Sharon’s note: So I had the idea for a revenant that couldn’t complete its mission a while ago, I just couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I thought that having it consult with a a magic worker could be fun, and that evolved to it talking with James’s character from Witcher Man. I enjoyed trying to mimic the character’s behavior. Warning: James okayed my use of this, so if it’s not good, it’s his fault.
“You are Daniel McCalister?” The desiccated corpse of Cursed Body of the Holy River King shuffled into the office, dragging the garbage bag behind him.
“Whoa, hold on there big fella. Let’s talk about this for a second.” The detective behind the desk, who had been kicked back with his feet up, stood, hand diving into his drawer for something.
“That is why I am here.” The Curse drew itself to its full height, well over a foot above the detective.
“And you are really, really tall.” Danny glanced at the monitor on his desk. “And my two o’clock, it looks like. Alright, cool. First time for everything. Have a seat.”
“I will stand,” The Curse growled.
“Or have a piece of floor, that works too.” Danny sighed and clicked through his appointment information. “So, I don’t have a lot of information here Mr . . .River King?”
“I am not the River King. I am the curse he left behind to guard his body from desecration.” It seemed to consider for a moment before adding, “And I do not like typing.”
Danny glanced at the giant gnarled talons at the end of the Curse’s hands. “I can imagine. Well, that’s fine. What can I help you with, then.”
“The tomb of the River King was raided, and his body violated. This fool,” the Curse raised the trash bag still clutched in its hand, “read the inscription that triggered the curse.”
Danny’s shoulders drooped as he pointed at the bag. “He’s not still alive in there, is he?”
“No, and that is the issue.”
“Why is that a problem? I thought the whole point of these types of curses was to kill the perpetrator. Sounds like a job well done, now it’s time to move on. Is that the problem? You finished the job but you’re still here?” Danny picked up a pen from his desk and started to fiddle with it.
The Curse bared gray, but surprisingly well taken care of teeth. “I do not understand. The fool raised me, and then died at his desk just as he saw me. Was he frightened to death?”
“Well, you are terrifying,” Danny said, and the Curse dipped its head at the compliment. “But, if you were actually the cause of his death that should have counted. Chances are he just had a heart attack or something. An unrelated death could cause the problem.”
The Curse hefted the bag up and dropped the body onto the desk, knowing everything on it to the ground. “So raise him from the dead so that I may kill him properly.”
Danny frowned. “I’m sorry, I have a strict no corpses on my desk policy.”
“My apologies.” It dragged the bag off the desk, but that did nothing to fix the mess.
He sighed. “Look, I don’t do the whole resurrection thing. Moreover, I don’t know anyone who does. It’s a messy business that costs a life at minimum. What I can do is help you go over your options. Have you ever considered having a life of your own?”
It wrinkled its nose, and the right side crumpled and fell off. “I do not have a life. I awaken when summoned, kill the offender, then go back to sleep.”
Danny’s eyebrows shot up. “So you aren’t just a one shot spell? You’re in multiple locations. That’s cool.”
“What will you do to get me back to sleep?” The Curse slammed a fist on the desk and the wood cracked.
Danny looked from the damage to the Curse’s withered yellow eyes. “You’re paying for that.”
“You will be compensated as soon as you help me go back to sleep.” It withdrew its hand, but continued to glare.
“The best way to do this is to appeal to a higher authority.” He sighed. “Fortunately for you, I know a guy.”
“Why would your god help me?”
“Oh, he’s not my god.” Danny grabbed a bag from behind his desk. “I don’t keep them as a general rule. You pick one god, then suddenly none of the other ones will return your phone calls. No, this guy’ll help because it’s his job. Death gods tend to be very dedicated.”
“Very well, call your god guy.”
Danny chuckled as he took out some chalk and drew a quick circle on the floor. He lit a few candles on his desk for atmosphere. He closed his eyes and began to chant.
“You know this particular ritual very well to perform it off hand.” The Curse hauled the bag to the edge of the circle while it observed.
“We have a good working relationship.” He said between verses. When he finished, the world inside the circle faded away and a pillar of void stretched from ceiling to floor.
“What mortal dares to . . . oh. It’s you.” The voice in the darkness seemed very put out.
“Hey buddy! How are you doing?” Danny rocked on his heels with his arms crossed and a huge grin on his face.
“Just tell me why you summoned me so I can leave.”
“Ah, don’t be cranky.”
“When you die I will joyfully collect your soul and personally ferry it to the other side so that I never have to speak with you again. Now say what you want, and we can all get on with our days.”
“My friend here finds himself stranded. He’s a curse that animates a corpse to kill a grave robber. The problem is that his prey died before he could get to him. I figured if a death god cleared him of his duty it would absolve him and he could rest.” Danny slapped the Curse on its back and dust poofed out.
“It is bad practice to leave a revenant running around out there.” The voice sighed. “You’re sure that the grave robber died?”
The Curse held up the bag in answer.
“Uh,” the Voice groaned. “Fine. I declare this servant of death done, its purpose fulfilled.”
“Finally,” the Curse sighed, and its body fell to ash.
“There. Can I go now?”
Danny sighed and nudged the pile of ash with his foot. Scattered within were a handful of colorful rocks that were probably uncut jewels. “Well, at least I’m getting paid.”
“I said, can I go?”
“Yeah, see you next time.”
“Unless you get yourself killed before then. I live in hope.” The pillar of void disappeared, leaving Danny alone with a chalk circle, a pile of ash and jewels, and a body in a trash bag.
The detective sighed and shook his head. He pulled a cell phone from his pocket and dialed. “Hey, Ollie. Yeah, yeah, I’m good. Look, do you know anyone who does body disposal. No, I didn’t kill him. Sure, yeah. I’ll tell you the whole story when you get here. Yeah that sounds good. Um, peperoni, extra cheese, extra sauce. Oh, and extra peperoni. See you in a few. Bye.”