Knight Of Wands

Synthesis 1_crop

 

Animating a corpse is a fairly simple procedure; a few candles, a body, and the right words are all you need. From a magical perspective, raising a ghoul is no different from controlling any other object. It’s just energy manipulating matter. Ghouls are perfect for mindless labor, but little else. If you’re looking to bring back a loved one or for some reason need more than a meat puppet, a resurrection is what you’re after. Resurrections are tricky. While raising a corpse is disgusting, it doesn’t break nature’s laws. I suppose resurrection doesn’t either, but it sure as hell exploits the loopholes.

To resurrect someone you’ll need to do more than light some dollar-store candles and recite a mantra over their remains. The body will need to be fresh, so your first order of business will be rebuilding their mortal husk. Once that’s done, you need a bridge between our world and that of the dead for their soul to travel on. Killing someone is the easiest way to do this. That bridge will last just long enough for the deceased’s soul to cross over – about fifteen seconds, which is barely enough time to contact a soul and pull it back to earth. The barrier separating the worlds is thinnest during October; performing the sacrifice then can expand the window by a whole minute.

Rebuilding a human body and dragging a soul across worlds requires considerable energy. A lack of energy is what causes most spells to fail. That shouldn’t be a problem, though. You’re already murdering someone, so you might as well double dip and perform blood magic. I couldn’t explain to you why, but virgin blood provides more bang for the buck. If virgin sacrifice wasn’t cliché enough, you’ll want to perform the spell beneath a full moon at the stroke of midnight. A full moon at its apex is a powerful catalyst.

The final element to performing this ritual is an iron will. If for even a second you lose focus, the spell will fail. And it’s not a simple matter of finding another virgin and trying again next year. When the bridge breaks, both souls will be lost between worlds. That means you can’t feel a shred of remorse for your victim. If you can do that, your resurrection will succeed, but you’ll have lost your humanity in the process. You’ll be a monster, void of empathy. It’s my job to hunt monsters.

My phone buzzes, shining through my worn blue jeans. 11:15, time to get to work. I kill the alarm and take a deep drag from my cigarette before tossing it into a stale cup of coffee. The butt sizzles for a second and then floats beside a few more just like it. I give myself a quick pat down; gun, smokes, lighter, knife, medallion, phone, keys. I toss my phone into the glove compartment before exiting my car. Last time I worked a case like this my damn phone got fried. Unfortunately, the insurance policy didn’t cover witchcraft.

A big silver moon lights the cool night, appropriately referred to as a hunter’s moon this month. October is when the crazies come out to play. Tonight’s hunt will be no exception. My mark has been on the run for a decade, but all the intel says that she’ll be here tonight. I’ve never taken down a witch before so I’m a little nervous, and excited. Hunters don’t normally handle magic users. Normally that’s a Templar job.

Massive trees cast their shadows over the road. I almost stumble on a large root that’s grown up through the gravel. After fifty paces I reach a mushroom-infested log. I scouted the area a few nights ago, so I know that beyond this log the road is visible from the cemetery. I step over the decomposing log, leaving the road for a grove of gnarled black oaks. The grove has one particularly large tree that was once used to hang convicts. The oak’s sturdy limbs and proximity to the graveyard made it a prime choice.

The grove conceals me all the way to a rusty chain-link fence covered with yellow “no trespassing” signs. A large bush has grown into this section of the fence. This seemed like the best way in, so I pre-cut the fence where the bush would cover it. Despite how carefully I peel back the fence my arm catches as I’m passing through, causing the fence to jingle, and leaving a three-inch scratch just below my wrist. Damn it, five minutes into this hunt and I’m already bleeding. I draw my 1911 and crouch behind the nearest grave marker, a stone angel. To Be Continued…

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I'm from the small farming community of Sutter. I find myself equally at home in the woods or at a bar. I dig The Joe Rogan Experience, the comic series Berserk, the art of John Bauer and Game of Thrones. My interests include writing, shotgun shooting, travel and writing. I have a blog started at http://jdferrin.com/ check it out!

Comments

  1. Chase Morrison says:

    Could it possibly be true? Is the Synthesis actually running a gritty serial?! Love the first person perspective and the dark subject, keep it coming. Hopefully there is a lot of action in the future.

  2. Josiah David says:

    Good stuff, I’m holding my breath for part 2.

  3. Adam Ramirez says:

    I like how it was written can’t wait for the rest of the story.

  4. Whitney Garcia says:

    Awesome! your style is intelligent and fun, which is hard to convey through text! 10/10, would read again, and look forward to another!

  5. Justin Ferrin says:

    Thanks for the kind words! This is part one of what is so far a four part story. Assuming it’s well liked I’ll keep them coming. The art in this installment and the next three parts is by Nik Burman. He’s doing great work and I highly recommend checking out some of his other stuff at http://nikburman.com/

  6. El Fern says:

    I like the set up and supernatural is my favorite kind of fiction! I am eager for part 2!