By sean mcnulty
‘And what did the whispers say?’ asked Katrine.
‘I can’t be sure,’ answered Walter. ‘At first, I thought it was the ice talking to itself in its own language. The ice there has such exquisite life. I imagined I was hearing its thoughts as it recited the classic poetry of famous ice bards in polar history. But the whispers were different. There was something human echoing in the sound – something very human.’
‘So did you find out how we’re supposed to get there?’
Walter shook his head mournfully: ‘I can’t remember. My incorporeal self lost track of itself in flight. But I recall a huge mountain on the island. And it had a notable shape. Like two melting pyramids, one on top of the other. Or a giant slumped Christmas tree. And it was bluer than the sky.’
‘A glaciar maybe,’ guessed Katrine.
Stinson leaned into Masterson and muttered Astral projection to him to bring the wolf priest up to speed with the affairs of their new associates. But Masterson had already clocked the situation and asked Walter, overconfidently and sneeringly: ‘Did you magic yourself to this place, Sir?’
The parapsychologist was unshaken by Masterson’s tone. ‘It’s not magic,’ he responded, candidly. ‘No aid is provided by the other-world. It’s more an act of will.’
‘A leap of faith,’ added Katrine.
‘How exactly do you leave the body?’ asked Stinson. ‘Do you leap out? Crawl even?’
‘I think I’m crawling out of mine at the minute,’ said Masterson.
‘You can crawl,’ said Walter. ‘Or you can leap. It might depend on permutations in time and space. I have heard in the past of etheric bodies that have withdrawn from the physical form with some acceleration. But for me, it has always happened slowly. I have crawled, but I have also leapt. Slow leaps however. Sometimes I hover over my own body for a while, and other times I simply arrive at my desired location without any kinetic activity at all.’
‘It sounds like fun,’ said Stinson, innocently. Masterson looked at his fellow priest the way he usually looked at a dim-witted lad before giving him a clout.