Samantha Lee’s Picture Choice: 2
Now, I realize this is an odd sentiment for a necromancer, but I really hate graveyards. I actually believe them to be one of the worst ideas the mortals have ever had - and they've had quite a few bad ideas over the centuries. When the Fae die, our bodies dissipate within moments, returning once more to the base elements from which we once sprung. There's nothing, thus, to tie us to this world and our souls fade to the Summerlands. There are a few exceptions; sometimes, under specific and rare circumstances, our bodies fail to dissolve or our souls become trapped. Four of my wraiths, for instance, were once Fae; Ghost, a moon elf, I caught at the moment of his death, Jester, a bard, I had summoned back from the Summerlands, Sparrow, a banshee, had been cursed to wander the world even after death, and Khardeen, a djinni, had his soul captured by the gems on the hilt of his sword. But those are once-in-a-million happenings; of the thousands of Fae who have died over the centuries, I've found three.
Mortals, on the other hand, are different. They cling to life, holding it tight, so very, very tight, in desperation and fear, so unwilling to let go, to move on. Human, vampire, werewolf - it doesn't matter what form the mortal holds or what they become in the course of their life, their basic instinct is still and always to never let go. It makes for a hell of a lot ghosts, most of which use their bodies as an anchor to keep them tied to this world; bodies which the humans gather together and plant in the ground like tulip bulbs. A garden of the dead, that's what a graveyard is, and the silly, stupid mortals have one, if not two or even three, in almost every city, town and village in their world. New Orleans has forty-two, for crying out loud, and don't even get me started on necropoleis. Incidentally, the only reason I still speak to the Ancient Egyptians is because they got to be so very, very good at warding off the dead, for obvious reasons.
Do you know what happens when a necromancer walks into a graveyard? I am the last of my kind, the very last necromancer in the world, and I am powerful, very, very powerful, the sort of powerful that gives even the gods nightmares. Does that sound like bragging? It shouldn't; being that powerful is overrated, like being the only human in a world of vampires.In short, when you've got all that power, when the thing that makes me you special and great, the thing that defines you and encompasses all that you are is the thing the universe itself would rip itself apart to possess...well, it's not easy. Take my word for it.
Now imagine that you're dead but, stubborn, greedy, stupid mortal that you are, you refuse to let go of life and end up caught between, an eternal echo of your former self, a ghost. Forget what the movies tell you; ghosts aren't mournful or vengeful or murderous. They aren't locked in loops or unaware of their deaths or hanging about to complete unfinished business. What they are, what they always are, are children, alone and afraid and cold and sometimes angry, calling out in the dark for the light to be brought back, for the warmth to touch them, for life to return to them. On and on and on they drone, crying out, screaming, whining, begging, pleading, praying, wailing, moaning, groaning - did I mention the on and on and on part? Imagine being stuck like that for months, for years, for decades, for centuries - it wouldn't matter how long; even seconds would feel like forever. And then imagine that one day you find someone who shines bright as the sun, whose warmth can touch you deep within and whose power and energy can, just for a moment, just for the smallest sliver of time, the briefest instant give you a taste of life again.
Necromancers attract ghosts, attract them better than honey does flies. Now, think for a moment, just think, what would happen when one of these bright and shining beings of warmth and life walks into a graveyard, walks into a garden of the dead, a place where there are hundreds of ghosts, thousands of ghosts tethered. All of those lonely, frightened souls, desperate for life, desperate for warmth and me essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet. I mean, alright, technically I could control them, bind them to my will and have them do as I wish but do you know how that's done? I flood each and every one of them with my energy, with my consciousness and, as they taste of me, I share in their torment. I am connected to my people, to my wraiths, to my werewolves, to my cats. I am wrapped tight in the maelstrom of my own memories, my own horrors, my own nightmares. In other words, there is more than enough going on inside my head without adding the complete desolation, the cold isolation, the ultimate loneliness of mortal ghosts.
So, yes, I'm aware of the irony of a necromancer put off by graveyards but, then, I actually realize what it is a graveyard represents to a necromancer. I understand how the flame feels about the moths, how the cliff feels about the lemmings, how the magnet feels for the metal. For, while it may be in our nature to attract, sometimes...sometimes all we really want, all we truly yearn for, is the impossible; to be left alone.
Ironic, isn't it?
You can read my blog - Calliope's Domain - over at calliopedomain.blogspot.ca