Nervously, I wiped the sweat from my hands with an old grease rag my father had left in the basement and rechecked the circle again. I had drawn it in gold crayon, not having any actual gold like the spell called for. My recently deceased dog, Loki, was in the middle of the magic circle, mud still clinging to his tattered coat as I had dug him up less than an hour ago. He had been struck by a car only a few days ago, but I really needed his help.
The bully’s had gotten worse as of late, once they had seen the book I had pulled from my grandfather’s attic during the will reading. ‘The young necromancer’s first study’, the cover read, and I knew that it was probably all a big joke. There didn’t seem like any other choice for me anymore though, with Gramps gone, and now Loki, I had no one. I mean, my parents were there, but they just didn’t understand me. If Loki worked, maybe I could even bring back Gramps.
First though, I needed to focus on this summoning. The book put a lot emphasis on pronouncing the latin correctly, so I mouthed the words silently for at least the fourth time in the last twenty minutes, tried to swallow the lump in my throat and readied myself to bring my dog back from the dead. The circle was done, I had the knife and the candle. It was time to begin.
“Socium surgere, et sanguis sanguinem.” My voice was hoarse but the words came out at the right speed, and with good enough clarity. I pushed my pocket knife into the pad of my thumb until blood welled from the slice. I dripped it onto the circle, making sure that no other part of me touched the crayon carefully scrawled on the concrete floor.
“Socium surgere, et sanguis sanguinem.” Bolder, my voice rose as I lit the candle, dripping the wax on top of the blood. “Signatum est anima mea usque ad hanc ceram.” I stepped back nervously waiting for anything to happen, wishing beyond reason to have Loki to help me face these bullies.
Nothing happened for a moment, and my heart began to plummet. Colour creeped into my cheek as I started to feel embarrassed over my actions. I dug up my dead dog for heaven’s sake! Before tears could begin to pour down my face, the circle began to a dark crimson glow.
Loki let out a small yelp as his body started to move, bones cracking back into place as he stood upright unsteadily. He turned and bounded over, jumping into my arms and started licking my face enthusiastically. His tongue was dry and abrasive on my cheek, and a few pieces of flesh fell from his body as he wiggled happily in my arms.
“Easy boy, its ok.” I put him carefully down on the ground, grimacing at the pieces of skin on the ground. I rubbed his head as I plotted my next move. I hadn’t planned to much past this, not wanting to have hope it would actually work. However, the slightly rotted and matted fur beneath my hand was a testament to it working. Elated, I decided to go to the park and see if the bullies were there.
Loki was ecstatic that we took the back way to the park, happily lifting his leg to pee on any tree and bush he decided was worthy. No urine came out, but he didn’t mind, trotting along behind me, tongue lolling out of his mouth with contentment. As we got closer to the park, I could see five kids standing in the playground, huddled in a group.
Those would be my nemesis’, they stayed there everyday after school, picking on any kid who tried to play on the playground equipment. Sometimes, they would smoke whenever they could steal them from their parents, trying to force younger kids to take puffs, mocking them when they coughed in disgust.
Entering the park, they noticed me immediately, turning to face me. Loki was about half a block behind me, still happily lifting his leg on a bush, so they didn’t notice him at all. I walked boldly towards them, a confident smile on my face. Spreading into a half circle, they surrounded me, arrogant smirks across each face.
“Necrofreak, why are you here? You know that you can’t use this stuff unless you’re hanging by your underwear from it. This is our stuff. And losers like you, who think they can bring back things from the dead, don’t get to touch it.” Their leader, Darren, shoved me hard. Falling to the gravel, I didn’t even feel the scrapes on my skin. This was my moment of triumph.
“Loki! Here boy! Help!” Loki wasn’t a large dog, maybe only thirty-five pounds at most, but he was fiercely protective. When he heard me call for help, he came barrelling across the playground, his bark ringing loud. “Help me Loki!”
He ran into the nearest bully, landing a firm bite on his calf. The boy didn’t even react for a second, horror in his eyes as he realized a dead canine was clamped to his leg. Then with a yelp, he shook off Loki, his pants turning a bright red as he began to try to run. Loki landed hard, most of the flesh on one leg completely sloughing off, splattering on the gravel.
“Jesus, the freak did it!” Darren’s face was a mix of disgust and nausea as he backed up, keeping Loki in his vision. “His dog is back from the freaking dead!” The bullies turned and ran, all of them heading out of the park. Loki began to run after them, barking furiously, losing skin and muscle as he went.
At the parks edge, seeing that the undead dog was still chasing after them, they chose to run across the street. Loki booked it after them, uncaring that there was a car coming down the street. I saw it, calling out Loki’s name as loud as possible, he had already succeeded. There wasn’t any need to keep chasing.
My cries to stop fell on ears not only dead, but deaf in his moment of victory. The car struck him, a loud crunch accompanied by tires trying to squeal to a halt way too late. Sticking his head out the window, the driver let out a curse, and sped away, not wanting to get in any trouble.
Rushing to Loki’s side, what I had done began to sink in. He had been at rest, somewhere in the afterlife, and I brought him back. Not for love, but to use him as a weapon, to fight a battle that wasn’t even remotely his. My tears fell onto his fur as I cupped him close to me, and whispered my apologies as quickly as I could to him.
Tenderly, he licked his acceptance of my remorse and looked at me with love in his undead eyes. I couldn’t handle forgiveness at my horrible actions, whispering the release to the spell. Loki fell limp in my arms, his eyes closing for what I knew would be the last time.
Dejectedly, I gathered up the parts of him I could find, vowing that the book I had used wouldn’t be used anymore, unless for kindling.