Chapter Ten: Student Necromancers from Hell

Posted by | January 23, 2009

“Stand and be measured, death knight,” the necromancer said.

Hellvetica stood, stretched her newfound muscles. She felt good, power coursing through her veins. They had placed upon her a garb of black robes, embroidered with runes of pain and suffering. She could sense the fire in her veins burning in her eyes. A voice in her head whispered sweet horrors to her. Cajoling, commanding, but she pushed that aside and with it the rapture of her resurrection.

“Thank you,” she said, “for…” She paused, she couldn’t see anyone standing in front of her—until she looked down.

There, coming to about knee height, a gnome wearing one of the necromancer robes and a nametag: “Student Resurrectionist.” He even had a book in his hand entitled like a manual, “Necromancy For Dummies: Or How I Found Death and What I Did With Her.” His green hair had been bleached somewhat, his beard shaggy in places, and his face appeared to be absent of blood. A rock hard expression creased his wrinkled skin as he scanned the book as if trying to determine what happened next.

“Student?” Hellvetica said.

Ahem,” the gnome said. “Well, yes. We have to start somewhere. Alright. So you have risen, Herald of Arthas, today is the dawn of your resurrection! Prepare to meet your maker—not me, the king—and serve him with all your will and might.”

“I’m Hellvetica,” she said.

“Deathsprocket,” the gnome said; then frowned when she stifled a laugh. “What? It’s a perfectly acceptable name for a gnome after-the-fact, don’t you think? Why does everyone laugh? Okay, it says here that I’m supposed to have you get a sword and inscribe it and then you can go see his highness…or something. Would you like a tour?”

“Everyone? How many resurrections have you done?”

He made a dismissive gesture with his other hand. “Well. Not many—”

Hellvetica tapped her foot.

“Alright. Just you,” Deathsprocket said. “Happy? You’re my first, can you—just ixnay on the riticismcay? By the way, do you feel alright?”

She raised a sharp eyebrow. “I’m fine…” she said. “Should I be concerned about anything?”

The gnome glanced up for a moment, breathing a puff of fog. “No,” he said. “Nothing to concern yourself with. Ah, except for, apparently part of orientation is all about hygiene. Interesting. Odd.”

Hellvetica crossed her arms. “Spit it out.”

“Well, ah,” he said. “There are some weird side effects of reincarnation that you should be aware of, such as odor and hair loss. Well, not hair loss so much, but a lack of hair growth.”

“Great,” she said. “So I become one of the walking dead and I have to concern myself with skin care and my hairdo? Does this rocky mountain even have running water?”

“Nope. And here, just listen to this part: A bloodbath a day keeps the living away (although bubbles is frowned upon.) Hm, and: Heed your unintelligibility. Should you misplace your lower jaw, you may be reassigned to a position where your gurgling is not amiss and few of these hold prestige.

“I can remove my lower jaw?”

“I suspect so, if this book is to be trusted.”

She tried, but it would not budge.

“Not an alcoholic, are you?” the gnome asked, Hellvetica shook her head. “Good, because apparently your brain and liver no longer care. That could have been a rude awakening.”

“Ruder than waking up dead?”

Deathsprocket shrugged. “And finally: Those pants no longer make you look fat.

“That’s more like it!” she said with chilling cheer. “I think I’m going to like this job.”

NEXT >> Chapter Eleven: Zen and the Art of Ghoul Maintenance

The author Helvetica writes the Helvetica Venture and Hellvetica Chronicles for Vox Ex Machina and proudly supports the works of Kyt Dotson, whose writing includes Mill Avenue Vexations (a gothic webserial featuring cab driver Vex Harrow), Black Hat Magick, and Helljammer and invites you to check out the novel, The Specter in the Spectacles by Kyt Dotson.


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