Chapter 1: FIRST NIGHT

"I am NOT afraid of ghosts!"

Penny Thurwell sat up in bed and looked around the darkened dormitory. A sound had woken her and she wanted to reassure anyone who might be listening she was not about to shriek madly, run amok and hide in some cupboard somewhere until the coast was clear.

She was made of sterner stuff than that.

There was a snigger from one of the other beds but Penny ignored it. She was listening, hoping to hear the strange sound again, a sound which quite possibly meant some ghoulish phantom on the prowl.

A circumstance hardly surprising really, considering this was Penny's first night before the first full day of term at her new school, St Spiritus, reputedly the most haunted and ghost-riddled school in the whole world.

"I am NOT afraid of ghosts," she repeated more firmly as if challenging any supernatural entity to try her mettle.

"That's nice to know," another girl responded, discernible only as a dark shape in the bed next to hers. "Now please go back to sleep. You're making enough noise to disturb the poor little mice." More sniggers from scattered corners of the room followed.

"Mice!" Penny squeaked, mouse-like, and ducked under the bedsheets again, for her mind filled suddenly with images of small furry bodies swarming darkly over the carpet or scampering unseen from nook to cranny and back again in the concealing shadows above.

She remained frozen like that for quite a while, eyes tightly shut, willing herself to fall into a dreamless, refreshing sleep that would set her up for the new day ahead. But sleep would not come.

With a sigh, Penny emerged slowly from her protective blankets. She lay still, staring into the dark and listening to the ticking of the mantelpiece clock, now the only sound. Perhaps it really had been mice all along, scraping and scratching their way around hidden lairs. Or squeaky bats, fluttering and flopping like living shadows amidst dusty cobwebs.

The eerie moment passed. Whatever had woken her had apparently taken itself off to plague someone else. Snuggling under the blankets in the continued silence Penny drifted into drowsy slumber.

Then she heard it again. More distinctly this time. A strange wittering, humming sound that hovered uncertainly in the air. It seemed to be coming from outside the room, somewhere in the adjoining corridor.

Not mice, Penny concluded. Definitely not mice.

Sitting up once again the restless girl surveyed her surroundings carefully. The other five occupants of dormitory number nine lay still, now deep in slumber. The sound had not been loud enough to disturb anyone else.

With a whimper of suppressed excitement, Penny threw off the bedcovers, plunged her cold feet into a pair of fluffy slippers and tiptoed across the room. Opening the ornate wooden door with the barest of creaks, she entered the corridor that she knew led eventually down a flight of steps to the second year common room. But she did not go in that direction, preferring to remain by the window. The long narrow space, she saw, was deserted.

Trembling a little in the chill night air Penny wondered what she would do if she really were to encounter some luminous phantom gliding silently toward her.

The only luminous thing she could see however was the full moon which hung over the inner courtyard and cast a cold but comforting pool of light on the floor where she stood. She turned her back on its brightness to look along the dark corridor. Had the sound come from the direction of the common room?

Penny pictured to herself the furnished space that she remembered passing through earlier in the day, now in semi-darkness. Sofas and chairs casting sinister shadows across the decorative carpet, the great empty fireplace like a cavernous mouth into some unknown realm. Perhaps moonbeams picking out the brass fittings on the walls, suggesting the scowling gaze of ghouls crouching in gloomy corners.

Penny smiled inwardly. She felt she would fit right into the spooky atmosphere of St Spiritus, a place where light and shadow met in mysterious ways, where nameless fears touched upon the senses briefly and then flitted away. Her new school was going to be awesome!

With renewed excitement, she strained her ears to catch the weird noise again, but out in the corridor there was only the sound of the wind swirling about the old buildings and booming across the open moorland beyond.

After a further interlude of fruitless listening, the intense cold drove Penny back towards her dormitory in disappointment, thoughts of a nice warm bed prompting her decision. Before she reached the door however she flinched and spun towards the shadows with renewed alertness. For it had happened again.

"Who's there?" she whispered, squinting along the corridor at uncertain shapes which might be carvings or pictures on the wall. A gust of wind was the only reply and Penny screwed up her mouth in frustration at the perplexing repetition of the unearthly sound.

It was hard to describe. Like jagged fingernails rasping hesitantly across coarse sandpaper. Hardly the sort of haunting noise associated with the undead though. No clanking chain or wailing moan or shuffling drag of twisted limbs along the floor.

