Hello once again, on this fine Sunday, If it indeed is that day at the time of reading. Today, another backlogged work, and another short piece, I guess. This one was a bit weird, even for me, as I wrote it in a very old or outdated kind of style, but I think the message is still there and the quaintness of it is still enjoyable. Also, since I do live in Canada, and am hearing about all these crazy snow storms happening else where, I can’t help but just sit back and say, “Just another day.” I mean come on, we barely got any snow on Christmas and now a huge storm is blowing through elsewhere. But I guess we’re cold like all year round so it always feels like winter anyway, not that I mind. Winter is my favorite season. Anyways, here you go, “Grave Digger”.
Adrian walked to the old hunched man. His black coat shaded the dirt and draped him in shadows. His face was ragged and his bones were tired. With one hand on the shaft, and one hand on the handle, the man drove the spade into the ground. He lifted, then threw the dirt. Then his spade entered again and he threw again. The old man kept this slow rhythm, his hands trembling with each spade full.
Adrian offered the man a hand, “If you struggle, you’ll only grow older.”
“I don’t have anything left but my age,” the man replied with a tired and coarse voice.
“Growing old is nothing but a trifle. I keep those in even greater age, cased. It is not for a man as yourself.” The old man pointed to Adrian’s necklace, a silver shining angel dangled in the low light. Adrian clutched his necklace and laughed, “I may not deal in disposed souls, but I can move dirt.”
“Is that so? Color yourself zealous?”
“Not anymore so. You bury the gone, and at such great determination. Are you any less zealous?”
“I do what is required. Some belong in under-earth. I simply see to it.”
“Well, can’t you say that we all see to it? It is nothing but upheaval to ignore our lost ones.”
“But you don’t deal in corpses?” The man pointed to the casket beside him, where a body laid in wait under the solid cover.
“How can a devout speak of respectful sending if they cannot carry the gourd?”
“To send a soul to purgatory, one must shelve away all obstructions.” The old man pondered Adrian’s behaviour. To him, Adrian was a soothe seeker. A callous man who wandered to seek approval. The old man was versed in many names and faces. However he was dumbfounded at his lack of recognition towards Adrian. The old man had titled himself with knowing everyone in the town. His graveyard was a library. And the people were young.
“Do what you will, lest you be a knave.”
“I promise to be honest. Dirt cannot lie.” The old man handed his spade to Adrian. Adrian rolled his sleeves, exposing two laden white arrows on both his arms. The arrows were thick and seemed to flood towards his hands. The old man couldn’t avert his eyes, for he knew of only few scenarios of why tattoos of that nature would exist. The old man did not care for religious pleasantries, but he knew allowing Adrian to help with the burial would not end well. There were very few in this town who would anoint tasks but no see through to them. This town was very zealous in itself.
Adrian worked quickly, creating an opening in matter of minutes. The old man tensed, for he had already fired out the situation Adrian was in.
“How do you? Work is swift when you are able,” Adrian said. He had driven the spade into the ground once again. It protruded from the ground, and stood as tall as Adrian. The old man hovered around the casket and peered at Adrian. Adrian was sweating but he wasn’t recuperating.
“So what make of you? Work is work. Get to it,” Adrian said with a hard boiled demeanor. The old man looked puzzled. Truly those who lived in the town would know if its customs. The old man had two options, one of which required great ignorance, the other, arrogance. The old man was revered in town, some of which was self condoned, the other, pure reputation. The old man was quite fond of his status. It gave him a sense of omnipotence.
“What has been done is done. You know how it is,” the old man said.
“So you are zealous, have me colored in blood!” Adrian yelled.
“It is not much in mannerism. However, customs do not die.” Adrian grabbed the spade and pointed it vehemently towards the old man.
“There is little that can dissuade tradition. You must cherish souls, and souls therefore.” Adrian slammed the spade into the ground and turned to leave the grounds.
“Lest you be devoured by the nation,” the old man said into the winds. Adrian’s forehead tensed, and it seemed like only moments before he would snap out at the old man. Adrian slowed his breathing, and finally circled back towards the casket. Adrian slowed his breathing, and finally circled back towards the casket. Adrian bent down, and with two hands, grabbed the large rectangular box. The old man looked down casted at what was about to occur.
“Peace be with you,” the old man said. Adrian lifted the casket, and as it rose to the his face, he realizing the situation. The old man gave him one last remark.
“Those be damned. If only souls stuck with souls, not strangers.”