“There she is, George. Just like I predicted.”
“Who is she?”
“I’ve been thinking about that,” Duncan replied. “How long did you say you’ve been here now?”
“What’s time here? But 50 as of last Wednesday. *You* were there at the celebration.”
“Ever hear of mothersightings?”
“Of course,” said the younger boy in appearance. “But… *oh*, you don’t mean…?”
“That’s when we first saw her. Together. I’ve been spotting her fishing in various places for a while. We determined later it was the same ghost that haunted the village’s 3rd cottage — Osborne Well’s house back then, before he moved up the hill. He probably summoned her through the monster tome, we reasoned. That’s what we had nicknamed his heavy book of spells. And now she couldn’t escape this realm. But what was the spell? That’s what we had to find out next. Mr. Well always took a morning walk down in the lowlands: Path of the Circle River. That was our window. Literally. We entered his house through a window and not a door. George had just received a universal pass-through for his 50th death day, but we still dare not come in from the front. Very expensive in those days.”
“Doors?” Baker Bloch ventured.
“Pass-throughs,” Duncan corrected. “Buster Damm can tell you all about them. When he gets here.”
“Which should be soon,” Pitch Darkly said.
“Yes. The book was just laying open on the table, which should have been clear indication of a trap for us. It wasn’t. We were so proud that we’d found a way to enter the house in the first place. Vanity.” He shook his head. “The next thing we knew we were the same. I was him, I mean. Just by reading the passage in front of me. Rule 110.”
“Well, what did it say?” Hucka Doobie had been studying magic for years and was very curious about all this.
“We couldn’t remember. Neither of us.” Duncan kept something hidden here. “But that was the day we found out we had the same mother. And the same father. Osborne Well. Lucky us, eh? Osborne Well was our father.”
“Not Pitch?” exclaimed Baker Bloch.
“Nope,” Duncan replied tersely. “At least not until *now*. That’s why I’m apparently here. A summoning. Three days ago I was returned to my former self. Spell broken.” He wiped his forehead with his hand. “Thank the Lord God Almighty.”