Young Writers Society


E - Everyone

The Ten-Year-Old Necromancer: Chapter Seven

by Horisun


I’m still thinking about Jasmine when Grandma returns home. I’ve never met someone who talks more than me before. Then again, I’ve also never met anyone who could render me silent.

I left the cookies and laid down in the library, but their scent followed me. If I close my eyes, it’s like I’m back home again. I can imagine that Mom’s going to call me to dinner any second.

Of course, then I’ll open them to find myself curled up on a mattress. Every broken spring and loose floorboard dig into my side through the sheets. I can’t get any comfort.

Loneliness seeps into my bones, and silence beats against my ears. The house is cold, but my skin burns hot. I whimper. It echoes through the empty home.

From the living room, the door scrapes open and someone steps inside. I tense, pull the quilt closer, and hold my breath. I’m invisible, I think, I’m dead, I’m not here.

The steps are too heavy to be Grandmas. They thud and shudder across the house, shaking the dust from the rafters. I throw the blanket over my head and don’t move a muscle. In the dark room, maybe I’ll look like a pile of blankets.

The air in my lungs grows tighter. I’m underwater. There are hands around my throat.

The footsteps stop outside my door. I suppress every shiver, every cry.

The handle turns.

I blink, once, twice. Nothing happens. I exhale. Sneak a glance out under my blanket and peer at my door.

I feel immense shame as I realize it’s wide open. It’s been wide open this whole time. I throw the quilt off of me and rise to my feet. As I approach the door, my stomach twists and turns as though it wants to burst from my body and break for the window, but I force myself to look down the hallway.

There’s nothing. The house is entirely empty, aside from me and my undead frog, who is currently glaring down at me from the bookshelf, her beady eye full of judgment.

“I’m sure you were frightened, too.” I grumble, though I’m not entirely sure if that statement is true. Could the undead feel fear? I’d have to ask Grandma later.

For now, I follow my nose to the kitchen, and finally take a nibble out of a cookie. They’re cold as death, but not bad at all. I eat one more, to calm my nerves.

Grandmas truck pulls up by the window. She gets out. Groceries in hand, she slams the door behind her, loud enough that the birds in the trees take off into the sky.

I rush to the front entrance to let her in. She staggers in without acknowledging me, and slams the paper bags onto the counter.

“Didn’t we just go to the store?” I ask, leaving the door open to let light in.

“These aren’t groceries.” She says, “They’re blades.”

From the bag, she draws a knife. I hiss, all thoughts of strange footsteps fleeing from my mind.

“Mom wouldn’t want me near that!” I object, “That’s not safe at all!”

Grandma snorts, “No, I suppose it isn’t. But your mom left me in charge of your education.”

“What does a knife have to do with my education?”

Grandma holds the knife almost religiously. As she fiddles with the handle, I take a sizable step back. 

“It’s for your protection. After your encounter with the undead, I figure, it’s better safe than sorry.”

The tension in my shoulders loosen a little, but I still don’t feel safe. A desperate, painful longing for home overtakes me. But I don’t cry. I’m done with crying.

Grandma sheathes the blade. It hangs around her hip now, a constant reminder that we aren’t safe. My eyes dart from the woods outside to the dark hallway, two evils, with me in the middle. Like a sandwich.

My grandma claps her hands, startling me, “I suppose I ought to make dinner. Do you want anything in particular?”

I shake my head no, and watch as Grandma moves to the cupboards.

When the fear subsides, all that’s left is boredom. I’ve tried and failed to decipher the tomes in the library, and the forest has proved far too frightening. As the pan on Grandmas stove hisses, I slump over onto the chair.

“How long do you think I’ll be here?” I ask.

“Until your mom comes back to get you.”

I clench my fists, “So never.” I say.

Grandma fumbles to a stop halfway through cutting vegetables. She looks up at me, concern etched on her wrinkled face. It’s the kindest expression she’s ever worn. But maybe it’s just the onions- “What makes you say that?”

Startled, I cross my arms and say, “She thinks I’m a freak, obviously.”

Grandma resumes cutting onions, “I wouldn’t say that.” She says.

“Is she a necromancer, too?”

“No, of course not.”

“So,” I huff, “She wants to rid herself of me so she can carry on with her mundane life.”

