Storygames Home City of IF
Free online storygaming
 

Grim Reaping : Chapter Two
Click here to go to the original topic

 
       Storygames Home -> Grim Reaping
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Grim Reaping : Chapter Two  

Chapter Two

“I think it is, as you would say, my pale complexion,” I said, as this is something that many people have commented on over the millennia.

“Pale? You’d think you was dead.”

I paused, my dark gaze upon the recently gathered soul, as I waited for the hammer to fall.

With many spirits, death comes to them unexpectedly. What was once flesh and bone suddenly becomes a lot less restrictive, many thoughts are lost with the disconnection of the brain and it is only the memory of life essence that allows spirits to recall the life they have just departed. That is how hauntings are possible, when they are allowed, but I will come back to that later.

As I expected, the penny dropped with a clang, and the gravedigger’s spirit did what I thought to be an excellent impersonation of a freshwater trout. Its mouth opened and closed with exquisite accuracy of a fish’s movements, and the thrashing of his body as it attempted to detach itself from the tip of my scythe was a joy to behold.

“Is that your party piece?” I enquired out of idle curiosity.

“No it bleedin’ well ain’t,” the spectre screeched. “I’m tryin’ to get away from you.”

“Oh,” I said with clear disappointment. “You’re one of those ones.”

“I’m not one of those anythin’s. I’m just me and that’s just how I intend to stay, if I could just get off this bleedin’ hoo–waaugmph!”

I looked at the vacant space at the end of my scythe, then lowered my gaze to the ground and beyond into the oblong pit where the gravedigger’s spirit lay sprawled in and around its former vessel.

Below me, the gravedigger’s spirit lifted itself up from the dirt and looked at the body it was sitting in.

When I say sitting in, I do not mean that it had re-entered the carcass. Once they leave their hosts, spirits manifest as nothing more than configurations of air and mist, held in shape by the departed’s homeless life essence. They tend to find it hard to alight on anything without slipping through the surface and sinking inside it.

There are always exceptions to the rule of course. My scythe is one; fashioned of hellfire and stardust by Jimmy DeVil and unveiled at the Dawn of Time, the Business of Life’s first major event way back in the day. There is also earth. There are scientific explanations behind how they prevent souls from slipping through the soil and stone into Hell without going through the right procedures, but with my workload it is enough to know that the blueprints of Earth included clear instructions on creating some elaborate chemical in the ground that repels the spirits and keeps them trapped on the surface until business is done.

So, for that reason, the gravedigger’s ghost found itself sitting in a hole six feet deep with only one way out.

“I think you need to calm down,” I said. “And perhaps you could use a hand?”

The shade of the gravedigger looked up at me with a frown that could have singed my eyebrows, if I were to have any of course. It turned its attention on its former body, casting an eye over the corpse whose face pressed against the cold metal of a spade and whose arse stuck unceremoniously skyward.

“I’m dead, ain’t I?” it said, turning its attention on me again.

“You are.”

“So what’s goin’ to ‘appen now then?”

“Well, would you mind letting me get you out of that hole first? I’m getting a crick in my neck.”

“Oh, yes,” the spirit said. “Erm, sorry ‘bout this. It was just a bit of a shock, mate.”

I lowered the scythe into the pit and raised the gravedigger once again. I set him down on the grass by the grave and pulled the list from my robe. I rubbed my finger across the name at the top; Boris Morris.

“It’s quite a catchy name,” I said without thinking.

“’Ere, mate, I’m in enough of a pickle without you takin’ the piss. I’ve ‘ad that me whole life so I don’t want the bugger all the way through me death too.”

“Sorry,” I said, metaphorically biting my lip. “I tend to speak as I find.”

“We’ll say no more ‘bout it,” the spirit formerly known as Boris said. “So, now what do I need to do?”

“I just have a few questions to ask you then we will have you on your way.”

I quickly scanned the tick boxes that had appeared on the list next to the gravedigger’s name. Everything seemed in order.

“Do you have any known unresolved grievances against persons living or dead?” I asked.

“Old buggers like me don’t have grievances against anyone but the taxman and the government.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Why?” Boris’s spectre asked. “What happens then?”

“If you have a grievance then it must be resolved before you get your visa. The same rules apply to kept secrets, long lost lovers, and miscellaneous unfinished business.”

“in that case, no. None of them.”

I put a cross in the box with my fingertip.

