A Grave Mistake: Chapter 2

lighted happy birthday candles

If you’d like to start reading from the beginning, check out A Grave Mistake: Part 1

Magic has always existed. And, like radio waves, you can’t hear unless you have the right device tuned to the right frequency. What if someone gave you tools to tune into that frequency?

Day 1, 4:30 pm

Harold hated going to the doctor. In his opinion, they were a bunch of quacks who insisted on telling him he was getting old. He already knew that and didn’t need a bunch of pills each morning to remind him.

He hitched up his pants as he walked back into his house with his sandwich, his reward for going to the doctor’s office this morning. He’d been living alone for the last 3 years, ever since Elise, his wife, died. He missed her. He missed his family. He missed having people around. Today was Cole, his grandson’s, fifth birthday party and he was missing it because his son, Brad, and his family had moved across the country last year.

He sat down at the kitchen table and unwrapped his sandwich. He could imagine the party now. He’d have dressed up as the clown for the kids. He had a bunch of amateur magic tricks that Brad had loved when he was little. Cole would open his gift and as soon as he saw it he would give Harold a giant hug. Brad would smile at him because he’d be impressed that Harold knew his grandson so well. But that wasn’t right. He didn’t know his grandson at all. He’d tried going to the toy store to shop for a gift and he didn’t have a clue. All of the things he’d been interested in last year either wasn’t there anymore or it somehow seemed to young for him. Most of it, he’d never even heard of. How could one year make such a difference? After an hour of wandering through the aisles and listening to other kids screaming and crying, he’d finally given up and bought a gift card.

But if they still lived here, he’d be at the party and Cole would be blowing out his candles. He could see it as though it was happening in front of him. Cole’s friends would be gathered around him as he took a deep breath, the flames on the melting wax candles wavering.

He closed his eyes and blew as the flames flickered, then wisped out. Cole’s friends cheered, probably more because they could finally have cake than because Cole had blown all of them out. Cole opened his eyes and grinned. Then his smile faded into confusion.

“Grandpa?” Cole asked, cocking his head to the side.

The image wisped out before Harold and he was back alone in his living room. What had just happened? He sat for a moment in confused silence.

A few moments passed when his phone rang. He jumped in surprise.


“Hey Dad,”

“I was just thinking about you guys today. How’s Cole’s birthday going?”

There was a pause.

“It was going really well until Cole thought he saw you.”

“What?” Harold said unevenly.

“Do you mind telling him that you are not, in fact, here?”

“Sure, sure,” Harold said, his mind spinning.

“Hi Grandpa!” Cole said, sounding excited! “That was your best magic trick ever!”

“Thanks bud,” Harold said.

“Are you coming back?”

“No, no it only worked the one time.” Could he make it happen again?

“Oh,” Cole said, sounding disappointed.

“But I saved it just for your birthday.”

“Oh yeah?”

“You bet! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! Happy Birthday Cole.”

“Thanks Grandpa!”

There was silence as Mike came back on the line.

“Not quite what I meant Dad,” Mike said, sounding exasperated. “But thanks. I have to go, but catch up soon.”

“Sure thing. Good hear from you.”

“You too. Bye!”

He slowly set his phone back down on the table. What had just happened?

A Grave Mistake: Part 3

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