Nightingale cleared his throat. His mouth had gone suddenly dry.
‘Robbie, we need to talk to you about my sister,’ he said.
The planchette gradually moved back to its original position.
‘Abersoch,’ whispered Jenny. ‘Ask him why he sent you to Wales.’
Nightingale flashed her a warning look to keep quiet. ‘Robbie, this is Jack. I’m here with Jenny. We want to talk to you about my sister. Can you talk to us?’
The planchette slid over to YES again, then moved purposefully back to the middle of the board.
‘Robbie, can you tell-’ Before Nightingale could finish, the planchette slid purposely upwards and pointed at the letter Y. As soon as it reached the bottom of the Y it jerked to the left and settled on the letter O. Then in quick succession it touched U and R.
‘Your,’ said Jenny. She shivered and looked around the basement. ‘Can you feel a draught?’ she asked.
Nightingale nodded. There was a cold breeze blowing from the far end of the basement, even though there were no doors or windows there. The candle flames began to flicker.
Nightingale opened his mouth to speak but, before he could say anything, the planchette started to move again, touching six letters one after the other: S-I-S-T-E-R.
‘Your sister,’ said Jenny.
Nightingale didn’t look at her. The planchette had already started to move again.
I-S. It stopped briefly and then moved on. G-O-I-N-G.
‘Is going,’ said Jenny. ‘Going where?’
Nightingale’s eyes widened. He had a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach because he knew without a shadow of a doubt what was coming.
The planchette stayed where it was for several seconds and then it began to move. Nightingale could feel his fingers pressing down on the pointer as if they were trying of their own accord to stop it from moving.
‘Jenny, you’re not…?’
Jenny shook her head fiercely, her eyes fixed on the planchette as it continued to slide across the board.
T-O. It hesitated for a few more seconds, but Nightingale already knew where it was going next. It headed towards the H.
‘No!’ he said. He took his hand off the planchette but it carried on moving, this time towards the E. ‘Leave it, Jenny!’ he shouted.
Jenny looked at him, confused.
‘Let go of it!’ yelled Nightingale.
He reached over and grabbed her arm. He pulled it away and she let go of the planchette. They both stared wide-eyed as it carried on moving. It stopped over the letter E for less than a second and then started to slide towards the L.
‘What’s happening, Jack?’ asked Jenny
Nightingale stood up, grabbed the board and threw it against the wall. As it crashed to the floor, the candles blew out and Jenny screamed.