Content Warning

Greetings and Salutations.
Because my stories have bite, they can contain content that isn't suitable for work or children. Not a lot of truly graphic sex or violence, but there are some questionable or heated posts. F-bombs are not uncommon, so watch your footing.

Friday, December 20, 2019

#FridayFlash - No Bad Decision

I didn't believe in regret. There were no mistakes or wrong choices, only good learning opportunities. Whatever didn't kill me would only make me stronger, would teach me not to do the same thing again.

Cornered by a pack of hungry ghouls in an old graveyard reminded me that I needed to survive in order to learn.

The initial panic passed, giving me the clear head I needed to get out of the situation I'd somehow created. I had enough necromantic talent to raise this pack, so I certainly had enough to put them back down.

First thing I noticed was that I wasn't under attack. They'd rushed and gathered around me at first, but now only milled about, groaning restlessly. I relaxed on my perch atop a small crypt, frowning as I puzzled at them.

"Everyone, stop," I commanded, testing my theory.

All six ghouls stopped and stared at me with glassy eyes.

The last of my fear dispersed, and I smiled. Working from old grimoires was risky. Mistranslations were easy, and some ingredients had changed names or become obscure, meaning spells could fizzle. When the bodies had erupted to their feet, I'd felt sure that's what had happened.

"Move aside." They shuffled as a group, lining up along the path. Very interesting. The ritual had bound me close enough to my risen slaves that they understood my intentions without me having to voice specific instructions. The grimoire hadn't mentioned that.

I climbed down, far more relaxed than when I'd entered the graveyard an hour ago. Communicating with spirits and animating small animals was easy, but I'd considered six humans to be a bit ambitious, though worth the try. Making them move would have been a success: controlling them so thoroughly more than elated me.

Time to jump to the head of the class.

"Follow me." I straightened my clothes, tucked my hair behind my ears, and marched back toward the temple, ghouls in a line behind me. A breeze moved around us, heavy with the scent of death and ritual herbs. Every step of the half mile walk made me more proud of my accomplishment.

Master Silas sat in the poison garden, meditating with his obsidian wand and raven familiar. Brad sat nearby, studying an old tome, twirling a strand of hair around his finger as was his wont when nervous.

He really was worried that I'd succeed.

The smell of death drew their attention before I entered the garden. Brad's head whipped toward me, eyes wide and mouth open. Silas smiled, but remained with eyes closed, head bowed.

"I have returned." I stated the obvious as I moved past Brad and knelt before our master. "Kneel," I said, and my slaves stiffly followed suit.

Brad pulled away, book clutched to his chest, a faint sound of exasperation escaping him. I smiled, bowing my head, but said nothing to him. The ghouls were antagonizing enough to my rival student.

Master Silas drew a deep breath through his nose, and his raven shook her feathers out with a loud ruffle. I waited, barely suppressing a fidget. One of the ghouls groaned, expressing my impatience.

"Well done, Bianca." I blushed at the sound of pride in his voice. "You are more than ready to partake of the next level."

"Thank you." I bit back further words, knowing I'd be unable to keep control, that I'd say something snide to Brad. Better to remain quiet and bask in my victory.

I couldn't wait to see how he attempted to one up me.