Friday, October 21, 2011

Muse Calliope Week 74: Ghosts and Necromancers - Trinity Shade, Part 4

Muse Calliope

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Muse Calliope's Choice: 2

Ghosts and Necromancers - Trinity Shade, Part 4

Savannah stepped into the circle, breaking it with an audible pop. Trinity threw up a shield on reflex, surrounding the ghost in a veil of compact magic, but it was like using tissue paper to cage a lion. Savannah actually glanced over her shoulder to frown at Trinity, as if trying to shield the ghost – as oppose to breaking the circle – was the stupid thing to do here.

"Relax, little witch," the crazy chick said, smiling in a not-at-all reassuring way.

The ghost watched Savannah as though she was a mouse and he a hawk, but the girl seemed completely indifferent; she just began toying with her hair and cocked her head to one side. "I thought...I couldn't summon you, Jes. I tried over and over again but you wouldn't answer me. I felt...I knew you had died, that they had died, and I called you but...why did I have to have a demon conjurer summon you? Why wasn't I enough?"

The ghost, much to Trinity's surprise, didn't burst from the circle and wreak havoc, with "havoc" being code for murderous rampage. Nope, instead ghost boy just kept staring at Savannah, the craving in his gaze bordering on all-consuming hunger. He took a step towards her and Trinity, standing across the room, gasped.

This time it was the vampire that cast a sardonic look Trinity’s way. “Savannah is a necromancer, Miss Shade and the ghost – a former Bard called Jester – he is a friend of hers; there is nothing to be feared.”

Trinity blinked and fought the urge to roll her eyes. Of course the crazy chick was a necromancer. Actually, sarcasm aside, it did make a little sense. After all, before Aoife decided she wanted that particular power wiped from the earth it was common for necromancers, who spent more than half their time seeing and speaking to people no one else could see, to lose touch with reality and go a little bit eccentric. Moreover, it explained why she going around with a beastkin for a bodyguard; beastkin were known even to humans as savage, vicious warriors and about as tameable as a tornado. Plus, thanks to their almost instantaneous healing ability and a
Berserker mode that made the Tasmanian Devil seem like a kitten in comparison, they were not only virtually indestructible, but they gave most Noble Fae warriors pause. It also explained why she’d taken a vampire as a lover; vamps were just a little bit dead, so it makes sense he’d be attracted to a necromancer. What’s more, their relationship had the added bonus that ninety-nine percent of ghosts were repelled by vampires – something complicated and having to do with the ghosts being truly dead while vampires hovered between. Personally, Trinity thought the ghosts were just plain jealous of vampires and didn’t like having the latter’s victory over death, such as it was, flaunted before them.

Still, necromancer or not, Trinity was none too thrilled to have the crazy chick hijack her summoning. It was like that time in high school when she got accused of copying the homework of the kid seated next to her when in actuality Sebastian Ducharme had been coping her. So very unfair and incredibly more annoying.

Inside the circle, Savannah reached out one hand and laid it against the ghost’s chest. “You’re not so young, Trinity,” she observed, her tone neither insulting or complimentary, simply stating a fact. “Have you ever witnessed a necromancer use her magic before?”

“No, they were few before I was born, so few I thought your kind extinct centuries ago.”

Savannah nodded. “Yes, all the others are gone; there’s only me now. energy is like pheromones – I can control it to summon ghosts in general or, um, key it to draw a specific ghost. I’m also able to...ah...”

“Ghosts are drawn to her and obey her,” Croix cut in, simplifying the explanation. “She’s like the Pied Piper but with energy instead of music.”

“You are wrong,” the ghost whispered. He raised one hand and gently ran his fingers along Savannah’s jaw line until he cupped her cheek. “There is music to Fi–”

“Savannah,” the crazy chick broke in, turning her face into the ghost’s palm. “It is Savannah now, Jes. Has been for a century or more.”

The ghost frowned. “You are named for a city now?”

“It was a place of...rebirth. Jes, tell me what happened. How have you died? And why wouldn’t you answer my calls?”

“I saw the stars, fy frenhines, like diamonds and silver flame locked in a velvet sky. I saw the stars and they were like dancers twirling maidens in silver and white gowns across a midnight ballroom. I saw the stars and they were like sparkling birds taking flight to Heaven.”
Trinity rolled her eyes and snorted. “Is he for real? Do all ghosts talk like that?”

“I told you, little witch; Jester was a bard,” the vampire chastised. “His words, his voice, his language are his magic.”

“I thought Bards kept close to the Courts nowadays?”

“Most, but not all,” Croix explained, shrugging. “Once upon a time, bards were all about the travel; they would have territories and go all around collecting news and spreading messages and such. Since Lyr’s death, however, only a few have defied the decrees and continued on as before. Jester was one of them.”

“I was on the beach, fy frenhines,” the bard continued, apparently oblivious to anyone else but Savannah. “The sea roared and whispered against the sand and the moon...the moon was lost to a veil of clouds. I was standing there, on the edge of sand and sea, looking up at the velvet sparkles, and then...there was pain, only pain, and then darkness and...then nothingness.”

Frowning, Savannah glanced towards her vampire and beastkin, her confusion plain. “Are there beaches in Prague?”

“There is a river, lumina mea,” Dumitru answered, “but no sea.”

“Then how did Jes go from dying a beach on the sea to being a ghost being bound here in landlocked Prague?”

“What I’d like to know,” Croix put in, “is how his body was buried in our homeland’s soil.”

“Um, am I still needed here?” Trinity interupted. She’d had just about enough of being the odd man out at this crazy person convention and, no, seeing the last necromancer alive work her magic was not worth her time. She needed to get out of Prague, and soon; it was not the place for Fae.

“True, Prague is not the place for Fae,” Savannah agreed and Trinity frowned, sure she hadn’t said that last part out loud. “It is, however, a place to hide from Fae. And, yes, you are still needed here, Trinity.”

“What for?”

“Until I know what befell my friend, I cannot risk your leaving.”

“And then? What happens to me after you have your answers?”

Savannah looked away from her ghost then and stared at Trinity with eyes that suddenly spun with power and shadows. Being a necromancer was rare, sure, but that was a natural ability, like running or mathematics; it was a matter of strength and endurance that drew on a mix of innate capability and practice but had as much to do with power as a dog’s bite or a serpent’s poison. Power was something else altogether and right then it burned in the crazy girl’s eyes like an inferno. It was the first indication Trinity had that the necromancer was more than just the last of a species. Apparently, she had one hell of a secret Trinity was positive she wasn’t going to like.
Three hundred fucking years old - she really should have known better that to jinx herself.

A/N: To be continued next week!