Gillian stepped out from behind it, holding Lucy against her hip with her good arm. Lucy was clutching something.
“You were right.” Gillian all but skipped she was so pleased. “She only had to touch it and the spirit got pulled right out.”
“It did? I was expecting a flash of celestial light or something. What happened to it?”
“She's holding it, look.”
“Is that it? Is that really a spirit?” Harold looked at the thing Lucy's hand. “I expected it to glow like a tiny sun, the way you see them in Disney movies when the dead parents come back to save the puppies. I didn't think for one minute they'd look more like a shadowy octopus with a side order of extra tentacles.”
Gillian looked down. Lucy was moving the spirit from hand to hand, like a school hamster trying to escape its captors. She hoped it didn't bite.
Lucy tired of the game and closed her fist. The spirit dissipated like carburettor smoke on the wind. She looked up and smiled, holding both arms out to Harold. “Ghostie gone poof.”
“Indeed it has.” He lifted her from Gillian's grasp. “But where did it go, eh? Did you absorb it? Is it one of your friends now?”
“Can't absorb spirits, Daddy. Spirits go away.”
“Heaven? Do they go to Heaven?”
“Silly Daddy. Spirits don't go to Heaven.” Lucy's voice took on a sinister tone. “Spirits find other things to live inside.”