For William, it all started out as nothing more than a strange way of impressing a pretty girl, and he certainly wouldn't have been the first in the long history of men who defied all semblance of logic in the name of simple courtship. Jen...

I. The sign from above doesn’t come in time to stop the man's finger from squeezing the trigger, and I don’t think it’s intended to, Β but it does come in time --- in that last moment, that last tenth of a second when the bullet tears...

(This is a conclusion to the previous two pastas, "Necropotence," and "War of the Dead." I was a mod for the old creepypasta forum, and this is the first submission I've sent in two years. It feels great to be writing again! Thanks for reading...

The power does it to everyone. It corrupts us all, or at least those of us who embrace it. Although we dive right in to be swept away by the black waters of necromancy, it's not easy for us to stay afloat. Our humanity is the coastline, the palm trees, the dry land itself. You put your humanity side by side with the fact that you're a wizard of hell, coastline next to infinite expanse of ocean, and you decide being a wizard is more fun. It appeals to you. You can't get away from it, so you dive in and swim out in to the ocean to get a bigger taste. To feel it all over your body, instead of just staring at it and dipping your toes in. The first time you swim in the ocean of the dead, the waters are electric to your soul. They shock you, show you things that you can't possibly understand but eventually DO come to understand. One day, it just so happens that you might decide you're tired of swimming, so you try to turn around, but the coast is gone. You don't swim back. You keep being swept out. To the sharks and an unknown abyss below you. The only place you can go is down, and that leads to a place that no man has been before. That is my family's struggle, and they have devised a society and a code over the years. If I have the right person, then the man in front of me has trampled our ideals in to the ground. Our traditions, our laws, our fellowship. In truth, we necromancers are afraid not of the dead, but of each other. We know that one of us might become too potent somewhere down the line because we stumble across the right demon with the right power, or because we sacrifice a particularly powerful spirit to the underworld. We know that one day, one of us might rise up and try to assert a kingdom of the dead on earth. The Chomhairle believe this is the man who poses that precise threat. They sent me to find him after we found his diary. When my father learned that his own brother had deserted the coven and handed over a bloodstone to a random child due to a disagreement, he put a death sentence on this man's head. We couldn't begin to search for him until he left his bloodstone behind. A trace of his power that we could latch on to, that we could follow. The man shuffles past me to the urinal with a mumble of "excuse me," and he shies away from looking me in the eye. He seems tired and drained. This is a good start. It could be him. I linger by the sink, lather my hands, and rinse them off, hoping that he will finish in time for me to see his face in the mirror. To strike up a ten second, meaningless conversation. Anything. It's been such a long road here. I'll take what I can get. I have to know. I can't walk out of this place now, even if I'm on the brink of death. I might have to teeter here for awhile. He is so very, very familiar with the spirit world; he might know it more intimately right now in this very moment than I ever will in my lifetime. If this is him, then his guise of deception is stronger than any in our history. We know some of what he is capable of. But not all. I hope one minute spent in this bathroom will be the conclusion to the longest wild goose chase in the history of the Chomhairle. If this is him, then I'm initiated as a council member. If it's not, then I'm at least another hundred years out. My ambitions within the council are nothing in comparison to the thirst for power. The bathroom is fritzy, five star, and new age. It's deep in the heart of Soho, of course. A cesspool of youthful rebellion. The green light in this place is too strong. That's hint number one that I have the right man. Let me go down the list for you. When he shakes it off, he spends an extra five seconds scratching his testicles, and then he rubs them a bit as he stares at the ad