Bread And Wine-Arrondissement Part Ten

Mistress Rosamund lit the last candle at the rim of the salt circle on which sat a plate of fresh bread and an open bottle of wine. Taking a step back, she rang the tiny silver bell thrice. The dead have a much different perception of time so she left orders not to be disturbed but that’s why she brought a chair.

Time passed, she didn’t look at her chronoton, doing so would not help, but she did go through more than a few cigarettes. She noticed that the smoke was being drawn over the bread and wine. Then a vague figure began to form as the temperature dropped.

“What do you wish from beyond the veil mortal?” whispered the vapor, “The spirits are not to be summoned lightly!”

“Cut the malarkey Etitan, if I wanted a show, I’d go to the Odéon.”

The figure became more defined, it was now a small, bookish looking man, balding and bespectacled, though still made of smoke.

“You used to be more fun,” said Etitan, “It seems as though you’ve lost your love of pageantry.”

“Do you see an audience?”

“Sadly no.”

“I’ve got a few questions for ya, ifffin ya don’t object?”

Etitan glances at the bread and wine and asked, “For me?”

“Who else?”

As quickly as a thought, he enveloped the offering, and it was as swiftly drained of color.

“You ought to slow down, you’re liable to choke.”

“Very droll.”

“Are you ready?”

“Of course.”

“I had group of roughnecks break into my establishment and I was wondering if you knew anything about that.”

Etitan shuddered. It reminded Rosamund of a gaslight buffeted by the wind.

“I’m sorry, I cannot help you.”

“Excuse me?”

“Break the circle and release me, please.”

“No, not till you tell me what’s going on.”


She could feel the power of his shout. Goosebumps sprang up across her entire body and she was suddenly covered in an icy sweat. As her heart beat like jazz drummer’s solo, she forced herself to slow her breaths and while not exactly relaxed, keep her composure.

“That was a low down dirty trick, amigo.”

“Just set me free, I beg you.”
Rosamund struck a match on her fingernails and lit another cigarette. She took a deep drag and exhaled.

“What’s got you all flummoxed?”

“I cannot say.”

“Then I reckon you’ll be staying here for a spell.”

“You’re breaking the covenant!” shrieked the spirit.

“To my way of thinking, you’re the only one doing any breakin’. You took the offering and haven’t given me one bit of information.”

“I’ve given you the best advice I can, leave it alone. Please.”

She continued to smoke as she got up and walked around the binding circle.

“You’re already dead, meanin’ no disrespect, so it’s not like you can get killed again.”

Etitan did not reply but he spun slowly with her.

“So what scares a ghost? Stimulating question to my way of thinkin’, don’t you agree?”

She looked him straight in the eyes but he said nothing

“So, you wanna be a tough guy, fine with me. I have a bar to finish cleaning up. I’ll look in on ya in a while. Can’t really say how long that might be, but you’ve got all the time in the world. Adios.”

With that she turned for the door and went upstairs to her bar. She hadn’t been fibbing, the place still needed cleaning. So she and Mr. Twig began to clear out the broken furniture. Soon, more staff showed up, putting things back where they should be. With that, the place was ready for the midnight crowd.

Business was brisk, she hadn’t told anyone about the fight so naturally everyone knew. Gossip flowed out of mouths as were cocktails inhaled. It was a very good night. Mistress Rosamund was so busy, she completely forgot about Etitan. It would become a regret.

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