What the Raven's Bring
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Author Topic: What the Raven's Bring  (Read 163 times)

Blinded By Silence

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What the Raven's Bring
« on: January 09, 2021, 01:04:10 AM »
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It was a cold day by Pestilence's pools. Watery winter light filtered down through the trees, leaving soft dapples on the still water. Beneath the surface lay bodies of many shapes and sizes, all in various states of decay. A black buck worked in the dry space between the pools and the cave home he shared with his mate and family. Pestilence hated working in the winter time, as the cold not only makes graves harder to dig, but the cooler water slowed decay, making jobs that would merely take a few days take weeks instead. Normally, Stil was a patient buck. There was no time to rush in work as delicate as his, putting the dead back together took a careful touch, you see, but this week was... particularly nerve-wracking.

Beside the wing-scaled buck lay a colt, bright white and still growing into his gangly limbs. Now Pestilence loved children. He loved this child in particular, not just because Bone Keeper was his nephew but because he looked up to Pestilence in such a way that none of his own children had. He wanted to be a piecemaker, just like his uncle, when he grew up. Pestilence may not have always been the best of kin. But he was good at what he did and the idea of passing that knowledge down filled him with such pride, he thought he would burst. The nerve-wracking part of it was simple, he wasn't a very interesting buck. His job was slow and uneventful, even without the cold hindering his progress. He worried that the colt would become bored with it and rush off to chase a more exciting role in life. And so, as he watched the white colt's attention waver, he felt a bit of panic. What could he do to make this more... fun?

Suddenly, the soft plunk of something solid landing in the dirt drew both of their attention. Between them lay a small bone. The white colt raised an eyebrow and looked up, searching for its origin. From above them in the branches of the trees, a raven croaked and tilted its head, mimicking the young Kimeti.

"Why are there so many ravens around here?" He asked.

"Where death goes, raven's follow. Have you not heard the story, young one?" But Bone Keeper shook his head, "Ah, well, Perish Song would tell it best. I will see what I can remember,"

It all began long ago, back when Death herself walked the earth. She was a beautiful doe, with fur as black as night and eyes the color of blood. Kin of all shapes and kinda came to her from the far reaches of the world so that she may put them to rest.

He noted Bone Keeper's raised eyebrow and felt heat rise into his face. He ran his tongue over his teeth. These words were too sweet, not really to his taste. He'd try again.

Kin do not see death as you and I do. But she did. It was her duty and she was proud of it. But, death takes time. A lot of time. And not many kin had time to wait. It upset Death that she could not possibly tend to them all. So, she asked for help.

"From the ravens?" Bone Keeper asked. Pestilence nodded, "They are excellent finders."

Death saw the potential in the ravens. As carrion eaters, they already knew how to find the dead. Their beaks are meant to strip the meat from the bones. The bones were the most important part. Inside the bones lies the soul. That was how she returned the favor. The ravens would sometimes bring her loose bones, lost limbs or scattered remains. She needed all the pieces. So she gave the loose ones to the ravens. They would crack them with their beaks and release the lost souls into the world. She paid them in the marrow.

Bone Keeper looked up. Pestilence followed his gaze and saw three more ravens circling them. They banked and landed nearby, each one setting down more of the small creature's skeleton, staring at him with their piercing red eyes. He gave a nod of thanks before rising from the ground and disappearing into his cave. The dark buck returned moments later and set down a large bone. He smiled as Bone Keeper watched with awe as the birds went to work with their beaks. Before long the bone was cracked open. He looked at Bone Keeper and said simply,

"And so do I."