#FridayFlash - Missy's Guide to Practical Necromancy
All right, Readers, it's time for another one of those nitty-gritty subjects no one likes to talk about, yet all of us have to deal with; cleaning up after your zombie house pet.
For those of us who've raised passed familiars as companions (four black cats and a crow, myself), we know the challenge doesn't end with giving them their unlife.
Dealing with bloodstains and flesh gobbets are just one of those challenges. Mere minions can be left in a corner, where they won't get unsightly stains on the furniture. If they've made too big a mess rampaging through the local village, you can leave them outside until either the next rain washes them away or they rot away.
But your companion means something, is more than a mindless automaton. You put too much time and too many components into raising one, so they deserve better than the dank dungeon. It's certainly not their fault if they slough a little skin every time they jump into your coffin.
Let me tell you how I deal with it.
1 Living Slave If you haven't already read Barlowe's article “You CAN Afford A Slave”, I suggest you do so and learn the top ten ways a mortal in the house can really improve your focus on the dark arts. Number two is house cleaning, and that includes after your beloved. Let them find stray toes while you curl up with your latest grimoire and pet.
2 Leather Upholstery & Wooden Furniture Many of us remember our early decors, all black velvet and lace. If you haven't already made the switch, then follow in my footsteps; wood and leather. Not only will you no longer look like a broody teen (there's an intimidating elegance to ebony wing-back chairs), but they are so much easier to clean and maintain. Ichor wipes right off, leaving no stains behind.
3 Mummification There are two schools of thought on when to raise your familiars as the undead; right away or after a drying-out process. Barlowe recommends as fresh a body as possible for the sturdiest minions, and I mostly agree. Your companion will certainly look more life-like, and might even fool the unobservant. But I've always found more flesh leads to more problems; putrescence, sloughing, alopecia. Which is why I recommend showing a little patience and mummifying them. (To whatever degree you're comfortable with. If you don't want to remove their insides, dry them longer.) I've had great success with Belladonna's Desiccation For Beginners.
4 Acceptance If any pet owner, living or unliving, familiar or mundane, tells you they're able to keep pet messes 100% under control, they probably have a pet rock and don't have any real experience with animals. I've made a lot of attempts to get my lair spotless, but the instant I turn my back, a stray hair or maggot reappears. The constant vigilance it would require to clean up every stain, smudge, leftover prey, or glop just isn't healthy. For you or your pet! So I simply do what I can and accept the little negatives for the greater positives.
That's pretty much all there is to it. Four simple ways I handle my undead fur babies. No magic spells or herbs (after the raising), no tricks or hidden techniques, nothing the lich one parish over knows that you do not. As Grammama always said, “If the answer seems too easy, you thought too hard on the problem.”
May all your graves be fresh,
Don't forget: Next week is HemlocKon where I'm running a Nightshade seminar. For those of you who can't meet me there, I've got a surprise guest post all lined up, and I'll flood the Facebook group with all the great pics.
Until the next moonrise!