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An adaptation of this video. (41 sec long, worth watching first)


They had taken Rollo.


They told her that he was going to be safer, away from her.

interimo adapare

They were wrong. He was dead, now.


The shadows on the walls thickened as Rachel continued setting up the ritual that she’d found in the book.

ameno, ameno

One hair from Rollo. Some of his favorite items, like Jessica's doll she had stolen that he had taken a liking to.


Most importantly, a sacrifice from herself. She sliced off layers of skin from the tip of her pointer finger, the same finger that she’d used to gently scratch Rollo behind his ears. It hurt.


It would be worth it.


"Ameno," she chanted, reading the spoken words of the ritual from the book. "Omenare imperavi ameno."

The circle she had created, marked on the floor of her room in blood, began to glow a bright blue. She shielded her eyes and continued from memory.

"Dimere, dimere matiro," she said. She couldn't stop now. She had a feeling that if she tried, it would kill her.

"Matiremo," she uttered. The circle's blue light flared high, like fire burning. It seemed to only intensify the shadows on the wall.

"Ameno," she finished.

The circle's glow stabilized, the blue flames lowering themselves to become a single, solid ring around the circle. It beckoned her to make her request, writing its question into her hindbrain.

"Please," she begged. Her throat was raw, as if she had been screaming for hours. "Bring back Rollo."

The whispers began anew, but this time she could tell that they were coming from the shadows. They stood up, pushing off the walls, and joined her around the circle.

omenare imperavi emulari, ameno

They reached out and joined hands. The two next to Rachel looked at her, their featureless faces expectant.

omenare imperavi emulari

She grabbed their hands, and power rushed through her veins.

"Ameno," they chanted as one.

"Ameno, dore," they said. Rachel couldn't remember which of the shadows she used to be. All that mattered now was Rollo.

"Ameno, dorime." In the middle of the circle, the blue glow had become fire again. It first consumed her sacrifice, then Rollo's hair, then the toys.

"Ameno, dorime." It was beautiful. It was joy. From within the blue fire, they all could see a pure white light coalescing. They knew it was Rollo's soul.

"Ameno, do." The entire soul was now gathered within the circle. The shadows now leaned in and grasped it, all donating a part of themselves to help the soul recover.

"Dorime, reo." When the hands and arms retreated, all feeling smaller but not unsatisfied with their donation, the only thing in the center was the body of a dog. The fire had retreated.

"Ameno, dorime." The dog's chest rose and fell, breath spilling into its lungs. Its heart beat, once, twice, dozens of times. He was alive again.

"Ameno, dorime." The shadows let go of each other's hands and began to retreat back into the walls, the crevices in homes where they lived.

"Dorime, am." Rachel had become just herself once more. The feeling of power faded as color returned to her body. She looked at the sleeping dog, who was beginning to stir. The blue glow of the circle had nearly faded completely.


She ran past the border of the circle and threw herself onto Rollo tightly, tears streaming down her face. He was alive again. It worked.


Rollo blinked at her, and immediately licked her nose. She tried to laugh, but it came out a little like a choked sob.

She had a feeling the shadows were watching with warm approval.