“Were you supposed to keep her eyes open?” Isla asked curiously. It was her first experience with a freshly dead body and she still didn’t know how to feel, she shook away the discomfort as she turned to the wall of oddly colored glass bottles displayed on shelves nearby; some had liquid while others had brined bits of organs.
“Yes, my dear. How else will the sky know to call her home.” Rowan replied matter-of-factly as though this was a normal-run-of-the-mill, every-day-conversation— “you see the gathering of birds over yonder, they will circle a full fortnight until she gathers her wings to join them.”
It wasn’t any help that Isla’s uncle Rowan owned the only mortuary—Kat-O’Nine Lives Crematorium at the center-edge of town behind a pair of sharp rusted gates; a place no white-winged angel would dare to step foot in—or so Isla’d been told.
Isla hadn’t thought much of death until now. The woman lying on the table had been a close family friend and teacher at Seawarths School of Magic and Wizardry, Professor Annabelle “Hazel” Mulrooney.
“What will happen to her body after,” Isla asked more curious than before. Isla had just been reading a book, a rather dangerous book— “Comprehensive Stories of Highly-Favored Charms: The Perils of Spiritual Ceremonies and Disspellings” by E.J. Grimoire and Sir Nemwrith Opormora-O’Flannery when Professor Mulrooney fell over and died part way through the class. It was something tragic really.
“We will prepare her for a proper burial, once she gains her wings, her spirit will be able to wander. Maybe one day she will visit you at the school. A lot of former Professors will haunt the halls from time to time…Now tell me once more what exactly happened, start from the top, it’s very important,” Rowan began as he set about, tenderly preparing Professor Mulrooney’s body for her journey to the after-life.
Isla hesitated for a moment, unsure of where exactly to begin— “well, the books on every table just opened to the chapter on angels when a sudden deafening roar took over the room. It’s funny, we weren’t even talking about angels actually, we were starting a new chapter on the 'Interests of Giant Roots and Mythical Permutations'. It was my turn to read and you know how I get, nervous…maybe I knew something was about to happen, and just as I opened my mouth the pages began to turn. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before, a blinding flash of light descended from the ceiling and a calm feeling took over. Professor Mulrooney lifted from her chair…” Isla paused, her voice cracking.
She wondered why Professor Mulrooney had been killed, taken in such a vile manner.
“Well…it’s complicated…see the birds…they’re what we in this business call death-snatchers, they come to collect the soul from the recently departed, picking at the body, eating what is left over, nibbling the soft tissues—the eye-sockets, the soft-rosy-cheeks, the dried lips. I try my best to keep them intact, safe— away from the thieving, prying eyes of the vultures but it doesn’t always happen. Their only other job is to guide the soul up to the sky, towards the heavens to be sorted in a new life. From there, the spirit can return and live amongst us and keep us in line, we learn from their mistakes, it’s the worlds way of keeping balance. They get punished by not being able to be free in life, but in death are allowed to wander the Earth and Heavens as a ghost for all eternity. It’s an interesting trade my dear, just be careful what you wish for. Be very careful, it would seem what poor old Professor Mulrooney requested came a bit too early…”
FORTUNE DOES NOT ALWAYS FAVOR THE BOLD
About the Creator
Writing my escape, my future…if you like what you read—leave a comment, an encouraging tip, or a heart—I’m always looking to improve, let me know if there is anything I can do better.
& above all—thank you for your time