An Attempt at Magic
A field at night, just before midnight, lit by a full moon. Though the sky is clear, the grass is wet, as it has been raining earlier. The night would otherwise be silent, were it not for two voices raised in argument.
'I still think this is a ridiculous idea, Mary.'
'Well, no one asked you—'
'Actually, you did. You said 'Renko, what do you think about trying out necromancy? Everyone thinks we do it, we might as well give it a go', and I said 'No' and you said 'It'll be fun, I've been reading about it', and I still said 'No'.'
'And then I got you to come—'
'Because you need a second person to help you restrain the spirits you summon, you said. And I came because you being possessed would've been detrimental to our projects.'
'Also because I'm charming and persuasive?'
'Yes, that too Mary. And now we're standing in a damp field in the middle of the night. I hate this field. I'd thought I'd seen the last of this field when we investigated that Netherworld boundary here. And you're painting a magic circle on the ground in what is frankly an appaling shade of yellow. Couldn't you have bought a more restrained colour? Indigo, for example. It's a very fashionable colour.'
'The book said
that yellow is the best colour for protection.'
'Well, at the very least any cars will spot it and drive by safely... Mary, I don't like this. Messing with dead things.'
'We map out borders to the Netherworld all the time.'
'Yes, Mary. But this time we're not mapping a border. We're changing
it. We're manipulating it. I don't know about you, but manipulating boundaries is the kind of stuff I prefer to stay away from. It's dangerous.'
'If you have misgivings, you really should've told me earlier.'
'I did. You weren't listening.'
'Worrywart. We're not taking the border apart, just pulling it open briefly for a second. Like a curtain. Now, here, I've written a list of questions for you to ask the spirit. Necromancy was originally a way for diving the future, did you know that?'
'Yes. You told me already. Unlike you I listen to people.'
'Good. Here's the spell. I'll be the medium. You ask the questions. Oh, and here are the questions. And a banishment spell. Now, whenever you're ready...'
'Alright... The full moon is directly overhead... the stroke of midnight iiiiis... now!'
The girl in purple strides into the center of the magic circle.
'I summon thee, spirit, to answer my questions. Follow our light spirit, and manifest... at least try to sound enthusiastic, Renko.'
'Ugh... I summon thee... spirit... WHAT THE HELL?!'
I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED
'Mary? Oh, right... she's the medium. Right, right... the questions...'
I SHALL ANSWER THREE QUESTIONS, AND NO MORE
'Really? Why is it always three?'
'That wasn't a question. Uhh... Mary's notes, let's see... What is my name? Seriously, Mary? That was all you could think of?'
'Knowledge of the present, check. Now, let's see... knowledge of the past. What did I get as a present on my last birthday? Honestly, Mary...'
A NEW HAT
'Right, now for the future. What will the weather be like tomorrow? Well, that's what the weather forecast is for, Mary. Let me ask something useful. What will happen to us in the future?'
''A GREAT MANY THINGS. SORROW. JOY. WEDDINGS. FUNERALS. AND...A BOUNDARY WILL BE CROSSED'
'Really? Unusual euphemism for death, if you ask me'
THAT WAS NOT A EUPHEMISM. I SEE NO DEATH
'What? Oh, Mary, Mary, Mary... you're going to do something, aren't you? I'd better keep my eyes on you...'
THREE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED. The feel of life, I had forgotten it... perhaps I shall keep this body, as payment. Yes, I do believe I shall.
'Ugh, I thought so... Let's see... banishment... Oh, yes. 'Spirit, thy task is done, Return beyond the boundary of life and death, to the palace of the white jade tower.' Odd name, but whatever.'
The circle flares into light, and fades into the dirt, leaving singed grass in it's wake.
'Back to the world of the living, Mary? That spirit tried to possess you.'
'Really? That would've been fascinating to watch.'
'Mary, please. No more meddling with boundaries. Promise me. We observe them and leave them be. No crossing them or changing them or creating them.'
'...Alright, Renko. I promise. Uuuu, it's late.'
'Yes, it's nearly 1AM. 12:49:17 to be precise.'
The girls slowly leave the field, their voices carrying on the wind.
'Y'know, purple's really not your colour.'
'Really? I like purple. It's right at the edge of things, as colours go. Right at the edge of things.'
'So's red. You don't see me declaring my love for it anytime soon...'
The field is silent, under the full moon, where the boundary lies.
edited 3rd Oct '11 11:21:59 AM by asterism