(WP) Granddad of the Dead
The necromancer lived in the mausoleum at the center of a graveyard, and the ancient stone building shone bone-white in the moonlight. It was a beautiful night, the dark navy fabric of the sky speckled with bright stars like jewels.
Tonight, he was expecting visitors. Of all people, his son-in-law, his daughter, and their child, his grandchild. But not his only grandchild, oh no! His daughter was expecting, and they were dropping off Violet for a bit of well-earned time together.
He was looking forward to it, even though it had been years (literally, years) since he had actually babysat.
How, exactly, could he use his powers to entertain Violet? He wasn’t exactly good with children; he could barely remember his own daughter at that young age.
But they’d find something to do, surely. He could be hip like the young adults that his daughter and son-in-law were.
The necromancer was so absorbed in his thoughts that he almost missed the series of sharp knocks on the door.
He walked through the mausoleum to the front door and pulled it open with a dull scrape.
On the threshold stood his daughter, Hecate, and his son-in-law, Prometheus. In Hecate’s arms, Violet was squirming to be let down, wriggling like a fish. She wore a dress as purple as her name, adorned with yellow daisies. Her short, reddish-blonde curls were loose, and her bright green eyes seemed to sparkle, even in the damp, dark resting place that was his home. She was beautiful.
“Okay, Daddy, we’re leaving now. We’ll be back in a few hours. And remember, no necromancy around the baby!” Hecate said, hissing the last part under her breath so Violet wouldn’t hear.
She was dressed in a sparkling, wine-colored dress that showed off her baby bump, diamond earrings sparkling in her earlobes. Her long, dark curls were gathered in an elegant chignon at the nape of her neck, and she tottered in five-inch heels; her father resisted the urge to laugh.
Only his daughter would come to a graveyard in such fancy footwear.
“I love you, Daddy.” Hecate murmured, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek. Then she swooped down on Violet and kissed her forehead.
“Please be good for your Granddad, okay, baby? We’ll be back in a few hours. Have fun. I love you!” Violet nodded, smiling up at her mother.
Prometheus smiled at his father-in-law, handing off the diaper bag to him.
“Thank you so much for this, Alastair, sir. We really appreciate it.”
“How many times have I told you not to call me ‘sir’ anymore?” Alastair replied, laughing jovially. “You’ve been married to my daughter for almost five years now. Call me Al.” He winked.
Hecate tugged on her husband’s arm, impatient to leave.
“Come on, honey, I don’t want to mess our reservation at the restaurant.”
With a final wave, the couple parted, with Hecate blowing kisses at Violet.
“Grandad, let’s do something fun!” Violet squealed, jumping around him in circles. She was like a tiny little ball of sunshine, full of energy and so much joy.
It made him wonder if he’d made the wrong choice, all those years ago, choosing to excel in the forbidden, dark arts.
Perhaps his life would be entirely different, had he taken the alternate path.
“What would you like to do, darling?” Alastair asked. He’d bought several coloring books, crayons and markers and colored pencils, as well as puzzles, sketch paper, and even an ancient TV and a bunch of kids’ movies.
Just because he didn’t have company much didn’t mean that he couldn’t keep his granddaughter entertained.
“Let’s have a dance party, Granddad!”
Alastair hoped fervently that Hecate would not reprimand him. But surely this counted as an exception.
The old man raised his arms and his fingers glowed bright lime green. At his gesture, there was a groaning, scraping sound, and then the dead were emerging from their stone coffins to dance around the child. Alastair hummed a jaunty tune, and in the middle of it all was Violet, spinning in circles and laughing happily. She clapped her hands and swayed back and forth, jumped up and down, and Alastair’s minions began to mimic her.
Perhaps this magic wasn’t so useless after all.