Young Writers Society


E - Everyone

The Ten-Year-Old Necromancer: Chapter Eight

by Horisun


Grandma is halfway out the door when I run after her. “Go back inside, Kimberly.” She says when she sees me. She’s holding her gun. It makes me sick.

“No.” I say, tilting my head back in defiance, “That was Jasmine.”

“Who?” She asks, turning away from me and pacing down the path.

“The girl from the grocery place.” I say.

Grandma doesn’t respond, so I follow her into the woods. There’s another scream. This one is quieter than the first, or farther away. I clench my fists. It’s definitely Jasmines.

I remember the way the undead things hands wrapped around my throat and walk faster. Grandma swims through the trees like a fish darting down a stream. She knows right where to put her foot and when to duck. I try to copy her movements, but I stumble and trip.

“Help!” Jasmine screams, “Help me!”

I burst into a run, barreling past Grandma, “Kimberly, wait-“ she starts, but I don’t listen. I’m halfway gone already.

“Jasmine?” I call, “It’s me, Kim!”

She doesn’t respond right away, and for a moment, I fear she might be dead. Whatever monster that tried to get me has gotten her.

“Here!”

I exhale, and hurry towards the sound. I dodge between two trees and look up to see a grave on a hill. Jasmine stands atop it, her back pressed against a gravestone. She’s turned away from me, looking at something at the base of the mound.

“What is it?” I yell. She looks at me, and even from my vantage point, I can see the terror reflected in her glasses. I straighten my spine and waltz up the hill.

In the moment it takes me, she’s across the graveyard and ducked behind another tombstone. Her fingers are too her lips and she’s telling me to hush.

I roll my eyes and glance over the grave, looking for a monster looking man. Instead, I see something else entirely.

It’s definitely dead. I can tell by the way it moves. With each step, it’s legs crunch beneath its weight. And it doesn’t seem to be stitched up that well, either. It’s clearly not Grandma’s handywork, if the hare was any indication.

It used to be an alligator if I had to guess. Though all it’s appendages were bent at weird angles, like the legs had been screwed on wrong, so it was really hard to tell. Both its eyes had been plucked out of its head, and it seemed to be going by smell and hearing alone. If dead things can smell and hear, I think, another thing I’ll have to ask Grandma.

Jasmine crawls towards me, and grabs my wrist, “What’re we going to do?” She asks, her eyes so wide, I think they might bulge out of her head. I snatch my hand away.

“I’ll tell you what we’ll do; we’ll simply walk down the hill and not aggravate it.”

She stares at me like I’m insane, “It chased me all the way here from your house.” She says, “It’ll just chase us down there, too.”

I frown at her. The obvious occurs to me- if neither grandma nor I resurrected the alligator, than who did? Come to think of it, she also said the monster that attacked me was undead as well. My stomach aches, and I have to squelch down my fear.

I peer over the grave again. The alligator had seemed anxious to climb the hill blind, as it was pretty steep, so it began to encircle us, slowly and surely.

“It seems larger than a normal alligator,” I say, mostly to myself.

“That’s an alligator?” Jasmine hisses.

“Hush.”

I close my eyes, inhaling softly. I felt the air for the familiar weight. There was a lot of noise buzzing around me radiating off of truly dead things, but only one of which was undead. The alligator. I focus in on it. It was more difficult than the frogs, fish, or hare, but I felt confident it still fell within my domain.

Suddenly, I felt the same things as the monster. My legs ache, flooding my body with agony. My nose twitches, and I hiss.

Jasmine pokes me, “Are you alright? What’re you doing?”

“Yes,” I hiss, “just saving our skins.”

Before she can even lean back, I force both of the monsters legs to buckle. Even with my eyes closed, I feel it collapse to the ground at the base of the hill. The life magic left within it bleeds away, and by the time I open my eyes, the thing is back to being dead.

I turn to Jasmine. She’s standing now, looking down at the alligator. Her eyes dart back to me, “How did you do that?” She asks, her eyes wide.

I blush and mumble, “Nothing.”

“You just killed that thing without even lifting a finger!” She cried.

“Hm, no I didn’t.”

My brain itches, and I press my cheek against the cool rock of the gravestone. Jasmines brow knits together as she examines me. “You’re so flushed. What’s wrong with you?”

