I do, your serene highness.
Can your resurrect my brother?
Your highness, there are limits to my craft. If you had come to me a day -- a week! -- after your brother died I would have been able to restore him. But now, with decay having eaten at him for so long...
He hasn’t decayed. We had him embalmed.
Oh, then my highness, it is absolutely hopeless. Even though his body has not decayed, it would do no good to revive him now. With embalming fluid filling his veins -- oh, it would be horrific, the pain would be excruciating.
Don’t play the fool with me, wizard. You know full well our brother murdered our father to seize the throne.
…er…your majesty, I really do not deign to listen to court gossip --
It is a fact, wizard, not “gossip”. We proclaim it so.
As you say, your highness.
Now answer us straightly: Can you resurrect him?
…yes…but your majesty, the pain --
-- would be excruciating, yes, we know, we heard you the first time. How long would this second life last?
Your serene highness, if the embalmer is half as good at his profession as I am at mine…I can not guess. Years, perhaps decades.
Excellent. You may begin at once.
I really recommend against this, your majesty.
And we are ordering you to obey. Or will your magic protect you from the point of a sword?
No, your majesty. Your…point…is well taken. Where is your brother interred?
In the royal vault.
We will need to remove him from his crypt.
Well, your majesty I can revive someone in their grave, that is true, but they need some way of emerging from it once I bring them back to life.
Why would we want that?
He would be trapped in eternal darkness in a tiny space as his body screams in agony -- oh, I see what your majesty desires.
Good. When can you begin?
Immediately, your highness. I have all that I need for the task in my wagon.
Will we be able to hear him screaming through the stone?
Without a doubt your majesty. Stone is thick but not that thick.
Excellent. The moment we hear his wretched voice, the moment we feel him thrashing against the walls of his coffin, we will reward you thrice what he paid you.
I will do this at your word, your highness. I feel it would be ill-fitting to accept payment for the horror I’m about to subject your brother to.
Ill-fitting to accept payment in the coin of the realm, but I will make one request of you before I do this terrible thing: Why?
I loved my father.
Text © Buzz Dixon