What are the Thurmans?

Continuing from where we left off…

**

Frieda caught Henry’s hand and he looked down at her.  She was frowning at Mr. Thurman.  “He’s not like the Singers,” she said, her voice faint.  She looked at Johannes and shook her head.  “They don’t hiss at you when you sing the Purification Song.”

Panis Angelicus,” Nancy said, her voice faint.

Konrad’s lips twitched and he shrugged.  “Potato, potato,” he said, pronouncing the word two different ways.  “You call it by its lyrical name.  We call it by its functional name.”

Henry looked over at Liesel.  “How’s Mr. Thurman different from the Singers and the other tainted spirits that Johannes purifies, Liesel?” he asked.  Somehow, he felt like it was important to know that detail at that moment.

Liesel’s brows furrowed and she tilted her head.  As the wind ruffled her hair, her eyes widened.  “He serves the Dark One,” she breathed.  “So does Mrs. Thurman.”

Mr. Thurman suddenly straightened.  He thrust out his hand at Johannes.  At that moment, a long jagged blade appeared in his hand.  Konrad pushed his younger brother back as Mr. Thurman struck.  Konrad hissed in pain as the blade slashed across his arm.

“Konrad,” Claire breathed, leaping forward without a thought for her own safety.  She grabbed a napkin with one hand and his arm with the other, pressing the napkin firmly over the wound.  As a nurse, some things just came as instinct.

Without missing a beat, Johannes left off singing the first song and switched to a series of chanted lyrics in Latin.  As he said the two phrases over and over, Mr. Thurman continued to try to attack.  However, each blow bounced harmlessly off a barrier between him and everyone else.  Then, he hissed and leapt onto the porch overhang.  He ran and leapt off the roof before vanishing into the garden.

Johannes turned to Konrad, rushing to his side as Claire helped him sit down.  “It’s all right, Aunt Claire,” he said, patting her arm.  Then, in a sweet, clear voice, he began singing yet another song.

Nancy released a shaky breath and looked over at Henry.  “Do I want to know what Ave Maria is going to do?” she asked, her voice faint.  He could tell that she was having trouble taking it all in.  After all, Henry didn’t mention work very often.

“They call it the Healing Song,” he said, his voice soft.

Claire heaved a sigh and carefully eased the napkin away.  Then, she gently wiped at were the wound had been, revealing newly healed flesh.  Looking at Konrad, she said, “Are you all right, sweetie?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Konrad said.  As Johannes finished the song, he smiled.  “Thank you, little brother.”

Johannes looked at his brother and nodded.  Then, he looked at Claire, before turning to Nancy and then Henry.  “I think we know who opened the portal in Opa’s garden,” he said.

“The only question now is… why?” Henry said, nodding.

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