Overgrown Tomb


He doesn’t know what’s buried here, or who, but Vraska insists her Swarm pay tribute. Each day her legions fill the chamber to take a moment. Some pray, some sit in silence, some dance. There was a girl that used to sing. Her voice sweet like the smell of the blue lilies that grow here. But she’s gone now. He thinks of her this morning as he remains silent. Wishes he knew a god to pray to, feels it’s right. Wants to say something for that poor girl, but no words come.

After an hour of silence he sets to leave. His bare feet sink into soft soil, mud of silt and rain oozes between his boney toes. Life begins anew in the soil. Worms churn dirt, seeds sprout, maggots eat a mouse carcass. One feeds the other. He glances back at the stone skeletons that adorn the tomb and wonders who they were. A crow watches the scene, tilts its head, takes three side steps.

“It’s your tomb,” her voice like snakes writhing through velvet rose pedals. “And mine—it’s all of ours.” Her hair—can it even be called that?—moves with a mind of its own.

“M-My Queen,” he drops to his knees, reanimated flesh tears, a piece of rotting muscle falls from his reanimated body. The crow dives. Snatches the snack as it hits the ground and returns to its perch. “I didn’t see you.”

She laughs, a sound like smooth stones rolling in a riverbed. “I wasn’t called Unseen for nothing. You wanted to know about the tomb.” It isn’t a question.

He glances over his shoulder.

“I turned them to stone,” she nods at the skeletal figures embedded into the tomb, her hair points.

“I always thought they were carved.” He says.

“Mm, no.” Her hair swirls, snakes its way over her shoulders, caresses her neck, brushes her cheeks. “Those were Bolas’ lazotep soldiers, from the war--before your time. I might be able to use their plating, but that’s for another day. For now, they serve as reminders.”

“Of what?”

Her eyes glow, her lip turns into a smile that borders on a sneer. “That everything lasts forever, just not how you expect.”