The three witches walked Sue back into the parlour. Merrell dragged a square table into the centre of the room, and draped a black silk tablecloth over it. She then pulled up four chairs, three small wooden ones and a large armchair, placing one at each side of the table. Beryl brought in a square marble slab, and placed it on top of the tablecloth, so it appeared as a diamond shape on the table. Cheryl Olive then placed a circular stand on top of the slab, and carefully topped it with a large crystal ball.
“Please, Sue, be seated.” Cheryl Olive gestured towards the armchair.
“Thank you,” Sue replied, adding “and it’s Psychic Sue.” She was clearly not pleased by what had just happened.
“Understood” Cheryl Olive said, sitting opposite Sue.
“We do understand your concerns” Merrell stepped in and sat on Sue’s right.
Sitting on Sue’s left, Beryl said, “They chose those transport methods themselves, through their thoughts during our enchanted instructions. They may seem harsh, but there were far worse available.”
“I saw no choices.” Sue replied.
“You had no choices to make” Beryl placed her right hand on the corner of the slab closest to her. “Now please, place your right hand onto the marble so we can reactivate our Circle. We will then be able to observe your colleagues as they undertake their search.”
“But first,” Merrell said, “we must set the correct atmosphere. Igbon! Igban! Annow!”
The flames on all of the candles around the room diminished, and then changed colour into a warm orange. A separate white flame appeared above the crystal ball and floated upwards, casting a brighter light upon the table and the four sat around it, but still keeping the room in a subdued light.
Each of the women around the table placed their right hand on the corner of the marble slab closest to them, and watched as the crystal ball began to glow.
“Now, Psychic Sue,” Cheryl Olive stared into Sue’s eyes as she spoke, “focus upon the centre of the globe. Command the clouds to clear. See the clear energy within, and watch as that energy appears to solidify. See three figures appear, dragged in through the reflections of Beryl, Merrell and myself.
“Command the reflection of Beryl to take on the form of Lycralad.
“Order the reflection of Merrell to become the image of Invisible Charlie.
“Force the reflection of Cheryl Olive to change into the shape of Firetop.
“And remember, we can observe and prompt, but can do nothing else to assist. Your colleagues’ search is their own to undertake; the paths they take are their own to choose; their allies and enemies their own to make; their free will is theirs to own; and whatever happens next is down to them.”
“With more than a few prompts from us,” Sue replied. “I will be prompting them whenever I can, and I would hope that, as you have asked that we help you, you do the same for me and my colleagues.”
“That request is certainly reasonable, Psychic Sue,” Cheryl Olive answered with a warm smile.
“And one that we will certainly help with” Beryl added, with a smile that was considerably cooler.