“What do we find?”
“Whatever,” I said skipping. “Things that help us with our magic, help us fly and help people and animals, and rescue bugs like spiders when they fall into the bathtub but you don’t want to pick them out with your fingers.”
I was jogging slightly, excited and moving towards the bank to cross back the way we came. I could hear Adelmira crunching sticks behind me.
“We could use them for spells.”
“Yeah, spells,” I led the way.
I always take things too far: jokes, games, pranks. This is why I stopped doing them.
“We could use them to communicate with your dead cousins.”
I skipped over the big stick to get to the muddy bank on the other side and then tiptoed, testing the mud so as not to fall in without turning around to see her reaction. Moving up the hill, I didn’t stop and I didn’t apologize. I didn’t mean anything. I had dead relatives too. Dead pets. Dead feelings. She was only halfway across when I was at the top so I was forced to stand still and wait for her. Turning slowly, I kept my head down. It’s not shame, it’s assenting; figuring out what the other person thinks so you can say the right thing. I was attempting to agree, waiting, trying to figure her humor out.
She looked up at me and jumped onto the bank giving me a little smile when she landed.
“I’m a little tired today,” she gazed up at me. “My mom had a bad night.”
I headed down a bit almost as if to help her, just to bridge the gap, the length between us.
“I think we could do a fun spell with our magic wands,” she said and began the climb up to meet me.
I waited until she was close to me to begin walking. No skipping, I told myself.
“I feel haunted sometimes, Adelmira.”
“By your Nana?”
“By a little girl.”