Hi! Per request, this is the extended, original version of the blurb I used as an example of a proper ‘short’ the other day. Let me know what you think.
Necroincarnation (Extended Blurb)
Varadella Clearglade was having the worst day of her life — and quite possibly the last.
As an apprentice, she was used to being run ragged by the guild masters and harassed by the petty demands of their journeymen. As a peasant who’d been sold into the guild to pay for her parent’s debts, she knew she had no patrons to provide for her advancement — and exactly how much the guild valued her talents, to the last copper — and pathetically, the worth of her only magical talent could only be measured in copper.
Varadella was an apprentice necromancer, and that meant that any use of her talent would incur a cost to be collected by the church: a wergild paid into their charities on the assumption that whatever soul she brought back from the dead was being wrenched out of a reincarnated, living being. Conjure the soul of an animal? Pay enough to the church to purchase one of those beasts for someone who mysteriously lost an animal. Bring back the soul of an actual human? Pray not to be drawn and quartered for murder.
But those dire costs didn’t stop the youngest prince, Prince Gerrat (affectionately known as Gerrat the fool in public, and less affectionately as Gerrat the Idiot, elsewhere) from kidnapping Varadella and dragging her on an insane mission to reanimate his deceased father and prove that the previous king’s death had not been due to natural causes. After all, he wouldn’t be the one who would have to pay a royal wergild or face execution by impalement and exposure! Nor did the horde of undead that — to Varadella’s shock and horror — were summoned by someone to stop them care that she had been forced into the royal crypts at dagger point!
The prince’s apparent vindication was no comfort to either of them as the undead closed in. Trapped in the sealed tombs of a prior dynasty, Varadella knew that their only hope of driving off the spirits that had cornered them was to summon an older, more powerful ghost to fight them off. Fortunately, there were plenty of ancient corpses to chose from. Unfortunately, the soul of anyone who had been dead so long would doubtless have been reincarnated — perhaps dozens, or even hundreds, of times — by now. Any ghost she called from them would be too ancient and powerful for Varadella to possibly hope to bind to her will. And would doubtlessly be infuriated at having been ripped from its current life by an apprentice necromancer’s insolence.
And so, fully expecting to die at the hands of the ghost she summoned, Varadella used her magic. After all, the only other options were certain death by zombie, or by starvation — or by the dagger of the now quite desperate prince, should she continue to do nothing.
But Varadella could never have expected what happened next….
Elaine Morgans was having the worst day of her life.
She had no car, no job, and was running late on rent again. After being sexually harassed at the first job interview she’d managed to land in months, Elaine barely had enough charge left on her phone to call her best friend back to drive her home early…. where she finds an eviction notice and new locks on the apartment door.
With her cell phone now dead, its charger locked in her apartment, and her friend already departed, Elaine is forced to walk to her boyfriend’s residence in hopes of being given a place to stay before the clouds gathering overhead saw fit to pour cold, wet misery on her as well. Naturally, one of her heels broke along the way — and when she finally hobbled up to her significant other’s apartment and let herself in with the spare key, it was to find him in flagrante delicto with the same best friend she’d earlier relied on for transportation.
Of course, Elaine fled from the scene in tears. And it was only to be expected, at that point, for the storm to break over her. She was left cold, alone, soaked; bereft. Cast adrift by the double betrayal on top of everything else, Elaine despaired of ever managing to recover. She fully saw herself as — and expected to be — a miserable failure of humanity for the rest of her pathetic existence.
But then, without warning, she died.
…and Elaine never could have expected what happened next.