Penny frowned in thought. The thing definitely wasn't going to go away and leave her in peace she realised. The sound seemed now to be coming from a pool of darkness at the far end of the corridor away from the common room. She had no idea where that led to and it hurt her eyes just trying to focus on the black nothingness ahead.

She knew she was being teased by something, perhaps something not of this world, a mischievous night creature that lured her on, inviting her to come look for it - if she dared. Penny took several steps toward the blackness before pausing to listen again, unsure of her next move.

What if it WAS a ghost, this strange thing which had disturbed her sleep? She thrilled once more at the idea of seeing a supernatural being. After all, ghosts were not necessarily evil... were they?

Penny wavered in the chilly corridor, her heart beating painfully in her chest as she squirmed with indecision. The silence between the teasing sounds was almost as provoking as the sounds themselves and she strained her ears with mounting impatience to catch the next goading utterance from the unknown thing.

Should she respond though? Allow herself to be dragged deeper into the shadowy labyrinth of St Spiritus? She had been in trouble before, nosing around where she did not belong.

Penny wasn't reckless. She knew it was unwise to tackle anything like this alone. She realised she needed an ally, someone she could trust with her life. And there was only one other person in the whole world she felt she could rely on, but he-

Something caught her eye just then, something moving in distant shadows with a will of its own. Something too large to be a bat or a mouse. With sudden resolve Penny turned bravely to face it...

~ ~ ~

In another dormitory a boy sat up suddenly for he thought he had heard a sound, the screech of an owl, or some cry of alarm. A scurrying in the ceiling space above his bed made him look up into the darkness. He smiled, relaxing a little.

"I am NOT afraid of mice," he declared firmly.

"That's greet," a boy opposite responded in muffled tones with an impatient Scottish burr. "Now cease your cackling and gae back ta sleep. You're making enough noise ta wake the ghaisties."

Ghosts?

The restless boy's sneer went unseen in the dark. What did he care about ghosts and spirits? Utter rubbish the lot of it. He couldn't care less.

The boy lay back, thinking about the new day ahead. His eyes slowly closed but a persistent buzz in his brain prevented him from falling asleep.

After a moment he sat up again and resignedly clambered out of bed. Feeling rather stupid just standing there in stripey pyjamas he slipped on a pair of trainers, opened the door quietly and strode over to the nearest corridor window where reflected moonlight dispelled eerie shadows. There he stayed, shivering a little in the cold, and hoping no one noticed he did so.

Looking out across the courtyard and down into the shadows below, the boy debated with himself what to do next for he was now wide awake. He wondered what it might be like to fall into that bottomless pit where moonlight could not reach and shuddered at the idea of it.

What had spooked him earlier though? Not the mention of ghosts obviously. He only knew one person who would be all of a flutter about the possibility of prowling phantoms, and she-

Something glowing caught his eye just then and he glanced up at the windows opposite. At first he thought it was a reflection of the moon in glass but sudden movement revealed a ghostly figure with long silver hair shimmering in the moonlight. He immediately attempted to duck into hiding but with apparent supernatural awareness the thing whirled around to transfix him with its horrid stare.

Frozen where he stood, the boy awaited his fate as the unearthly creature raised a withered hand slowly and deliberately, as if to blast him into oblivion with some dark and evil curse. His time had not yet come however, for instead of destroying him, it simply waved at him in a distinctly friendly manner.

Of course! It was the girls' dormitory opposite and Peter Thurwell recognised the long blonde locks of his twin sister Penny. He puffed his cheeks out, gathered his scattered wits together, and waved back. Now he knew why he was restless. The girl had obviously had some kind of nightmare. Typical! Penny gestured for him to come to her and without hesitation Peter made his way along the connecting corridor to where Penny already stood waiting, rubbing her bare arms in the chill night air.

"What's up sis?" he asked in a whisper. "Things going bump in the night?" His voice was tinged with sarcasm.

"Things certainly," Penny replied grimly, looking around her. "Not going bump though. Whispers, sighs, strange little noises."

"Where?"

Without reply Penny turned on her heel so quickly her nightie billowed out like a twirling dancer's costume. She ran on light feet, her fluffy slippers making no sound, and Peter followed unquestioningly. They entered the girls' dormitory corridor, forbidden territory to a boy, traversed its entire length through almost total darkness and eventually reached what appeared to be some poorly lit stairs. No amount of fumbling on the walls could find a lightswitch.

