Birds sang. The sky was blue. The hills were covered in vibrantly green short sheep-cropped grass and the sheep's other more material byproducts had been swept away.
Harry and Nadia were sitting on the ground together enjoying a picnic on the hillside overlooking Buslinthwaite Mere, with the Dawson property on the far side opposite them.
Nadia had brought a checkered tablecloth and a wicker basket packed with food and Harry had brought a wine cooler filled with a selection of canned soft drinks.
Harry finished off his last ham sandwich, brushed the crumbs into his palm and then rewrapped them in the greaseproof paper that the sandwich had originally been in.
'Well Nadia, can you clue me up as to what you think Grace might have been talking about last night?
Nadia shrugged. 'There are a few things I might not have told you about, but nothing that seems that relevant.'
Harry leant backwards, supporting himself on his hands. 'Go on, try me.'
'Well, you know I told you about my kitten Tomas, and you said that I might have brought it back from the dead?'
'Yes...' Harry replied, warily.
'Well, I had an difficult childhood because my parents always thought that I was strange.' And then they were both killed in a car accident and then the aunt who took me in never liked me.'
Harry frowned. 'What do you mean?
Nadia scowled, remembering the life she'd had before she ran away from home. 'My parents both thought that I was morbid and mentally unsettled because I used to have a thing about death.
Harry sat up straight, looking surprised. 'You what?'
'Well, it happened when I was five and I fell into Buslinthwaite Beck and drowned. But not for long.'
Nadia reached out and took his hand. 'I was only dead for a couple of minutes at the most. I was completely normal afterwards.'
Harry shook his head. 'Apart from having a morbid fascination about death?'
Nadia grinned. 'Well, doesn't everyone practice holding their breath underwater in the bath?'
Harry laughed. 'No. So, let me get this right', he went on. 'You almost died when you were five but recovered, then spent the remaining years of your childhood reliving your near death experience and went on to become fascinated by death and mortality as a whole. And then, when your parents were both killed, your foster aunt couldn't bring herself to warm to you because of your unusual interests and activities.'
Nadia nodded. 'Yes.'
'So you then ran away from home and then, when the stray kitten you adopted got killed, you dug it up a few weeks later and resurrected it.'
Harry looked at her quizzically, his head slightly cocked to one side. 'And none of this seems the slightest bit odd to you?'
Nadia frowned. 'Well, when you put it that way...'
'And then when you suddenly start to develop psychic powers on top of all that...'
'I suppose that you could say that I might not be entirely normal, taking all that into consideration,' Nadia replied, agreeing.
Harry shook his head. 'That's putting it mildly, don't you think?'
Nadia smiled. 'I suppose you might have a point.'
'So when some sort of undead creature or vampire suggests that you might have something unusual about you, it means little to nothing to you.'
Nadia stood up, drawing Harry up to his feet as well, and they both looked across at the Dawson house together.
'Do you think we'll see any more of Grace now,' she asked.
Harry shook his head. 'I very much doubt it. But we still don't know how Samedi fits in with all this and what his next move will be.'
'No, we don't. And I wish we knew more about him,' Nadia replied, shivering.
Harry picked up the black cane that had been laying beside them. 'Come on, doll. Back to the truck. Time to hit the internet again and to do some more research....'