Phoebe September wished that she could tickle the ghost cat behind the ears but ectoplasmic fur could not be tickled. It really was a beautiful creature, milk white, softly glowing. It languished on the sill of the window as if considering an evening's prowl, maybe one with a few dead mice at the end.
Like most ghosts the cat was tied to the structure that it haunted. Phoebe felt sad for the cat. It was stuck in an abandoned shadow mansion all alone. All alone most of the time. All alone except for tonight.
"Come on, light, fiddlesticks!" Frederick said. He was hunched over a pile of wood intended to serve as that evening's fire. It appeared that he wasn't having much luck with his tinderbox.
"There's no need to get uptight," Phoebe said, fully aware of the irony of her encouraging someone else to calm down.
"What?" Frederick said, looking up at her from his task. "No. I was actually telling the fiddlesticks to light. I think a musician may once have lived here. That's where I got this wood."
Phoebe examined the wood pile closer. Now that she was paying attention she could make out the tangled wisps of horsehair curled up on the ends of some of the sticks.
"Oh," she said. With a flick of her wrist she released a small ball of orange plasma. The wood pile burst into flames. "There."
"Why didn't you just do that ten minutes ago?" Frederick asked.
"I felt like a little sit down and some quiet," Phoebe replied. "Sorry."
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