The Necromancer

Part 2.

My tiny garret overlooked the narrow dirty streets of the south bank of the Seine, teeming with crack-whores, pimps and the dregs of society—well we writers must suffer for our inspiration. To reach Sébastien’s more lavish abode would take me fifteen minutes travelling on foot, or ten by cab, across Pont de Sully. With a sword, two long bladed knives and a hazel wood cane, even hidden inside a wooden case, I felt safer as a fare-paying traveller.

I hoped he had no difficulty in obtaining the items I requested during my visit of the evening before. He seemed happy in the knowledge of where to purchase when we found two likely Parisian sources on internet. I received no phone call from him during the day, so could only assume there were no problems.

Arrival at the shop doorway coincided with the first chimes for ten pm from the clock on Notre Dam Cathedral two kilometres further down river. It had been raining most of the afternoon, that dismal, early October drizzle which depresses the soul into thinking ahead to the cold dark days of winter to come. Sébastien answered the door within moments of my pressing the bell push.

“Bon soir Sébastien,” I said, but unable to extend a hand in greeting without dropping the possessions I carried.

“Come in, come in,” The obvious delight in his welcoming voice, and the beaming smile suggested he might have had concern I would not turn up. He stepped back to allow me access, and then put his head out to look in both directions along the street as if expecting another visitor. However, this appeared not to be the case as once satisfied, he locked and bolted the door.

We walked between arrays of potted green vegetation to the parlour, a larger room through a door at the rear of the customer reception area. There were now three coffins mounted on trestles compared with two the night before. He had moved two of them against the wall along with numerous displays of white lilies to leave a free area of around twenty feet across. The third coffin, unlike the others, had its lid removed, and was placed at the far end of the empty space.

I placed the box of items on the varnished wooden floor in the centre and moved to the open casket. Although having seen Nicole’s corpse on my earlier visit, I still felt a fascination for a second look. Her short blond hair emphasised the alabaster-like pallor of her face. The black shadows around her closed eyes and almost blue lips confirmed her death had been some considerable time ago. From her haggard appearance, it was difficult to tell what she would have looked like in life, so I must not pass judgement.

The temperature of the room was kept very low; even so, the rancid smell of rotting flesh stung my nostrils sufficient to be thankful I’d not eaten for twenty-four hours. I think my stomach would have rebelled against anything inside.

She had on, a white gown or smock, the type of surgical gown a patient would wear in hospital. There were marks in blue on the skin of her chest visible where the edges of the gown did not quite meet. I put a hand over my nose and mouth, stooping to take a closer look, when Sébastien grabbed my free arm.

“Is that enough space cleared?” he asked waving his arm to indicate where he had moved plants.

“Plenty,” I answered, forced to look where he was indicating. “We need ten feet for the diameter of the outer circle."

He laughed. “Your English measurements, what’s that in metric?”

“About three metres.”

As I turned back to the body, he interrupted again. “Are we ready to draw out the circle now?”

“Have you forgotten?” Exasperation was beginning to nag my thoughts. “I said last night, that we have to prepare ourselves before we can do anything.”

“Oh yes. Well shall we go to my rooms now?”

“Just a moment. What are these marks on her chest?”

“Those?” He pointed with a forefinger. “Umm, uh,” he seemed momentarily lost for words. “Oh, I believe they are from the autopsy.” He paused and then, as if in need to qualify his answer, added, “Some sort of indication where they took blood and tissue samples?” It appeared more as a question than statement.

“Ah…right. That makes sense.” Well it seemed logical, I supposed, although I could not remember having seen them on my previous visit.

He led the way up a narrow flight of stairs, and showed me into his washroom with shower. He allowed me to make first use, the fourth shower I’d had since the night before. Cleanse the flesh and cleanse the mind before dabbling with the occult I had learned many years before. Our purifying rituals completed, we dressed in the robes he purchased, the only item of clothing against our skin. His was white as an uninitiated novice, while mine dark blue. I felt concern that the low temperature in the parlour would cause some discomfort, particularly as we would be working bare footed.

The remaining items we carried to the floor below, and spread them on an onyx topped coffee table I’d badgered him into allowing us to use as an altar in the centre of the cleared area.

I instructed him to put black candles into four ornamental brass holders, while I unpacked the ceremonial sword, the wand and knives to place on black silk laid over the table. We lit the candles and extinguished the electric lights. Eerie shadows flickered across the open coffin, dancing like ghosts over Nicole’s white skin, almost appearing to reanimate her corpse.

I took a length of white cord, knotting two loops, four and half, and five feet from the end. We selected a spot near the centre of the room where I could insert a knifepoint between the floorboards, yet not to cause excessive damage to the floor where his father might notice. He held the extreme loop over the protruding handle, while I took a bag of salt, cutting a small hole at a corner where the grains would trickle through.

Holding the end of the cord against the bag, I walked in a circle leaving a thin trail. I made three passes to ensure an unbroken line before I accepted the outer ring was complete. With the aide of a compass, we positioned the four candles at the cardinal points, north, south, east and west. Sébastien placed the shorter loop over the handle of the knife to allow me to lay the inner circle in salt.

