. There was a very nice flowchart provided to help you along with the process. Is your ghost a floating ball of light? Is it shaped like a person? Can it speak? Can it possess? Does it remember who it is? Is it malevolent? Can it move objects? Is it attached to a physical object?

                                                    "UM."

                                                    Flip to page 45. "Ghosts attached to physical objects can be exorcised if the object in question is completely destroyed."

                                                    Flip to page 98. "If the ghost is using said object to terrorise you they can be bound to any ordinary container to keep them out of the way. Read the following incantation while rotating the container in a clockwise direction. Clay or porcelain is pref- where are we supposed to get a clay or porcelain container?"

                                                    Still holding onto that vase, buddy?

                                                    • Gladstone Gander
                                                      Gladstone Gander

                                                      Gladstone was scaling the bookcase quickly. Two shelves from the top the lip of a sizable book slid under his hand and he instinctively grabbed it as he finally reached the top of the bookcase and pulled himself up to sit ontop of it, panting and clutching a stitch in his side. This was so much WORK. There was no sign of the vase on him though. The last he’d had it was upon impact with the bookcase that now more closely resembled a broken pile of cedar under an avalanche of books at Lilly’s position. It was in there... somewhere.

                                                      Greenhorne started rising into the air the contents of the shelves she passed crumbled into ash as she went by. Gladstone looked at the massive bundle in his hand. It was one of those beginners kits. “Communicating with Spirits, by Sylivia Bloodhound”.

                                                      He ripped it open tossing aside a small container that held some crystals, some salt, a vial of dirt, incense, matches and other such things. It just happened to land neatly on the counter. The ghosts head was nearly level with his as he flipped the pages until they stopped, hoping that he’d find information and not another hundred dollar bill.

                                                      “If a manifestion refers to you as a different person, someone who has wronged them you have a few options- “he read on until the book was seized from his hands and the page he was reading tore from the binding in his grip. Well, one page was better than nothing? He hoped.

                                                      “Ms. Greenhorne-“he tried to smile but the ghastly form roared in his face with the force of a wind tunnel. All the bookcases trembled and began to crack and splinter. One benefit was the beans were screamed out of his hair. That was a strange sentence. He glanced at the captive page in his hand.

                                                      ‘Attempting to act like the source of such hatred may serve cathartic to the poor soul, ‘he cleared his throat.

                                                      “I really do like your hairnet. And...
                                                      your-” he desperately searched the hideous flesh rotten face before him.”-eyes are-“ on fire? “-mesmerizing.”

                                                      The ghost stared at him and then, oh god no, it blushed. Oh please save him.


                                                      The incantation in the book Lilly held had an footnote.

                                                      “For particularly powerful and vengeful apparitions a cleansing of the object is recommended see additional information on, page 110.

                                                      Page 110: To banish the more dangerous spirit a cleansing brew should be made in the ceramic or porcelain vessel. One must bathe the affected talisman in a solution of salt, cedar ash, and a liquid that bestows life and energy. Cool water from a running spring is acceptable but some experts have found a cryptic caveat that they have yet to decipher: ‘To fully capture the spirit with out risk of further haunting, the liquid must also have the effect of decreasing hunger as the spirit yearns for something to fill the insatiable hunger they feel in death.’

                                                      Crystals may also be added to the mixture such as quartz or obsidian or even a handful of soil to ground the entity to it’s vessel. It is also reported that some entities bare an unusual weakness to green ink, if possible, wrap a small piece of parchment or paper in the hue around the artifact.

                                                      Once the concoction is complete submerge the item completely and speak the incantation and rotate the vessel as described on page 98. With a dash of luck you’ll be free of your paranormal pest once and for all.”

                                                       

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