Mrs Torrens returned home sadly. She never could cope with funerals, unfortunately. And it was much harder, of course, when the funeral you were going to was your husbands. To be honest, she had never expected she would have to go that funeral, she always expected she would have been dead first. But then, she thought as she slowly walked home, that was a little unfair. Her husband had probably wanted the same thing. And they couldn't both be dead first. So what had she wanted? She wanted, oh, the romantic ideal, you know, two life long lovers, together at the end, hands around each other as they died in their sleep, buried side by side, in matching coffins, and a headstone with both their names on it, and both joining together again in heaven. Ridiculous really. Not one in a thousand must end that way. More often than not, there was an imbalance. One rested, the other cried.

Still, thought Mrs Torrens, as her front gate squeaked open. God has a purpose in these things. She must still be alive for a reason. Just as, just as Toby wasn't. She wandered what reason. Not Toby's death. She knew the reason for that involved a bus, a red light, and no brakes. But what reason kept her away from Toby?

The first reason, she decided as the turned on the stove, was to have a cup of tea.

It has often been remarked that antiques only exist to be broken. Mrs Torrens owned a fine antique china teapot, made not in China, but rather in Ipswich. However it was still very special to Mrs Torrens and it was, without a question, the single nicest thing she owned. And now it had sentimental value attached as well, since it was a present from Toby. It could be pointed out that if you own a priceless antique teapot and instead of keeping it in a display cabinet with a lock on the door you actually use it to make tea you are asking for trouble, but in any case,it was something of a worry to Mrs Torrens when the teapot was not where it should be.

She checked both cupboards above the stove, and then in frustration went into the living room to fetch her other teapot, but stopped suddenly when she saw the china teapot sitting in the middle of the living room floor. She found this odd to say the least, but thought rather than worrying about it and letting the tea boil over, she would instead enjoy a nice cup of tea, and then worry about it. So she took the teapot back into the kitchen, and was about to make use of it, when she heard a noise behind her. She turned, and stopped in shock. The teapot fell from her hands, and shattered into a million priceless fragments.

"Pity, I liked that teapot," said Toby.

Mrs Torrens dialled quickly and waited. Toby was in the other room, sweeping up the teapot.

"Metropolitan police, how can we direct your call?"

"Hello, yes, I don't quite know how to explain this…"

"Take your time, dear, it's all right."

"Well, my husband passed away a week ago."

"Oh I'm very sorry to –"

"Yes, thank you. And we had the funeral this morning, and I laid some flowers on him in the coffin, and poured the first dirt on him myself."


"So, what I want to ask is this… do you have a… paranormal department?" There was a pause on the other end of the line. Mrs Torrens waited patiently.

"A what?"

"You know, ghosts, and that sort of thing."

"I'm afraid we don't take kindly to prank calls, miss."

"But I'm not making a prank call."

"It's understandable to be a little distraught at your husband's demise."

"But he's in the next room eating a chocolate biscuit!"

"Thank you ma'am. We'll look into it."

"But I… blast." Mrs Torrens put down the phone. "Now what am I going to do?"

"You could sit down and have some tea," said Toby. Mrs Torrens jumped. She hadn't heard him come up behind her. Odd that.

"I'm sorry, Toby, I'm just finding this a bit difficult to cope with."

"Cope with what?" Toby looked a little puzzled. Mrs Torrens started at him in disbelief.

"Well, you died."

Toby looked taken aback. "Did I?" He thought for a moment. "I wasn't meant to be." Mrs Torrens thought he looked worried, but then he quickly regained his composure.

"But I'm not dead. Can't you see?'

"But, I was the funeral!"

"Was it nice?" he waved her away before she could answer him. "I know it's been a troubling time for you, with me being sick, and everything. But, honestly, I'm not dead, I got better. Are you going to believe what was probably a dream, or are you going to believe what's right in front of you?"

Mrs Torrens stared at Toby, at the man she knew and had loved for fifteen years. She looked into his eyes, and saw them staring back at her. How could a ghost have such compassion in their eyes? He took her hand and held it in his own. How could a ghost have such warmth in their hands?

"Do you trust me, Mary?"

Mrs Torrens looked at him.

"I… I want to."

Mrs Torrens awoke to the sound of the door knocker being beaten to death. It was after midnight and the house was dark. "Toby, tell them to go away" she muttered and rolled over to go back to sleep, before she awoke and looked at the other side of the bed. Toby was gone. Perhaps she had dreamed it after all. No, it couldn't be, it just couldn't be false. The sounds occurring in the next room confirmed it. Toby must be in there. She got up, put on her dressing gown, and crossed softly to the room and opened the door, and almost screamed before she stopped herself.

The man going through the sideboard was not Toby. He was much too tall, and his hair was blond, unlike Toby's black.

"What are you doing in my house?" she demanded to the stranger. The stranger turned and, was Toby. The right height and his hair was black. Mrs Torrens blinked; he had not been Toby a second ago.

"Mary, it's me."

"Toby." Mrs Torrens stared at him. Of course it was him. How could it be anyone else? Then her eyes fell to the bag at his feet, with the silver knives and forks her mother had given her lying in it. "What are you doing?"

"I…" Toby paused, and then looked at her. "I need to go away. I'm sorry, Mary, I meant to leave a note. But I can't stay here. I will be back one day, I promise. I just need to… to find myself."

"But why are you taking the silverware?"

"I'll need something to live on, Mary. If I take these, and sell them, I can survive until I come back. Possibly even I can make some money and buy them back for you again. But, I need something to support me until then. Can I take them? Would you let me use them to help me?"

Mrs Torrens was silent. "Take them" she said, and ran downstairs so he wouldn't see her crying.

