“Do you really think that this will work?”
“Of course it will work, stop worrying about it.”
“Resurrecting the dead isn’t an easy task. Even necromancers only reanimate.”
“Well, why do you think I brought the two of you here to help me?”
“Even if we did—!”
“I said it’ll work, okay? Just trust me.”
The necromancer drew a large, intricate glyph on the cement floor. While it was true that his basement apartment was not set up with the proper candles, spiritual offering, or general atmosphere that welcomed his certain specialty of dark magic, as long as the sigil was drawn correctly, any old summoning circle would do.
Vivienne, the life mage, pulled on her green wool sweater and shuffled her feet nervously. She hated dead things; she couldn’t even stomach a horror movie without hiding her face in someone’s shoulder for the majority of it. The only reason she agreed to come was because she and Agana, the blood mage, had been in the middle of a date, but Agana said they should help Mortimer out anyway. She watched Agana and Mortimer, the necromancer whose basement they were working in, drag their dead friend into the center of the circle.
His name was Bob.
Bob worked at the local cemetery staving off the hordes of the undead that would inevitably be revived by some wizard conducting research or a university student trying to play a prank on his holy knight classmates. This week, Bob ended up confronted with a rather nasty demon that one of the beast tamers released on a dare. It was too much for the poor civil employee and his soul was wrenched from this world right there in the middle of the graveyard. Mortimer noted earlier it seemed fitting to die in such a place.
“Okay,” Mortimer started, pulling the sleeves of his purple hoodie up to his elbows. There were some runes scrawled on his arms in pen; he had a test tomorrow and there was no way he’d remember every symbol necessary for a traditional Onyx reanimation ceremony in time. “Here’s how we’re gonna do this: I’m going to reanimate the corpse. Then, Agana, you’re going to infuse it with blood so the life force returns. Finally, Vivienne, you’re going to replace his spirit into his body and complete the revival. Easy.”
Agana placed her forehead in her palm and sighed heavily. “We wouldn’t be here right now if someone had gone with him to work to keep him alive like they were supposed to.”
Mortimer glared at her and pointed a finger towards her face. “Hey, either of you two could have gone, but you were busy on a lunch date.”
“It’s Thursday! Your shift!”
“Guys,” Vivienne spoke up, “can we just speed up this process? I feel like I’m gonna be sick in here with him.”
Agana kissed her on the forehead and smiled. Her spider lily lei made her dark hair fiery in the candlelight. “Don’t worry, love, we’ll be out of here in time for our movie.”
“I get so scared of scary movies though!” Vivienne turned red and flailed her arms in frustration. “Why do you keep making me watch them?!”
Agana smiled as she turned back to the body on the floor. “‘Cause it’s fun to see you frustrated. And you’re so clingy when you’re scared. I like that.”
Mortimer rolled his eyes. “If you two are done flirting, can we get started?”
They turned reluctantly to face inside of the circle.
Mortimer extended his hands and began to chant under his breath. It was important that mages be able to concentrate on their spells, so it was best to mumble when working in groups. That way they stopped themselves from distracting one another.
The circle below Bob’s body began to glow. He was lifted slightly off the ground, limbs still sagging with no life to hold them up, stopping at about knee level. Mortimer moved his hands and Bob’s limbs twitched in response. He took the pose of the Vitruvian Man, barring the extra limbs, and floated motionless.
Agana pulled one of the lilies from her hair. This one was a clip that concealed a small knife blade. She held the knife in her right hand and looked at her left; the palm was covered in scars. Blood mages could, in some instances, manipulate the blood of their subjects, but a spell of higher magnitude required the caster’s own. She stabbed her hand and let her blood drip into the circle. The magic imbued within it made the liquid travel underneath Bob’s body, then ascend and enter his various orifices. His skin regained its color in a matter of seconds. Even though he was still very much dead, Bob no longer appeared to be.
“Alright Vivienne,” Mortimer said with his eyes closed, “Time to do your thing.”
Vivienne opened her messenger bag and looked through the various vials and jars she used to hold souls. “It’s gotta be here somewhere.”
“Vivi, darling,” Agana grunted through clenched teeth, “Please hurry up. This isn’t easy.”
“Oh no… Guys?”
“What?” the two mid-spell mages answered in unison.
“We forgot his soul back at the cemetery.”
By Michael Crecco