for the after hours swinger's club in the corner above the urinal. Even if this isn't the guy, he's still a pervert, and I've decided to sacrifice him if he's my sixth case of mistaken identity in a year out of simple frustration. I wash my hands a second time, waiting on him, trying not to be disgusted. He finally zips his fly and moseys over to the sink. So there's hint number two. "You spill something on yourself?" He asks me. I've never heard his voice. It sounds different than I expected. I know how this dangerous sorcerer sees the world. He's made a mistake, sharing his most intimate confessions with me. He never should have written them down. His ego may be his weakness, if I’m strong enough. Maybe. This has to be him. I say it in my head a thousand times in a split second. "Crawfish bisque. Good as hell, but I can't seem to finish a bowl without spilling it all over my sleeves." I say, squirting a fresh batch of soap on to the paper towel and scrubbing at my perfectly clean fisticuff. "Aren't you a little old to be dining here? I'd think you would be at the Mesa or the Palm." He says, and he makes a valid point. I do feel out of place here. I'm the only person in the building over the age of twenty five. He's bold. He thinks he's invincible, and I know that this is hint number three. He says the first thing that comes to mind with impunity, and he always has. That explains the four ex wives and the masculine decorations in his town house. I stare at his eyes in the mirror, and he's too busy focusing on my pocket. This is hint number four, and this is the best of them all. I know this is the rogue necromancer. His eyes have a green twinkle in the backs of them, something that normal humans can't see. He feels the stone, burning with ice fire in my pocket. He knows it's fucking on me, and he's stood next to me for less than half a minute. That's because he can't ignore the pull. It shows. This is him.

This journal was found in the attic of a fully furnished and abandoned town house in 2007 next to the last purported owner's death certificate. I. My life is so perfect that it scares me. I see smiling faces from my wife and coworkers, my boss tells me that I'm doing a fine job, and the pastor pulls me up in front of the choir to set an example for the congregation. They know nothing of my desire. If my priest knew what I was meddling in, he would condemn me to the fires of hell. When my life was difficult, I felt more alive. Each day when I open my eyes as a successful family man, I feel as though I've slipped one rung further on a downward spiral of age, wrinkles, and systematic failure of my body as it repeats a daily crucible of perfection that most would envy. I know some are jealous of my life when they see me on the street, and yet I would trade life, limb, and soul to live in their shoes for one day. I crave INTENSITY. The easy life is mind numbing. II. Routine, routine, routine. Every day is exactly the same as the one before it. There are a few minor details that I barely have a measure of control over. I can order a ham and swiss instead of a turkey and pepper jack for lunch, and I can scratch my dog's left ear before his right. Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, Budweiser Select, Sam Adams Summer Ale. It doesn't matter if I fuck my wife from behind, if I finish up on her glasses, or if she swallows. Drunk is drunk. Pussy is pussy. Everything is always the same. Soon, I'm going to try it. I've waited long enough. III. This is the last week I'm going to keep myself locked in this prison of endless repetition. I have all my affairs in order. I've written a note to my family and provided for everything and everyone. In case I get senile, this is a typical morning in my life on a normal day. I wake up at five thirty on the dot because my bones have internal timers in them, and my hip catches on fire at around five thirty four. I take a swig of mouthwash on my way to the toilet to save time, and I spend a three minute stretch swishing Listerine through my mouth and managing to squeeze out inconsistent bursts of urine. I've had to prop my hand against the wall since I was fifty. Standing straight up to piss is beyond me these days. My third young trophy wife Margerie can only make decent eggs over easy, and sunny side up is out of the question unless we go out. The bacon is microwaved for two minutes and thirty seconds because although her rack is perfect, she can't cook to