As she quested for the strongest throb of energy below her fingertips, the churning void gave way to a colorless facsimile of Vi’s bedroom in the Thorne mansion. She and Prudence stood near the empty fireplace, watching the curtains gently ripple on either side of her open window. The first sounds of a city waking bounced off the buildings outside and into the room. A shadowy Vi murmured in her sleep in the middle of a massive, overstuffed bed.
“This has to be just this morning,” Vi hissed, then remembered she couldn’t actually wake herself and spoke normally. “Last night was the first time I’ve slept here in years.”
“You really shouldn’t sleep with your window open,” her aunt scolded. “With the stink in this town, you could catch your death.”
“It’s a thousand degrees!”
Somehow, Vi kept her eyes from rolling enough to give offense. “So, where’s the pin? It has to be here somewhere.”
Prudence’s eyes suddenly went wide and she pointed at the window. “Look!”
“Yes, the window’s open, but can we—”
She grabbed her niece by the shoulders and spun her around. “Do as I say!”
As Vi’s gaze fell on the windowsill, fingers of mist crept over the top and swirled to the floor. The strange pool of cloud glowed with the same subtle blue as spirit flesh, but coiled its way over the threshold and poured itself into a form at the foot of the bed. The gold pin floated in the fog of the ghost’s body, and when her hands coalesced from the mass, it stood pinched between two pearly fingers.