I think ultimately that if I’m angry at Madelyn now it’s because she still believed in magic and she didn’t let me share that with her. Did she think I wouldn’t believe her? Because all it took was a house full of candles and I’m thirteen again like hell yeah magic is a thing that I have 100% faith in.

I think whatever Tilly and I did worked because the house is definitely way less horrible. I actually slept this weekend. I slept. I went to school today feeling like a real living person. It was like a miracle.

Tilly was so excited when I told her it worked. She like cackled with excitement. “We’re like basically witches!” she said. And then, with a grin, “we should try to contact Madelyn.”

Honestly it hit me like sack of bricks. I was so relieved to be sleeping again that up until Tilly suggested it I had sort of forgotten that we were fiddling with magic to be closer to Madelyn.

Tilly must have noticed my shocked silence. She said, “I’m sorry, we don’t have to. That sounded —”

“No it’s okay,” I said quickly.

“This isn’t a game,” Tilly said. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to get all excited.”

But I was excited, too. There’s no way to explain what was going on at home, you know? And when we cleansed the space, it went away. That’s magic, right? Like so far so good. Trying to find Madelyn with magic is the next logical step.

So, after school today we went to the library.

We sorta snuck in with a family so that Susan the librarian didn’t notice us. Hahaha like we’re excited but we’re not oblivious to the idea that this looks completely insane.

Obviously books about magic are usually sorta bullshit. Like I don’t give a shit about the power of positive thinking, I’m not here to learn The Secret I just want to know where my friend disappeared to.

Eventually we found this old folklore book that had spells in it or whatever — I don’t know those things never seem like spells to me? Like I guess I don’t think that if magic exists it would look like me saying a limerick to a specific color of candle, but whatever. The book had a number of ways to contact spirits. It said that if we really wanted to get results we’d do what they called a Summoning.

I was skeptical until it read a Summoning can be a good way to communicate with an entity that is caught between this world and the next — or else caught between life and death.

I said, “This is what we should do.”

Tilly was fiddling with her hair. I scooted the book towards her and pointed. “Communicate between spirits that are caught between life and death. That’s what the psychic said: she’s both alive and dead.”

Tilly looked at it for a long time. Then she said, “okay. When?”

The answer is so obvious. Halloween is in four days.

“That’s perfect,” Tilly said. “Izzy canceled the show we were supposed to play.”

So there it is. I have Halloween plans to summon Madelyn out of the ether or where ever people go when they’re neither alive or dead.

It beats going to a party, anyways. Apparently Tilly’s best friend Erica Ngo is going to Bellingham for a Halloween party at Collette Strassman and Serena Wiley’s house. They graduated a couple years ago, they’re super cool. I can practically feel Madelyn in my head urging me to skip the weird chanting and herbs and shit and see if Tilly wants to go to a college party instead. But I can’t imagine being at a party while she’s out there… somewhere. Somehow both alive and dead.

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