Sitting alone in the kitchen, Julia absently stirred the ice cream that was in front of her. It was mostly melted by this point. She hadn’t even realized that she was eating Jason’s usual snack. Her experience on the Solstice had her thinking once more about how Jason might be brought back. They were mages; their entire lives were filled with impossible occurrences. Still, when death did come, it seemed irresistible.
She smiled at Rebecca when the other mage walked in. “Hi, Rebecca. How are you?”
Rebecca returned her smile on the way to the refrigerator. “I’m not used to seeing you here.”
“I thought I’d try to be more social.”
“That’s good.” Rebecca sat down across from her with some yogurt. “It’s nice having you around more.”
“Thanks. Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure.” Rebecca sounded surprised.
“If a ghost of someone is still around, is it possible to bring them back?”
Rebecca’s expression turned somber. “Jason?”
“Have you seen his ghost?”
Julia was hesitant to answer, but if she wanted help, she had to open up a little. “He appeared on the Solstice. We had a long conversation. Maybe it was just my imagination, but if it really was him, I thought there had to be a way . . .” Her voice faded. She couldn’t bring herself to even whisper the hope aloud.
“For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think it was your imagination. When I was possessed . . .”
A pang of guilt rose in Julia’s chest. In trying to resolve her own trauma, she was making Rebecca revisit her own.
“. . . Jason spoke to me a bit. He even inspired me to come up with a way to free myself. So don’t doubt that he was real.”
“Does that mean there is something we can do?”
Julia hadn’t thought she had any hope left to lose, but the tone in Rebecca’s voice drained a reservoir she hadn’t realized was left.
“Maybe someone has developed some method,” Rebecca was trying to give her something to cling to, “but I don’t know of any. I was able to revive David because I had captured his soul. And that’s how Bailey brought me back. But I don’t have any way to capture a soul of someone who is already deceased.”
“I know. You’ve told me before. He just seemed so real the other night. I thought maybe . . .”
“I haven’t forgotten about him, Julia. I want to bring him back, too, if it’s possible. I promise I will keep working on the problem, and I will let you know when I find something.”
“Thank you, Rebecca.” She tried to convince her voice to convey gratitude, but it was hard.
“I might have an idea.”
Both of them jumped at Thomas’s voice. They had been too engrossed in their conversation to notice his arrival.
“What?” Julia felt her cheeks getting hot.
“I said, I might have an idea for bringing Jason back. But I’ll need help from both of you.”