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"Funeral" (2022)


An oppressive sky hung low above the ashen earth around the lake. The memory of grass lay scorched across dry ground, a crumbly, sandy footing taking the place of long-burnt, lush greenery. It was a day like any other, except it wasn't.

A miserable throng of shoulders stood clustered at the lake's edge. Threadbare shrouds and tattered suits covered the thinning flesh of the hungry and weak. Unkempt hair fell in tangled knots, trinkets tied into strands, blood matting the ends. Each face appeared blanched, hollow and haggard, save for the vague suggestion of sadness at it's edges. They were tired, all of them, and apprehensive.

Staring out as the almighty funeral pyre set sail into the grey waters, each pair of exhausted eyes followed the flames. The barge was sixty feet long, and had taken thirteen men over a week to construct. They'd used every shred of available timber, woven the last of the branches and leaves into it's frame, and used their final piece of flint to light the ceremonial fire.

Vibrant green flames engulfed the pyre as it sailed towards the centre of the lake. A man dropped to his knees, heaving dry, tearless sobs into emaciated palms. A small woman followed suit, screaming into the dismal sky as grey clouds twisted and warped into screaming voids. Two children began to cry, one woman ran into the lake, and a man passed out, as trembling cracks split the earth in twain.

But Corvus, his gaze unblinking on the blazing mound, simply watched. He watched the waters begin to boil and bubble, the marshes buckle inside-out, Mother Earth herself heave and wretch, as the desecrated corpse of their Elder God disappeared beneath the flames.

Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2022:

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