save her life. She spends every morning breakfast session explaining to me that my children from previous marriages are ungrateful and deserve to be cut out of my last will and testament. This all comes while I'm chewing spongy bacon and drinking cofee that tastes like engine oil. By seven thirty, after I've shit, showered, and shaved, I'm in my boring Saab, puttering twenty minutes to work on economy cruise control. This twenty minute window is the highlight of my day. There's no traffic, the morning show I listen to is sometimes funny, and I take my first valium as soon as my rear tires hit Nutwood Street. For the record, my life was once gritty and unpolished, but also glamorous in a way that it was poetic. I miss being piss poor, living paycheck to paycheck, and not knowing what the next day would hold in store. I miss my first marriage, when everything was new, including some positions that I can't do anymore because my fake hip would crucify me with pain for trying. I miss my 1970 Oldsmobile 442 that got six miles to the gallon. It was a one fifty five big block with a superstroke and a twelve second ignition top out. You felt like you were going to die if you lost even a smidgeon of control on a country road. I was young then. It all comes back to age. Old people all go out the same way. Heart attack, stroke, brain aneurism, cancer. I want to be different. It's still sitting on my mantlepiece, but it doesn't have to beg me anymore. I'll soon be determined to take it down and use it of my own free will. IV. I did it. I've been carrying it in my jacket pocket. I can feel how cold it is through my shirt. In case I lose my mind, let me describe a normal work day, more for myself than for you. I am the second in command under a tyrannical office crone by the name of Jana. She runs a tight ship and she's only been in the business for five years. She inherited the company from her father ---- my old business partner. Soon, she had the support of everyone else, and I became the sideshow with some measure of plastic authority. She still wields the iron rod. I usually sneak a second valium in for the morning meetings, and I smile and nod more than anything else. I make Jana feel like her ideas are good, like the employeees actually care about what she has to say. When we break for lunch, I use my hour to go to one of five places. I can't go anywhere the costs more than eight bucks. I made one hundred and sixty two thousand dollars last year, but Margerie doesn't put out for me if I eat expensive food without her. She IS a trophy wife, after all. My choices are always limited to the Taco Bell Pizza Hut two in one, Wendy's, McDonald's, or the China Spring. The best deli in town is open before three, three blocks down, and I get to eat there once a week when our meetings cut short. They always have to put the meat back out because I stroll in at two fifty eight, and they glare at me with the utmost loathing. There's no telling how many pastrami and loogie sandwiches I've had, courtesy of Jana's rambling motor mouth. When I get back from lunch, Jana is always gone, and I spend three hours walking around the office and telling my employees how good they are at their jobs. The truth is, some of them really ARE good, and they know they deserve a raise. I have to tell them that I need more out of them because Jana is too much of a tightwad bitch to pay them higher salaries. She saves the extra cash for botox and the newest Corvette every year. No matter how good my day at work is, it ends in absolute frustration. I live eighteen miles from my office in the city, but in five thirty traffic, it takes me ninety minutes to get in to my driveway. The best day at work I ever had was the last day for one of our interns, Sally. It was about ten years ago, but I still remember when she unzipped my fly, pulled out my cock, snorted a line of cocaine off of it, and then drained me dry. It took me two hours to get home because of a jack knifed tractor trailer that day. Work always ends on a bad note, even when Sally is there for your afternoon delight. I hope my wife doesn't find this diary if something goes wrong. I never cheated to hurt her. I just like to feel intense. This fucking crazy thing is so cold in my pocket now that I have a red spot on my chest from where my skin is chafing against my shirt. I think I'll sleep with it under my pillow tonight. I've had enough of normal. When I wake up tomorrow, I'm opening it.

