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Raising Kane
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)

Page 1

One day I decided I really must raise a ghost for real.

"Whatís the use of that?" my familiar asked me, growling up from the tangle of matted black fur that served him for a face. "You canít even do simple things after all."

"Shut up," I told him. Being a familiar, the words had no effect on him. They didnít even make his jaws freeze up. "Iím a Grade B warlock of the First Order," I reminded him. "I can do anything but raise demons from the Fifteenth Hell and below."

He snorted. "Do you remember the werewolf?"

"What werewolf?" I had no memory of any werewolf.

"That guy you converted into a werewolf, long distance, so he would kill that other character youíd been paid to slay, the one he was meeting in his private study. Donít you remember?"

"Oh...that werewolf." I was about to change the topic but he wasnít having any of that. "That didnít turn out quite as expected, did it now?" he asked.

"It wasnít my fault," I began. "You see..."

"All he did was stumble and fall downstairs and nearly break his neck," he went on mercilessly. "And the shock made him revert to human form anyway."

"Well," I argued, "how could I have known that the man was almost blind and needed such powerful glasses? Naturally when he changed they just fell off his head, so he couldnít see a thing. That wasnít my fault!"

"And the other time, when that poultry farmer asked you to create a spell to increase the size of the eggs his birds were laying? How about that?"


"You turned all his chickens to ostriches, didnít you?"

"He wanted big eggs," I said truculently. "He got big eggs."

"You know someone who likes to eat ostrich eggs?"

"Anyway," I said, "I want to raise a ghost, and youíd better help."

"Any ghost in particular, or will just any ghost do?"

"Well, uh, for this first time, any ghost. Later weíll try and be more particular."

"You are going to make a mess of it," he said, grinning with all his huge battery of sharp teeth. "A stupendous mess, even by your standards."

"Are you going to help me or not?"

"Oh," he said, combing his fur with his huge hooked claws, "Iíll help. Iím interested in seeing just what kind of mess you make."

"Iím not going to make a mess." I ordered him to get the some of the materials ready while I got the rest. He scuttled away on his seven long limbs, and in a short space of time was back with the four black candles of mammoth tallow I needed, set in the candelabrum of Solomonian silver, design Warlockís Standard. This he set in my bowl of the Water of Lethe.

"The waterís going stale," he said. "You really ought to change it."

"I have so much to do," I muttered. I was rummaging in my cupboard of ingredients, putting packets and bottles on the table. "Where the devil is my powdered unicorn horn?" I asked.

"Donít you remember? We used the last of it when you tried to help that crooked contractor beat his deadline for construction of that skyscraper. And you recall what happened then."

"He told me he needed it finished," I snapped. "I got it finished by the date mentioned. Itís his problem that I had to stretch the rooms to get to the height he needed, not mine. I...forget it. Where can we get some unicorn horn in a hurry?"

"Where? Nowhere. Unicorns no longer exist, or had you forgotten? They died out when there were no longer any virgins left to bridle them."

"But I need unicorn horn!"

"Get cow horn." He emitted a weary sigh, along with the usual greenish gas and darts of flickering flame. "It hardly matters either way. Horn is horn."

"Donít I feed you enough?" I asked. "Your suggestions lately have been less and less useful."

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:General Horror
Type:Short story
Rating:6.33 / 10
Rated By:11 users
Comments: 0 users
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