The cover of this heavily worn book bears the initials "PM".
The Memoirs of Patrick Morkan
One month has passed since my beloved Jane passed from this world. One month, and yet an eternity. I have changed so much.
It began as a night like any other. We had spent the evening reading by the fire, I a treatise on Alfar ward magic, she one of those romantic fictions I found so irritating and for which I often mercilessly teased her. It was a simple night, a night of which we had enjoyed a hundreds of times before. A night the likes of which we thought we would enjoy hundreds of times yet.
And yet ... it was not meant to be. Sometime in the night, peacefully, her heart gave out. She died in quiet, and I awoke alone.
What a moment that was for me. It was a moment of great pain, and grief, and then finally, of transformation. In that moment I was forced to confront the thirty-two yearts we had spent together. Thirty-two years of laughter and love, of humility and quiet and companionship.
I loved her so much.. I can see her face the day we met. I had been in Rathir, a young man still, studying for my entrance exams to the Scholia Arcana. My instructors called me gifted with regard to trasnformation and constructive magics - I thought I had a promising career ahead in the contemplative world of the arcane. I hoped to one day build great wonders.
That day I was running late to my initiation trial, so I cut across a lawn and through an alley I had never braved before. And standing there upon the street corner as I emerged was the loveliest of angels, selling flowers from a basket at her hip. She was from Emaire, I would later find out- she had made the trek with armful of irises in the hopes that she might see the big city and have a taste of some adventure.
I watched her momentarily, my initiation trial forgotten. Then with an uncharacteristic courage, I strode forward and solicited her attention for a moment. She undoubtledly found me gangly and unimpressive in my robes, but when I drew a violet flower from her bundle and asked her name, she grew quiet. "Jane," she hesitantly whispered. I can still see her half smile, uncertain in the bright Rathir sunshine.
And with a flourish, I drew my ink-stained fingers up and down the flower stem, consuming the thing in a flash of fire. My hands flew apart as flames gently wafted upward, spelling out her name. Her eyes grew bright at the silly display for which my teachers would undoubtedly scold me, and as she began to ask how the trick was done, I pulled another iris from my sleeve, this one the color of a sunset, red and gold an blue, the color of flame itself.
"Then please accept this, dear Jane." I paused, my breath shallow. "Its beauty, like yours, will never fade." In retrospect, I was a horribly romantic youth.
And I never made it to my initation trial.
Do I regret the thirty-two years I spent with Jane? I dare not. But at the same time, I realize now that she only held me back from my full potential. For certain I continued to pursue my arcane crafts. But alone, a tinkerer and an enthusiast and a seller of trinkets, I could never reach my full potential. In that moment when she was gone, it was as if a part of me died with her, A part, I think, that had kept me in check. A part called restraint.
And what wonders I can work, now! At first my grief and my pain found outlet in the craft room, and I began to build bigger and more ambitious constructs- my spells more dangerous and more ambitious. But after only seven days did I begin to conceive the theretofore inconceivable- that I might use the growing magic within my person to reconstruct and reanimate my fallen wife.
Necromancy, my teachers would call it, among other less savory terms. It is a magic taboo, a forbidden art.. an art for which I found myself aptly suited. It was, of course, the gravest of mistakes. Jane's soul is gone- her body, imbuued with a force born from my very misery and solitude, may walk and talk, may breathe and blink and eat, but it is not alive.
Perhaps that is as well. The magic grows within me, and reason wanes. I can feel myself slipping further each day, lost perhaps to my art, perhaps simply to melancholia. Boundaries are gone; sense has fled.
But at least my promise to Jane will remain- now, like the iris I gifted her that day so long ago, her beauty will never fade.