This message is my map, and this map is my message. The earth here is thin. I move about it so freely, and the ease of it is a delicious thing, but it is also frightful. I dig my inscriptions by feel and touch, and because I know the earth, I know that this will be massive for your senses. Here in this layer of the planet, I am inbetween my people and your people. I float about in this soft soil like a drifting bubble, weightless and yet handled so delicately within my surroundings that my fragile dome will never burst. I am fit to drift along in euphoria. I would do this forever, if granted the chance, but I have responsibilities to my people, and to our Mother. If I were to glide about, dreamlessly, in this infinite expanse of softrock, a few fathoms beneath your manmade pave-veins, I would lose myself in the arms of Mother, and she would love to have me lost. That exquisite moment will not arrive until your end-time comes. For now, I must finish the task I have been chosen for by our matron. She was born from the hardrock and the fire at the very core of Mother, and so I cherish and love her for choosing me to finish this map for our people. If I were to abandon my quest and return home now, I could be in the heartfire of earth within two of Mother's circles. Perhaps that holds no meaning for you, but because I have lurked just beneath the pave-vein in your greatest den and homestead of New York City, I know that the word I must use is "years." You measure your core by a finite passage of time in units. We measure ours by Mother Earth herself, as you once did before in history, before you created the deathly grid and thought yourselves too intelligent to honor Mother. This is what saddens her, and this is the cause of the war between my people and your people. It has taken me over one thousand of your years to reach the earth just below your pave-veins and grids of softrock. At first, I did not understand, and I would glide along through the thin places as your slow moving metal boxes with the rubber feet would adhere to the limited paths that you have provided for them. They are lumbering beasts, unable to dig, deaf and dumb constructs that are reflective of their creators. I do not pity you, because if you had used her gifts the way they were meant to be used, you would be as my people are now.

I. Well, I've finished my education and learned everything there is to learn about singing, and despite the difficulties, I've found myself at the heart of Music City and struggling to get my material out there. I haven't been able to meet with any labels and I'm barely surviving on gig money. I have an audition at a new place that's opening down by Broadway Street. It's a Vegas style night club, very yuppie. I can sing, but I also have to dance with the other girls. My first song will be "Moulin Rouge." They were impressed with my audition, and they may pay me for some choreography ideas. Maybe I can get some hours there. Regardless, times are hard for everyone right now. Any day that people hear me sing is a good day. My voice is lucky, and I'm so excited for the future that I simply had to start writing my feelings down in something other than song form. II. I learned to bartend and made some good tips this evening. I also sang with the band, and even though everyone there was drunk, I think they really liked me. The more I sing, the more I feel like I was put here on this earth to make people happy with the sound of my voice. I'm not trying to be conceited. I am forged through the sweat of my brow to make beautiful sound. I also make a pretty good vodka martini. III. My boss, Bobby, thinks he's Brett Michaels. He keeps going on and on about how he's going to make me a star and how much money Alleycats is going to make with me singing at the helm. People applauded after the girls worked through my dance today. I told Bobby that he should tie cat collars with rhinestones around our necks and buy us hair extensions to attract more clientele. He went for it. I'm excited. I've never been able to afford hair extensions before. The last song I sang before I went home this evening was amazing. I saw a table of drunks in the front row who appeared as if they were crying. That's the best feedback I could possibly ask for. IV. Some of my teachers came by today because it was my day off. They're quiet, mostly, but they expect what I promised them four years ago. I always thought I'd be able to get my education and disappear without going through with it, but they've found me. They want results, and I only have a month. Even though they paid my way and coddled me through learning the art of vocal performance, I don't think a piece of paper on the wall is worth this. It doesn't matter. I can't back out now, and I'm destined for the big time. V. Bobby is interested in more than helping me promote my career. I was flirting with a local blues singer in the lounge tonight after singing, and he flipped his shit. Said that I couldn't afford to have a boyfriend in this business and the only person I'd be hooking up with was him if I wanted to keep my job. I noticed that The Better Business Bureau is right across the street when I left today. I'll keep that in mind if he gets out of hand. VI. More teachers came to see me, except they came to the bar itself. I would have been ashamed, except they didn't talk to anyone, so no one knew that they were there for me. They wore the black robes in a night club in the middle of the city, so they obviously care little for outward appearances. They focused on me so intently when I was singing that I got scared. I did well, but they're giving me the message, loud and clear. I have to fulfill my part of the bargain or I'll lose my voice. If I lose my voice, I have no future. I'm scared.