art by Shannon N. Kelly
by Chuck Von Nordheim
Evan didn't have much magic left.
He'd almost used it all up before he met Trevor. He never had a lot--just enough to make his invisible friend, Nave, come and play. But Evan hadn't needed Nave to come and play after Trevor moved in next door because Trevor became Evan's best friend.
But Evan couldn't play with Trevor anymore. Now Trevor lived in a special room in this hospital where only grownups could go.
The round clock on the white wall clacked; its big hand jerked up. The nurse at the desk frowned. Evan knew he couldn't sneak past her. She'd grab him by his X-Men t-shirt like last time. She'd give him a coloring book. She'd tell him to sit down. She wouldn't listen when he told her about what he had in his pocket for Trevor.
Last summer, before Trevor got sick, they splashed all day in a creek that bubbled over smooth rocks. They built forts out of soft mud. They tickled turtles. They petted the bumps on the backs of frogs. In the afternoons, Evan and Trevor played marbles with the other kids, and Trevor gave Evan marbles from his bag when Evan ran out. They had fun. They had lots of fun.
But after Trevor got sick, he couldn't go outside anymore. The medicine the doctor gave him made him throw up. His skin turned white and his hair fell out. He couldn't run or jump. It hurt him to move. It hurt him to smile.
Evan shivered. The machines that made the hospital cold hummed. The air felt weird. Outside, the sun shone. Outside, you felt its warm touch on your skin. Trevor loved the sun, loved its heat. Evan knew Trevor must be sad to be in a place with no sky. Evan wanted to do something to make Trevor remember the outside. But the nurse still frowned at her desk.
Evan couldn't sneak past the nurse, but maybe Nave could. Evan could see Nave but nobody else could. And Nave had an invisible pocket he could carry things in.
Sometimes Nave didn't come when Evan did his spell. Sometimes, before he met Trevor, Evan hadn't even had an invisible friend to play with. Evan hoped he had enough magic left for one last time.