“That is…“ I pant, “…a really mean thing to ask.”

The whole earth is spinning, and I can barely keep my eyes focused on Jasmine. So I decide to rest them, but only for a moment…

I wake up in a house that’s not my own, and that’s not my grandmas.

I shoot up, letting the frilly princess blanket slide off me and onto the ground. I was asleep on a couch adjacent to an ancient looking TV. A football game rages inside. It looks loud, but the volume is turned way down, so it only emits the barest of murmurs.

“Hi, you’re awake.”

I turn towards the entryway, where Jasmine stands with a bowel of fowl smelling soup and a glass of milk in hand. “Did you kidnap me?” I ask.

Jasmines face turns beet red. It seems inclined to do that a lot. “No!” She cries, “I saved you!”

I press my palm to my head, “That’s not how I remember it.” I say.

“Whatever.” She says, marching into what seems to be her living room, and sliding the soup onto the side table. “My mom made this for you.”

She sits down beside me and watches as I blatantly refuse to eat the carrot soup. It looks just as disgusting as it smells, worse even then the rabbits splayed guts. I do accept the milk though.

When I drain the last of the glass, I slam it down on the coffee table and ask, “Does my Grandma know I’m here?” 


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Fri Dec 16, 2022 6:15 am
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi Horisun!

First Impressions

The atmosphere was scary and tense at first. I *knew* that voice was going to be Jasmine’s after reading the last chapter :0 Kim using her powers on the reanimated alligator was really cool. I felt so relieved after she managed to stop it. After the main action, and Kim woke up in Jasmine’s house, it became a bit more disoriented and somehow comical. I like the banter between Kim and Jasmine – I get the sense their dynamic is going to be an important one in the story.

Plot and Characters

I like how Kim’s powers are developing here. It does feel like she learnt them a bit quickly, but I can imagine that a life-or-death situation and the adrenaline could trigger her skill to grow suddenly, and we did have some build up to this with the necromancy lessons in the previous chapter, so it felt believable enough.

Kim also seems to have taken a leap in bravery now that she’s having to save someone’s life, and I like that for her. The dialogue also shows her increased confidence, for example “I’ll tell you what we’ll do; we’ll simply walk down the hill and not aggravate it.” I’m still not 100% sure how I’d describe Jasmine’s personality, but maybe I’ll figure that out as I read more chapters with her in it.

The obvious occurs to me- if neither grandma nor I resurrected the alligator, than who did? Come to think of it, she also said the monster that attacked me was undead as well. My stomach aches, and I have to squelch down my fear.

Ooh this is interesting – I’m starting to think there might be an antagonist who is also a necromancer. What could their motivation be for going after Jasmine though? Maybe they just have a grudge against the whole town?

Descriptions

I just have some minor nitpicks about the descriptions, and these are mainly just suggestions.
Grandma swims through the trees like a fish darting down a stream.

I kind of like the idea of this one – I can get the sense of Grandma’s agility, but it’s a bit of a stretch for me to compare a swampy forest to a stream? It was a bit hard to imagine at least and it kind of stood out amidst the more ‘realistic’ descriptions that this story generally has.
I straighten my spine and waltz up the hill.

“waltz” brings to mind someone moving in a slow, carefree way, since it’s a dance. I thought it was a bit of an odd word choice here, where she’s trying to save Jasmine.
That being said, I liked the descriptions of the stuff in Jasmine’s house. They kind of contributed to the slightly funny atmosphere I talked about earlier, for example the image of a “frilly princess blanket” after the scary experience those two just went through caught me off guard in a good way.

Overall

I really enjoyed reading this chapter! I like that the plot is starting to pick up pace again. I wonder how Grandma is going to react when she figures out where Kim is. She’s probably really worried, and might tell her off, I think. Or ground her. :0

Hope this helps – let me know if you’d like more feedback!
-Lim




Horisun says...


Thank you so much for the review!



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Thu Dec 15, 2022 11:45 am
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KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: OKayy so we have Kim charging right out there for her first sort of recue mission scenario, but I have to say honestly this ends ups makingme a tad bit more concerned for Kim and her wellbeing than excited for the fact that does seem to have learnt enough new things to use here powers a bit more.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Grandma is halfway out the door when I run after her. “Go back inside, Kimberly.” She says when she sees me. She’s holding her gun. It makes me sick.