“You’ve taken on a very critical view of your mother.”

“Wouldn’t you?” I retort.

Grandma laughs. She scrapes the vegetables onto the pan, and smoke floods the hut, “I’ll admit, I didn’t like your mother either, at first.” She says. “She was too quick to anger, to act. She didn’t like the idea that the dead could come alive, either. She was raised religious if I remember right. Her parents were a piece of work, too.”

“Her parents?”

“I assume they’re dead now, too, if you don’t know them. Though maybe she finally took my advice and cut them out of her life. Who knows.”

I bite my tongue before I ask, “When I first got here, you didn’t seem surprised to see Mom. What was the last time you two spoke?”

“Last month,” Grandma says honestly, “She told me about you.”

My ears perked up, “What did she say?”

Grandma hums, folding beef into the vegetables, “Your mom said you were very bright, that you got good grades. I was happy to hear you’d taken an interest in science.”

I slump over once more. Grownups talk about such boring stuff.

From the cupboard, Grandma removes a plate. She throws heaps of food onto it, more than I think I can eat, and slides it onto the table in front of me.

Before I can raise my fork, or even thank my grandmother, we hear a sound from the woods.

A bloodcurdling scream.

And I know who it belongs to. 


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Thu Dec 15, 2022 8:18 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: Okayyy well I think this is a very important chapter here. We learn so so much but of course it also feels like we really learnt nothing because all that most of these answers have done is make more questions and that honestly is the best way to keep making the story more and more captivating.

Anyway let's get right to it,

I’m still thinking about Jasmine when Grandma returns home. I’ve never met someone who talks more than me before. Then again, I’ve also never met anyone who could render me silent.

I left the cookies and laid down in the library, but their scent followed me. If I close my eyes, it’s like I’m back home again. I can imagine that Mom’s going to call me to dinner any second.

Of course, then I’ll open them to find myself curled up on a mattress. Every broken spring and loose floorboard dig into my side through the sheets. I can’t get any comfort.


Well this is quite the way to start this chapter off. So many emotions for Kim to be processing and I love it. It overwhelms us readers a little and its the perfect to introduce how overwhelmed Kim is at the moment too.

Loneliness seeps into my bones, and silence beats against my ears. The house is cold, but my skin burns hot. I whimper. It echoes through the empty home.

From the living room, the door scrapes open and someone steps inside. I tense, pull the quilt closer, and hold my breath. I’m invisible, I think, I’m dead, I’m not here.

The steps are too heavy to be Grandmas. They thud and shudder across the house, shaking the dust from the rafters. I throw the blanket over my head and don’t move a muscle. In the dark room, maybe I’ll look like a pile of blankets.


Oh dear...well that doesn't sound good. I really hope this is maybe some sort of nightmare of some sort because that does not look like its about to end well in any way. The only hope we have is that grandma did say that nothing bad could really get all the way into the house and that earlier encounter was well into the forest so there's been nothing to dispute that claim....yet.

The air in my lungs grows tighter. I’m underwater. There are hands around my throat.

The footsteps stop outside my door. I suppress every shiver, every cry.

The handle turns.

I blink, once, twice. Nothing happens. I exhale. Sneak a glance out under my blanket and peer at my door.


Hmm well this definitely has symptoms of a bit of a nightmare there judging from the way these feelings are hitting Kim in sort of waves as she's struggling to try and cope. Very powerful moment here as well.

There’s nothing. The house is entirely empty, aside from me and my undead frog, who is currently glaring down at me from the bookshelf, her beady eye full of judgment.

“I’m sure you were frightened, too.” I grumble, though I’m not entirely sure if that statement is true. Could the undead feel fear? I’d have to ask Grandma later.

For now, I follow my nose to the kitchen, and finally take a nibble out of a cookie. They’re cold as death, but not bad at all. I eat one more, to calm my nerves.


Well that's more things to be thinking about right there. I don't believe I've ever seen a version of the undead that felt any fear but that would be a cool change there to the way this normally goes. Also Kim succumbing to the cookies for comfort there is a lovely touch to show how much she misses her mother in connecting back to the previous part with the smells.

Grandmas truck pulls up by the window. She gets out. Groceries in hand, she slams the door behind her, loud enough that the birds in the trees take off into the sky.

