"What's going on?" Harold came through the door to the back stairs, yawning and rubbing his face. "Frederick woke with some tale about Julie being gone?"
"Gone?" Jasfoup raised an eyebrow. Trust Frederick to leave the bad news to someone else. "You could say that. She's dead."
"Bummer." Harold stopped on the other side of the room and stared at the body. "Can't you get her back?"
"Back? No." Jasfoup sank into a kitchen chair. "The spirit has fled the body. If we stuck it back in now we'd be looking at a spirit inside dead flesh, and you know what we call those."
"No." Jasfoup laughed, then tried to stop himself. A line of bright green snot shot out of his nostril and landed on the tiled floor. "Zombies, I meant, though yours was a good answer."
Harold wrinkled his nose. "Could we put her spirit back but then send her away somewhere? They have colonies for that sort of thing, don't they?"
"Torquay, you mean?"
"Sanatoriums. I could offer them financial assistance."
"I'm pretty sure they wouldn't take a zombie."
"Pity. I don't like to think of her dead." Harold turned to the child and lifted her up to his hip. "Hello darling. What are you eating?"
"Cheese." Lucy held up a small chunk, all that remained of the block. It was dripping with saliva from where she'd been sucking at it.
"Have you eaten the whole block?" Harold frowned at Jasfoup. "You let her eat the whole block? That was irresponsible. I was going to have some of that on a sandwich."
"Sorry. I was preoccupied with phoning the authorities. Speaking of which, I'd best send Devious to open the gates. We're going to be inundated with police and ambulances any minute now."
"Oh. We can't just bury her in the woods then?"
"Not really an option, no."
Devious appeared with an armful of clothing and a bra on his head. "Do you want to dress her or should I?"
"I will." Jasfoup took them off him. "You'd only put them on backwards and nothing sets a copper's mind to ticking as clothing on backwards or buttoned incorrectly. You go and open the front gates for the police to come charging in."