A Place For Dying By: Trevor Sanders


A Place For Dying
By: Trevor Sanders

"Plague me no more." Slate tumbled down the hillside with every beleaguered step Azurius forced himself to make. The gnarled ruin of his knee wrenched into wobbly motion. No sane man would ascend this hill. The temple to the nameless dark of the Underworld lay atop it, the fading hope of only the wretched few who sought one last favor of the Gods.

It was a place for dying.

"You've stretched that miserable life of yours long past where it should have snapped brother." In the dying light the wraith's form was a cold haze; only memory shaped it into the features of a man. "I have come to take you home."

None of the other wretched pilgrims dared approach the fever-eyed and haunted man. They could not see the ghost trailing him like a ball at the end of a prisoner's irons.

"You burned that place away long ago." Azurius winced, the tendons in his legs burning. He sucked in tiny gasps, the shriveled sacks of his lungs threatening to close up and draw no more. "Sink back into your pit and trouble me no more."

"Have you never forgiven me?" The shade hovered about, the ease of its movements drawing his thin lips into a sneer. A wracking cough overtook Azurius. "I never wished this torment upon you brother."

"Forgive?" He cackled and then spat through his brother's head. "Even death has not scraped away that impetuous and arrogant stumbling of yours.." A thin finger pointed up towards the somber structure of the temple, its singular doorway illuminated only by the thin light of the moon. "Crawl back into the Underworld brother, beg forgiveness from one of the Gods. Their sympathies are more easily bought than mine."

"You will find no succor in any bargain you strike." The shade floated before him.

Azurius turned aside his gaze, unable to accept the sympathies presented there. He struggled on, the bitterness of old wounds and the scars that remained stitching together his enfeebled flesh. "There will be no peace for you here."

"As long as you remain brother, it is certain."

Dark stones tumbled down, knocked loose by the frantic passing of a pox-scarred and hunched over woman. She looked back, her expression hid underneath an explosion of twisting and unkempt braids. Azurius snarled at her even as the stones smashed against the papery flesh of his shins.

"Do not let your bitterness consume you." The shade's form quivered in the half-light of the waning moon.

Azurius would not look upon his brother, fearing the specter had come to deliver him into the arms of death itself. He would not accept such an escort, nor forfeit that last sputtering of his life to the only man in this world he could still hate.

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About the Author

Trevor Sanders is a freelance writer and graphic artist from southern Utah. He is currently working on a novel series of his own, a graphic novel which he writes and renders, and now and again he writes short fiction.

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