“Have you ever practiced Devil Worship?”

Boris raised an eyebrow. “What? With my arthritis? I could just ‘bout make it up and down the ladder in that grave there.”

I put another cross. A question not on the list formed in my thoughts. Curiosity is the single deadliest of all human traits that I have encountered and picked up on. It can lead to all sorts of problems.

“Why were you digging a grave at your age?” I asked.

“Well, I couldn’t not, could I?” Boris replied.

I will admit, I was more than a little confused at that moment. “I really don’t know. That was why I was asking.”

“Oh. I didn’t think you’d be interested in that kind of thing. I thought you’d be too busy.”

“I make time,” I said.

“Well I guess need to. So many placed to get to quickly.”

“Erm…yes…and about why you felt you had to dig the grave?”

“Ah that. Well, there’s some jobs you just have to do. I mean, there are some jobs you’d die to…erm..yes, well, you just have to do them.”

I often wish I could control my need to know these things. It was so much simpler in the beginning when all they had to say was, “Ug.” Still I had opened the can now so it was only right to see what was inside.

“I don’t quite follow you,” I said. “Why did you have to do it?”

The look Boris’s spectre gave me sat somewhere between pity and disbelief. I had not failed to notice how quickly Boris had overcome the distress of his demise. The detachment of the brain is very much responsible for such lapses of memory. Life essence has a short memory span when it comes to events after death, and I should say that pre-death memories fade rather quickly too. That is why many hauntings never end; they remember why they want to haunt someone at the start, but a week later they don’t remember who they were, who they are haunting or how to pass through the wall and leave. It can be quite tragic.

“You expect me to pass up on this opportunity?” Boris’s ghost asked incredulously. “To dig this grave was what me life was leadin’ up to. I’ve dug graves all me life and finally I get to dig the big one. I just didn’t expect it would lead to the end of me life!”

“Who’s grave is it?”

“I thought you knew these things?”

I held up the list. All twelve inches of it. “I only have an hour in advance and no history. So who’s grave is so important?”

And that is the question. Who’s grave is so important and where does that lead us?
Back to top  
Masterweaver



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1463
Location: Look around

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject:  

It is the grave for DEATH!

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA*Jamming noise, pulls out tape, shakes it, resinserts*HAHAHA!

Well written, and well executed.
Back to top  
Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8734

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject:  

Nice one again!

Mmmm. I like MWs suggestion, but there has to be another option. Unfortunately my brain isn't quite awake yet, so I can't think of one. I'll work on it and get back to you.
Back to top  
D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: There are scientific explanations behind how they prevent souls from slipping through the soil and stone into Hell without going through the right procedures, but for me it is enough to know that the blueprints of Earth included clear instructions on creating some elaborate chemical in the ground that repels the spirits and keeps them trapped on the surface until business is done.

For Death it's enough to know... what? That explanation sounds pretty elaborate, and Death making it sound simple is contrary to the truth.

Quote: It then turned its attention on its former body, casting an eye over the corpse with its face pressed against the cold metal of a spade and its arse in the air.

Awkward sentence. Interpreted one way, it sounds as if the spirit is the one with its face pressed against cold metal, and the other interpretation points to the corpse as the one with its face pressed to cold metal. Of course, it is the corpse, because the spirit doesn't have a 'real' face, and because the sentence doesn't make sense if the spirit is the one with its arse in the air, but the sentence is unclear nonetheless.

Try this: The corpse, with its face pressed against the cold metal of a spade and its arse in the air, was then thoroughly examined by the spirit. (It is passive, but it makes more sense).

As for the DP- The Grave is for a very rich woman who is planning on attempting suicide and is paying for her own grave to be dug up prematurely. What she doesn't know is that her suicide attempt will fail (which accounts for the reason why Death doesn't have her on the list). Furthermore, it will be Death himself (assuming he is male) who frustrates her suicide attempt, because he falls in love with her and wishes to keep her alive!*

*This last part isn't exactly necessary, but it would add extra spice.
Back to top  
Kirranna



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 81
Location: California

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject:  

Its the grave of last one of his close groups of friends he had grown up with and had passed away a few days before. He knew it was what his life was coming up to because he was the last one left.
Back to top  
ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:39 am    Post subject:  

D-Lotus wrote: Quote: There are scientific explanations behind how they prevent souls from slipping through the soil and stone into Hell without going through the right procedures, but for me it is enough to know that the blueprints of Earth included clear instructions on creating some elaborate chemical in the ground that repels the spirits and keeps them trapped on the surface until business is done.

