*!* DISCLAIMER*!* This is not one of my happy light hearted stories. Read this chapter with the knowledge that it is meant to be a horror/thriller and there are some gory details that you may not like. If you have no interest in these types of stories, please to not read. For all of you that have just read this and are now going to continue reading it because of my disclaimer, remember, I did warn you.
I was awake, but my eyes wouldn’t open. My ears were ringing so loud that I couldn’t hear my own thoughts. My head was pounding to the point of vomiting. Slowly things began to clear and I wish the pain and ringing had taken me. I became aware of the low moans and cries from around me, the sounds were both close and far away, and I couldn’t pin them down to their distance. The deep drum beats inside my head were slowing and becoming quieter and the ringing subsided enough for me to notice the warm, slow moving, dampness creeping down my face from my scalp. To this day I still wish I wouldn’t have opened my eyes, that I would have stayed still and waited for them to move past me, but I know now that they wouldn’t have, they would have sensed the life still in me, and then I wouldn’t be alive, nor would I be dead.
I opened my eyes and saw how they work, how they spread and how they change. I opened my eyes and saw a necromancer for the first time. She was beautiful. She was what men say they dream of. Long flowing blonde hair, green eyes that shined with color, maybe more than I realized, and her figure was what I’ve seen men drool for and woman start a gym membership for. She was wearing regular jeans and a red button up short sleeved shirt, nothing fancy, I remember liking her brown leather boots and how the cuffs of her pants were tucked into them. She was casually stylish. As my head cleared a little more I realized how odd this made her. She wasn’t even scratched and here I was, lying on the ground bleeding from my head in the middle of a battlefield, my friends and soldiers around me, dead or dying, or just… screaming.
When people thought of a necromancer, we all had imagined this crazy bastard running around a grave waving some magical stick in the air chanting something unknown. Undead shambling zombies rising from the grave, completely incoherent except for what the master ordered it to do, usually involving an overpowering need for tasty, tasty, brains. We were very wrong. In fact, that would have been wonderful. I would have liked those crazy fucks so much more.
The beautiful woman crouched down to a body of a man whom I could tell from my twelve feet away, was certainly dead. He sat up, facing away from me, the back of his brown hair spattered with congealing blood. He had died after propping himself up against a propeller that had secured itself firmly into the ground when our plane had crashed.
I had just survived a plane crash… The memory flooded me at once in a dizzy blur.
I blinked, trying to get myself to focus as I watched the woman stare where the dead man’s eyes should be. Her head started to tip from side to side, and reminded me immediately of a snake, a cobra with its neck flared wide and its smile promising the most painful of poisons. Her brilliant red lips parted slightly as she paused in the center of her dance and it was as if the legs of a never ending spider pried her mouth open from the inside. Her perfectly formed jaw unhinged as the legs from her mouth entrapped the dead’s face. From my distance I couldn’t say for sure if it was true or my imagination running away with what I thought was already impossible but I thought I could see the dead’s throat drink something in. I simply blinked again and the twenty spindly legs were just… gone, but she wasn’t done. She tilted her head and I watched in horror as the dead man moved his head to mimic her. But then she paused, almost moved back from him, her eyes narrowed and then she hissed, mouth wide and voice harsh and pitched. He threw his head back in a dominant scream as something slithered out from under his skin at the base of his throat, at that soft spot just before the collar bones meet. It didn’t take the creature inside him very long to split open the skin and slither it’s tendrils out in a guttural hiss.
I hadn’t noticed that I had been rising to my feet and by the time I did notice I was already running, or scrambling as fast as I could manage. The necromancer stayed put, only absently watching me run, as if she didn’t give a shit whether I stayed or shot at her. But the fact that her freshly dead and extra limbed minion came rushing right up to his dead feet and frantic heavy footfalls came barreling behind me told me that she had cared, oh, she had cared a lot.
It was impossible to run silently, or run without sliding on the gravel, so I just pushed my legs as fast as I could. I’m not a runner, and I should mention that I hate to run, but it’s surprising how quickly your legs will move and your lungs will take in air when you’re terrified. I was gaining ground quickly, thankfully the undead take a little while to get their stiff limbs up to speed right away.