"Let's be stealthy then!" Penny whispered breathlessly. "We're on a secret mission. Detection and capture will mean certain death, detention or lines."

Her indecision had fled now she was with her brother. They were a team.

"You don't expect me to go down there?" Peter protested at the blackness below, not himself seized by the thrill of adventure. "I'll break my neck, and yours too if you go down before me."

Penny's hand gesture silenced her brother.

"Listen," she said quietly.

The twins leant towards the dark stairwell and its bottomless gaping maw, straining ears to hear. Peter caught it first. A rapid muttering in low tones, excited little sounds.

"Mice," he said with casual disdain.

Then a gust of cold air funnelled up from the darkness below and was as suddenly cut off.

"Mice don't open and shut doors," Penny declared triumphantly. "That was an external door opening. Can't you smell it on the air, a sort of frosty freshness from outside?"

Without waiting for an answer Penny launched herself at the dark steps that spiralled into nothingness.

"Are you nuts! You can't go down there," Peter whispered, grabbing his sister's arm.

"I've got to. That sound's been bugging me all night. I won't be able to sleep until I've found out who or what's causing it." Then she was gone, lost in the shadows. "Might be a ghost," Peter heard a teasing sing-song challenge float up faintly from below as he lingered on the topmost step.

"Yeah," he muttered resignedly, "a real live ghost," and he puffed out his cheeks with renewed annoyance. He was sure his sister had said she wouldn't get involved in this amateur detective nonsense again after what had happened at their last school. She was just too nosy for her own good.

Peter had no idea where the stairs led to, only that there was an external door somewhere down below. Reluctantly he plunged after his sister. He knew he would not be able to get any rest until she had calmed down, for they were twins. She would not be without his protection either, if he could help it, for there was no telling what might be lurking among the unfamiliar shadows.

Cautiously feeling his way down through the impenetrable blackness Peter took each step slowly and it seemed an eternity before he finally made out a luminous shape ahead of him. He knew right away it was Penny this time. She had paused, waiting for him. He came up to her and coughed lightly so as not to alarm her.

"The door," was all she said in response and suddenly Peter felt another gust of icy wind full in his face. It hurt his eyes and made him squint.

Opening the door let in some reflected moonlight and the misty glow revealed they had descended to a groundfloor vestibule. A number of packed trunks and belongings not yet stowed away upstairs could be seen propped against the curved interior walls. They were at the bottom of the external entrance tower to the dormitories.

"If anyone finds us here they'll think we're thieves rummaging through other people's stuff," Peter hissed anxiously.

"No they won't, 'cos we're not staying," Penny reassured him and passed through the opening into the night air. With a brief shrug of exasperation Peter dumbly followed.

"There!" Penny raised her hand. "I heard it again."

They were standing on a terrace shadowed by one of the connecting walls which divided up the school grounds and Penny gestured across the cold paving slabs that spread out towards a dark mass opposite. A wittering, birdlike melody of whispers seemed to flutter along the wall as if whatever was making it flew out before them.

Penny seemed fearlessly unafraid of the dark and quickly raced ahead of her brother in her eagerness to hunt down whatever strange creature it was that had disturbed her sleep. In moments she appeared as no more than a distant blob of paleness in the wall shadow. Peter's heart rate had lowered a little now he was out in the open for he could at least see where he was going, if not knowing why he was going there. He noticed his sister had stopped moving again and wondered if she might have found something. Frantic gestures to her lagging brother suggested she had.

"What's the matter now?" he asked in an uncertain whisper as he came up to where she stood.

They had reached the end of the terrace where a low wall jutted out from the ancient stonework. Beyond it was in darkness, a sunken courtyard space between buildings, like a cosy corner that led off from the main playground area.

Penny held her breath. Peter did likewise, and once again they listened.

The mutterings were quite distinct now. They sounded very close. Penny indicated with slow, cautious hand gestures that whatever was making the sound was directly below, on the other side of the wall. Peter approached the stone barrier, gulped nervously, and peered over, every muscle and nerve in his body tensed up ready to jump back in an instant.

At first he could see nothing. Then a muffled squeak and the sound of shifting weight made his eyes focus on a strange dark shape coiled up at the base of the wall. His head shot back lest he be seen.

"There's- there's something-" he choked.

