Self-publishing Short Stories

Writing: The Necromantic Agency – Setting Sketch (And a Few Updates About My Self-Publishing Life)

Sorry that I have been absent posting about my writing and self-publishing. It has been a hectic month, and to be honest, I have had a slump with the optimism about my future as a writer and carrying on. You know, one of those things you get once in a while; too often, if you ask me.

So, what is new? I quit my job, and now I’m a full-time writer without credentials to do so. Silly me. But my day job was killing me gradually. (Yes, I know this post doesn’t have a cheery note.) I have been tuning my writing, marketing, and life stuff schedule, and the balance is a working progress. My second book is coming along. I’m editing chapter ten (there is 30 in the book.) I should pick up my pace if I want to get it out at the beginning of a next year with an audiobook and paperback.

I’m happy that my writing has improved and enormously, and that is due to changing the editing habits I wrote about on my previous post. I have also joined into a writers’ group. The first meeting is next week, so we will see what happens. Do I move under my table for the rest of the eternity or dance above it smashing things and getting sober too soon and move under the table?

But the whole point of this post was to show one of my sheets. This time it is a setting sketch. Necropolis feels like home. Not a home where I would want to live exactly, far from it, but home nevertheless. (So, just like any other home really.)

Here is the Necromantic Agency:


Role in Story: Minor, moving the story along. States Petula’s relationship to the city and necromancers’ place in the city.

Related Characters: Morris, Ignatius, Hubert, the clerk, Petula.

Season: Night. Around the agency, mist rose. It swayed along the walls, licking them with its moist, sinister body mass. Late summer.

Unique Features: Necromantic Agency’s sign glows. It was made with magic and fungi.

Description: The Necromantic Agency was one of the many in the city, but this one had a reputation having the best necromancer on their lists. It stood at the corner of Little Ruddy Lane and Stonemason Road. Agency took the first floor of the four-story-high building. Above it there were rent apartments where some not so lucky members of the agency lived. The apartments were crammed, dismal, and draughty. No one who had any other choice lived there, but as Necropolis’ housing was scarce, there was not much of choice.

Inside the agency, a huge L-shaped counter took most of the space and welcomed the customers in. Behind it hid narrow corridors, leading to offices which the agency’s owners rarely used.

Hardwood floors. Poison green wallpaper. Hatrack. A bench for the customers. A filing cabinet behind the counter. At the back of the room, there was one window, opening a view to a well-kept garden. A pet project of those who were forced to live inside the horrid building.

Mrs. And Mr. Blacklead owned the agency. They themselves were necromancers, but now they concentrated all their efforts on gaining standing in the city. The Necromantic Agency’s building was one of many of their assets. They owned a Taxidermist shop as well and two other necromantic agencies around the city.

Sights: Fluorescent sign, poison green wallpapers with flowers made with lighter green tone, the well-kept garden with black roses, vines, and herb beds.

Sounds: Eerie silence. No one made any noises. Not even the rats dared to. The place was too serious for that. Once there had been a clock which had ticked every second in a low tone and every hour with a louder click. They had thrown away the abomination from the bottomless pit back to the doomed place. Actually, it got tossed into the sea. After lying there and ticking away days and nights, Kraken had sent one of his minor octopus to destroy the human-made contraption. The octopus had twisted its tentacles around the clock and crushed it, leaving its hands, wooden frame, and mechanism scattered on the sea floor. Afterward, the octopus got away from it as fast as it could, not wanting to catch anything deadly from the human machine. It had been too slow. The tick of the clock moved inside its living tissue, never leaving. Tick, tock, tick, tock its body went for the rest of its life. Thankfully it only lived two years from that moment on, but those last years should have been its golden years of serenity, mating, and dying. No female dared to come close to its ticking body. (Don’t worry octopi live around three to five years old. Thus it didn’t die because of humans, but then again it lived half of its life, measuring time no one cared about at the bottom of the sea, driving everyone including Kraken crazy.)

Smells: There was a slight smell of sweet roses in the air which got mixed with the intoxicatingly strong smell of herbs. Underneath there was a hidden smell of blood or at least for the night clerk who could almost taste Morris’, Ignatius’, and Hubert’s type O-, AB, and B+ blood types. The three men were just the kind of cocktail the clerk preferred. It took all his willpower not to jump over the counter and bite them.

Notes: Mrs. And Mr. Blacklead were native to the city. When they had been accepted to study necromancy at the University, they rented apartments in front of each other from the same building the agency now occupied without knowledge of each other. One morning when a tutorial was set to start at the University, they both had woken up too late because of twisted fate and rushed out of their doors at the same time. When their eyes met for the first time, it was love at first sight. Mrs. Blacklead’s huge bosom crammed inside a black lace dress had made Mr. Blacklead’s head light and his feet an odd pair. When Mrs. Blacklead had seen the smart looking man under a huge top hat with a feather on its side, she had known that before the end of the night she would wear that hat buck naked, singing an aria to her future husband. She was spot on and without the need to resort to clairvoyance. They walked awkwardly next to each other all the way to the University, not understanding why the other followed them. At the University, they finally realized they were going to the same tutorial, and at the lecture hall, they sat next to each other without saying a word. So it had been ever since.

Gradually, as their studies progressed, they began to sell their services. At the end of their last year, they turned from renters to owners not only their apartments but the entire building. On the dot of their graduation, they set up the Necromantic Agency and took those of their classmates who didn’t manage to get other jobs on their lists. They continued hanging around the University to attract more talent to their agency. Attracting part fell to Mrs. Blacklead who was naturally more social and who by then had become Mrs. Blacklead. She was a force of will and had a knack to convince others she knew what she was doing. The agency grew and gained more high clientele, making their service prices rise. In secrecy, they established another agency for those not so rich who also needed help with their dead relatives and poltergeist which often enough was the one and the same. When the two agencies thrived, they expanded to taxidermy; and when that began to run on a smooth course, they started to travel, go social events, and enjoy culture, and think ways to expand their business not only in Necropolis but around the world.


Thank you for reading my fall of text!


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