As soon as Zander walked through the portal his body went limp and collapsed. Lirael managed to catch him before he hit the floor. She staggered under his weight and I ran to help her before they both fell.
'Steady. Get him back on the sofa.' I lifted him back to where he had only just been lying. He looked dead. 'What do we do now?' Lirael shook her head nervously.
'I'm not sure, I think Evelyn said something about talking to him.'
'Then talk to him.' I tried to sound encouraging but patience had never been my strong point.
'What do I say?'
'Anything.' I smiled. 'Just let him know you're there.' I felt like I was talking to the relative of a coma patient. People thought that if you talked to patients who were in a deep coma then they could still hear you and it would bring them closer to life. Personally I didn't see where they had got this idea from, it was probably just a way of reassuring relatives that the patient wasn't dead yet.
'Zander?' Lirael held his hand, her fingers trembling. 'Can you hear me?'