For Death it's enough to know... what? That explanation sounds pretty elaborate, and Death making it sound simple is contrary to the truth.

Quote: It then turned its attention on its former body, casting an eye over the corpse with its face pressed against the cold metal of a spade and its arse in the air.

Awkward sentence. Interpreted one way, it sounds as if the spirit is the one with its face pressed against cold metal, and the other interpretation points to the corpse as the one with its face pressed to cold metal. Of course, it is the corpse, because the spirit doesn't have a 'real' face, and because the sentence doesn't make sense if the spirit is the one with its arse in the air, but the sentence is unclear nonetheless.

Try this: The corpse, with its face pressed against the cold metal of a spade and its arse in the air, was then thoroughly examined by the spirit. (It is passive, but it makes more sense).

As for the DP- The Grave is for a very rich woman who is planning on attempting suicide and is paying for her own grave to be dug up prematurely. What she doesn't know is that her suicide attempt will fail (which accounts for the reason why Death doesn't have her on the list). Furthermore, it will be Death himself (assuming he is male) who frustrates her suicide attempt, because he falls in love with her and wishes to keep her alive!*

*This last part isn't exactly necessary, but it would add extra spice.

I've made a couple of amendments to those two sentences you mentioned. I think they both work better now.
Back to top  
Mephistopheles



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 612
Location: Not where I want to be.

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:05 am    Post subject:  

nicely done again ashkent!

It is the grave for his step father that he loathed ever since the man married his mum. of course, to make this work, he would have had to be a bit younger than the gravedigger, but, it is possible. and that is why the grave digger hates him so much, he stole his mum from him and then was a very abusive man to her.
Back to top  
Cyberworm



Joined: 19 Aug 2007
Posts: 651
Location: Spatially found, temporal lockdown.

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:33 am    Post subject:  

I'd say it was a grave of some mob boss, who they were going to kill and bury before anyone notices.

Nice read there. :rock:
Back to top  
Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:50 am    Post subject:  

Quote: “To dig this grave was what me life was leadin’ up to. I’ve dug graves all me life and finally I get to dig the big one. I just didn’t expect it would lead to the end of me life!”

Well I agree with Meph it has to be someone who has been bugging him all his life. A debt collector, maybe?

Of course that would mean that he'd have lied by telling Death that he didn't have any outstanding grievances with people living or dead. And of course now that he is dead, he's not rid of the guy at all...

An entertaining read! :)
Back to top  
Player of Fates



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 214
Location: Darkness

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject:  

Indeed, I'm definitely liking this story. Loving the flow. Masterweaver's suggestion has to be the most intelligent one I've ever seen him make. A big grave for Death would add an interesting twist to it.

If not that, how about some type of supernatural being or grotesque monster/human that is supposed to be locked up and buried.
Back to top  
ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject:  

I'll give this one a couple of more days for suggestions then I'll run the poll.
Back to top  
The Meaning Of Fear



Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 980
Location: In a deep, dark corner of the universe, plotting.

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject:  

This is quite good... Looking foward to the next chapter!

~Holds Breath~ :shock:
Back to top  
Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject:  

I only just came across this - you snuck in that poll a week ago without telling anyone!

Grim Reaping is polling, folks!

:D
Back to top  
ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject:  

Crunchyfrog wrote: I only just came across this - you snuck in that poll a week ago without telling anyone!

Grim Reaping is polling, folks!

:D


Oops. I did put it in the title when I posted the poll but I forgot to put a new post up with it. I just thought everyone had buggered off and left me to my own devices.

*Picks up one of own devices and listens to a deep booming voice counting down from five*
Back to top  
ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:47 am    Post subject:  

Only today and tomorrow left to vote. It ends at midnight Friday 1st February.
Back to top  
Bookwizard



Joined: 07 Oct 2007
Posts: 639
Location: Gallifrey

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject:  

Again I have finished this chapter, and have greatly enjoyed it, you know ashkent I need to tell you something, if you know who he is, you are very nearly starting to remind me of an author named Douglas Adams.
Back to top  
 
       Storygames Home -> Grim Reaping
Page 1 of 1


Powered by phpBB Search Engine Indexer
Powered by phpBB 2.0.16 © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group