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“That’s odd,” Adral said, striding towards the door. “I expected this place to be guarded.”

Jessamin giggled and ran after him, tugging at his elbow to stop him. “You daft git,” she said. “It is guarded, can’t you see?”

He looked around again and frowned, but said nothing.

“Look there,” she said, pointing to a faint marking on the ground in front of him with the end of her staff. “If you’d stepped over that, you’d have known about it for sure.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a pretty tricky warding glyph, is what it is.” She knelt down beside it and rummaged through her satchel, finally drawing out a large translucent green crystal.

“Here, look through this,” she said, handing it to him.

Adral lifted the crystal and looked through it. Where a moment before he had seen nothing but empty air, he now saw the eerie figures of the dead, standing guard beside the door. He took a step back into a defensive pose, drawing his sword.

“Put that away,” Jessamin said dismissively, settling into a seated position in front of the ward. “You can’t cut spirits. You have to talk to them.”

Her eyes rolled back into her head, and although Adral could still see her sitting beside him, through the crystal he watched as she walked up to the door to begin negotiations.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: A little vignette this week for Three Word Wednesday, where the prompts are Eerie, Guarded and Translucent.)

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