This is the thirteenth and final part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here. Or find the story index at the top of the page.
The following evening, all the residents of the cemetery gathered on the outskirts of the Wee Woods to celebrate Samhain. The atmosphere was charged with expectation and hope. Hope of seeing loved ones again. Hope of being remembered by those still living.
Damon sat quietly off to the side, a cup of hot chocolate in his hands. Samhain was a difficult time for him. Naturally, he marked the occasion as a time remember those he had lost, especially his parents, who had never really understood him after he had been turned into a demon. Yet, unlike the other hopeful dead and undead of the crowd before him, he harboured no illusions that he would be receiving visitors when the veil thinned. He hadn’t yet.
And so he sat at the edge of the world of the living and looked across the Veil and into the world of the dead. The latter was a place forbidden to him until the day he shed his demon nature. Yet he had spent such a long time in the former, he was reluctant to let it go, as his time at the mercy of Artemon had shown him.
As the Veil thinned, the crowd dutifully whispered their ohs and ahs and sighed in anticipation, and then…the Veil was down and the spirits began to cross. Names were called out. Shouts of joy heralded happy reunions. Shouts less joyful indicated where past disagreements were picked back up, yet it couldn’t stop the smile from slowly spreading across Damon’s face. Even in crossed words there was a rekindling of connection. After all, life and death rarely went smoothly all the time.
Damon transferred his attention from the crowd to what lay beyond the Veil itself. A world of majesty and wonder, a world of growing things. He could see mountains and rivers, and hills and valleys, and oceans and meadows, and waterfalls and sandy deserts, and glaciers and forests, and flowers and islands, and so much more. The magic of Veil offered those who looked across it a vision of spectacular beauty, unspoilt by man. Our world as it should have been.
‘One day I’ll get there,’ he whispered to himself. ‘One day…’ Then he stood up, draining the last of his hot chocolate. ‘But for now, my cemetery needs me.’
And with that said, he went off to start patrolling this park of the dead and undead, and some times the living. In search of trouble. In search of anyone who required his assistance. In search of another hot chocolate.
To be continued…
Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 13 – What Lies Beyond