I called up Rory and invited her to visit us at camp.
I told her that I wanted to get her insight on one of the boys who’d just joined us, and, as his fairy godmother, Rory was the best person to shed light on his situation.
But I really had a completely different reason for asking Rory over.
“So what do we need to know about Blake?” I asked Rory, as we sat in the orangerie.
“He’s a really sweet kid, first of all,” she said. “But something kind of shocking happened.”
“At his recent birthday, a neighbor died. So sad. His mom bargained with the Grim Reaper, and even brought the neighbor back!”
“Really? That’s fantastic!” I said.
“I know! Amazing!” said Rory. “But still. The whole thing was pretty shocking for him, and I just feel that he could use some cheer.”
“Well, cheer is something we can probably offer,” I said. “I mean, Joel is here! And if anybody can cheer up anybody, it’s Joel, Mr. Happiness Cupcakes, himself!”
I excused myself, saying that I needed to check on the kids. But really, this was just an excuse for the real reason we invited Rory over.
Once in the kitchen, the kids and I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, really quickly. We made a vegan recipe, added extra chocolate, and a little bit of extra vanilla beans, just so it would they would be extra delicious.
“Do you really think she’ll like these better than a cake?” Cadence asked.
“Of course!” said Joel. “Cookies are the best birthday treat ever.”
“Shhh!” I said. “Now keep it a surprise until I say the magic word!”
“What’s the magic word?” asked Hahon.
“That’s two words,” said Waikiki.
I called Rory into the kitchen, and we all sat down to a cookie feast, each of us trying not to giggle from the secret.
“Mmmm! These cookies are delicious!” said Rory. “What kind are they?”
“Umm,” said Joel, “They’re not oatmeal. Could they be…?”
“Shhh!” I shouted. “Not yet!”
“Did you help make these cookies, Waikiki?” Rory asked.
“Yup,” said Waikiki.
“Then I bet you know what kind of cookies they are,” Rory said.
“Nope,” said Waikiki.
“You guys are acting awfully secretive about these cookies,” Rory said.
“Say the secret word!” Blake begged.
I couldn’t stand it any longer; I was dissolving in giggles.
“They’re chocolate chip!” I said.
And everybody blurted out, “Happy birthday, Rory!”
“You know,” I told Blake, “I think summer camp must be the fairy godmother birthday center!”
“What are you talking about?” Blake asked.
“Yeah,” said Waikiki.
“Oh, nothing much,” I said. “It’s just that some people are a little extra special. They’ve got a special connection of magic to you, like Madison to Waikiki, Cadence, and Hahon, Sunny Day to Tre, Lovesstorms to Gerald, and Rory to you.”
Rory looked at Blake. “It’s like a special fondness,” she said. “Or maybe a special power in your life.”
“Like when Mom pleaded with the Reaper and my neighbor stood up?”
“Sort of,” said Rory.
The kids ran off to play, and Joel, Rory, and I hung out in the kitchen.
“I guess we sort of do hold the power of life and death,” said Rory.
“Well, I’m not sure we’re all that mighty,” I said.
And Joel laughed. “Depends on the rules we’re following, I guess.”
Happy birthday, Rory!