Penny frowned. This was hardly solving the mystery. Bucking up her own courage and ignoring her brother's warnings, she too peered into the sunken courtyard. The mutterings grew louder momentarily. Now she was close to it, Penny distinctly made out words, whispered words.

"I wish you could have come with us on holiday," she heard a girl's voice mumble in excited tones. Penny smiled. The mystery appeared to resolve itself into some pupils having a secret midnight chat. Relief, disappointment and a lingering curiosity mingled in her heart a moment.

Penny felt certain she could not be seen herself as she leaned a little further over the wall. Her eyes were more accustomed to the dark now, having stared so long into it, and she felt sure that in the faint misty glow of reflected moonlight she could make out a huddled figure below her in a shaded dressing gown and topped with a mass of ruddy hair. Now and again as this mysterious figure gestured and muttered, Penny caught glimpses of little sparks of light around her head. The girl was wearing glasses, she concluded.

Try as she might though, Penny could not make out any companion with her. The girl was alone, talking earnestly to herself. This revelation made Penny withdraw. Suddenly she felt like an eavesdropper on a very personal moment and realised she should not be there.

Turning to suggest that she and Peter retrace their steps Penny discovered her brother was nowhere to be seen. She looked frantically around the shadowy courtyard but he had simply disappeared. Panic seized her briefly for all of a sudden she felt very alone.

Endeavouring to regather her courage, Penny made her way back along the terrace, nervously alert to the possibility of being discovered wandering about without permission late at night. She no longer felt the thrill of a mysterious adventure and wished very much instead she was safely back in her own bed, even if she was unable to sleep.

The distant caw of a crow gave her pause and again she heard the wittering mutters coming from the sunken courtyard. A crazy girl? Perhaps the school did that to its pupils, eventually. Friends back home warned her the place was a madhouse and that her parents would do well to send her and her brother to a more mainstream school.

Nevertheless, Penny felt more than a little curious to know who this strange girl in the shadows might be, and why she talked to herself so late at night. She was half tempted to return and speak to her.

The impulse died with a gasp when she caught sight of a running figure making directly towards her, darting in and out of the moonlight on the other side of the playground.

"Doesn't anyone sleep here?" she said grimly, trying to conceal herself deeper in the shadows but relief swept over her on recognising who it was, the distinctive blond head and loping awkward gait identifying her brother as perfectly as if it were broad daylight. He came skittering up to her in an apparent ecstasy of excitement and she had no time to admonish him for giving her such a fright.

"This you've GOT to see!" he said, trying to catch his breath, for he had been running full pelt. "It's murder, it must be!"

~ ~ ~

The strange redheaded girl now forgotten, the twins raced alongside towering walls to where a carved doorframe jutted massively outward. A continuous blast of cold air streamed through it almost like a gale for the heavy wooden door lay wide open. Penny felt an instant chill as earthy moorland fragrances filled her nostrils. She gritted her teeth and faced into the wind, partly sheltered behind her brother as she followed his lead.

"Down here," he said by way of encouragement and the pair made difficult progress along a rough path outside the main wall, for they were now on the side of a sparsely wooded valley which fell sharply before rising again towards the tremendous mass of the moors. Not a light twinkled in that great black shape ahead of them. A round moon and silver clouds hung in the sky above. No stars were visible, only the bright spark of Jupiter sat sedately on his regal throne a million million frozen miles away.

"Where are we going?" Penny eventually asked, totally mystified by her brother's actions.

"Keep your voice low," Peter admonished. "While you were chasing whispers I noticed this strange looking guy walking casually as you please across the courtyard. He didn't see us and went out that big door back there, so I decided to follow him and see what he was up to. This way!"

Peter clambered over a crumbling stone wall and crouched under some low hanging branches that danced in the moaning wind. Penny, chilled to the bone, joined him moments later.

"I followed him here," Peter continued his story. "I could see he was carrying a sack and shovel and when he put the sack down you know what he did next? He started digging."

"Lucky he had a shovel then," Penny remarked, trying to stop her teeth from chattering. She regretted not bringing her dressing gown. A sleepy crow grumbled and ruffled its feathers in the treetop above.

"He made some really weird gestures once or twice," Peter continued, ignoring his sister's sarcasm. "Jerky hand movements like he was using invisible puppets or something. And then he began to sing a kind of chant or weird poem in a funny language."

"Did he dance too?" Penny kept her features as stony serious as she could, but it was an effort. Peter forged on.

