Rise of the Dead

Writing prompt: You’re a necromancer who secretly helps the police by bringing back murder victims and interviewing them.

 

Most people are afraid of the silence that haunts graveyards, but I find it peaceful. That is until the screams from the risen break the silence. Coming back isn’t easy…on me or the dead person; but if you were murdered you’d give anything to make sure that persons caught, wouldn’t you?

Grey headstones, grey sky; hell, even the trees seem grey. But I think it’s beautiful. I’m already there when I get a text from Detective Michaelson; we are finally ready to bring Scott Winslow back.

You might wonder why we wait until the dead are buried before bringing them back and the answer is simple. Family. They need the closure before they need justice. It works for me- it looks a lot cooler when someone digs themselves out of a grave rather than waking up on an autopsy table. Plus, in my experience people who wake up in the graveyard are a lot calmer. I guess I’d freak out if I woke up on a cold table surrounded by scalpels and torture devices they use to crack a humans chest.

Meet you there. I type back shortly. He’s been working with me long enough to know what I need. It takes a few trinkets and sacrifices to wake the dead.

“How do you always get here before me?” The detective is a handsome man; broad shoulders, emerald eyes, and just the right amount of muscle.

“I’m just that good.” I grab the cup of coffee he holds out to me. Two sugars, and a bunch of cream- just enough to drown out the bitterness. “MMmm.”

“It’s just us today, Seth is sick.” He smiles, leading me towards a freshly dug grave. Only a little wood slab marks it Scott Winslow 2017. I know he’s lying to make me feel better. Seth couldn’t stomach being around me, or around the newly risen.

“Good. His mouth breathing always distracts me. Did you bring everything?”

“Of course, I’m no amateur.” He points towards some wooden boxes, and a cage holding a single chicken.

Did I mention raising the dead requires a sacrifice? When my older brother first taught me our family trade I didn’t have the heart to kill the poor, helpless animal. But now I was used to it. I finish off my coffee and toss it in the back of his truck. Graveyards don’t have trash cans and I wasn’t about to litter on someone.

I pull out Mr. Winslow’s personal items; this time it’s a watch, toothbrush and a wedding ring. Our last case was an addict who had been caught in a drug deal gone wrong; her personal items were a lot more embarrassing. My face was beat red the entire day. I place them in a triangle over the grave near the head. A quick circle of salt to contain the ceremony and the dead.

“I’m ready,” I announce, grabbing the large silver knife from my bag; it was my brother’s knife. The chicken comes out squawking, but I grab it by the neck and it quiets down. I stand over the grave holding the knife and chicken high and slice it down the middle. The warm blood spills down my hands onto the grave, when it slows I toss the carcass aside. I feel the all-to-familiar tingle through my finger tips and dig them deeply into the dirt, eyes closed. “Unam animam de alio, copulare et nos aliquando plura oriri.”

 

The ground shakes underneath me only quaking as Scott fights his way out. A fist bursts through the ground within seconds; unusually quick-I guess Mitchell had the idea to leave the coffin open this time. A chilling scream fills the air as Scott takes his first breathe since death.

“It’s okay, Scott.” My voice quiet, comforting, “I know this is very confusing.”

The scream ends with a sorrowful note, “I’m dead, aren’t I?” He’s hunched over, unable to stand straight. When the body dies, the muscles start to die as well- a damage that even I cannot reverse. The dead are not meant to come back; death does not let go so easily.

“I’m sorry.” Detective Michaelson apologies with a sad nod. “Do you remember your death?” He jumps right in, we both know that our time is short- the sacrifice of a chicken gives us such little time.

“I…I don’t know. Kind of. It all happened so fast.” Scott shakes his head; long hair flopping over his face.

“You were out late, walking down sixth street…” I prompt, hoping a little guidance will jog his memory.

“Yes! I was on my way home from getting some diapers from the corner street. Oh no. Betsy and Timmy, are they okay? Are they here?” He whips his head around looking for his loved ones; his shoulders sage when he realizes they aren’t there.

“They are fine. This is too hard on the families. So, you were walking home and then what happened?” The detective’s voice is emotionless-some might find him callus but I know how much this hurts him. Countless nights we’d sit at the bar, downing a couple bears and recounting our investigations.

“Oh god, it was horrible. He…he grabbed me from behind. I heard the click of the gun and turned around. There was a bang…pain and then nothing.” Scott’s sobs are heavy; I can’t help but look at him with pity. This part is never easy.

“Do you know who he was?” I prod gently, we need to know or this would all have been for nothing.

“Yes. My partner. Joshua Stine. That bastard. You’ll get him right? And tell my family I love them?” He pleas, falling to his knees in front of me.

I kneel besides him, “Yes, I’ll tell them. It’s time to go back Scott.” My hand cradles his face, when he nods I whisper, “Iterum in pace.” His body falls as I release him; laying his head down gently with a nod towards Detective Michaelson who pulls out a shovel and starts to dig.  When he pats the last patch of dirt down I lean against him, exhaustion finally winning out. We now know who killed Scott Winslow…the problem is proving it.

 

Photo Credit

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What do you think? Should we continue the Necromancer and make it a series? Lots of interesting ideas for the investigation. Comment and let us know!

 

 

 

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