March 13, 2016 § Leave a comment
Not long ago, in a village not far away, a little girl was born to a farmer and his wife. She was the finest product of their meagre farm and grew unlike any crop of theirs had done before. The sun and moon themselves counted out her years, as she ran through field and forest and furrow. The farmer used to chase her, a mock-crown of ivy on his head and laughter in his throat, but always she would dart away from his outstretched arms. The farmer’s wife looked up from her tasks, sharpening tools or mending a cloak, and smiled to see them silhouetted in the evening’s light.
Yet one day, as crisp and bright as could be hoped for, the farmer stopped chasing his daughter and she looked back to see that a man much thinner than she remembered was waiting for her. “Father,” she called. “What is wrong? Why do you not chase me as you used to?” The farmer smiled quietly before replying in a voice like dust. “I am old now, daughter, and I have chased you as far as I can. My breath is spent. Go home to your mother, dear child, and I will rest here a while.” With that he rested and moved no more.
So the girl left her father and ran back to their little cottage, where a woman much thinner than she remembered was waiting for her. “Mother,” the girl called. “What is wrong? Why do you not sharpen our tools as you used to?” The farmer’s wife smiled quietly before replying in a voice like smoke. “I am old now, daughter, and I have sharpened as much as I can. My strength is spent. Go out into the wide world, dear child, and I will rest here a while.” With that she rested and moved no more.
So the girl left her mother and ran to the nearest town, her legs strong from years of running with her father, and she worked hard, her hands nimble from years of working with her mother. One day she had a husband, and later a daughter, and she gave life as it had been given to her. One day, a day as crisp and bright as could be hoped for, she found that she had given as much life as she could and she smiled quietly to herself. With that she rested and moved no more.
Death is not a skeleton, not a withered body lying in the cold ground. Death is not the cough of lungs grown dry or the creak of bones grown stiff. These are the products of Life, because Life is always giving and gives until the very end. Death is a miser who takes everything, gives nothing.
Death is a miser and misers are to be pitied, not feared.
“I shall take the very breath from thine breast,” sayeth Death. “Thou canst not take what hast been freely given,” sayeth Life.
March 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
I’ve never left the City. Not really. Nobody that I know of has ever left the City. It’s not like you can’t go, there’s nothing to stop you, but…well, it’s just that nobody ever does. I sometimes wonder if there’s anything else outside the City. I walked for a whole day once, down past Riddle’s Bed and over the Choke out into the Fen but you could still see buildings and smoke rising up all around. When it’s foggy you can go there and it feels like there’s nobody else left alive but then I worry about Fen Dogs so I don’t stay there for that long.
It’s cloudy today. Might rain later. I don’t mind the rain, really, I like the way it sounds on the ground. I might go to Riddle’s Bed before it starts, though. I like to go there and read the writing on the stones. It’s like the stones are there just to remember the people who’ve died even if no one else does. I try to remember as many names as I can, just to help the stones. Pieter Garman, that’s one. I don’t go there at night, though. I don’t like to think of all those people lying under the ground. I sometimes wonder if they wake up at night. We live above ground and sleep at night so if they’re below ground they might just sleep in the day, mightn’t they?
They might. I don’t like to risk it.