Sometimes we die, we do that quite often in fact. Some people believe life and death is just a cycle, that death isn’t really the end, but I’m getting ahead of myself:
Let me introduce you to the Melburns. They are a wealthy family, not only in money but in children as well. They have seventeen of them – eight Mrs Melburn doesn’t even know about. The thing about Mr Melburn is that he isn’t a good person, not in most circles, but at least he takes care of his family. He feeds them, clothes them, and that’s about it. There’s only one he pays any attention to and that’s his eldest daughter.
She died, recently, at the tender age of twelve of mysterious reasons. She was found with a mouth full of sweets and several of them were lodged in her throat. Mr Melburn always said gluttony is a problem, I guess she disagreed. As you can see, being wealthy doesn’t protect you from death, not entirely anyway. Life cannot be bought or exchanged, but that didn’t stop Mr Melburn from trying.
He contacted the local Necromancer – every small and big town has one. Necromancy is the cure against dying, according to their words, and they have many theories on how to bring back the dead; the most common one involves an exchange. The Melburns weren’t willing to give up one of their own children so they went and looked for another. A local eleven year old boy disappeared soon after. The whole incident was hushed up later when the right amount of money appeared in the right people’s pockets. It was a freak accident how the child gut himself before walking across the country and breaking into a total stranger’s basement.
I’m not saying necromancy is complete bogus, but it’s a lost art. I find it ironic how the people who are afraid to die are the most avid practitioners these days. With the Melburn’s left with no other option they decided to buy her a fancy new home to sleep her eternal rest in. It’s common in most places to have a fancy little crypt for their loved ones; to tell the world that somebody important was buried here. You better pay attention to her. If the Melburns are lucky, their dear daughter will be happy with her new accommodation and stay quiet for all eternity.
Now, let me turn your attention to the Shillies. They are not a wealthy family. Indeed, they’re so poor that the father often doesn’t eat, like, at all. He’s the definition of a saint. He also died recently and his death was not a mystery. Mrs Shillies would like nothing more than to give him a nice home to rest in, but they cannot afford to, and most likely, Mr Shillie won’t expect one either. He’ll sleep quietly in whatever grave they end up burying him in.
But, the funny thing about dying is that it’s a lot like living. People change. If Mr Shillie had any unfulfilled hopes and dreams that we didn’t know about, he might wake up and try and fulfill them. His chances are pretty good too without those pesky responsibilities of being alive or morals that comes with it. In fact, there’s a saying that most kings never lived. But one thing’s for sure, Mr Shillies won’t be able to rest easy knowing his family will most likely die of starvation without him. The city knows this, that’s why he’s going into the pit.
The pit is not just a hole in the ground, it’s deeper than anyone knows. Some say it’s bottomless, while some scholars claim it’s exactly 3000 kms deep. Nobody is sure how they came to this conclusion, most people don’t understand what those weird scientists are saying, anyway. But it doesn’t really matter in the end, because anything that is thrown in doesn’t come up!
© Christopher Stamfors