"No, he took up the sack and pulled something out of it, about the size of a football, holding it up to the moon as he sang. I couldn't see what it was at first, so I moved closer. The moonlight was at its strongest just then and I could see there was hair on the thing. Penny, it was a head, a human head!"

"What did he do then?" Penny asked, leaning closer, lowering her voice to an almost inaudible level. Her mood was less humorous also after this revelation.

"I don't know. I ran back to get you. It happened just over the rise," and Peter indicated the grassy slope which they were crouching at the bottom of, concealed among the protecting trees.

A pause to catch their breaths and shake off the chill night air, and the twins crept upwards so they could see beyond the barren crest. Peter reached the top first and puffed his cheeks out nervously.

"What is it?" Penny asked, lying down by her brother's side. She looked out across the dry grass which rustled in the breeze and her eyes, fully accustomed to the darkness, could clearly see disturbances in the earth about twenty yards ahead of them. Here and there gorse bushes squat darkly around the countryside. They seemed to her fretful imagination like sleeping monsters ready to wake at any moment into violent hungry life. Apart from that, there was nothing else to see.

"He's gone," Peter said, mournfully. "He must have returned to the school after burying the evidence."

"And locked us out probably," Penny replied, ever practical but relieved too they had not crossed paths along the way. Then to Peter's alarm she stood up in her bright nightie and scampered over the wiry grass to where the dark earth lay scattered about.

"Hang it!" he heard her say as she caught her nightie on a gorse bush monster and pulled a thread or two while endeavouring to disentangle herself from its ensnaring claws. Peter reluctantly joined his sister in the clearing and they walked all over it in search of clues as to what had happened earlier.

"Buried it good and proper," Penny said, sniffing the earth like a wild animal. "Sure it wasn't a dead cat or something?"

"Dead cats are cat-shaped, whether dead or alive," Peter replied impatiently, suppressing the image of a poor moggie he had once seen by a roadside that looked anything but cat-shaped by the time heavy traffic had done with it. "This was the size of a human head," he insisted. "Shaped like a human head and with a head of human hair."

The sound of his own voice carrying on the night wind made him pause and he remembered they might not be alone out on the moor. He looked back at the jagged outline of the school buildings soaring above the limestone cliff on which St Spiritus principally sat. A few lights here and there burned dimly through tiny slit windows too far away to be of concern and his gaze returned to the shadows that overlapped each other near and far across the moonlit landscape.

Was it his imagination or had the nearest gorse bushes moved? They weren't where he remembered them to be. It was as if they were gathering together to cut off any retreat back to the sanctuary of the school.

Sanctuary?

He recalled reading some literature on the train about St Spiritus's origins, how it was built on the site of a monastery. Sacred ground of course, a refuge from the ageless evil that stalked the moors at night, trying to get into people's homes to suck out their brains.

That was why the monastery was built in the first place, on the edge of darkness, the front line in the eternal battle against the nameless ones. It was then that Peter realised he and his twin sister had just crossed that boundary, that they were standing in enemy territory, unprotected.

"Come on P-Penny," he said, a little panicky spasm rising in his throat. "We should be getting back." He had no idea where all these thoughts had originated, certainly not from the glossy school brochures with pictures of smiling kids trekking on the open moors, healthy and happy in the fresh country air.

"Yeah," Penny said, stomping on the soft earth disappointedly. There was nothing to see. She had missed it. Then she paused and looked at her brother, for she had picked up his sense of panic, of being out in the open, unprotected.

Wordlessly the pair vaulted over the tumbled stones at the bottom of the slope, ran up the slippery path that flanked the massive outer wall, and to their relief found the door still open. Cautiously they peered into the courtyard to see if anyone was still around. When all seemed quiet they scampered to the entrance tower and raced up the spiral stone staircase, stopping only to catch their breaths on the upper landing. They did not want to arouse suspicion in their fellow dorm mates when they returned to bed seemingly gasping for air.

They sat together on the topmost step where a narrow window cast a half-light upon them and they stared at each other in silence. Then Penny let out a little laugh, as relief took the place of puzzled fright.

"What are we going to do?" she whispered.

"I don't know."

"Are you sure you saw what you said you saw?" Penny then added, an uncertain frown distorting her features. "Sure it wasn't some horrid novel you read giving you just a little bit of inspiration? I mean, didn't you mention something like that happened in 'The Case of the Bodiless Head' by that awful detective writer you like so much, and wasn't there some stuff on chopped off heads in 'Revenge of the Headless Horde'?"

