Mother and Child,
Frederick, Lord Leighton,
Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.
The piece from which the following is taken is on submission. In addition to whatever other faults it may have, the story may be considered entirely too dark for its intended venue.
I hoped the legends were right. That this time, surely, he would stay dead.
Burn the body. Spread the ashes on running water that flows to the sea. Those were the instructions for dealing with the corpse-pale, the draugr, the zombie.
Which was why I was standing there below Cemetery Hill on a narrow foot bridge in the chill dusk of a solstice afternoon.
Legends were all I had to go on. All any of the Talents had to go on, really, in this new paranormal paradigm, where spectres walked with impunity, though not always with malice, and where creatures out of myth and legend and nightmare were increasingly commonplace. Like Revenants.
I was here because I sought a diaspora of his very essence. A purification from his taint. A final exorcism. Let him go into the darkness of the year's midnight. Only light is re-born on the wheel of the year.
The water below slid shiny black and smooth in the dying light. It lapped and hungered around the rocks of the rapids and between the icy jaws of the steep ravine. I did not view it as malevolent - for water is a natural beast and stronger than magic.
Like cross-roads, bridges are unchancy places, balanced as they are earth to earth, between past and future - and therefore risky; but I didn't want to wade in the fast-moving depths below, no mater how natural. Things sometimes lived there.
I picked up the cardboard container that held my husband's ashes, broke the morturary seal, and checked the direction of the wind. From the north. Fitting. And safe. I did not want anything blowing back in my face. Then I leaned over the rail and dumped his evil dust into the moving water. Without ceremony.
Exeat. Sic transit. Finis.
Pimp Report: Award-winning duo, C.T Adams and Cathy L. Clamp, also have stories in Weirdly. I'm in good company. Their official website is here.