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Who is sing? Chellange to you?

The real G

By Silvestrs IliškoPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
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Lets be happy

The worst part about being an amateur necromancer is that no one respects you, not even the dead.

My older brother, Joseph, is practically crying over the phone, struggling to speak through great gasps of heaving, wheezing laughter. After way too many seconds of this, he finally manages to choke out, “Really? Goddamn—Mountain Dew?”

Irritated, I switch the phone to my other ear, tipping my head awkwardly to pin it in place while I free up my hands for my shovel. “It was the only drink left on clearance.”

Joseph makes a thin, stifled little sound that only darkens my frown. “You—you seriously went to the clearance aisle to buy libations? Where? No, no, wait, let me guess: Walmart. Wait, no. 7-11. Family Dollar. Tell me if I’m getting warmer.”

“You’re hypothermic. Dollar Tree.”

Joseph howls. “Dollar Tree! Fucking Dollar Tree! Holy shit!”

Ignoring his idiotic guffawing and tucking the shovel into the crook of my elbow, I begin to haul the rest of my supplies out of the bed of my truck, which is only a heavy duffel bag containing everything I managed to scrounge up around the house. In the driver’s seat, a pale, skeletal head leans out of the window, glancing back at me.

“Do you need any help, Laurel?” the family chauffeur asks kindly. He used to be a relative, I think; several generations removed and raised sometime in the early nineteenth century, a great-great-great-great-great grandfather of a sort. Since then, he’s seemed relatively content to drive us all around in perpetuity, despite our best efforts to convince him to be laid to rest again.

“No thank you, Marco,” I say. I don’t want to exploit his aging skeleton beyond his chauffeuring. And he is a shockingly sharp chauffeur.

“Hey, is Marco there? Tell him I said hi. Lore. Tell him I said—”

I pry the phone away from my face and say, “Joseph says hi, Marco.”

“Oh, well,” Marco says, bashful. The exact mechanics of his speech are a mystery to me; the man is only bones. “Of course I’m always happy to hear from Joseph.”

“He says you’re a pathetic sack of shit, Jo,” I say into the speaker, and Joseph instantly starts in with his loud protestations, which, like, I don’t really care. I let him finish his tirade, not registering any of the surely airheaded words, before continuing, “And I don’t appreciate you constantly belittling me. Just because I wasn’t born with the talent doesn’t mean I’m not skilled in my own right.”

“Look, Lore, I’m just saying that if you want people to take you seriously, you gotta stop buying Walmart libations and start investing in something that’ll, you know. Actually take you somewhere.”

“I can’t afford—”

Joseph groans. “Maybe it’s a sign that necromancy just isn’t in the cards, you precious baby magician. Remember what Auntie Gertrude said before ma laid her back down?”

“In both life and death, I was frequently of the opinion that Aunt Gertrude should mind her own petty, squalling business.”

“She said, and I quote,” Joseph continues blithely, “‘Maybe you ought to apply yourself to something more your speed, doll, like elemental talents.’ And you know, she could be wise sometimes. Maybe if you actually tried to learn how to light candles or catch rain or whatever elementals do, you could finally start supporting yourself independently instead of constantly trying to force a talent that’s never going to manifest.”

By this point, I’m so angry I can barely see. Hands shaking, through gritted teeth, I snarl, “Perhaps if you applied half as much energy into your necromancy as you do into your self-righteous sermons, you could’ve afforded a wedding ring for Carole that wasn’t a piece of shit plastic with a watermelon candy diamond glued on top.”

“Hey, lay off! Carole and I—”

I hang up as violently as possible without shattering my phone, then hurl it unceremoniously into the truck bed, sending it skittering across the grooved plastic. That utterly arrogant, narcissistic, unceasingly condescending—

“Everything alright?” Marco asks, ever gentle, ever careful. His comforting, fatherly tones make me soften against my will, and I take a deep breath, steadying myself.

“Yes,” I say quietly, lifting my duffel’s strap over my shoulder. “Thank you.” Marco starts to slide back into the car, turning away from me, but I blurt out, “Marco,” and he pauses, bleached white skull half-cocked in my direction. “Do you…” Respect me, I want to ask, but even the thought of voicing it makes my face burn with humiliation. I shake my head, dismissing it. “Never mind.”

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