Emma to Bruce
It’s tea time. Now that Jules and I are living in England we are trying to embrace the concept of tea time, though as you already know I prefer to take my caffeine in the form of chocolate. (Unlike Cristina, who is literally addicted to coffee.) Chocolate chip cookies, brownie bars, ice cream—any form of chocolate is welcome and acceptable, and there is excellent chocolate in England. I have become addicted to Galaxy bars.
Julian is outside talking to the contractors — I can see Round Tom waving his arms around about something — so I thought I’d take a moment to fill you in on what happened since my last entry.
If you recall, we found a silver flask at the Devil Tavern that seemed to set off all Ty’s Ghost Detector alarms. It was a beautiful flask … etched with flowers and butterfly wings, and the initials MF. We brought it back to Blackthorn Hall and had a look at it in the bright light of day, where I immediately remembered where I’d seen that butterfly design before.
On the Fairchild family ring.
I know this because of Clary. (I don’t spend a lot of time staring at her jewelry, Bruce, but Shadowhunters are pretty into family symbols, generally speaking. And there was that time I borrowed her jacket in Faerie and then went to Thule and everyone thought she was dead because her ring was in the pocket…but that’s a story for another time. I’ve got enough to document in the present.) So Jules and I agreed that whoever owned this flask was likely a Fairchild whose first name began with M. Genius-level Sherlock detecting, I know.
Over a lunch of toasted cheese sandwiches we decided it would be better to do a little more diligent research rather than diving right in and asking the ghost ARE YOU A FAIRCHILD, Y/N. So we sent a fire message to Helen and Aline. There are several old Shadowhunter family histories in the LA Institute library, and we asked them to have a look for Fairchilds who had first names beginning with the letter M. I guess Helen was up early, because she got back to us pretty quickly with a short list of candidates. Medea Fairchild, Myles Fairchild, and Matthew Fairchild. It wasn’t clear from the records whether any of them are ancestors of Clary, but I am curious! (I personally hope Medea is, because that is a badass mythological name.) Anyway it didn’t take us long to nominate a candidate for Owner of the Silver Flask. (Drumroll, please, Bruce.) The candidate is….Matthew Fairchild!
We deduced this because Medea died in 1802 at the age of seventy-eight, and Myles died in 1857 at fifty-nine. So, given the timeframe we’re looking at—Jem said his friends were hanging out at the Devil Tavern during the early part of the last century—Matthew, born in 1886, was the only one who fit the bill. (There wasn’t a death date for him, apparently, which doesn’t mean he lived forever or died at birth, records from around that time tend to be spotty.)
Without further ado, we returned to the dining room to contact our mystery ghost. I swear, even though we’ve swept it multiple times, that room just seems to get dustier and dustier. I’d left some papers from the Blackthorn archives (which is a kind way of saying “from the pile of junk with occasional interesting stuff in it”) stacked on the dining table, and they were all in disarray. It made me wonder if the ghost was trying to read them in our absence.
Julian cleared his throat. “Attention, ghost,” he began.
“Maybe they don’t like being called ‘ghost’,” I hissed under my breath. “Maybe we should refer to them as ‘Deceased Person.’”
“That sounds medical,” said Julian. “Like we’re in a morgue.”
We both became dispirited about the idea of being in a morgue. After a moment’s thought, Julian said, “How about wraith or phantom?”
The curtains stirred even though the windows weren’t open. Apparently phantom was the popular choice.
“Matthew?” I said, slowly. “Matthew Fairchild?”
It’s a nice name, Matthew. I thought about Matthew Fairchild, born in 1886, and wondered what he’d been like. Wondered if all that was left of him was a breath of air stirring the curtains in our dining room.
Though the curtains weren’t stirring right now. They were utterly still.
“Are you Matthew Fairchild?” Jules asked, clearly deciding we needed to be more specific.
The curtains gave what I can only describe as an annoyed little shake. This stirred up some more dust, which made the air hazy. I heard a noise behind me and whirled around. The stack of papers on the table tipped over. Papers were being flung in all directions, by an unseen, angry hand.
“So — you’re not Matthew Fairchild?” I said, fighting the urge to sneeze. “Look, it’s fine if you aren’t — we just want to help — we’ll keep looking —”
The papers stopped flying. The room was quiet again. Hushed, even, like the inside of an Institute. I guessed our phantom friend had departed and I realized I was disappointed. I’d really been hoping we’d find an answer …
Then Julian laid his hand on my arm. And pointed. Goosebumps exploded across my skin. In the dust on the floor, an invisible finger was writing words — writing in the old-fashioned cursive that had become familiar since our arrival at Blackthorn Hall.
One by the one, the words appeared, the letters shaky and spiky, as if the ghost were agitated.
Read the diary
The imagine of Tatiana’s diary sprang into my mind. I knew, somehow, that was the diary the ghost was referring to. More words appeared:
READ THE DIARY
READ THE DIARY
READ THE DIARY
“But I have,” I said, without thinking. “I have read the diary.”
Julian turned to look at me, a blank expression of surprise spreading across his face. “Emma,” he said. “What diary?”