Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grave Undertakings

The creature looked at the coffin thoughtfully, considering the problem posed by the body inside. More specifically, by the fact that the burial was going to be, at the sudden request of the family, conducted two days earlier than the traditional waiting period.

Were the gravedigger what he appeared, this would have posed no difficulty. Had there not been time on the day they wished the body buried, the request would have been politely turned down. But, despite all appearances, the creature responsible for burying it was not a human man, or human at all, though it had been once. What lifted the lid of the coffin, revealing the occupant to have been a pretty girl, were not muscles, but a mass of worms inhabiting a dead man's skin, having bored their way into his coffin a day or two ago, in another cemetery.

Slowly, it nodded. Yes... This one would do. While the girl had been preserved too well for the process to take anything less than the three days it had originally planned to have, and the alchemical agents in her flesh would slow, and in some cases even prevent, the worms' eggs hatching, and make the muscles less nourishing for those that did, and there was not enough time for her to awaken on the surface, or for it to hide her body, as the death-keeper would be coming to check on the grave's progress long before it could carry the corpse away, return, and dig the grave, it was still possible for her to return in the casket, and break free of its confines, at least if it dug a shallow grave.

Leaning over the coffin, it pried open the dead girl's mouth, just as the the worms began to spill from its lips, falling into her throat and on her face with soft plopping sounds.

That done, it replaced the lid of the coffin, and stood, pushing its shovel deep into the ground. In a few days, the girl would wake, and go to the other cemetery, the one the former man had been buried in, to get a job preparing corpses for burial. And in a few days more, when a suitable body came along, she would be joined by another, who would get a job as a gravedigger, that the bodies the girl planted the worms in would not be killed if they awoke on the surface, and her found out, or be planted too deep for escape if they had not yet returned before being buried.

No comments:

Post a Comment