Family Secrets

          It had been a long time since Toby had been able to look at his own reflection. Since the accident, he had found his own countenance sickening, even repulsive. Toby blamed himself for the horrible events of that fateful October night. Little boys dressed in hooded capes... Precious young girls dressed as angles and fairies... Screeching brakes... shattering glass... total darkness. The images seemed but a blur as they raced through Toby's mind. Halloween would never be the same.

          As he stood silently, studying his broad features and pale-complected face, Toby wondered why he was still alive. His brother would have been twenty-one tomorrow.

          "It's all my fault. Trevor died because of me. I killed my brother." Slowly devouring every shred of happiness, the thoughts meandered through his mind, reflecting sorrow and agony through his piercing green eyes. Toby searched through the tattered old book before him, scanning the pages as he flipped. "There's gotta be something here... There has to be." At that moment, time all but stood still. Simply to exhale and search for his next breath seemed to take an eternity.

"To Summon a Lost Loved One"

  Recite this incantation to summon a deceased relative or friend.

          The mere sight of the spell made Toby's heart skip a beat. Was it possible? Could this actually work? He contemplated whether or not an ornately illustrated poem from this book could actually bring Trevor back. Marking the page with his right hand, Toby closed the book to examine it more closely. The dusty leather binding seemed to eerily resemble a stage prop from some horror movie. The emblazoned symbol was familiar; he was sure he had seen it before... Without giving it another thought, Toby heaved the book open and recited the words aloud:

                        Hear these words, hear my cry,

                        Spirit from the other side,

                        Come to me across the Great Divide.

          The fact that nothing happened came as no big surprise. Feeling a little disheartened, Toby closed the book and lugged across the attic to it's resting place - an old trunk inscribed "CTP", his grandfather's initials. Toby had only recently mustered the desire to rummage through the antiques - mostly pictures and variably-shaped glass bottles - that he was bequeathed upon Grandfather Tobias's death. The discovery of this book held many answers within itself, including why the attic was off-limits for so many years. Apparently, his grandfather was into Witchcraft - this suspicion being confirmed by the discovery of a grandiose book of spells and several remnants of an alter.

          Toby's daydream was abruptly interrupted by a sound of clattering glass. Before Toby could ascertain the origin of the clatter, his senses were overtaken by fear. The contents of the attic were vibrating with such intensity that books lost their places on bookshelves and old china cracked and shattered within their cardboard confines. Toby felt a blinding sensation as the chandelier - the attic's only light source - began to emit a flawless ray of blue light. The light shone so brightly that the room seemed to be bursting at the seems with illumination. Instantaneously, the vibration and the blinding beam of light ceased to exist. In their place, however, loomed a tall, dark figure. His peaceful blue eyes and distinguished facial features seemed to glow with excitement as the sight of a frightened Toby came into view.

          "Took you long enough, Tobes," said Trevor, a tone of humor in his deep, resounding voice. " "Well? Don't I at least get a hug?"


The End

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