With great care, we laid eleven pre-cut lengths of white cord between six points spaced at precise intervals around the inner circle to form the pentagram. The layout of the design embodied the numbers one through to seven, the quintessence of sacred geometry.

We had the circle completed at fifteen minutes to midnight. The next task was to invoke the guardian spirits of the four watchtowers to protect the magician from negative energy, the so-called demonic forces of religion. Unlike wiccans, witches and practitioners of Neo-pagan rituals, who plead in humility for protection and aid from their ‘deities,’ the magician, summons, invokes and commands the forces to do his will. He knows they must submit to his power. Perhaps it is for this reason many people term the art of the magician as black, but there is no black or white, only shades of grey.

There are specific guardians to be invoked, depending on time of day, day of week, and month of the year. We sat in silent meditation, cross-legged on the floor to await the striking of the midnight hour. I tried to ignore the cold causing me to shiver, although I could sense Sébastien in similar attitude even as we sat on opposite sides of the circle facing outward in alternate directions.

The alarm on my watch signalled the witching hour. We both stood. I lifted the sword, it wasn’t heavy, more a ceremonial talisman, holding the hilt in both hands, I pointed the blade at the inner circle, starting from the north and rotating in a clockwise direction

In my imagination, a narrow beam of energy, similar to a laser leapt from the steel tip of the blade, igniting the salt in a white-hot flame. The picture in my mind would be transferred into reality on the psychic level, or as some people term the ‘astral plane,’ through which we were working.

I can give no details of the names of power, or the summoning rituals on these pages. They can be found by locating and studying the Grimoirs, those tomes of ancient knowledge handed down through the centuries, through generations of magi and sorcerers. Each initiate must hand write his own, copying the ancient texts, for the novice must earn the right to use the powers through hours of diligent study. My incantations I made to the occult powers as I faced each of the black candles in turn.

I relinquished my position in the centre of the circle to Sébastien. He stood facing the open coffin with the leather bound book open in his hands. I had been impressed by the obvious age of the volume when he showed it to me the night before. Hand written and dated 1562, it was titled in embossed gold on the black leather binding as “Grimoir de Gérard de Malpasse,” a name I had heard mentioned in my studies at university. A contemporary of mathematician and alchemist John Dee, his greatest claim to fame was his mysterious disappearance from a cell in the Bastille in 1579.

Many of the drawings and text in dark brown-pigmented ink had faded over the years, and a few pages appeared to have been ripped from the spine, but it was obviously of unique value to any would-be collector of esoteric works.

Sébastien began to read. Many of the words were unknown to me, so I have no idea if his pronunciation was correct. His invocation reaching the end, he stood gazing at the coffin as if expecting a miracle to occur. Of course, as I suspected, nothing happened.

“You will have to read the text three times before anything is likely to happen,” I whispered to him. He began to read again.

With the third rendition completed, he paused again. I expected to see a hazy cloud like faint smoke to appear outside of the circle, an insubstantial mist that would assume the form of the female spirit, similar to the traditional concept of ghost or spectre. There was nothing.

About to suggest he try again, sudden movement startled me as his hand grabbed my forearm, and the unexpected hiss of inhaled air through his teeth. He still had the book in his other hand but he was waggling it with agitated motions of his wrist toward the coffin. I turned to see what had snared his attention.

A small, but intense blue light, no larger than a child’s fist floated a few inches above the centre of the open coffin. In colour, it was that vivid hue often referred to as ‘electric blue’ like electrical arcing or a lighting flash. It was only there for a few seconds before fading into oblivion.

“Did you… Did you see?” Excited tremors made Sébastien’s voice almost unrecognisable. “What was that?”

“The blue light? I’m not sure. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before; certainly, not what I was expecting. I’m wondering now if your ritual is complete, or if perhaps, there should be another part on the missing pages.”

“Maybe you are right.” After the intensity of his emotions at the café the previous day, and his excitement earlier, I was surprised he accepted my comment so readily.

“We could try the ritual one more time if you like,” I felt the need to offer some sort of consoling comment.

“No, I don’t think it will work any better,” he said. I wondered if a day of fasting and abstinence from alcohol was getting to him, “Come on, let’s pack up and call it a night.”

Closing the book with a vicious snap, he went to step over the ring of salt. My panic-stricken scream to stop while grabbing at his arm almost shocked me as much as it did him. “You are forgetting the first rule of protection I insisted you learn last night,” I said as he staggered to regain his balance. “Never step outside the boundary of protection until we dismiss any negative sources of spiritual energy,” my new-age term for demons.

“But…nothing came…”

“Just because no entity made itself visible, does not mean something may not be lurking in the shadow.”

He nodded as if to please me, although I knew I was correct. I recited before each of the four candles in turn, “Away! Away! I command all wandering spirits to depart in peace I command you, depart or face my wrath. I am he, who howls the forgotten names, I am he who commands the spirits of darkness! I command you; depart now for I hold the sword of your destiny!”


Dressed in normal attire fit for the cold autumn darkness, the items I brought were packed in their box so rapidly, with Sébastien phoning for a taxi, I wondered if he felt embarrassed at my wasted evening. With no more than the curtest “Au revoir,” I was bundled into the vehicle and at my apartment within thirty minutes of closing the ritual.

© 2009 Robert A Read. aka Mysteral.


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