Andrew died. It wasn’t fair. I’d still had questions that needed answering, and then he was gone.
It bothered me for a long time.
Over the years I picked up information, here and there. Spells. Various hexes. Incantations. I tried them all. I was almost certain that there wasn’t any magic left in the world.
But this time, this time I allowed myself to hope. Just a little bit.
I’d paid dearly for the old book with the ritual, and was careful to lay it out of the way of the candles and blood that I would need for later.
I cleared a space in my kitchen and carefully followed the instructions. Turns out that the hope and the darkness were enough.
Andrew appeared, whole, looking better than I remembered. He walked in like he hadn’t been in the ground the last 14 years.
Strangely, I felt nothing as he came around the counter and sat down at the table. I’d feared the worst. The whole “Monkey’s Paw” deal. But this was like he’d just woken up after hitting the snooze alarm too many times. He was groggy and his hair was tousled, and that was it.
And here I was. Older. Maybe wiser. All the questions that had seemed so important at the time were suddenly and unequivocally rendered moot.
I sat down beside him and he looked at me.
“Hey,” he said.
I took a deep breath, and asked him the most important thing that I could think of.
“So. Now that you’re back, what do you want for dinner?”
He grunted noncommittally, and we stared at each other quietly over a bowl of ornamental fruit.