Three Uses of Magic by The Dead

IT is a simple fact that resurrecting the dead is impossible. As demonstrated by the New Necrologic School, this has never been a case of ‘cannot’ – human desire for its missing never lacks for want –, but rather, may not. Magic is power, yet power does not connect the realms. There are no rational relations or reciprocities, no explanantia or explananda, that guide will’s hand through the loom of fate. This, absolutely, has frustrated the mourning powerful, who were tempted to attempt many more tries, with horrific results apropos. Conceit, a snake of fear that slithers from wealds of control, is the predominant basis for all ‘interaction’ (there is none).

Then what is mourning? A meek placation on emotions at a loved one’s jarring void, kaleidoscopically infracting on the objects they touched, the rituals they undertook, the words they said? Funeral rites, rituals predicated on the departed to find the strength to ‘go on’, as is said? Yes. And, through the transnuminous travels of the NNS (may they rest in peace), we know the died have their own way of coping.

The dead are inverse funerals. To be dead is to have an understanding, a philosophy tantalisingly out of reach for the living. The living invoke familiarities which are taken from them – a radiant smile, a wagging crooked tail, the tendency to fix and fall off the same chairs –, this is a crystallisation of permanent lacking, quite horrible to impart on oneself semi-regularly. Their counterparts, on the other side of that opaque diamond veil, remember what the world they left behind had been missing.

This is where magic comes in: power to influence a reality through measures without labour. Abstracts become extant – but in this particular case, words become concrete utopias. Timelines. The change they had rather seen, abstractly brought into the rest of their eternities. The deceased do not toil or suffer in the afterlife – morality, that power, has no say there. They go through the pains, pleasures, regrets, doubts, frustrations, sorrows, gaieties of never having lived into paradise.

The last reports of the NNS included spells they had witnessed. Which, ironically, showed them a world they would not return to; ergo, the scholars decided to stay there.

Without further ado: three spells only the dead may cast.


INVOCATION: “i couldn’t fucking turn a blind eye to those nazi punks they were going at him so badly so i took out my gun and they saw and the ice cream that looked like his bashed head seemed to melt slower and slower because time always does that when lives are at stake
you decided that it was their lives because look at me i’m the threat i’m the weapon i’m the violence that you terrify yourself with but if you had just please moved your phone please move it a bit more to the right or even up so the reflection in the gelateria window shows the truth in its mp4 format
but the only window became my cell and the rainbow looked nothing like the one on his shirt”

EFFECT: A gang of violent youths wearing armbands swarmed a man who was enjoying some ice cream. They did not listen to his pleas for mercy. The spellcaster approached and took out their gun and aimed it at the attackers, finger off the trigger. Scared, they called them names. A passerby with the recording device showed what the men had been doing moments prior and kept the camera firmly pointed on their fascist insignias.


INVOCATION: “did you think i do not know about the way your eyelid the right one moves up a little bit when you lie to my face like you’re trying to see less of the world less of the consequences less of the medusa of your tongue
it’s not something you hide anymore or maybe i learned how to spot it even when you are i am a spotter a sculptor a headlight that makes you stop in your tracks and that is another lie that makes your right eye close
it was the last day it was the winter it was my performance it was nothing to you and i could tell in your eyes that true”

EFFECT: From the first word on, a stage appeared. Every syllable became an accoutrement – a red dancer’s outfit, a backing orchestra, an audience with one empty seat. Halfway through the performance, a glimmer silhouetting a person rushed in with an unbearable realisation on its featureless face. It did not sit in the empty chair, it went up to the stage.


INVOCATION: “on my way to work there is a newspaper stand and inside that little box like a treasure chest to valuable booty and i mean that in more ways than one you had been contained and no article polemic or weather report had words i could print on my tongue had shown me the word hi
on another day to work it was raining which means the bus doesn’t come through my part of town i saw a cat in a box much like yours but with no awning or roof and it was freezing so i brought it with me and you asked me if that was my cat and i said yes not because i wanted to lie to you but because your nose ring fits your eyes so well and the way you tuck in your shirt shows off your paunch and to me that is such a headliner a big photo printed on the frontpage that says IM GAY
they say if you read the news you get smarter but all i get is a bitter reaction the remains of the day (there are so many problems caused by so few people aren’t there) makes me want to try again i’ll try again i swear”

EFFECT: The spellcaster repeated a scenario where they walked a person they fancied, lacking any of the verbosity as listed above. This daily routine repeated some sixty-two daily newspapers over, before rain had forced them to walk to work, encountering a stray cat. In this version of events, the very first word they said to their flame was “no” and this led to them bringing the cat to an animal shelter together, with all the pleasant social bonding of rescuing a poor creature together.

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