"Enough!" Peter hissed. "I know what I saw." He then brooded darkly a moment as he reviewed the night's events. Penny could feel his annoyance and lapsed into silence.

"And that man," Peter suddenly blurted out. "I'd recognise him again anywhere. Tall and thin, like a skeleton, but with a big round nose and a goggle-eyed stare. It was horrible."

This description made Penny splutter in spite of herself. Her brother had certainly seen something out of the ordinary, but the more he described it the more absurd the whole incident sounded. Invisible puppets indeed. Her uneasiness about it all was fast dissolving into ridicule. It would not be the first time her brother's imagination had led him somewhat astray.

With startling suddenness a strange grating noise filled the air around them, a rhythmic sound of anguished metal. Peter stood up awkwardly, rubbing clammy hands on his pyjama legs in a nervous gesture. Penny rose also, teeth on edge, and went over to the narrow window which overlooked the playground where the whispering girl hid. The great door still lay open in the towering wall opposite, lit by the full moon.

And there, walking nonchalantly as if out for a Sunday stroll, was the tall and thin figure of an old man, tools under one arm and pushing ahead of him an ancient wooden wheelbarrow. The repeated squeaks came from a worn axle as the barrow rolled across the flagstones towards the open door. When the man bumped his burden down some steps, the barrow tilted slightly and something fell out of it, something round and straggly which rolled clumsily in the moonlight a moment before settling to rest. The man paused and the squeaking moans ceased. His bony hand reached for the fallen thing and replaced it in his barrow before he resumed trundling his cargo onward and out through the doorway. As he departed he dragged the door shut behind him and the playground fell silent once more.

Penny, having witnessed all of this with mixed feelings of surprise and amusement, turned to see her brother had been watching over her shoulder. Before she could speak he summed up her thoughts in one word.

"Turnips," he muttered.

"He's the school gardener or something," Penny added, stifling a laugh. "Probably likes his own company when pottering around the allotment so does it at night."

"I know what I saw," Peter declared with grim persistance.

"No you don't. It's clear to me you read too many silly horror stories to know what's real and what's not anymore," Penny replied with an annoying know-it-all smugness.

"Well, what about that whispering creature huddled in the playground?" Peter countered, "for that was after all what started this whole monster hunt business in the first place." Penny brightened at mention of the mysterious whisperer.

"It was a girl," she said. "Hiding in a quiet spot to talk to herself about holidays and stuff."

"A girl! You got me out of a nice warm bed to go spy on some sleepwalking mad girl who likes talking to herself," Peter whispered through gritted teeth.

"You dragged me half across the freezing moors in my fluffy slippers to watch a man bury turnips," Penny spat back in perfect mimicry of her brother's indignant tone.

Peter humphed and fell silent, simmering with an inner rage his sister could feel well enough. Penny looked out the window again, nothing daunted.

"I'd love to meet her," she continued, "find out why she likes to go on midnight jaunts, why she feels the need to talk to herself at all hours."

"She's probably the only person who would listen to what she has to say," Peter snorted in contempt.

A door opened somewhere and the twins glanced at each other quickly. A torch flared in a nearby window. Someone was coming, night staff on patrol, and they had to make themselves suddenly scarce. Peter could see the reluctance in his sister's eyes to depart for she seemed willing to stay on the stairs all night, convinced the redhead would have to pass that way eventually.

Their number one priority in any situation, in any place and at any time, was to look out for each other, whether they agreed on anything else or not. That was how they had survived in the past. Thus Peter buried his anger and voiced the necessity for concerted action.

"We gotta go sis," he insisted. "This night's adventure is officially over I think." Penny nodded without hesitation.

The twins clasped hands reassuringly and parted, each making a stealthy way past patrolling night staff to their respective beds to try and catch at least a little sleep before the next day began. It was to be their first full day at St Spiritus. New teachers, new classes, new friends and possibly new enemies.

Neither noticed in their excitement that their actions were being watched by someone far more skilled than they at wandering the dark labyrinth of St Spiritus late at night.

"I thought so!" a mysterious figure declared in satisfied tones once the corridors were again populated only by moonlight and shadow. "I knew there was something special about them. It's 'cos they're twins too!"

To be continued...