Friday, May 10, 2019

#FridayFlash - Cleansing

I stood in the doorway, biting my lip. The wave of death energy pressed against every mental sense, locking my breath in my chest. Training hadn't prepared me for this.

Isaac turned to look over his shoulder, offering his particular half-smile, gesturing for me to follow. "Come on, Patrizia. Ghosts can't hurt necromancers."

My master was right, of course. Ghosts were manifestations of the dead, and I was learning to control the dead. Cleansing the most haunted psychiatric hospital in the state was the best way to hone my skills.

I drew a deep breath, squared my shoulders, and stepped into the foyer. Isaac was already at the reception desk, setting out candles and his athame. Power radiated from him, and he hadn't even started the cleansing.

Ghosts whispered, watching us, gathering close by. They were used to silly teenagers, the occasional psychic or crazy person, but never people with actual power vibrating with intent.

They were curious about me. Isaac looked like a necromancer, wearing all black and bedecked with silver skulls, eyes haunted and deep sunk. Merely looking at him sent a cold chill up one's spine.

I was no mere slip of a girl; statuesque, pushing six feet, with hair the color of blood. Silver rings on each finger, one emerald pendant, and curious eyes that hadn't taken on the aspect of my power. I was disconcerting, but not on the level of my master.

Some day though, with the proper training, I would. Every head would turn when I entered the room. Spirits would tremble when I snapped my fingers. The very idea filled me with pride.

I unpacked my candles and athame beside Isaac's, listening to the awe with which the ghosts spoke about us. About me. I fed on it, pulled it in like any thread of power, winding it around my heart. I could get used to this kind of power.

My master lit the first candle, and hairs stood on end along my arms. "We'll drive the weakest of them away, back into the aether. They wouldn't make good servants anyway."

I lit my first candle, then we lit the second ones together. Some of the ghosts cried out as power buzzed through the room like angry bees. "This will sever ties, clear the bonds that are holding them here. Once untethered, they'll be easy to transport."

When we lit the third set, a terrible howl filled the air, followed by a freezing wind. The cnadles died, one of them fell over, and the buzz of our ritual came to a halt. ~You shall not take my children.~ A powerful spirit began to manifest, floating above us.

She looked like a nurse, but from a previous century. Hollow eyes, translucent form, and blood-stained uniform twisted and danced in the wind of her creation. My skin crawled with her malevolence, and I moved a step closer to Isaac.

He grabbed his athame and brandished it at the phantasm. "You have no power over the living. You must obey my command. You will cease this rage and place yourself at my disposal." A gust of his power kicked up detritus, momentarily canceling her howling.

She laughed and dove for my master, ethereal fingers crooked into claws.

I reacted on pure instinct. I snatched up my athame and thrust it toward her glowing form. Aching cold lanced up my arm, racing for my heart, filling my senses with the grave.

Rather than pull away, I drew the grave cold deeper into myself. I was a necromancer, and the dead were my domain. No mere ghost was more powerful than myself.

More and more I fed, even as she tried to escape. Her screams echoed within my head, but I didn't stop. This was too delicious.

Finally, it was over. Brimming with power, I looked at the world with new eyes. Isaac merely nodded with approval.

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