“No.” I say, tilting my head back in defiance, “That was Jasmine.”

“Who?” She asks, turning away from me and pacing down the path.

“The girl from the grocery place.” I say.

Grandma doesn’t respond, so I follow her into the woods. There’s another scream. This one is quieter than the first, or farther away. I clench my fists. It’s definitely Jasmines.


Well it seems my initial suspicion was indeed the correct one. So there was indeed something to all of that after. Well I can't wait to see how this actually ends up being pulled off here because I assume we will now be having an epic rescue of some sort although the way Kim is running here is making things look a tad bit dangerous.

I remember the way the undead things hands wrapped around my throat and walk faster. Grandma swims through the trees like a fish darting down a stream. She knows right where to put her foot and when to duck. I try to copy her movements, but I stumble and trip.

“Help!” Jasmine screams, “Help me!”

I burst into a run, barreling past Grandma, “Kimberly, wait-“ she starts, but I don’t listen. I’m halfway gone already.

“Jasmine?” I call, “It’s me, Kim!”


Oh wow, for someone that Kim really doesn't seem to know very well at all she's willing to charge in pretty blind there. That's certainly a pretty interesting choice there if nothing else for Kimberly to be quite this carefree with her safety quite so quickly after the other incident and having learned just the one extra lesson. I suppose if she's meant to be the hero of the story, charging in like this to save someone is a quality she should have even if it means she's definitely not doing the logical thing there.

I exhale, and hurry towards the sound. I dodge between two trees and look up to see a grave on a hill. Jasmine stands atop it, her back pressed against a gravestone. She’s turned away from me, looking at something at the base of the mound.

“What is it?” I yell. She looks at me, and even from my vantage point, I can see the terror reflected in her glasses. I straighten my spine and waltz up the hill.

In the moment it takes me, she’s across the graveyard and ducked behind another tombstone. Her fingers are too her lips and she’s telling me to hush.


Okayy wow, did not expect to run into an entire graveyard inside this swamp but that's gone and caught me very much off guard there. I suppose there just happens to be one of those in here. That would at the very least explain how the man from earlier got there.

It’s definitely dead. I can tell by the way it moves. With each step, it’s legs crunch beneath its weight. And it doesn’t seem to be stitched up that well, either. It’s clearly not Grandma’s handywork, if the hare was any indication.

It used to be an alligator if I had to guess. Though all it’s appendages were bent at weird angles, like the legs had been screwed on wrong, so it was really hard to tell. Both its eyes had been plucked out of its head, and it seemed to be going by smell and hearing alone. If dead things can smell and hear, I think, another thing I’ll have to ask Grandma.

Jasmine crawls towards me, and grabs my wrist, “What’re we going to do?” She asks, her eyes so wide, I think they might bulge out of her head. I snatch my hand away.


Well wow, that was certainly not what I was expecting as the monster there but this definitely makes things a lot more interesting. It seems we've got some sort of other necromancer in the midst here, either that or something Kim is doing is causing some sort of weird reaction to random dead things but I highly doubt that's what's happening.

She stares at me like I’m insane, “It chased me all the way here from your house.” She says, “It’ll just chase us down there, too.”

I frown at her. The obvious occurs to me- if neither grandma nor I resurrected the alligator, than who did? Come to think of it, she also said the monster that attacked me was undead as well. My stomach aches, and I have to squelch down my fear.


Well there we go, I love how quick that thought comes, because it definitely is a little bit of a red flag to very much be worried about. I do hope grandma ends up having at least some sort of explanation for that here.

“That’s an alligator?” Jasmine hisses.

“Hush.”

I close my eyes, inhaling softly. I felt the air for the familiar weight. There was a lot of noise buzzing around me radiating off of truly dead things, but only one of which was undead. The alligator. I focus in on it. It was more difficult than the frogs, fish, or hare, but I felt confident it still fell within my domain.


Well okay I suppose Kim here is going to be the one who handles this particular situation here. It seems that one little lesson from earlier is probably going to end up being enough for this situation after all. I have a feeling Grandma still won't be too terribly amused though.