I rush to the front entrance to let her in. She staggers in without acknowledging me, and slams the paper bags onto the counter.

“Didn’t we just go to the store?” I ask, leaving the door open to let light in.

“These aren’t groceries.” She says, “They’re blades.”


Well okay Grandma seems to be slightly extra grumpy again, I'm not sure, I might be reading into this one too much. I do like how it does provide Kim with a bit of comfort there now although of course it seems the whole blades situation has changed that around quickly.

Grandma snorts, “No, I suppose it isn’t. But your mom left me in charge of your education.”

“What does a knife have to do with my education?”

Grandma holds the knife almost religiously. As she fiddles with the handle, I take a sizable step back.

“It’s for your protection. After your encounter with the undead, I figure, it’s better safe than sorry.”


Well not entirely sure getting a ten year old a knife is a recipe for things getting safer, but I suppose it is going to be an improvement over poor Kim being completely defenseless in the future against something that attacks. That was very much a terrifying moment earlier.

Grandma sheathes the blade. It hangs around her hip now, a constant reminder that we aren’t safe. My eyes dart from the woods outside to the dark hallway, two evils, with me in the middle. Like a sandwich.


Well...that's a little better than how I thought that was going to go. It makes much more sense that grandma here is getting better armed and ready to protect Kim. That seems a lot safer that letting Kim get to that point just yet.

My grandma claps her hands, startling me, “I suppose I ought to make dinner. Do you want anything in particular?”

I shake my head no, and watch as Grandma moves to the cupboards.

When the fear subsides, all that’s left is boredom. I’ve tried and failed to decipher the tomes in the library, and the forest has proved far too frightening. As the pan on Grandmas stove hisses, I slump over onto the chair.


Hmm it seem Grandma here is opening up a little as well. Its good to see. I think having grandma be a bit of a no nonsense sort of strict person that's then slowly warming up to Kim here is honestly what end up working the best here.

“How long do you think I’ll be here?” I ask.

“Until your mom comes back to get you.”

I clench my fists, “So never.” I say.

Grandma fumbles to a stop halfway through cutting vegetables. She looks up at me, concern etched on her wrinkled face. It’s the kindest expression she’s ever worn. But maybe it’s just the onions- “What makes you say that?”

Startled, I cross my arms and say, “She thinks I’m a freak, obviously.”


Well that's something I was waiting for honestly. This is actually coming a little faster than I thought it would, having Kim finally sort of admit this out loud to someone and well more specifically her grandma to see what kind of reaction that manages to elicit because I feel like that's going to tell us quite a lot here.

Grandma resumes cutting onions, “I wouldn’t say that.” She says.

“Is she a necromancer, too?”

“No, of course not.”

“So,” I huff, “She wants to rid herself of me so she can carry on with her mundane life.”

“You’ve taken on a very critical view of your mother.”

“Wouldn’t you?” I retort.


Well, that's an interesting way to respond. I really like this approach here. Instead Grandma just going on to immediately try and assuage her fears or try and convince her of anything we have her going ahead and simply trying to get Kim to open up on exactly where this is coming from and try and have Kim herself probably come to a better conclusion which is probably the only way for this to be remotely effective too.

Grandma laughs. She scrapes the vegetables onto the pan, and smoke floods the hut, “I’ll admit, I didn’t like your mother either, at first.” She says. “She was too quick to anger, to act. She didn’t like the idea that the dead could come alive, either. She was raised religious if I remember right. Her parents were a piece of work, too.”

“Her parents?”

“I assume they’re dead now, too, if you don’t know them. Though maybe she finally took my advice and cut them out of her life. Who knows.”


Welll that's a lot to have to digest. I think that does a lot to explain why the mom isn't a necromancer which I honestly thought she was and makes the story of the dad now much more interesting to think about. Well, well that's a lot of new information to be thinking about in addition to us having to worry about Kim's current opinion on her mother's choices.

I bite my tongue before I ask, “When I first got here, you didn’t seem surprised to see Mom. What was the last time you two spoke?”

“Last month,” Grandma says honestly, “She told me about you.”

My ears perked up, “What did she say?”

Grandma hums, folding beef into the vegetables, “Your mom said you were very bright, that you got good grades. I was happy to hear you’d taken an interest in science.”


