Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

"Cursed object?" Ben folded his arms across his broad chest. He tilted his head towards Matthias' book. "That's from a movie. We're going with a theory from a book about movies?"

Matthias wanted to argue "movies and books" but kept his mouth shut and drew his lips tight.

"Has anyone found anything promising in our other research?" Penny asked.

Ruby shook her head, closing a slim, green book on her lap. "Nothing."

"Trav, what did the thing you bought look like?" Matthias asked, setting his book on the coffee table beside Cas' phone, the pages open on an image of a doll with an unsettling stare. He was pretty sure he had seen her in some cheesy horror film, but didn't bring that up either.

"Yes, could to draw it?" Penny slipped from her chair and hurried to a drawer which clattered open, no doubt full of more knickknacks. She extracted a tablet of lined paper and a pencil, passing them to Trav.

"I'm not a great artist," Trav warned, eyeing the blank page.

"Just do your best, babe," Ruby nudged his shoulder with hers.

Ben rolled his eyes and picked up one of the books still on the pile. "You have fun with this idea, I'll try to figure out what's really going on."

Matthias wasn't sure what to do with himself now that Trav was focused on drawing. This was, after all, his theory, so he figured he should supervise it, though he had no idea what they could do if it did turn out to be a cursed item. He ran through a list of horror movies in his head. Most of the ones remembered involved unstoppable murderers, but he remembered famous ones like Chuckie. His mother hadn't been keen on horror movies when he was growing up. What had the characters done to eliminate the threat? Demons could be exorcised, ghosts banished, but what did you do about a hunk of gold that wanted you dead? It wasn't as if they had a volcano handy to pitch it into.

"Why not just run down and throw it out a window?" Cas asked as though she'd read Matthias' mind, though her eyes were on the open pages of the book.

"Wouldn't it just keep being evil, but in the street?" Ruby raised her head.

"I don't know." Cas frowned at her pages before letting out a huff and flipping ahead. "It seems like it took that thing a while to get a foothold here. Maybe if we just got rid of it... we don't have a Mount Doom to toss it into."

Matthias gave Cas a little, comradely smile, which she returned even though she might not understand why. Bookish people, people who understood words, whether written or read, always seemed like instant potential friends and Matthias realized he desperately wanted a Fellowship now, rather than a group of almost-strangers.

"Alright... I think I got it right." The scratching of Trav's pencil ceased and everyone leaned in so far their heads nearly touched. Only Amber and Cheese stood at the outside, watching with obvious confusion.

"That is actually really good, Trav," Cas said, brows rising as she took in the sketch.

Matthias tended to agree. He'd assumed a "I'm not a very good artist" entailed an inability to draw anything but stick figures. Trav had managed a confident circle complete with symbols and designs around the rim. Within the circle Matthias made out several human figures. They stood around it in a ring, hands linked. In the middle of the human hoop was a second, smaller ring.

Ruby, who was on Matthias' right, swatted his shoulder and he jumped. "Wait! Wait I think I've seen this!" She rapidly swatted Matthias' shoulder several more times. He let her, glad someone seemed to finally have an answer.

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