Chapter 27 - Time to Bind a Spirit

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Pagan's house was in shambles. Shattered glass and shredded papers covered the floor. Someone had taken a knife to the couch and pulled most of the stuffing out through the long, jagged slits in the leather. The dining room table was turned over, and the wooden chairs looked like they'd been slammed against the ground until parts of them had finally flown off.

What was the point of all the destruction? Had they been searching for something?

Luke picked a book up off the floor. Someone had ruthlessly vandalized the once-ornate cover and ripped out a handful of pages. He flipped through them. "This is one of the books I need. We might have to find the missing pages."

He's got to be kidding—he wants to stay here? And go through this mess? And what if those maniacs come back? What'll they do to us if they were this violent to inanimate objects?

"It's cold in here. I'll start a fire." He scanned the broken furniture before giving me a half grin. "Shouldn't be hard to find kindling."

He's making jokes? I expected Luke to be enraged at the destruction; instead he seemed cool and collected.

He gestured toward the kitchen. "Can you see if they left anything for us to eat? I don't know about you, but I'm starving."

I made my way into the kitchen. All the cupboard doors were wide open. Anything breakable was in pieces on the floor. I stepped carefully over broken glass and looked through the cupboards. There were a few tins of food. I found more on the floor by the back wall. I ran my hand down the wall, which was now covered in dents—they must have flung the cans at it. That was the only way to explain all the divots. I leaned over, picked up a can of chili, and found a couple of pots a few feet away. When I left the pantry, glass crunched under my foot. If I was going to try and cook anything in here, I had to clean up. I found a broom and dustpan in a closet. By the time Luke came into the kitchen, I had most of the mess swept up.

I pointed at the cans sitting on the counter. "There's some chili and a can of corn."

"Great. I have the fire going. I found about half the books I was looking for." He had one under his arm that seemed to have made it through the attack unscathed.

"Find anything about your draugrs in those books?"

"A couple references, but nothing that will help us."

I started opening one of the cans: a hot and spicy southwestern chili. "You still think that's what those things were?" I poured the can's contents into a pot and turned on the burner.

"Draugrs are the only type of magical creature that comes close to what we saw." He reached over and handed me the other can. "I got the fire going. I tried to clean up a bit in the living room, but the place is still a disaster."

I looked out into the living room. "They did a number on this whole place."

Luke ran a hand through his hair. "I just don't see the point. Why trash it?"

I remembered what they had done to the magic shop. "For the fun of it?"

"Who are these guys?"

"A bunch of murdering crazies," I muttered under my breath, opening the can of sweet corn.

Luke nodded, staring pointedly at the pot of slowly bubbling chili. "How long until we eat?"

I poured the corn into another pot and turned on the burner. "Not long. It should take about ten minutes to warm everything up."

Luke opened the book in his hands and looked down at the pages. "Sounds good. I'll keep searching for the other books I need."

Snapping the book in his hands shut, Luke headed off to search, looking desperately for answers to all the questions swirling through both our heads. What type of magic had I wielded at the hospital? I raised the dead. I couldn't be the first to have done so. What evil spell was Macaven and his men trying to perform? Did Luke's books speak of the forbidden magics?

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