Death was dispelled at the wake. It was the real deal.

It was the first wake I'd ever been to. I don't know what strings they had to pull to book her, but she no longer needed money.

She showed up dressed like a business professional and told us that although many mistook what she did for magic, she was a scientist of the mind, a deprogrammer of mass hypnosis. She told us our conception of history was completely false, that some time in the unknown past, a so-called magician of unknown identity had mastered mass hypnosis, and that by the time he or she had perfected it, they had already taken over what we assumed was objective reality.

As a result, our world was bent to their will, all memory of their identity was erased, and that we now lived in a mass illusion of someone else's creation - an illusion that death struck us down, even when it didn't, and where we would only wake from this hypnosis given the skills of a trained deprogrammer.

She considered herself still a novice, someone who could only deprogram a roomful of people at a time instead of the whole world. By the time the wake was over, she told us to go find Johnson at his house. He would still be dead to everyone else, but for those who truly mattered he would now be alive.

Johnson was surprised to see us.

Apparently he thought he had become a ghost since the events of his so-called death. Everyone had stopped reacting to him, and this was the first human contact he's had since then.

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