01/23/2023 Snippet, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND.

Mundane and spiritual!

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The Fane had a food court, so we had our picnic there.

It feels so jarring to put it that way, but I don’t want anyone to think that the Fane was some kind of ethereal, pie-in-the-sky fantasy-land. No, we were in a place that people used; and one thing that people do, is eat. So they would need somewhere to eat, and we decided to eat there, too.

We had brought our lunches with us. Sandwiches, bread, and lukewarm tea — and I swear, I’ve never had a better meal. The food court seemed to grow brighter as we ate, and I wondered whether there were automatic systems that activated when people used the room for any length of time.

Oft chuckled when I suggested that. “I suppose that’s one way to describe spirits,” he mused. “Let’s hope they don’t mind.”

“I don’t think I believe in those the same way you do, Oft.” Let the record show that my voice was not slightly muffled, thank you very much. Civilized Jeffersonians don’t talk with their mouths full. “I mean, sure, I believe in souls, and stuff, but they don’t linger when they’re gone.” I looked around, and shuddered a little, in spite of myself. “Not even somewhere like this.”

“Really? I find this planet particularly soul-haunted.” Oft poured himself another cup of tea. “I wonder that you do not.”