The next morning I called Marigold to tell her about the fire.
“Hi, Marigold. Oh, you heard. Yes, it was an accident. Victor was here to help. Yes, of course I saw him. No, you don’t need to come over. Hello? Hello?”
Marigold came to check on me. She must have been on her way to work because she was dressed a little funny. I told her again about Victor. She did not believe me at all.
“Yes, Mari…for the last time! He was right there by the front door!”
“Look, Lydia, I know it was very traumatic. What happened what truly awful and I am so sorry he died. But you need to get it together. You only talk to your plants.”
“You have rotten food all over the house…”
“Laundry and newspapers and garbage are everywhere.”
“And if you can’t do it, I will draw the line for you. You just CANNOT use your husband’s body as a lawn ornament. I’m sorry. You simply can’t.”
“Sweetie, I really care about you. I am so, so very sorry Victor was killed. But, honey, he was a witch. He knew the dangers of using the Transmuter. He knew what could happen. It’s not your fault.”
I knew she was right. I just needed a good friend to tell it to me straight. And give me a good swift kick in the behind.
I set to work cleaning up the house. I did the dishes, the laundry, took out weeks of garbage. I needed to make things right again.
That night I dreamed of Victor’s death again. But it wasn’t a nightmare again. It wasn’t a good dream but I didn’t wake up crying in terror like I usually did.
The next morning I was working in the garden when my phone rang.
“This is she…”
“Do you still have your husband’s ashes?”
“What kind of terrible question is that?!”
“If you do, please bring them to the Science Center. We might be able to bring him back.”