I made a sharp turn around a storage container, conveniently slamming into a solid steel wall and pushing off it to propel my feet to run even faster. I had to find another sharp corner before he rounded around the last one if I had any chance at losing him. At the end of the storage container I made another sharp turn and found that on the other side was a narrow slip between it and another container. I made it around and stopped in the corner and took as deep a breath as I could and then held my breath. Not so surprising that this was ridiculously hard given all my heart wanted to do in response was suck in more air.
He came barreling around the corner and stopped so fast I almost thought he had run into some kind of invisible wall. He turned and looked straight at me, his eyes grey and fogged over, the eyes of the dead. His throat flared open as he exhaled from the run, tendrils hiding behind the skin. I tried to back up instinctively but realized that I had already shoved myself as far into the crack between the containers as possible. The only way out was toward him. He came up on me faster than I could run past him and he grabbed me from behind by the back of my neck, his fingers stretching to curl around my throat like claws. He pulled me into him, my back pressed against his cold chest and he secured me there with his other arm, his strength forcing down on me as if to crush me.
Apparently hiding behind this particular container was a bad idea, in many more ways than just the one I chose. He pushed us forward toward the doors to the container. I tried to drag my feet but when I did I nearly choked from the vice grip he had around my throat. He threw me against the ground then, so hard I swear I bounced off the stone earth. He kicked at the lock to the container as if it was merely bothersome and it crumbled apart, the doors swinging open. There was a table and chairs, a hanging bare light bulb from the ceiling, and a generator near the back and that was all I had time to take in from the ground before I was in the air, hoisted up by my own shirt and set on my feet. My balance still escaped me so when he pushed my shoulder to force me inside I landed on my hands and knees. I could feel something crumbling beneath my hands and when I turned my palms up crumbles of dried blood and long dead mold imbedded in my skin as if I had fallen on sand. I sat down, my back to a metal wall and wiped the crust from my hands on my jeans.
“We’re going to offer you your life.” His voice came out dry and rasping. I looked up to meet his eyes and stared into the death inside them. He didn’t feel anything, he only followed orders. “Who’s WE?” I asked sharply. “Looks to me like it’s just you and me, dead man.” I expressed myself by throwing up my arms and waving them around. He didn’t even blink at me.
“You might want to cool your tone, wee lamb.” She sounded Irish. The necromancer strutted in as cool as could be. “Oh! Hi there. I was afraid that we’d lost you back there.” I smiled my best cheerleader grin and she slapped me, hard, so hard it felt like slow motion to pull my head back around. “Okay. Ow.” I expressed before adding my own blood and spit to the metal and crap that scattered around me. “So,” I coughed up more blood and spat again, “What was the corpse saying about my life, and letting me keep it?” She smiled, all lips, and circled her no longer human pet, “That’s such a terrible way to talk about your friend. Wasn’t his name Jason, before he died?” I looked up at her and couldn’t keep myself from looking back at the dead man standing in front of me. I swallowed hard to keep myself screaming as I started to recognise him. His hair was dusty but still the dark slightly wavy mess that he usually kept it in. Behind the grey death in his eyes I could see the slightest hint of that light blue that they once held. She slipped her hands through his hair and wiggled the dirt from his hair and it came out in a dusty cloud. “Not enough, lass?” She whispered in his ear and it was like Jason was becoming more alive, he skin darkened and his eyes came back to their crystal blue. “ Isn’t he just perfect?” She giggled and Jason’s eyes lit up and his deep throated laugh that had always been full of life and that sarcastic humor he always had made me want to melt into the metal wall, push through it and maybe not even stop with the ground below the container. I wanted to scream and cry, but more than that I wanted to set them both on fire. Instead, I laughed with them, my fake glee carrying over them both. They stopped before I did, and I stopped when I was slapped again. “ Don’t press your luck, lass.” I wiped the blood from my lips this time with the back of my hand and nodded a childish wiggle of my head. “Alright. So, talk to me instead of trying to traumatize me. If Jason were still Jason he would know that’s not so easy.” She rolled her eyes and gave the, newly alive looking, dead Jason a pat on the shoulder. “ I’ll leave it to you, luv. There is much cleaning up to do on the field.” She winked at me and her boots clicked as she walked out the door.
I woke up shaking. My heart pounding and sweat dampened my hair to a thick mess on the top of my head. I look around me to see that my room is still dark and my husband is still fast asleep. Two out of my three cats lay looking up at me from the end of the bed. I reach up to wipe at my eyes and realize my hands are shaking and weak and I couldn’t help looking for the crumbled blood and moss on my skin. Deep breaths… Deep breaths…