Husband and Wife

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Hubert Grange, Master Necromancer, stepped forward into the darkness. He was aware that behind him the battle ranged on; zombies grappled with Lego spacemen to the rear and his trusted vampire companion weaved through the night, her crackling scarlet energy occasionally lighting the dark. 

He left his skeleton bodyguard to stand sentry at the entrance to the half-completed building and turned to look into the night. Jenson was here; his familiar taint touched the edges of Hubert's magic senses.

Hubert held out his hand, palm downwards. "Sally, it's time."

A white liquid seemed to pour from his grasp, sparkling from its own luminescence. Slowly it took form and Hubert felt as if the whole world had become silent as Sally Jenson coalesced kneeling before him. Her head was bowed, silver hair draping her shoulders. She wore a thin white dress with tiny orange flowers on it that seemed to have faded through the years - and she shone like a thousands diamonds in moonlight.

"Jenson!" Hubert called. His voice echoing through the eerie silence of the moment.

The wraith appeared before him. There was hardly a few metres between them and Hubert gasped at the suddenness of it. No announcement, no clever show of power, Jenson was simply there when he hadn't been.

Clever, Jenson acknowledged, his usually powerful communication muted.

Sally stood up and looked straight at their adversary. Hubert couldn't see her face, but he knew she was weeping.

Timothy. The ghost shook out her hair. Hubert realised that he'd never known Jenson's first name. Not once said in all those years.

Sally. Jenson's tone was flat.

What have you done? It was everything Hubert had hoped. He could feel the genuine emotion pouring from Jenson's wife. Her lack of understanding, her disbelief, her despair. And her hope.

Jenson closed the distance between himself and the white apparition that had once been his lover; the woman who had so occupied his mind that he had seemingly never shared his life with anyone else. He reached out and touched her and where he did, she dimmed and flinched.

I have done what should be done. I have sought vengeance on this wretch.

Hubert remained silent as both of them turned to look at him. He couldn't intervene; this was Sally's moment. He mind worked furiously though, replacing layer upon layer of shield to protect himself should Jenson turn on him.

Vengeance? What need have you for vengeance?

Every need. Jenson's words rang with bitter anger. He undid me. The pain was worse than the becoming. He, Jenson spun to look directly at Hubert once more, he wields power he doesn't understand and plays with it like a boy. A stupid boy. He does not deserve the power. 

I do, the wraith continued. I have true power over life and death. And I hunger for it. For everything denied me in life. Years of pain and dying, countless nights of solitude and despair. I deserved this and I took it. It is mine and I will not relinquish it.

And me? Sally's calm sadness was in stark contrast to Jenson's vehemence.

You! You were not here! You have not been here! You do not care. Look at you now - a ghost! Back from the dead, all delicate and shining.

Yes. I am here.

Here now! At HIS bidding. Here as a weapon to fight me! You could have been here those years, those decades. You could have haunted me. Of course, I didn't believe it was possible before all of this. I didn't think for a moment. You could have been there. I'd have spent my nights with you. Our secret. My Sally-ghost! We could have spent nights together. It's here, the magic to do so, it courses through me like blood once did! You chose not to! Ghosts are real, Sally, and they can haunt people and be with them through all those hard times and bitter lonely moments. Yet you chose not to. Where have you been? In Heaven? In Purgatory? In Hell? I was!

Jenson rose from the ground, his form growing in tandem with his anger.

I was in Hell! For decades, Sally. After you were gone, there was just me. I believed you were gone, that I had to go on living alone. And it was a lie! Your cruel lie! Your selfish lie! You could have come back to me at any time. I know it! But not until today, when he wants you. The necromancer called and you did his bidding.

I! Jenson's voice was a scream inside Huu's mind. I called you for years! Every night when I screamed your name into my bed! Every day when I sobbed from crushing loneliness. You made me like this. This vengeance?! It is at you as much as it is to the boy. You left me!

The abruptness of his reach took both Hubert and the ghost by surprise. Jenson's wispy tendril thrust forward to grasp his wife by her throat and suddenly, violently, it went dark. Sally was gone.

And now you, necromancer. Time for you to die.

The first of Hubert's shields dissipated with a pop that was audible across the field. Shocked, the necromancer stumbled in the dark, finding his connection with the magic and bringing it to bare against his enemy. Black on black in the night there was nothing to see, but Hubert felt the attack connect and tear a hole in the fabric of the creature that was Jenson.

The wraith didn't slow his attack. A second and third strike were deflected by the energy Hubert had been so careful to knit around himself, but the fourth cut through and the fifth, and despite a second desperate burst on the part of the necromancer, a sixth and seventh rendered his defences gone.

You are mine! Jenson shrieked, though evident pain and difficulty.

Hubert felt the chill touch of the wraith then. Freezing cold that crackled and broke the edges of his mind; a deadly connection that reached into the core of his soul. Mine! he heard again as Jenson pushed his reach deeper.


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