Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Light the Lamp So Bright--Part 22

The Hall of Sextons was largely underground, something that did not make it comfortable to visit during a rainstorm.  Nathan's boots were already soaked, and he feared his socks would soon be as well.  Sacripant on the other hand seemed to be enjoying it, splashing through puddles with a cheerful nonchalance.

He was less charmed by all the skulls and bones, which produced shudders and winces.  "So," the Erl said to the Sexton, "you still haven't identified the body...?"

"Many bodies came that night," said the Sexton.  "Talossa produces corpses like a beehive produces honey."

"The bees do that, not the hive," muttered Sacripant.

"I think you will find they are linked," replied the Sexton.  "This city has more death in it than many, you will find, friend Nightlander.  It drips at time.  People die young, of things that you would not think them to.  Just last week, a tramp drank lantern oil to try and fill his stomach.  He emptied it instead--but was next to a fire, when he did.  An ugly death.  Very ugly."

"It sounds it," replied the Erl.  "And then there was my countryman, a few weeks ago."

"Indeed," agreed the Sexton.  "A strange death, that one.  A murder, but the why of it..."  He sighed.  "Quite baffling."  He turned towards a door, and drew a key from the ring kept on his belt.  "Here we are," he said.  "The Recieiving Chamber."

"You'd think it'd be closer to the surface," muttered Sacripant.

"And you'd be wrong," said the Sexton, as he opened the door.  "We have chosen the location for many reasons.  Security, among them."  He shook his head.  "You would not believe the times that people have attempted to steal bodies..."  He coughed.  "The third slab on the left."

Sacripant and Nathan nodded as they followed his instructions to the body.  They stared at the slab for a moment after reaching it.  "So... steal bodies?" noted Nathan, eyes still on the empty slab.

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