The Necromancer's Faire
Author:Mortimer Jackson


    Mortimer Jackson

    Chapter 1

    TheNecromancer’s Renaissance

    Dear reader, tothose among you who would claim that history never repeats itself, Iwould ask that you observe the annual Renaissance Festival, an oldentradition of even older times that occurs at least once every year.

    Sebastian Grimmwas called upon by private investigator and partner John King, inorder to assist in preventing an impending murder from taking place.For you see dear reader, even in this, history had repeated itself.

    Precisely oneyear ago from today, on the Renaissance Festival of the year before,a vicious murder had taken place just as it had the year before that.First, there was James McCow, a man who had frequented the eventuntil he was stabbed in the heart. After him, Patrick Furlow, a staffof the festival who served as a vendor for the Food and Shoppe. Hewas killed by way of strangulation.

    Fearing thatanother death was on their hands, the supervisor of the festival paidprivate investigator John King in order to ensure that this trendwould not continue. His job as such was to discover the identity ofthe killer, and put an end to what newspapers were calling theRenaissance murders, once and for all.

    This was not atypical job for the private investigator. And as such, there was onlyso much he knew to do. But the money was good, and the mediaattention even better for his career. And assuming that neither ofthis was enough, John King also had the support of a man who couldspeak to the dead. This, so that even if he failed to identify thekiller in time, the victim would.

    “I don’tthink that my being here is giving you the right intention,” thenecromancer said.

    “What do youmean?” asked John King.

    “Assuringthat you’ll be able to find the killer from his victim doesn’treally give you much incentive for preventing the murder itself.”

    The privateinvestigator showed little sign of disagreement, which made thenecromancer worry even more.

    “First,”cleared John King. “I was paid to stop a murder from happening.That’s my job and I’m sticking with it. Second, in theunfortunate event that it happens anyway, I can at least catch thekiller, which I would argue is the next best thing.”

    “I don’tknow how the word bestcan be used to describe a murder.”

    “It’scalled looking on the bright side.”

    “It isn’tvery bright.”

    “Just calmyourself.”

    Sebastian did,and lowered his shoulders. He looked down, and watched as his dressshoes wore with each and every step on the dirt path beneath. Itdawned on him that he should have worn a pair of sneakers. An astutesuggestion, and one that would have been wiser still if he hadsneakers to begin with. As a man who spent most of his days insidehis funeral home and little time outside, the variety in his attirehad been naturally limited. However, he had to admit that with there-arrival of Dina Malloy into his life, he had been going out moreand more. They’d gone shopping together on several occasions, andeven strolling about at nights, occasionally with purpose. She hadhelped him do and see more than he ever would on his own. And in factthey would have done and seen even more together were discretionarymeasures not required.

    The necromancerhadn’t told his partner in crime that he’d committed the crime ofdesecrating the wishes of the living for those of the dead. Dina’scoffin was empty. But to the detective and all those who had attendedher closed-casket funeral, the presumption had been that Dina wasdead. And technically speaking, she was.

    Sebastiandodged his way around the crowds of men and women dressed in oldenclothing, uttering in shout words like Thou,Hither,and Yonder,in celebration of a time when such idioms were more widely used. Theevent smelled of nature and country food, and if the day was bright,then it was made even more so by the deluge of banners and costumesthat beset the festival.

    “Dina wouldlike this place,” thought the necromancer out loud.



    John Kingsighed.

    “Whatever.Enjoy yourself while you’re here and let me do my thing in peace.I’ll let you know if I need you.”

    “You mean ifyou fail.”


    Sebastianparted ways from the detective, letting him off to his work while heenjoyed the amenities of his free ticket given to him by hiscontractor. And speaking of whom, there he was.

    Obese, short,and clad in feathers was Daniel Parsley, the supervisor himself.

    “You must bethe detective’s assistant,” he said.

    “In a mannerof speaking,” replied Sebastian.

    “Where is theman anyway?”

    “He’s busylooking for leads.”

    “Ah. Hard atwork I see. Good. I hope we can avoid yet another incident thisyear.”

    “That’s thehope. Is there anything more you can tell us about who we might belooking for? Any possible suspects?”

    Daniel shook,“No. I’m afraid I haven’t the first idea. I can’t imagine whowould want to bring harm to a festival so full of happiness and joyas this. It perplexes me to think of why someone would want to shutus down.”

    “Well, giventhat the only thing in common the first two victims had was that theydied here, it definitely seems like an attempt at sabotage.”

    A theory not ofthe necromancer but the private detective.

    “You sure youdon’t have any enemies or anything like that?”

    “Bah. Nowyou’re sounding like the police. If I knew I’d tell ya. Andthat’d be that. Hey you.”

    This wasdirected not at the necromancer, but to a boy off in the distance,passing out information posters to passerbys until he tripped andfell, causing the stacks of literature in his hands to litter theground.

    “Yes sir?”he called as he scrambled to pick them up.

    “I’m notpaying you to make a buffoon of yourself. You can do that on your owntime.”

    “Yes sir.”


    “Yes sir?”

    “Give thisman a poster.”

    “Yes sir.”

    The boy,looking no older than 12 years, handed the necromancer a copy. It wasfolded on the side and carried specks of dirt, but it was legible.Sebastian didn’t complain.

    “Thank you,”he said, and studied the poster. Its contents were along the lines ofthe following.

    Spring Rain RenaissanceFestival Presents

    “An Ode To A King”

    A Play Of EpicProportions

    Witness the grandperformance of a fable never-before-seen in theatre. Experience joy,tragedy, sword fights and romance. A battle between good and evil,noble white knights against the treacherous dark. Come, Be Amazed.And don’t Forget. Theatre is always best experienced withConcessions.

    Showing: 2:00 PM &400 PM

    Admission: FREE

    “Shall Iexpect to see you there?” invited Daniel.

    “We’llsee,” said Sebastian. And for the sake of being diplomatic, added,“It sounds exciting.”

    “Well let ushope so. It was all the troupe’s idea. They’ve been haggling meto do an hour long play, and it’s been eating me money. They saythey’ll make up for it with concession sales, but I don’t see howthat’s going to make a lick of difference.”

    “The troupe?”

    “Yes. They’reactors you see. Like gypsies, they’d go about town to town lookingfor work until I hired them to staff the festival. This one,” hepointed to the boy Michael, who simply stood in silence. “He’sone of them. Heck, you ask me, all they’ve been is ungrateful forthe opportunities I’ve given them. And speaking of which, what areyou doing standing about? Get to work you imbecile. Don’t thinkthat this act of incompetence isn’t going to show on your salary.”

    The boy,ashamed, nodded only once.

    “Yes sir,”and he left.

    “Now wherewere we?”

    “I was askingif you might have enemies.”

    Daniel Parsleyscratched his grizzled chin.

    “No, I can’timagine such a thing.”

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