Suddenly, I felt the same things as the monster. My legs ache, flooding my body with agony. My nose twitches, and I hiss.

Jasmine pokes me, “Are you alright? What’re you doing?”

“Yes,” I hiss, “just saving our skins.”

Before she can even lean back, I force both of the monsters legs to buckle. Even with my eyes closed, I feel it collapse to the ground at the base of the hill. The life magic left within it bleeds away, and by the time I open my eyes, the thing is back to being dead.


Wooo, I suppose we now have little Kim here's first official moment of actually saving someone with her magic. I still don't believe she's going to end up getting too much praise for this because it did seems she got a little lucky here with the work of an amateur necromancer that was just messed up enough for her to handle unless of course this wasn't just luck and someone actually set this whole thing up to test what Kim is capable of.

I turn to Jasmine. She’s standing now, looking down at the alligator. Her eyes dart back to me, “How did you do that?” She asks, her eyes wide.

I blush and mumble, “Nothing.”

“You just killed that thing without even lifting a finger!” She cried.

“Hm, no I didn’t.”


Well that feels like an interrogation that's going to definitely reach quite an interesting point when Grandma actually reaches the scene. I feel like she'll have a much better explanation to lie about the whole thing than Kim here seems currently capable of producing.

My brain itches, and I press my cheek against the cool rock of the gravestone. Jasmines brow knits together as she examines me. “You’re so flushed. What’s wrong with you?”

“That is…“ I pant, “…a really mean thing to ask.”

The whole earth is spinning, and I can barely keep my eyes focused on Jasmine. So I decide to rest them, but only for a moment…


Well that probably won't be received too well by Grandma either. I'm going to hope this is just some sort of side effect of too much magic and not somehow any sort of random trap set by whoever made the alligator that is now going to get Kim in worse trouble before Grandma comes to rescue her.

I shoot up, letting the frilly princess blanket slide off me and onto the ground. I was asleep on a couch adjacent to an ancient looking TV. A football game rages inside. It looks loud, but the volume is turned way down, so it only emits the barest of murmurs.

“Hi, you’re awake.”

I turn towards the entryway, where Jasmine stands with a bowel of fowl smelling soup and a glass of milk in hand. “Did you kidnap me?” I ask.

Jasmines face turns beet red. It seems inclined to do that a lot. “No!” She cries, “I saved you!”


Okayyy well that's an interesting turn of events. I don't know why Jasmine her seems to have though the best course of action is to take Kim back to her house instead of returning her to the grandma who was clearly a lot closer. Now I need to have several explanations here on how Jasmine even managed to haul Kim that far back with Kim not consciousness and how grandma didn't catch up. There's also the small matter that this decision by Jasmine suggests that she believes the whole witch theory her mother has.

I press my palm to my head, “That’s not how I remember it.” I say.

“Whatever.” She says, marching into what seems to be her living room, and sliding the soup onto the side table. “My mom made this for you.”

She sits down beside me and watches as I blatantly refuse to eat the carrot soup. It looks just as disgusting as it smells, worse even then the rabbits splayed guts. I do accept the milk though.

When I drain the last of the glass, I slam it down on the coffee table and ask, “Does my Grandma know I’m here?”


Well the mention of the mom there seems almost like a bit of a confirmation there that yes this whole decision was based off a little bit on the comments that her mom made prior to this entire situation playing but at any rate the question at the very end is the one that seems most important to have an answer to right now. Solid cliffhanger there.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think we've got ourselves a fairly strong little moment here to see Kim having learnt something from Grandma taught earlier although it seems she's yet to learn that running into this swamp all alone can be bad. I'm very curious to see what consequences this now ends up having.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Mon Nov 07, 2022 4:54 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Is there a potential friendship between Kim and Jasmine? Perhaps. And why on Earth would Jasmine take Kim to her house? Shouldn’t she have left Kim for Beatrice to find her? Speaking of which, Beatrice is going to be very angry with Kim later for disobeying her. And that monster…why did it attack Kim? Is that just what the undead do or is there more to this? Great chapter!

I wish you an amazing day/night.





Almost all absurdity of conduct rises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
— Samuel Johnson