Well that does seem like a good sign. Her mom actually having maintained some form of contact that seems to have been fairly voluntarily from the looks of things. I was worried these two hadn't seen each other for ages and Kim really could be onto something.

I slump over once more. Grownups talk about such boring stuff.

From the cupboard, Grandma removes a plate. She throws heaps of food onto it, more than I think I can eat, and slides it onto the table in front of me.

Before I can raise my fork, or even thank my grandmother, we hear a sound from the woods.

A bloodcurdling scream.

And I know who it belongs to.


Welp, looks like that bit from earlier really was foreshadowing of some sort, ahhhh well even if it isn't this is definitely a very potent little cliffhanger. I can't wait to find out what could possibly be about.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I'm loving the direction we're taking here, and I know I can't wait to see what actually ended up happening there with that scream and of course maybe hopefully we discover more about Kim's parents soon, both her mother's intentions and of course the case of the dad who seems to have been the necromancer of the family there.

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

Stay Safe
Harry




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Thu Nov 03, 2022 1:32 am
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SalisRuinen wrote a review...



Hey!! Salis here with a review!

I haven't read any previous chapters from this story, so I'll comment solely on what I read here. First of all I'd like to start with the fact that you've definitely caught my attention and I'll be sure to read the previous chapters as soon as I can.

The contrast of the image brought to the protagonist's mind by the smell of the cookies and her actual surroundgins right at the start was a great way to set the scene. The feeling of discomfort and anguish conveyed by the actual environment is especially powerful.

What follows is perhaps my favorite part of the chapter – the entire suspense sequence. It's been quite a while since I've been on my toes as much as I was while reading these passages and the tension was so high during that segment, I almost felt happy to have such a spine-chilling experience. I think what made this scene for me the most was how you described the gravity of the fear gripping the protagonist – it really felt as if her mind would break any second under the pressure of her dread.

Then the climax of the entire sequence being the discovery that there is no one else in the house and registering the undead frog's judgemental glare was simply a touch of genius. For some reason, the bit with the revelation of the frog actually made me laugh. Diffusing the tension with comedy is an often used trope, but I don't think I've ever seen it done quite like this, so cudos for that.

When I read about even the cookies she ate feeling as cold as death, it made the deathly tone the atmosphere had to it all the more palpable – plenty of associations with death are to be expected from any work with 'necromancer' in its title, I suppose, but this was still a nice touch on top of everything else. But nothing bore as obvious a link to death as the undead grandma.

Her behavior from the moment she entered the house felt somewhat detached, especially in comparison to that of her granddaughter, this perhaps not being a consequence of her being dead, but simply of what her personality is like, but I myself got the feeling all oddities around her stem from the fact she's presently undead. This simultaneously made for some comical moments and some rather disturbing ones, the blend of the two being perfect in the second half of the chapter.

Depicting the protagonist's situation as being stuck in between two evils like a sandwitch is a fine example of this, where at first you find it a bit funny, but then you realize how serious things are and start to worry. Thus, even when not much was happening during the chapter, I still felt a tad uneasy. And then the way you countered the reader's expectations of a great revelation being made during a conversation about the protagonist's parent as it often happens with only mundane comments about her grades was even more pleasing to read.

It is of course possible that her grandmother lied to her in this particular instance to conceal some sort of disturbing information from her, but I was left more than thrilled with how their conversation ended: no big information bombs being dropped and a terrifying scream being heard from the woods. Now I'm even more curious about what will happen next!

Thanks for the great chapter! Keep at it!!




Horisun says...


Thank you so much for the review! :D The Grandmother isn't dead, though she herself is also a necromancer. I haven't quite pinned down her personality yet, if I'm being honest, so if you notice in discrepancies with her character throughout the chapter, that's probably why, lol!



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Mon Oct 31, 2022 2:59 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



WHAT??! Someone screamed?!! Somebody Kim knows, and you’re just going to leave us in cliffhanger like that?!! That’s criminal! (It’s a joke by the way). This brought us more insight into Beatrice’s relationship with Amelia. Like how she might agree with Kim that Amelia is a bit much. I think that Beatrice does care about Kim. In fact, I think that she cares about her more than Amelia ever did.

I wish you a fantastical Halloween!





As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
— Pablo Neruda