Valorie rejoined Eddie downstairs. She was watching a documentary about cosmetic surgery with her mother.
‘How did things go?’ they both asked.
‘Fine, Valorie said. She flopped down onto the sofa. ‘Oh dear. I’m rather tired now. Oh, look, it’s past nine. I hadn’t noticed. Do you mind if I get to bed soon, Mum?’
‘Yeah, you should get some sleep, sweetheart. Do you have any homework to do?’
‘No.’ Valorie made a mental note to get up early in the morning to do it tomorrow.
‘Eddie, do you want a cup of tea or coffee or anything?’
‘Oh, yes please.’
‘Just the one, please. Thanks.’
Valorie’s mum sauntered into the kitchen. Valorie followed her.
‘Are you having a cup as well, Val?’
‘Yes please. I’m sorry about all this, by the way.’
‘It’s not your fault. At least we found out sooner rather than later.’
Valorie leaned against the sideboard. ‘Do you like Eddie, Mum?’
Mrs Morse gave a chortle. ‘Yes, I think I do. We’re getting on well anyway; we seem to have a lot in common. She’s nice, isn’t she?’
‘I’m not too sure about Charley though. I mean, he seems intelligent and everything, but, erm… well, he’s a bit too outlandish for my liking.’
‘Mum, he’s not weird or anything. He’s OK.’
‘I’m sure he is. So, what normally happens in the lessons he gives you?’
‘Er…’ Valorie thought. She watched her mother stir the teabag around, squash it against the side of the mug, and drop it onto the plate they kept on the side especially for that purpose. ‘Well, it depends, but mostly we exchange a few pleasantries, and then he’ll ask me to concentrate and I sort of… it’s hard to explain really.’
‘So, what is you do again, Val?’ Mrs Morse asked, stirring the tea. ‘Teleportation, and… what else?’
‘Etheric projection. It means projecting your, er, presence outside your physical body.’
Her mother looked at her. ‘Well, what use is that?’
‘Well, in an Etheric body, you can’t feel pain, and er, most mortals can’t see you when you do it, so you can look at people and they can’t look at you.’
There was a short silence while her mother took all this in. She finished making the tea. ‘This one’s yours,’ she said to Valorie, indicating the mug on the sideboard. ‘I’m just taking this one through to Eddie.’
Mrs Morse left the room, and Valorie picked up her mug. It left a ring of tea on the side. She sipped it, but it was still to hot.
Mrs Morse came back in.
‘Val… do you think you could… well, show me?’
Valorie raised an eyebrow. ‘I’m not sure that would work… you probably wouldn’t see anything.’
‘Please try. I want to see.’
Valorie stared into space, concentrating. She relaxed her muscles. The room became negative. She stretched her mind, felt the pulling behind her belly and WHOOSH.
Valorie floated a few feet about her body. She stuck out her hands – she saw her fingers wiggling and her hair floating in front of her. Beaming, she waved down to her mother – who looked aimlessly around the room, trying to focus on nothing at all.
‘You’re right,’ she said, talking to Valorie’s empty shell. ‘I can’t see anything.’