The necromancer fiddled with his knife, running his fingers along its edge. The ocean surrounded him absolutely, and land was nowhere to be seen. The sun beat down on him and his boat, gleaming off his knife. Sometimes, the necromancer stared directly at the sun for extended periods of time just to relieve his boredom. He contemplated whether to start another wood carving project. So far he’d made three birds, four dogs, and five Angelas (his wife). He decided to start one more, going through his bag and finding a block of wood. When he carved, he seemed to become one with his environment, the rocking of his raft, the splashing of the ocean, the gleam of the sun. Thoughts of the plane crash seemed to fade away. Just as he was about to start his project, his peace was rudely interrupted.

“You’ll never finish it,” it said. Turning around, the necromancer saw its face, rotting in the sun, tattered clothes, and greenish gray skin, his companion zombie.

“You’ll be dead.”

“How do you know?” the necromancer replied defiantly.

“You ran out of water days ago, and you’ve been out at sea for weeks hoping you’ll miraculously end up on land and get back to Angela, but it’s game over.”

“I’m a necromancer. I’ll figure something out. In the meantime, just leave me alone and let me carve.” To this, the zombie simply leaned back in the raft, staring intently at the empty sea.

“Necromancers don’t exist,” the zombie replied. “They’re fantasy.”

“What! How could you say that!” the necromancer protested “You’re living, or rather dead proof that they do!” The zombie turned his head to the necromancer and stared him, dead in the eyes.

“I’m not dead or alive. I’m just a fantasy, a figment of your imagination.”

“No! You’re real. You must be real. I’m looking at you with my own eyes!” the necromancer countered, a definitive panic in his voice.

“Think about it for once! How am I in your boat one minute and the next you’re alone at sea! What, do I jump in and out of the boat to swim?!” The necromancer opened his mouth to argue, only to close it again without saying a word.

“That’s right! There’s no logical explanation for my existence. You’re just going mad. You’ve convinced yourself you’re a necromancer, and now you’re going to die without a shred of sanity.”

“I’ve been a necromancer all my life. I know who I am!” the necromancer screamed.

“Tell me then, when your mother died, why did you not resurrect her?! Did you not love her, or were you simply not able?!” The necromancer looked away, his hands shaking.

“If I were calling the shots, I’d make my amends, take that knife, run across my throat, and die with a little honor!”

“JUST SHUT UP AND LET ME BE!” the necromancer screamed, turning away.

The zombie scowled, taken aback.

“Fine,” it muttered spitefully. “But think about what I said.” When the necromancer looked up, the zombie was gone, and he was left alone at sea. The necromancer picked up his knife slowly, hands shaking. In it he saw a reflection. The reflection of a starved and unrecognizable man, a man with tattered clothes and jutting cheekbones, a man without a life worth living.

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