“Professor Bartholomew Blue: Master Teacher. Elite Conjurer. Ghoul Gatherer. Traveler,” she gasped in her best Jamaican accent. Her lips slipped into a smirk.
He pulled her into a bone crushing embrace. “Wha Gwan?”
She grimaced as he helped her to her feet. “Ok, I suppose,” she smoothed her suit jacket. “That was a helluva demon. Where’d you find it, 18th century?”
“1776.” He cracked his knuckles and rolled his head from side to side.
“You went home didn’t you? To Kingston.” She crawled toward the ocean and submerged her throbbing hands in saltwater.
“Had to, been too long.” He plod back to the Obeah and climbed aboard.
Her eyelids fluttered as the salt worked its magic. After the pain subsided, she stumbled back to shore. “The more irredeemable the soul, the better the fuel.”
He wiped his brow with the edge of his cape. “Makes sense, all things considered. Wicked energy is potent. Who knew the souls of dead slave owners could propel us through the Time Stitch?”
Her eyes settled on a metallic net stuffed with glowing jars on deck. She rubbed her chin. “Lemme guess, a graveyard dig?”
He threw his shoulder into the hull, pushing the vessel back into the sea. “Best dig in recent memory, Marvellus,” he said in a strained voice.” A cluster of slave masters and their descendants. Found ‘em in Ocho Rios on a hill beside a waterfall.”
“How many?” She raised an eyebrow.
“One hundred fifteen,” he grinned.
“Who was the one we just subdued?” She glanced at the freshly sealed jar dangling from a belt loop on his hip.
“Thomas Thistlewood,” he paused. “A rapist and a mad man.”
“Weren’t they all?”
In a flash, he moored the boat to a newly conjured dock of wood and bone and tossed the bulky net over one of his muscular shoulders. She stared at the jar where the demon glowed from inside. Now and again, a small bolt of electricity would flash as gooey translucent droplets bubbled to its surface. Then, out of nowhere, a tiny handprint appeared, ghostlike. She blinked as the jar thumped against his coal black thigh.
“I never understood why you kept the Soul Jars so close to your person. Drop them all in the net. It’s much safer—”
“There’s this saying about enemies,” he whirled around to face her. “I think you’ve heard it.” He winked, pat the jar with one of his large, dark hands, and trudged ahead with his cumbersome treasure.
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