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"Would you close the front door, please, Ursula?"

The necromancer fell to his knees on the hall carpet and wept. The moment of Jenson's obliteration had flooded his mind with memories, restoring everything that had been undone with the force of a train, but it hadn't been fast enough for him to able to witness his friend's passing and know that he had been his friend. The knowledge was disconnected - the disintegration of the skeleton's bones and the loss of Edgar were strangely separate and he needed to cry.


"Just a little while, Ursula. Just a moment."

Hubert pulled the little dice from his pocket and whirled it around in his fingers. He wasn't very good at the motion and it dropped onto the floor. Quickly he scooped it up before it settled on a number. It was valueless, perhaps thirty pence at a games store, and less online, but he wouldn't have traded it for a bank filled with solid gold.

He felt Ursula drift past him respectfully. She was holding Zack and together the two of them went up the stairs leaving Huu alone.

"I've got no one to talk to now, Edgar," Hubert said once she was out of earshot. "You were never the best conversationalist, but you always listened well." The necromancer stood up and brushed off his dirty clothes. He walked into the living room. They had hardly used it in months, but the mantlepiece there was nice. Wooden, and painted, but well-carved.

"What number shall I leave it on?" Hubert mused aloud. He found a small glass that he could place over it, giving it the look of an impromptu trophy, and held his hand over the shelf. A little touch of the necromantic field flowed through him. It was the wrong magic, unable to truly breathe life into something that had never lived, but it was enough to give it what he wanted. As he let go, the dice began to spin and he placed the glass carefully over it.

"It'll never stop," he said to the air. "Well, it shouldn't, anyway."

He took a step back and looked at the little numbered red gem, rolling perpetually a centimetre above the fireplace. "Night, night, Edgar. Thank you for saving me."

* * *

"It all came about because I was so desperate to not lose my home," Hubert said, slumping onto his bed, "and what is it really? It feels cold now, lifeless."

I am sorry.

"It isn't your fault, Ursula. Jenson slammed you, there was nothing you could do. At least you had gone in there to join him which was more than I did. I'm pleased you didn't manage really; I could have lost you both."

If there is anything I can do?

Hubert looked up at the door where Ursula was standing calmly. "He'd stand there all night, you know. Every night. I used to think of it as his sleeping position, but that wasn't it; he was guarding me. He never slept, he just powered down a little, went into standby."

His power was incredible.

"Wasn't it, though? I don't understand it. He was just a skeleton. We only animated him as a bit of a laugh; he was never meant to be anything really. Proof to Dan that I could do it? I don't know."

Does it matter?

"Not really."

Master. Ursula paused. There is no need for me to be here any longer. You summoned me back from the dead to rescue Dan and fight Jenson and he is defeated now. I should be undone.

"You're alright, Ursula, there's been enough of losing friends tonight. If you're OK with it, I think I'd rather not just unravel you too."

I must still feed. We never discuss it, but I know you do not approve.

"And so we'll continue never discussing it."

As you wish.

Hubert smiled. "I think I should go to bed. Did you sort out Zack?"

He is sleeping.

"Thank you."

Master, what happens next?

"I don't know, Ursula. I never have. I've just kind of ridden this train and gone where it goes. First I needed to keep my house, then I needed to find Dan, then we needed to stop Jenson and now? I don't have a clue. Who knows; the police might be knocking on the door in the morning. Someone has to notice the mess we made and the people that died because of us. Because of me."

They will be seeking Jenson, not you.

"Maybe." Hubert took off his cloak and casually dropped it onto the floor. "I'll pick it up in the morning."

That way leads to mess and slovenliness.

"Does it matter?"

Ursula looked at him and smiled. It matters. You are the necromancer, and that means you have some responsibility to your appearance. I'll take it, this once, and I'll clean it for you. This one time, and then you grow up and learn to look after yourself.

"It had to happen sometime."

What did?


It happened a long time ago, you just didn't notice.

"I know what happens next," Hubert said after a moment of silence.

Ursula looked at him quizzically. And that would be?

"Christmas," said Huu. "It's only a couple of weeks away and I haven't even thought about decorating the house. Let's face it; no one else is going to bother."


"You know what it is?"

Of course I know what it is, Ursula smiled. I am recently raised from the dead, I'm not an innocent. I loved Christmas. It used to smell so good.

"It can smell good again, I'll make sure of it."

Then I'll look forward to it. Ursula turned and swept out of the room, he voice echoing clearly in Hubert's head as she went. Good night, Master, sleep well.

Huu followed her out of the door; before he went to bed, he needed to pee.

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