2.23 ~ Dead
~ (Continued) Hexday, 18th of Aprilis, 11831 ~
It was like her voice filled his soul. He expected her eyes to open and to see her smile up at him, but she lay still. Yet in his heart, his mind, he felt her with him.
The young Suitor of Death sat back on his heels, wrapping his arms around himself as if to hug the version of the girl that he knew was now connected to this world through his blood.
“Can you hear me, Salome?” he asked aloud. There was no reply, but then again the calling of his name had not really been heard so much as felt.
“I hope you are safe and healed,” he continued, unsure if she could hear him, but wanting to say these things even if he felt silly. He closed his eyes, imagined her before him, that his own arms were in fact hers. “We are working on a way to bring you back soon, His Grace and I.”
Though, was there need to wait? Her soul was in his grasp and her body right before him, still laying peacefully in the wooden trunk and silk sheets. All he needed to do was to tie the two together. Lord Ophion had already showed him how to do this. True, they were not yet sure about her illness, but His Grace had mentioned that she would likely return healthy.
Wolfram began to trace in the air, a smear of blood still on his finger. He felt his pulse in the knife’s knick. Imagining a string forming from where he touched he drew a long rope. He made a move to grab two ends and tie them together in a knot. A pressure started to surround him as the spirits of death gathered, interested in what he was doing, waiting to be given an order.
He tugged. His vision darkened.
When he regained his sight he seemed to be standing for he was no longer booking at the trunk or the legs of chairs. Then the walls began to descend and with a yelp the boy realized it was in fact him that was floating up!
He looked down to see himself laying on the floor. Pluta had joined him and was pacing around his body, nudging him, softly meowing and calling his name. The blood on his finger shone in the low candlelight and the wound bled far more than it should have given the small incision. She licked at it and it still continued to bleed. A puddle was forming. She called him again and hit his cheek with a paw.
“Wolfram! Oh, you dear idiot!”
Salome appeared before him, as Mora at times did, and floated with him in the air. She was wearing the same nightgown that she had been killed in (even though the gown her body wore now was different) and her dark hair was in disarray. Both the clothes and her skin were somewhat transparent, the lamp-light in the room coming through her and illuminating her. Her turquoise eyes shone like gems. She was ethereal—a spirit; a ghost.
When each realized they could see the other they embraced, the spirits having enough purchase with their bodies close by that they could touch. Wolfram saw that his own skin and clothes were transparent as well, but less so than Salome’s.
“I’m sorry,” Salome said before Wolfram could speak. “I am sorry I asked to die! I’m sorry I asked you to kill me. It was not fair. You did not have to try and get me back—”
“Of course I had to!” he said. “Salome, I love you. I was already learning a cræft which was known for returning the dead to life, you must have realized I would want to try and get you back. You were in pain and wanted to die, but I was never going to let you stay dead.”
When His Grace had first said he needed a sacrifice to kill Wolfram had thought to get an animal. Then Pierre had specified that it had had to be human. He had decided to bring Salome. She had asked to die, after all. Her illness had been making her weaker and brought much pain. It was only after, seeing her corpse, that he realized the intent had been for her to remain dead. His Grace said that he could not bring back this sacrifice. The phrasing, thankfully, had been deliberate and Pierre agreed that another could return her life.
“I did not want to wait,” Wolfram continued. “I thought I could try. I felt you with me.”
“And now you are dead!”
They floated down closer to his body. He was very pale, the puddle of blood still growing larger. Surely there was no important vein in the tip of one’s finger that so much blood was coming out.
Pluta had given up trying to wake him, still licking his finger to try and stop the bleeding and heal his wound. She stood in his blood, her chest and paws wet with it.
“Oh… so that is why His Grace told me to wait.”
Salome turned away from her dying love. “I’m sorry,” she repeated. “If I had not—”
“Salome. Salome, look at me, my love.” Wolfram pulled her into his arms. “You told me we promised to always be together in every lifetime and between lives. I am with you now, it does not matter that I killed myself. It was an accident. I thought you would become my Familiar, or at least that is what His Grace and I have been planning. But I was impatient to have you again.”
“Idiot,” she muttered, trying to keep herself from weeping. Wolfram laughed. “Oui, I am.”
“Wulfric will be angry. And Viola. Oh, and Lord Aldefonse! We left them without saying anything and now we have both ended up dead. And Mother and Father! You have not even met my parents. We told them I was feeling better…”
“Maybe His Grace will come home soon and find me?” he said hopefully. “I think I am still alive. Mostly.”
His chest had risen and fallen as Salome had been talking, but only once.
“You are dying then, not dead. Much better.” The sarcasm was welcome after all of this and the dying boy smiled.
Then the blood flow stopped. Pluta licked his finger several more times, the wound closing up, and then walked out of the circle of red. She sat back to survey the damage and avoid getting any more of her fur dirty. It was good that she was hungry because she would have to clean all of this up.
“Yes,” Wolfram said, holding out his hands. They became more opaque. “Much better. And I would certainly almost-die again just to see you for a moment, Salome. So do not worry. I will speak with His Grace and work out a way to bring you back soon, I promise.”
Weight returned to him and Wolfram began to sink towards his corpse. Salome reached out for him, but now their hands passed through one another. He blew her a kiss before the world turned dark.
He woke to Pluta hitting his cheek with her paw.
“That was stupid,” she said. He sat up and the room spun. He hoped there was more blood still in him than on the floor.
“I know… Will you tell His Grace?”
“I can be persuaded to keep quiet. Take off your bloody clothes and go lie in Pierre’s bed before you faint. I will take care of everything.”
Wolfram thanked her. He scooted back from his blood so as not to ruin anything more than he already had and began to unbutton his shirt. His hand had been far enough away from his body that even with the growing pool of blood his trousers were dry. Perhaps if they were lighter in color a few paw-prints would have appeared, but on the black they did not. Getting up carefully still caused him to feel light and so he walked slowly to His Grace’s bed, laid down, and closed his eyes.
Before he fell asleep, he thought he could see Salome floating before him.