They ran into the next car.
Just as the lights went out.
They stopped running. “Okay.” said Hildreth. “We need a plan.”
“But we don’t know what we’re up against.”
“It can’t be that hard to figure out. I mean, how many extraordinaries drain electricity?”
“Six: ghosts, Italian forest spirits, gremlins, fairy cats, grish trolls, and spectral fey.”
Hildreth thought about it. “Well. Italian forest spirits generally don’t cross oceans. They stick to their home turf.”
“Ghosts…” Elsie shook her head. “It would take a lot of energy for a ghost to drain so many lightbulbs.”
“And make them explode.”
“Gremlins are noisy.”
“So, we would definitely know if it were them.”
“Grish trolls are too big.”
“Which leaves us with spectral fey and fairy cats. We can kill one with insults. The other…we’ll have to chase away. Somehow.” He smiled. “Personally, I’m hoping for the fey. It’s been a long time since I’ve really slammed someone down with insults.”
“With our luck, it will be the cat. Do you have a flashlight?”
“I don’t feel like chasing an extraordinary inside a train. I want it to come to us.”
“Ahh, in that case, I have just the thing.” Hildreth reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, flat coffin.
Her eyes widened. “Is that a Gobstop 3500?”
He grinned and pressed the bouquet of black and red roses on the lower half of the lid.
The cap of the coffin sprang open and a steady stream of white light poured forth..
“It is! Where’d you get it from?”
His smile faltered. “My former master, Master Initskay, gave it to me.”
Elsie heard the catch in his voice. “Do you want to talk about it?”
His smile was gone. “Not now.” He took a deep breath and released it. “Later.”
Her face quilted up with concern.
He managed a small smile. “I promise.” He kissed her and she gently kissed him back.
The light grew brighter.
All of the lightbulbs in the car exploded.
But the light in Hildreth’s hand stayed steady.
The door at the end of the car swung open and slammed shut.
That got their attention.
A tall man stood in an impertinent slouch against the door. A steampunked top hat perched on his head of wild red hair. Goggles with black opal lenses concealed his eyes. And a long trench coat decorated liberally with buckles covered him down to his ankles. He smiled. “Well. Now that you’ve had a chance to admire me, give me that flashlight. Please?”