Friday, September 28, 2018

The Gentleman and the Necromancer

The Gentleman and the Necromancer
Bobby Derie

"Would not a necromancer forego the expense of a craftsman and simply...obtain the materials they need more directly?"

The man tilted his cobwebbed hat at his guest, lost in thought. Then spoke, in a distinct voice.

"A necromancer might," he paused to let the echoes of the crypt die out. "But a gentleman never would."

The guest drew herself up to her full height—tall enough to stoop under most doorways, and with her hat and veil had to practically bend herself like a bishop to enter any room. Her dress was dark, and of good material, but hardly fashionable: no bustle or hoops, and very little in the way of petticoats. It had a high collar and her heavy boots, pointed as a cavalryman's, poked out from beneath.

"I think you put on airs, sir. We are not so different."

The man pointed at the pile of antique gold on the table.

"I do not devalue your labor, madame. Only our philosophy and motivations."

"You call forth the damned as surely as I do," she spat at his feet, a black glob that quivered before his dusty finery. "You may question them on matters of ancestry, aye, but where else do you get that geld, if not from forgotten crypts? We both make a living off the dead."

"You mistake me, madame. I take nothing that is not mine. You see, it has been quite a long time, and I forget where I put things." The gentleman smiled, dry lips cracking. "That's why I must ask the children where I put them."


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