A headless apparition in full plate armor—which Jennie recognized as a dullahan—waved politely and then signed something with mailed fingers.

“Dullahan bids you welcome, but warns that he knows little of use,” said the old man Nurarihyon. “His interactions with the material world largely consist of whipping people with their own spines and pouring blood on witnesses to mark them for future spine-whippings.” Jennie laughed at the presumed joke, only to realize too late that Nurarihyon had been deadly serious.

“Just like your interactions with the material world are mostly breaking into peoples’ houses so you can eat their food and drink their booze, Nurarihyon?” said another figure, this one resembling nothing so much as a flaming red lizard with a distinct Australian lilt.

“I am saving them from themselves, Adnoartina!” snapped Nurarihyon. “With the things they put in Guinness Stout or fish and chips these days, better for it to be eaten by something with no liver to cirrhose and no arteries to harden.”

“Will you all stop arguing for even a single second?” whined the final figure of the spectral group, who appeared to be a woman with long flowing hair, bells and lit candles studded randomly about her, and no legs but rather more mist like the Deogen.

“Oh, Iele, everyone knows you live to argue like the best of them,” replied Adnoartina. “Do you remember that corker of a row we had over the proper name of the big red monolith down under I came from, if it should be called Ayers Rock or Uluru? Or the one about whether you’re a jinn, djin, or genie?”

“Those are both extremely important issues, since Ayers Rock rolls of the tongue far more elegantly, and ‘genie’ is an extremely offensive ethnic slur to my people,” Iele replied haughtily.

“You’re Romanian,” Nurarihyon said, “and if there’s more than 1/64th of a genie in there somewhere I’ll eat my robe.”

“More than 1/64th djin,” Iele corrected.

The Dullahan energetically signed something to the others. “Yes, we have devolved somewhat,” agreed the Deogen in its legion of voices. “If you please, friends: you are all born incorporeal spirits like ourselves, with no mortal life to confuse or cloud your perceptions. How is it that Jennie was able only to move one thing in the wax museum, and that but a little?”

“It’s clearly the first stage of her evolution into another spirit form,” said Iele. “She’ll make a lovely noisy-ghost.”

“You mean a poltergeist?” drawled Adnoartina though slicking lizard lips.

“That’s an extremely offensive ethnic slur to their people.”

Adnoartina rolled its eyes—and impressive display, as they could roll in directions optometrists could only dream of. “I think it’s clear that you’re just too weak to affect it yet, love,” he continued. “Give it a year and you’ll be able to pitch a round of test cricket, assuming Ireland’s joke of a team ever qualifies for test status.”

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