Flash Fiction No. 26


[A continuation of Flash Fiction No. 24]

Kiss of Death

He turned over his hands, marvelling at the life that ran through their pulsing veins. After a century of wandering in the transparent wilderness of death, he was alive.

His weak knees pulled him to the floor. He was glued to the pale existence of his hands. Tears glazed his vision, but he blinked them away and turned his stare on her. Moving his lips in a breathy whisper, it was as if his voice had not been used in years.

“What did you do… to me?”

She shook her head, dry mouth parted. He wasn’t supposed to be like this. You couldn’t transform ghosts into beings. It just didn’t work like that. You could stuff a soul back into the decaying film of rotten flesh, but you couldn’t change a ghost! You couldn’t! That was the law of existence. That was the purpose of death. That life had to move on in some way.

“I didn’t…” She moistened her mouth with the quick flick of her tongue. “I was trying to raise…” She waved her hand to the static tombstone beside her. “I didn’t touch you. What’s happening?” Her voice trembled, her eyes filling with emotion. Her hands were still in her lap with one set of fingers curled around the dark athame.

He trailed his eyes upward, a glimmer of something steadier in his expression. His lips barely seemed to move when he spoke, but his gaze bored into her with his murmur. “Were you thinking of me, love?”

Jess looked away. Were her thoughts protected by paper that he could tear straight through to find her beating core?

“No,” she mustered, lying to herself about the tremor in her voice.

He tried to reach out, but she drew away, staggering to her useless feet. She needed air. She needed guidance.

But he was her guide. He was supposed to be the one with the answers, sent to train her necromancy skills from the other side. Who was she supposed to ask when he didn’t know?

The lids closed down on his dark eyes. It felt unreal. The wind slipped across his skin like silk. To be able to smell the cold, damp air and feel the earth so solid beneath his feet was a luxury that he had long since forgotten. Truly exquisite. And then there was the strange thud thud of his beating pulse.

Or was it her pulse?

She shivered, crossing her arms over her chest, her back to him. Who did she go to with this? Did she email the others? Was it illegal in the eyes of the other necromancers?

Fingers curled around her hip and her heart almost stopped in her chest. “Why is this happening?” she muttered, knowing that it was him.

He tucked a curl of hair back behind her ear, his voice unnervingly close to her skin, the vibrations causing a ripple of goose bumps. “I think,” he murmured, “it’s because we both wanted it.”

She spun in his grasp, realising too late how close they were. Eyes moved from eyes to mouth. Breath paused on the cusp of her lips. He moved, fulfilling the sweet kiss waiting for him, somehow crossing the line of the living for a stolen moment.

Was it because they’d wanted this so much…?

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