-On the first floor, the Haunted Guild-
When the spirits of the prisoners began to emerge from the empty cells Lucia had ran for the stairs and had jogged up them without bothering to slow down. Lumie had spun around on his candleholder and looked over Lucia's shoulder to let her know if she was being chased. Now that she was at the top of the stairs the blonde dared to take a moment to breathe. She faced the front door while breathing and relaxed a little. She was almost out of this awful place.
"Lucia, those ghost people are coming up the stairs!" Lumie suddenly warned her of ghostly pursuers. The blonde spun around and saw exactly what her candle companion meant. She saw an uncountable mass of prisoners in ragged clothing with ghostly shackles still on their wrists floating up the stairs and their empty eye sockets were fixed squarely on her. Lucia felt bad for a moment because even in death those unfortunate souls were not free from this place, but then she realized that if they caught her she would be bound to this place to keep them company.
"There's a whole lot of them, Lucia! What are you gonna do?" Lumie asked Lucia. Lucia looked at the oncoming ghosts, then the door, then back at them. There was no way she was going to win against so many ghostly prisoners even with Shining Light and her magic.
Lucia did not bother to answer. She bolted for the door and reached it in about three seconds. She reached for the doorknob with her right hand and turned it hard. She flung the door open with her right hand and hurried out, then slammed the door shut behind her.
-Outside the Haunted Guild-
Lucia turned around and hurriedly jogged down the steps. She cleared the final step and continued to jog when she heard wailing coming from behind. The blonde looked back and the wailing intensified as if to warn her to leave while the going was good. Lucia resumed running for her life and did not look back. She was not going to be caught by those ghosts, not when she had finally escaped that terrible place.
-Magnolia Town, Simon Wright's house, ten hours later-
"You managed to deliver the book back to Haunted Guild! And you made it back!" Simon said to her with relief. The weary Lucia nodded while Lumie silently watched the proceedings from his candleholder. The trio were standing in his living room, where according to him Simon had been waiting for news of Lucia's return for the past several hours. He had feared that he had sent Lucia to her death, but to his relief she had survived the trip to return the book.
"I did. It was calm enough when I entered the Haunted Guild, but when I got into the basement things got really creepy. I heard rattling chains in the empty prison cells and saw a ghostly prisoner. DON'T get me started on the library." Lucia told the ghost hunter.
"Let me guess... there was poltergeist activity in the library, right?" Simon ventured a guess. Lucia nodded and showed him the right side of her head, where a slight bruise had developed. The paranormal expert winced.
"Yes. I got hit in the side of the head with a book thrown by a poltergeist." Lucia explained where the bruise had come from and confirmed his guess. Simon crossed his arms and looked worried.
"I'm glad you made it back. It's not often that poltergeists get angry enough to actually attack people. Judging from that bruise on your right temple they were aiming to kill." He said to her.
"All I did was put the book back on the shelf." Lucia told him what had precipitated the attack. He frowned.
"They must have mistaken you for the original thief and sought to punish you. That's the best guess I can come up with." Simon opined. Now it was Lucia's turn to frown.
"I wasn't the one who stole it, so why would the spirits take out their frustration on me?" Lucia asked him with a tone of indignation. She did not really expect an answer to that question.
"I can't give you a good answer other than they were looking to punish someone for the theft and you happened to be the "someone" they picked, most likely because you had the book in your possession and they saw it in your hands. They were trying to teach you not to steal from them." Simon replied in a tone that had more conjecture to it than fact. Lucia frowned deeper but then quietly took a breath and released it. She had returned the book and was back in a safe, ghost-free town.
"They won't have to worry about me stealing anything from their library. The whole place creeped me out. I don't plan on going back there any time soon." Lucia informed him. Simon nodded.
"It's a good idea that you don't go back any time soon." Simon agreed with her decision to stay clear of the place. He then handed her a bag of Jewels.
"This is payment for returning the book." Simon explained why she was getting the Jewels. Lucia nodded in gratitude as she accepted the payment.
"Thanks, Simon." Lucia thanked the man. He nodded.
"No, thank you for taking it back. That book was some seriously bad mojo. Like "summon spirits to this plane" kind of bad mojo, but I'm not sure because I didn't study it for very long. I had some really bad dreams thanks to that book." Simon replied to her. Lucia remained quiet and turned for the door. If that book really was a book for summoning spirits, she was glad to be rid of it.
"Thanks again, Miss Winchester!" Simon thanked her for her work. Lucia turned around and calmly waved goodbye, then turned back for the door, opened it, and left his house in order to go home. She had had quite the night at the Haunted Guild and now wanted to sleep for awhile before she looked for her next job. The next job she took was going to be as far away from the Haunted Guild as humanly possible.
[Post Word Count: 1,050]
[Total Word Count: 3,380/2,500]