Mrs Torrens sat in her chair and sobbed. It wasn't fair to have thought she'd lost Toby, then to have him returned to her, only to lose him again. It just wasn't fair at all. She was interrupted from her misery by the knocking at the door, which returned even louder than before. She sighed, and went to the entrance hall.

"Who is it?"

"Police. Can you let us in, please" came the answer.

"Hold on a moment." Mrs Torrens went to open the door, and suddenly Toby was beside her. How did he get downstairs without her noticing?

"Don't let them in."


"Don't let them in. Please.

"It's just the police, Toby. We've got nothing to hide."

She went to open the door, and then she was lying on the ground at the other end of the hall. Toby stood between her and the door. "I'm sorry I had to do that." Toby said, and turning away from her, he took the grandfather clock from next to the door and blocked the door with it, as if it weighed half what it did. Mrs Torrens stared at him.

"Are, are you a ghost?" She asked, her eyes wide. Toby shook his head.

"I'm –" he began, but stopped short when the door behind him exploded. The grandfather clock flew forward, knocking Toby to the wall and pinning him there. In the door stood two men in thick overcoats, their collars turned up against the snow outside. The first man, in his forties, stepped through the door, and looked at the remains of the door.

"Well, I did ask" he remarked with the barest trace of a smile on his face.

The man stepped past the clock that pinned Toby to the wall, with a barest wave of his hand to his partner, who was younger, and he stepped into the hall, took a deep sniff and began taking notes in a small pocket book. The man crouched down next to Mrs Torrens and asked, "Are you all right, Mary?" Mary stared up at him, before nodding her head slowly. "Good. It looks like he didn't use too much force." He offered his hand. But when she didn't take it he withdrew it. "Peter Thompson. MI8." He stood up and crossed to the grandfather clock. "What have we got George?"

"Well, I can detect some strength enhancers still present in his aura, and it was definitely physical projection he used on the victim," said George, not looking up from his notebook. "K7 force I'd say. Any higher and her lungs would be crushed. I'm surprised at the strength though. Doesn't seem intentional to have used so much force. And as for the shape shifting –"

"Shape shifting?" asked Mary, getting to her feet. Without looking at her, Peter held out a hand.

"Don't come forward please, we still haven't restrained him. What about the shape shifting?"

"Well I can't smell anything around him. He certainly isn't registered."

"So an unregistered shifter?" Peter asked with surprise.

"No, that's what I'm saying. He isn't a shifter at all. If he had used a shape shifting spell for hours he'd be reeking off it for weeks. I'm getting nothing off him at all. I don't understand it."

"Let's get the clock off him."

Peter and George stared at the clock, and to Mrs Torrens horror the clock lifted off of Toby's body and sat back down in it's original place, next to the door. Neither Peter nor George had moved. Toby groaned and tried to stand up, but Peter put his foot on Toby's back. "Not just yet thanks. First I want an answer to our question."

George searched Toby's pockets until his hands closed upon glass. Drawing out his hand, he produced a small vial, with a few drops of thick blue liquid left at the bottom of it. George let out a small snarl and dropped the bottle. "Potion maker," he growled.

"Steady, George" said Peter and put his hand into Toby's other pocket, finding a small leather bag. Opening it released some green fumes, which he held under Toby's nose. As Mrs Torrens watched, Toby began to scream in pain. His body began to shrink, and she thought she could hear the sound of the bones cracking and shifting as they grew smaller. Skin became flabby and hung lose, before shrinking and sticking to muscles in different ways to before. Eyes turned blood red before becoming brown. A missing tooth pushed it's way through the gums and became a full set. Black hair fell out and a full head of blonde hair grew within seconds. The screams became whimpers and finally silence.

Peter grimaced and stood back, looking at the person lying on the floor in front of him. "I don't understand why people just can't use a false moustache and some glue." He sighed, and pulled out a pair of handcuffs. Behind her terror Mrs Torrens was a little disappointed that they were just ordinary metal handcuffs. Toby struggled against his handcuffs, and then his grimace melted into an expression of horror. "I can't use it," he moaned, and struggled against the handcuffs.

"Of course you can't. Otherwise, what would be the point?" Peter asked, and picked up Toby. "Take him outside, George. Oh and George?" George stopped as he reached the door. "Get him there in one piece." George smiled, or rather merely bared his teeth, and marched Toby out the door, unable to mask his contempt. Peter turned and, pulling out a notebook, he wrote something down, tore it out of the notebook and handed it to Mrs Torrens, who had gotten to her feet.

"I apologise about the door." As he spoke the door behind him reconstructed itself, the debris flying back to where it broke from, Toby's shed hair collecting itself together and flying to Peter's hand, where he pocketed it. The silverware, which had fallen by the stairs, put itself back in the bag and floated up the stairs and around the corner, where the sounds indicated, though Mrs Torrens found this hard to believe, that they were putting themselves back into their drawers. Peter pointed at the piece of paper in her hand. "That will take care of everything. MI8 apologises for the inconveniences to your day. If it's any consolation, we were never here. He opened the door, and stepped out in the snowy night. He stopped and looked at the rug on the floor, which had one corner flipped over. He gave a frown, and the corner righted itself. "Tidy as you go. Read the note."

And with that, he was gone, the door shutting behind him. His hand may or may not have been on the handle.

Mrs Torrens was a sensible enough person to know, that if a strange event has occurred, and you're not sure how to cope, and you've been handed a note which will explain everything, the first thing you must do, is have a cup of tea.

She was a little confounded however, when she went into the kitchen and found the china teapot sitting in it's usual place on the kitchen bench, with a cup of ready made tea sitting next to it, with milk and three sugars, just the way she liked it. She didn't drink it however, she was in far too much shock. Not even tea is going to help with this one, she thought. Almost too afraid to, she opened the note, and read it aloud.

"I remember nothing" she read. And from that moment, she didn't.