Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Dead Man

He would only speak of her when the sun was high in the sky. To whisper her name in the clawing dark would bring death. Funny such a man would be scared of these things--a skinny twig of a man, intellect crumbling into his brittle fingers and death rattling in his every breath, coldness seeping from his bones. He dressed in black robes and tied his thin greasy hair away from his sunken cheeks and pointy nose. His lips were so pale that they only existed when he moved them.

"They call me the Dead Man," he said, "because I have lived among the dead for so long, that I have come to look dead as well. But I'm not even thirty years old yet. Hardly a respectable age at which to die." He quickly looked towards the sky, as if daring the sun to move any closer to the West. "The Bone-White Demon Witch, on the other hand, is far older than any can remember . . . and I'm here to warn you. I followed a Troupe of Ghosts. They say she's coming this way." His head bobbed up and down and I was almost afraid his neck wouldn't take the strain (I wouldn't want a head like that rolling around under my feet). "Yep, she's coming alright. You best be on the lookout now."

"Thank you," I said. "That's very kind of you."

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