When I was eight years old, one of my father’s good old friend gave me a copy of the book The Robber Hotzenplotz for my birthday gift. It was a story of two little boys in rural Germany going on an adventure and fighting off the robber Hotzenplotz and his friend and bad wizard in a forest by using their smart brains and brave hearts. I was immediately hooked by the book.
Near the climax of the story, the bad wizard became mad at Hotzenplotz for a terrible mistake that he had made, and he used a summoning charm to summon him to his place. All he needed was a piece of Hotzenplotz’s belonging. After drawing a circle around his belonging, the wizard chanted a spell and in a matter of seconds, Hotzenplotz appeared at the centre of the circle.
I was reading the book alone in my room that day. When I came across this passage, electricity ran through my body. I looked up. This is it, I thought. I could use this.
Two years back, my only sibling and younger brother had passed away, and I had been missing him terribly ever since. Now looking at this summoning charm, I thought I might finally be able to see him again.
Excited, I ran downstairs and marched into the kitchen where my mother was preparing supper.
“Mommy, can I use one of my brother’s buses?” My brother was obsessed with buses, and he had a large collection of toy buses, which our family kept securely with his other belongings after his departure.
“What is it for?” My mother asked. “I’ve just discovered a spell that can summon a missing person,” I replied breathlessly. “So, I’ll be summoning my brother using his bus!”
My mother was quiet for a while, many thoughts passing through her eyes. But eventually she agreed. “Okay.”
Picking up one of my brother’s toy buses, I also remembered to ask my mother for permission to do some drawing on the floor. “I need to draw something on the floor for this magic. But don’t worry, I’ll use a pencil, and I’ll erase it after I try the spell!” With that, I ran back upstairs into my room.
I followed the instruction in the book very carefully. I placed the toy bus on the floor and drew a circle. Then I chanted the spell. Nothing happened. I tried again. Still, nobody appeared. I felt all the excitement in my body draining away.
A few minutes later, I walked in the kitchen silently. My mother saw me and asked. “So, how did it go?” “It didn’t work.” “I see.” My mother didn’t say anything further. I put back the toy bus to my brother’s collection, and went back to my room to erase the drawing on the floor.
Three years later, I would still be jumping off the staircase on a broomstick to fly like Harry Potter, but I’ve never tried to summon back my brother using magic since then.