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009 Times are hard, and I work in a business that is slowly becoming obsolete. People are steering away from glasses and contact lenses to Lasik surgery and more permanent, feasible choices in the field of eye care. I've never been the type to collect my thoughts and put them down, and yet these have been the toughest months to endure as of late. My wife left me, along with alimony and a good chunk of everything I've struggled to build since I was in my early twenties. I don't know if I'll make my mortgage payment on time for the third month in a row. This hole is going to be impossible to climb out of. Thursday, August 6th, 2009 Got a phone call from corporate and had to terminate the positions of two employees. Stan has been here for seventeen years. He was a good eye doctor. I have a strong suspicion that more permanent layoffs are on the way. I had to go to a dealership and downgrade my vehicle, but the sales tax almost cleaned out my bank account. Friday, August 7th, 2009 I was helping Stan take his things out of the office today and a new vendor approached me. He works for some company called "New Vision," and their prices are better than every other type of lenses we carry. They don't do glasses or frames. Only contacts. He gave a pretty convincing argument, so I filled my own prescription with their lenses and I'm going to put them in tomorrow morning and try them out. This may be the small boost we need to stay open. I hope so. Saturday, August 8th, 2009 I called New Vision and told them my office was on board. I should have talked to our regional division manager before cutting the deal, but he treats me like garbage and routinely tells me that my office is in last place in every category but customer service. He says customer service doesn't make money if you sacrifice profits. He's not a doctor. These lenses feel more natural and it seems like the material adapts to light better than any other brand that I've seen in my twenty plus years as an optometrist. I'm going to keep using them myself. I mowed my lawn today, and I swear I could see every blade of grass. Maybe our patients will drop some greenbacks to try these out. Monday, August 10th, 2009 I prescribed my first pair of New Vision lenses to a patient today. He's a six year old boy who was blind as bat before we fitted his eyes. His mother was concerned that six is too young for contacts, but after she saw him looking around and nailing the entire test on the wall, letter for letter and number for number, I convinced her to try them out. If I can get a pair of these out every day, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. I've stopped taking mine out at night because they don't bother me like normal lenses do in the morning. I feel like I could leave them in forever. Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 I've prescribed them to thirty eight patients and it seems that word of mouth is sending more people my way. People are dropping HydraSoft and Toric left and right. The vendor from the company came by today and put a great ad in my office window. "See things in a new light. Fit some New Vision lenses today!" They also guarantee that you'll read at least a line below where you normally would on the wall with any other vendor. They won't tell me what the lenses are made of, but as good as they feel, I'm not hesitating to give my patients the best choice. The regional manager called again and congratulated me on turning business around. He'll probably take credit for it at the board meeting. What an ass. Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 I traded in and got a Mercedes, and I offered Stan his job back. I told him he'd have to convince people to go with New Vision when pitching patients because with the healthcare reform bill on the way, this product is our only trump card. Without it, people will go somewhere else. I'm going to install a plasma TV on the wall in the reception area so people can watch football while they wait on their appointment. People love football. Whatever it takes to get people in the door. Friday, August 21st, 2009 Stan tried them out and he's fifty five. He's reading better than he was in his thirties, or so he says. We went to lunch today and he drives faster than usual; maybe it's because he can see the road better. Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 I'm a little rattled. I called New Vision today to order more product and to fill some prescriptions with some pending patients, but the line has been disconnected. I called the vendor's personal cell and heard some sort of odd sound. You know when you're sitting at a campfire and you can hear wood burning and popping in the flames? It sounded like that. Maybe their phones are down or there's a power outage. I'm not sure. I'll call them on a regular business day. Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 I feel strange. I tried to go to mass with my mother today. I try to go to church with her at least once a month. I walked through the front doors of the chapel, and my vision started going blurry. The membranes around my eyes felt like they were going to burst open. I didn't bring my glasses so I had to sit outside before we went to Sunday lunch. I think it was just a headache or a spasm or something. I'm not too worried about it.

Don't bother trying to find it. You won't find anything about the name of the town or what happened here. This manuscript will be found long after the events that transpired in this place, but I hope against everything else that you're someone in a...