Chapter 7: You Really Are One of Those Witches

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My heart pounded in my chest. He'd said he was going to release me...

She raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow and said, "Oh, I nearly forgot. Doctor Calthorpe will see you now."

I wanted to slap the smirk right off her face.

I was trying not to let the growing panic get to me. What had the doctor said?

Wait. He didn't actually say he'd release me. Oh, God. I'd gotten my hopes up for nothing.

I turned and slowly walked toward his office, my mind spinning and my breathing shallow.

When I knocked and he called for me to come in, he seemed excited. "Maddelyn, come in. Close the door."

I did as he said and as soon as the door closed, he said, "It was there. The money. The jewellery. All of it."

My mouth dropped open and my heart raced, but I pushed my colliding emotions down deep. I had to see what he had to say.

His smile turned hopeful. "Is she here now?"

I glanced around in case Ethel had popped in behind me. "No."

His smile faded a little.

"She might have passed on — you know, gone into the light or whatever. Now that I told you what she wanted to tell you."

The smile faded some more and he nodded. "I understand."

"So, Doc, what happens now?" Surely he would let me go home.

Ethel picked that moment to pop into the chair next to me and I nearly jumped out of my skin.

"Hello, dearie." Her smile reminded me of a kid asking if they could have some ice cream. "Did he find it all?"

Dr Calthorpe cleared his throat. "Maddelyn?"

"Yes, he did." I turned to him. "She's back."

His reaction was comical. Relief and terror mixed together. I pursed my lips so I didn't laugh out loud.

"Does he believe you now?"

"Yes."

"What did she say?"

"She wanted to know if you believe me now."

He hesitated. "Yes. Yes, I do."

We spent the next half an hour in a weird conversation where I had to relay what she was saying back to the doctor, which provided him with more proof that I wasn't lying or hallucinating and it gave him a chance to say a proper goodbye to his grandmother, which brought tears to my eyes.

"I wish I could hug him one last time," she said, then gave me a huge hug. "Thank you, young lady. I can rest in peace now, knowing my family has found all my treasures. They deserve to have them all. And because I got to say goodbye to my favourite grandson. I appreciate everything you've done."

"I'm glad I could help."

I wasn't sure why I could touch spirits, but it seemed like I could interact with them as if they were still here in person. And although her touch was cool, the hug felt good. Better than good. Mum wasn't the "touchy-feely" type, so hugs were not a common thing in our household.

Ethel wiped her eyes, smiled at me, and disappeared.

I took a deep breath. "She's gone."

It was his turn to take a deep breath and his eyes shone with unshed tears. "Okay." He sighed. "Thank you. I really appreciate this."

After a few moments, he seemed to pull himself together. "Well, this is a difficult one. You have proven that you're not suffering from delusions, but it will be hard to put that evidence down into a report." I tensed again. "They'd put me in the room next to yours if I told them what has happened." I found myself nodding. "So I will need to do some creative writing to change my report on Monday's incident and add in some more reports for you, but I think we'll be able to organise your release very soon."

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